In this episode, we feature a short audio documentary by Vanderbilt law student Joshua Minchin called “Well Founded Fear.” Joshua produced this piece for an assignment in a refugee law course taught by Vanderbilt professor Karla McKanders. The assignment called for students to take some challenging legal issued related to refugee and immigration law and to convey it to a non-specialist audience through audio stories. Joshua’s motivation for this piece came from his personal experience working as an employment specialist for a refugee resettlement agency before he started law school. In writing about this audio piece, Minchin said it’s important not to lose track of the people who are most affected by immigration law.
Joshua’s piece first aired on the long-running podcast Life of the Law. For more information on Karla McKanders’ collaboration with Life of the Law, as well as other student pieces that aired on that podcast, listen to Episode 136, “New Voices Series: Law Students Take on Immigration.”
This episode features an audio peice called “The Panizzardi Telegram” produced by Vanderbilt undergraduate Charlie Overton. Charlie was a student in podcast host Derek Bruff’s first-year writing seminar last fall, a course on cryptography. The course is a busy one, with mathematics and codebreaking, history and current events, and, as of recent offerings, a podcast assignment. Derek asks his students to explore the history of codes and ciphers for a class podcast called One-Time Pod. Charlie’s contribution on the Panizzardi telegram deftly combines historical storytelling and technical explanations. It also communicates an enduring understanding about cryptography: If you don’t know how a message has been encrypted, it’s really easy to make up a decryption method that makes the message say what you want it to say.
For more student-produced pieces on the history of cryptography, check out Derek’s class podcast, One-Time Pod. And for those interested in using audio assignments in their teaching, see Derek’s podcast assignment and rubric for ideas.
Last fall, Vanderbilt student Layla Shahmohammadi interned at Conexión Américas, a non-profit whose mission is to build community and opportunities for Latino families, particularly immigrant families, in Nashville. Layla’s internship was part of her capstone experience as a major in Human and Organizational Development (HOD). When Layla started working at Conexión, she noticed that staff members, who were mostly Hispanic, preferred others in the organization use the Spanish pronunciations of their names. She thought this was interesting, so she talked with her co-workers about their names and identities and produced a short audio documentary as part of her HOD capstone experience. This episode of VandyVox features that documentary, titled “The Name: Names, Identity, and Self-Perception at Conexión Américas.”
For more audio from HOD students, check out the HOD Capstone Learning podcast, available on SoundCloud.