Episode 34 – “Diermeier and the Giant Unicorn” by College Voices

Winner in the Undergraduate Category of the 2022 Excellence in Podcasting Competition

Over the last few years, the fossil fuel divestment movement has taken the country by storm, and at Vanderbilt activists made their big debut by interrupting Chancellor Diermeier’s speech at Founders Walk in 2021. In this episode Abhinav (and a special guest) listen to College Voices’ reporting about this movement and discuss how students can create similar audio stories.

“The music knows something. I think it’s always interesting to ask, what does the music know that the listener doesn’t know yet? ‘Cause the music is the thing that can exist outside of the time of the story. It knows the past, it knows the present, it knows the future…I would say use it thoughtfully, use it as a knowing entity, use it as a punctuational entity.” 

– Jad Abumrad about using music in podcasts

How long did it take for you to produce this episode?

“This episode took dozens of hours of research, interviews, scripting, and production to complete. A lot of this work, however, also laid the groundwork for the second and third part of this divestment series”

What was your thought process behind the audio design for this episode?

“The biggest priority in creating this piece was to report accurately and ethically the scope and challenges of this movement. This topic, though, is not one that may naturally interest students, so we decided to create an introduction that tries to catch the audience’s attention. Listen closely and you’ll hear that we’ve used a lot of sound directly from the protests we attended!”

What advice would you have for students that are interested in producing something similar?

“A lot of podcasts just clip voiceovers together with some interview audio and music – this might serve your purpose but you can be a lot more creative with this medium! Try layering multiple clips over one another to create interesting effects that truly immerse the listener in your story.

Also, podcasting doesn’t need a fancy microphone or advanced editing software – you can and should get started with your phone, a headset, and Garageband! That’s still how I make my episodes!”


VandyVox was created by Derek Bruff and is managed by Jad Abumrad. The fifth season is hosted by Abhinav Krishnan and produced in collaboration with Vanderbilt Student Communications and the Center for Excellence in Teaching.