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Perspective is a 27-minute weekly public affairs program hosted by Richard Baker and distributed to radio stations throughout the state. Below are recordings of recent programs.

Send comments, questions or requests for copies of past programs to ksrenews@ksu.edu.

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Program Date

Segment Title
and Description

Listen and Download



SEVERE WEATHER SEASON– Severe weather season is underway in Kansas…which means it’s time to  think about what you’re going to do if and when some kind of severe weather arrives. Chad Omitt, the weather preparedness meteorologist at the Topeka office of the National Weather Service, discusses the upcoming severe weather season and the steps you can take to protect yourself.PER 03-23 


MAKE FOOD GO FURTHER– March is National Nutrition Month, an effort to get Americans to ‘Go Further with Food.’ One of the campaign efforts is reducing food waste. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reports one-third of the food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted – that’s about 1-point-3 billion tons of food globally. Sandy Procter, assistant professor in the department of Foods, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health at Kansas State University, looks at how this nutrition education effort also aims to just get people to eat better, and in turn, improve their health.PER 03-16


INCLUSION AND DIVERSITY– Inclusion and diversity are buzz words in both industries and higher education across this country. But according to industry expert, Natacha Buchanan, in too many industries and on too many university campuses, we talk a lot about inclusion and diversity – but all we do is talk – when we need to look at what has been done, what is being done, and what remains to be done.PER 03-09


2018 FARM BILL– Work is currently underway in Washington on the 2018 Farm Bill…a measure that touches just about everyone in this country, one way or another. Art Barnaby, professor of Agricultural Economics and Mykel Taylor, associate professor in Agricultural Economics, both at Kansas State University, look at the implications for farmer and non-farmers alike.PER 03-02 


CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAMS– The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service has selected Kansas State University to direct the Center for Food Safety in Child Nutrition Programs. Kevin Roberts, associate professor of hospitality management and Kevin Sauer, associate professor of food, nutrition, dietetics and health, both at Kansas State University, say the research resulting from this partnership will help improve food safety in all of the USDA’s child nutrition programs – which serve billion of meals to children each year.PER 02-23


PROSPERITY IN KANSAS AND THE NATION – A report by Prosperity Now says despite lower unemployment, a booming stock market, and a modest decline in the poverty rate, there is growing evidence that positive economic gains at the national level are not widely shared by those of low and moderate income nationally, or in Kansas. The organization says unemployment in Kansas is currently at its lowest rate in more than a decade. In addition, the income poverty rate decreased slightly in the last year. However, despite those gains, Solana Rice, Prosperity Now's director of state and local policy, says the richest 20 percent of households now earn over four times more than the poorest 20 percent.PER 02-16 


THE CHANGING ROLE OF EXTENSION– The United States Extension Service was established in 1914 by the Smith Lever Act to work with land-grant universities. The idea was to apply research and provide education in agriculture. However, that role has continued to evolve and expand. While the Extension Service still plays a major role in agriculture, Dr. Gregg Hadley, associate director for Extension at Kansas State University, says it has expanded its programming and services to meet the needs of those living in rural, urban and suburban parts of the country.PER 02-09


MAINTAINING OUR DEMOCRACY– The United States, this democracy we live in, is often viewed as being in disarray. Many seem paralyzed and unsure how to react to the problems we face, laying the blame on our democracy and the government it provides. Others seem intent on limiting the power of the ballot box and restricting governmental influence. Frances Moore Lappe co-authored a book about hope and optimism, and the effort to put resources into valuing our democracy.PER 02-02 


HISTORY OF THE WRITTEN WORD– According to Martin Puchner, the Byron and Anita Wien professor of English and Comparative Literature at Harvard University, literature, since it emerged 4,000 years ago, has shaped the lives of most humans on this planet. Literature has molded religion, politics and commerce, and turned our world into a written world. PER 01-26


THE END OF NET NEUTRALITY AND ITS IMPACT– In a December decision, the Federal Communications Commission officially repealed the 2015 net neutrality regulations. The FCC did so by passing the Restoring Internet Freedom declaratory ruling, which opens up potential changes to the way internet service providers deliver service in the United States. Sandy Davidson, curators' professor of communications law at the University of Missouri School of journalism, says those potential changes will have a number of impacts and do not serve the public interest.PER 01-19 


GROWING UP MUSLIM– Have you ever thought of just how hard it is to fit in a teenager…to be cool…to have romantic relationships? Now think about how hard it must be to be an American teenage Muslim boy. John O’Brien, assistant professor of sociology at New York University Abu Dhabi, spent three-and-a-half years of intensive fieldwork in and around a large urban mosque working to figure that out. And what he found was typical Muslim American teenage boys concerned with typical American teenage issues, but these boys were also expected to be good, practicing Muslims.PER 01-12


SEPARATE AND UNEQUAL SCHOOLS– The public school system is perhaps one of the greatest accomplishments made by the United States. However, Noliwe Rooks, director of American Studies at Cornell University, says an integrated education as the path to access equality for all Americans remains, in some ways, as remoted now as it was in the past. On today’s Perspective program a look at the corporate takeover of education and the privatization – and profitability – of separate and unequal schools. PER 01-05


WOMAN CODE BREAKERS OF WORLD WAR II– As time continues to separate us from World War II, more and more little known information about certain United States war efforts is coming to light. Perhaps one of the more interesting centers around a U.S. program that recruited female college graduates, more than 10,000 of them, to serve as code breakers in the war effort. Through archival research and interviews with some of the code breakers, author Liza Mundy has written the incredible story of these women – who were ordered to never reveal the scope of their work during the war.PER 12-29 


DEALING WITH INDIGENOUS PEOPLE– Indigenous populations worldwide have too often faced problems that are not of their own making. These native peoples have many times lost their land, their culture, their language, their history – and too often their lives as others moved in to control. In comparing indigenous populations, the experiences of those in Australia and the United States share many parallels. Dr. Belinda Russon, Chief Executive Officer of Tranby National Indigenous Adult Education and Training looks at how Australia has dealt with its indigenous problems and if there are lessons there for the U.S.PER 12-22


SPORTS AND BRAIN INJURIES– The concern over repetitive brain injuries in sports began in the 1920s, but it is only in the last few years that they have started to be taken seriously. The National Football League now has protocols requiring players to be taken out of the game under certain circumstances. Dr. Peter Stanwell, an Australian medical research scientist says even though the current research is centered on sports, the highest number of brain injuries takes place in the general population from such things as falls.PER 12-15 
 12-08-17IMPACT OF INTELLECTUAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES– For parents the birth if a child is a wonderful and miraculous thing. However, for a few, that birth brings with it fear, anger, and tremendous life changes when they learn their child was born with disabilities. Even though their lives have changed, Dr. Briana Nelson Goff, director of the Institute for the Health and Security of Military Families at Kansas State University, says the vast majority of parents in this circumstance gather their strength, face the difficulties, and forge a new life of promise and happiness. PER 12-08
 12-01-17EDUCATIONAL CHANGE (Part 3)– Researchers refer to our brain capacity as mental “bandwidth – which is simply the amount of available cognitive resources. Dr. Cia Versheldon, executive director of Institutional Assessment at the University of Central Oklahoma, says scarcity can result from a number of things, such as poverty, racism, and social-psychological underminers.PER 12-01
 11-24-17EDUCATIONAL CHANGE (Part 2)– Many of today’s university campuses are the scene of political turmoil, turmoil that is simply a reflection of the rest of society. It is the same anger, name-calling, refusal to listen, but Jonathon Zimmerman, a professor of education and history at the University of Pennsylvania, says it doesn’t have to be that way. He says we need to reject the ignorance enjoined by racism and sexism, and take the time to learn something new.PER 11-24
 11-17-17EDUCATION CHANGE – (Part 1)– Americans like to think the education we provide is the best, but concern is growing over just how good it really is. Cathy Rubin, an educational researcher says her experience leads her to believe that most educational systems around the world have more in common than one would think.PER 11-17 
 11-10-17BLACK COWBOYS IN THE OLE WEST– When we think of the ole west, we often entertain images of cattle drives, Native Americans, Wyatt Earp, shoot-outs, Billy the Kid, huge herds of bison, wagon trains, and much more…but seldom do Black cowboys come to mind. And while there is little mention of them in history books, there were a lot of them. On today’s Perspective program, civil rights movement veteran, editor, and writer, Michael Searles, shares his thoughts on Black cowboys and the Black west. PER 11-10
 11-03-17SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY INITIATIVES– Immigration and its implications is just one of the areas of focus for an expert who works around the globe in international development. Summer Lewis, an international development consultant and educator, has taken these and other concerns from the field, to the classroom, to her own consulting firm. PER 11-03
 10-27-17THE NEED FOR A CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION– Maybe it’s time to overhaul the U.S. Constitution – at least that’s the view of one legal scholar. Sanford Levinson says we are used to falling back on the Constitution to save us, and find it disturbing when it fails to do that. But what if, instead of a panacea, the Constitution itself is the root of many of our problems.PER 10-27 
 10-20-17THE IMPORTANCE OF HUMOR– Most of us at some point in life try our hand at humor. And I think we have often done so without realizing just how important humor really is. Al Gini, a professor at the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University, author and Chicago radio personality, says humor and the laughter it elicits is a natural reaction to the breakdown of rationality and reason – and it is a sign of hope when are faced with life’s pain.PER 10-20
 10-13-17FEEDING THE WORLD– Jason Clay, senior vice president for markets and food at the World Wildlife Fund, believes that if nothing is done differently we will need to produce as much food as we do today to meet the increased demand by 2050. He says food production has always been the biggest human impact on the planet, but going forward with more people, more per capita income, and increased per capita consumption, the impact will only increase.PER 10-13
 10-06-17ENDING RAPE ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES– According to numbers compiled by the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, women on college campuses between the ages of 18 and 24 are at an elevated risk of sexual violence. In fact, the organization says they are at three times the risk of women in general, and non-college women of the same age are at four times the risk of women in general of confronting sexual violence. However, many of these college-age women do not report the violence to police or campus authorities.PER 10-06
 09-29-17POVERTY IN KANSAS– According to numbers from the State of Kansas report, over 18% of Kansas kids live in poverty, which the report says is over a 24% increase in the last 10 years. In addition, a report from Kansas Action for Children says childhood poverty in Kansas increased 22% over the last five years, and 98 of the state’s 105 counties saw an increase in the number of children receiving food assistance. When those numbers are combined with a reduction in publicly-funded safety net programs, it means Kansas families are struggling with day-to-day life. Dr. Elaine Johannes, an associate professor in the department of Family Studies and Human Services at Kansas State University, discusses one effort that works to reduce poverty in the state.  PER 09-29
 09-22-17ETHNIC CLEANSING OF THE CHINESE-AMERICANS– One of the darkest and perhaps least known episodes of America’s history took place in the second half of the 19th century. During this time, there were forced round-ups and expulsions of over 200 Chinese communities from towns in the Pacific Northwest. Thousands of Chinese were marched out of towns, even killed, as their homes and communities were burned. Guest: Jean Pfaelzer, professor of English, East Asian Studies, and Women’s Studies at the University of Delaware.PER 09-22
 09-15-17SCIENCE, NUMERACY AND REPRESENTATIONS  – Think of all the numbers we confront every day…and how many of them we accept without even thinking. That is just one of many factors that caused Dr. Michael Ranney, head of the Reasoning Research Group at the University of California-Berkley to consider the proper relationships between science, numeracy and representations.PER 09-15 
 09-08-17KEEPING KIDS OUT OF THE JUSTICE SYSTEM– According to the Vera Institute of Justice, most of us think skipping school, violating curfew, and even running away is just normal adolescent acting out. But, far too many, in fact thousands of kids a year – some as young as 11 – find themselves in court and jail for those misbehaviors. According to Mahsa Jafarian, a program associate with the Institute, a new report  says sometimes these behaviors are rational coping strategies, and that rather than punishment, these cases call for more intensive individual and family services that address the unique needs of the kids and families.PER 09-08
 09-01-17DEALING WITH THE IMPACT OF WAR– The Institute for the Health and Security of Military Families at Kansas State University is working to address the health and resiliency of military personnel, veterans and their families. Dr. Briana Nelson Goff, professor in the School of Family Studies and Human Services and director of the Institute, discusses efforts to identify and address the complex effects of wartime service.PER 09-01
 08-25-17THE FUTURE OF WORK– There has been a continual growth in the income gap between rich and poor, and that increasing gap has been accompanied by deep social and political divisions. Thomas Kochan, co-director of the MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research, feels the United States is paying a severe price for its failure to update policies, institutions, and practices governing employment relations.PER 08-25
 08-18-17CAN WE TEACH CITIZENSHIP?– In many of this nation’s schools, teachers work had to prepare students for tests…standardized tests that will query them over a narrow set of academic subjects. That effort concerns Joel Westheimer, a professor and author, who feels public education needs to not only transmit knowledge, but also prepare its students to utilize that knowledge in their role as citizens – something he feels is not happening.PER 08-18
 08-11-17INTERPRETING THE U.S. CONSTITUTION– In writing the Constitution, the framers were trying to do a couple of things: fix the Articles of Confederation, which was a lack of federal power, specifically to raise adequate taxes, and they wanted to do it in such a way as to get the fix enacted into law. Jeffrey Jackson, a professor of law at Washburn University, looks at how the framers went about it.PER 08-11
 08-04-17HUMAN SMART VERSUS MACHINE SMART– A recent study says that over the course of the next 20 years, technological advances have a high probability of displacing as many as 80 million jobs in the U.S. – or 47% of the workforce. Edward Hess, professor of business administration at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, says we are not prepared.PER 08-04

SEPARATE AND UNEQUAL SCHOOLSThe public school system is perhaps one of the greatest accomplishments made by the United States. However, one expert says an integrated education as the path to access equality for all Americans remains, in some ways, as remoted now as it was in the past. On today’s Perspective program a look at the corporate takeover of education and the privatization – and profitability – of separate and unequal schools.

                                                                                                                        Q...K-State Radio Network.

Guest:Noliwe Rooks, director of American Studies at Cornell University.