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The Make Meaning Podcast
38 minutes | a day ago
Episode 102 - Patrick Hicks - How to write historical fiction
Learning how to write and channel your voice is an act of bravery, says Patrick Hicks, which may lead you to become more adventurous in other parts of your life. The author of more than 10 books, including The Collector of Names, Adoptable and This London, Patrick is the latest guest on the Make Meaning Podcast. In this episode, Patrick speaks with host Lynne Golodner about whose history is real history, how to pay homage to the possibilities, and why an American whose ancestors came from Northern Ireland writes about the Holocaust. A professor at Augustana University in South Dakota, Patrick lived in Northern Ireland during The Troubles and he says it’s important to view history from different vantage points.
29 minutes | a month ago
Episode 100 - Bassie Shemtov - How to combine career and family to really make a difference
Growing up in the Chabad Lubavitch community, Bassie Shemtov always knew she’d devote her life to service. So when she married and moved to Michigan, she and her husband set about dedicating their life and family to building friendships with people in isolation. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Bassie speaks with host Lynne Golodner about the origins of the Friendship Circle, her husband’s role as “the Friendship Rabbi,” and the next phase of the Friendship Circle’s growth, acquiring the Dakota Bread Bakery in West Bloomfield, Michigan, as a way to build a vocational training program for adults with special needs.
24 minutes | a month ago
Episode 98 - Kehkashan Basu - How to make the world more sustainable
She calls herself an eco-warrior, and her mission started early in life. By the age of 8, Kehkashan Basu was already advocating for sustainability, and now as a university student in Toronto and the founder of the Green Hope Foundation, she shows no signs of slowing down. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Kehkashan speaks with host Lynne Golodner about why children are perfectly positioned to move the needle on climate justice, social equality, gender issues and more. She shares her inspiring family background that encouraged her to speak up and stand for something, and she explains how her work earned her the 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize and the title of National Geographic Young Explorer. At 12, she became the youngest person to be involved with the United Nations Environment Programme. Her ultimate goal? To become the first female U.N. Secretary General.
24 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 97 - Eric Hale - How to give every child a chance, even in the most poverty-stricken communities
Eric Hale says he’s not trying to be the best teacher; he’s trying to be the most impactful educator in the country. As Texas Teacher of the Year, and the first African-American man to be awarded this honor, Eric raised more than $100,000 in the last two years for his economically challenged school district in the “red light district” of Dallas – in addition to teaching some of its youngest students. “I may be the first to receive it, but I know I’m not the first African-American educator who deserves this award,” he says. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Eric speaks with host Lynne Golodner about advocacy, accountability and action as an educator, and what it takes to build the self-esteem of children in schools where 99 percent of students live below the poverty line. “You cannot educate the masses with a playbook designed for one segment of the population,” he insists.
28 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 95 - Sabrina Colosimo - How to make your home more beautiful
Sabrina Colosimo has been productive during this year’s coronavirus pandemic. Her interior design business exploded online, as people stayed home and found renewed energy and inspiration for renovating and redecorating. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Sabrina speaks with host Lynne Golodner about spending a month in Bali to find precious housewares and fabrics, creating rooms that are globally inspired, and how to find new purpose for vintage furniture amid contemporary design.
46 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 93 - Joel Hawbaker - How to blend families so that everyone gets along after divorce
When asked which role he prefers – teaching high school, coaching soccer, serving as a blended family expert, or being a husband and father – Joel Hawbaker has a hard time choosing. All of these roles combine to form his personal purpose, says the Alabama native. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Joel speaks with host Lynne Golodner on having a growth mindset, the purpose of education (hint: it’s to become a better human being and better understand the world), taking time to blend families, banishing the divorce stigma, his love of soccer and so much more.
47 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 92 - Andrew Flagel - How to make universities stronger, more connected, and more relevant
It makes total sense to form a consortium connecting the 17 colleges and universities in our nation’s capital. The Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, led by Andrew Flagel, develops financial efficiencies and better delivery of higher education core services as well as making it easier for students, staff and faculty in the region to access the great offerings of its members. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Andrew speaks with host Lynne Golodner on how he chose higher ed for his career, how to create pathways and equity to higher ed for all Americans, and why students so desperately want to get back in the classroom with their professors as the coronavirus pandemic rages on.
33 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 91 - Harry Sherwood - How to live a plant-based life
From living with monks to leading a consciousness-raising website, Harry Sherwood has done a deep dive into meaning and purpose in his young life and built a career based on what he believes. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Harry speaks with host Lynne Golodner about feeling suffocated by the life he was living and going on a journey for something more, something meaningful. Harry studied with yogis, martial arts masters, professors and psychologists, devoting thousands of hours to meditation and earning a religious studies degree from the University of Michigan. He and his life and business partner Melanie McDaniel founded Consciously.org to help people find fulfillment, transform their lives and expand awareness.
40 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 90 - Jennifer Johnson - How to make schools and classrooms equitable
As chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee of the Michigan PTA, and past PTA President at Norup International School, Jennifer Johnson is living out her purpose – to advocate for all children, and to take steps toward building true equity in education. Growing up in a family committed to Civil Rights and accompanying her mother to rallies from before she could walk, Jennifer feels purpose in her bones – and lives it out by speaking up and modeling for her children and her community. On the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Jennifer talks with host Lynne Golodner about how her post-Civil Rights childhood led her to a purpose-driven life. She’s spent a decade advocating for children and families, and recently earned a certificate in diversity and inclusion from Cornell University. The mom of a teenager and a 9-year-old, Jennifer leads by example, because, as she says, “The children are watching us.”
26 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 89 - Rabbi Yonason Goldson - How to build a career through an ethical mindset
What does a high school teacher do after retirement? Teach about Ethics, of course. At least that’s Rabbi Yonason Goldson’s journey, from a “repentant hitchhiker” to an ordained Orthodox rabbi to a jolly grandfather who converts ancient wisdom into modern-day lessons on operating by a set of ethical imperatives. On the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Yonason talks with host Lynne Golodner about how purpose is the key to happiness and how biblical Hebrew has 8 words for joy or happiness – and all come from a root word meaning “growth.” Yonason draws from classic philosophers and ancient Jewish text to create curricula through his company, Ethical Imperatives, LLC – inspiring entrepreneurs to build a profession from a place of ethical decision-making.
35 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 88 - David Hornak - How to change the school year so kids retain what they learn
From spreading out the learning calendar more evenly throughout the year to shifting from grades and ages as benchmarks to educational success toward competencies, David Hornak has revolutionary, smart ideas for how to transform education. As superintendent of Holt Public Schools, and executive director of the National Association for Year-Round Education, David is passionate about making American education equitable and far-reaching. For everyone. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, David speaks with host Lynne Golodner on how he came to his 27-year (and counting) educational career, starting as a Kindergarten teacher and rising through the ranks in the same mid-Michigan district to his current role as “lead leaner,” and his work on a national scale in changing the academic calendar to benefit all kids.
32 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 87 - Rasheda Kamaria Williams - How to emerge stronger after being bullied
It’s hard to forget being bullied. In fact, it can alter the whole course of your life – if you let it. Knowing this first-hand, Rasheda Kamaria Williams founded Empowered Flower Girl and became an advocate speaking out against bullying to build up confidence and mentorship for young girls so they don’t let harsh early experiences dictate their futures. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Rasheda speaks with host Lynne Golodner on where bullying comes from, PTSD that occurs from prolonged bullying, and how Reality TV contributes to a systemic bullying problem that is only getting worse. Plus, she offers resources for standing up to bullies and helping girls and women find the support they need to realize their own brilliance and worth. October is Bullying Prevention Month – listen to this episode and let it inspire you to stand up for better behavior!
24 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 86 - Joshua Smith - How to protect your mental health during really tough times
Joshua J. Smith was humbled and honored to be selected to serve on Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 Task Force on Education. As a high school counselor in Spring Arbor, Michigan, and a three-time cancer survivor, Josh knows how precarious health and wellness can be while also realizing the very real pressures of children not being able to go to school. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Josh talks with host Lynne Golodner about how the state of Michigan is making decisions regarding return to learn, how to support families and youth maintain sound emotional health during the pandemic, and how to find your purpose and let it pour over the rest of your life.
34 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 85 - Michele Cuomo - Recognizing the value in state and community colleges
In this episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Michele talks with Lynne Golodner about how “the arts teach us we are all in this together” and hold up a mirror to our societies and ourselves. They touch on the struggle to achieve universal access and equity in Higher Ed, democratizing the classroom, and the challenge to help people understand the value of Higher Ed in a changing world.
40 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 84 - Andrew Meloche - How to make every student in a high school feel special & noticed
Leading with the belief that education is transformation, Andrew Meloche did an exemplary job as principal of Berkley High School in Berkley, Michigan, during the months of shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
25 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 83 - Adrian Tonon - How to build a night-life culture in America's greatest cities
Adrian Tonon is an example of what happens when people believe anything is possible. The first-generation son of Italian immigrants, Adrian is now Director of Customer Service and the first 24-hour Economy Ambassador for the City of Detroit. But before that, he was an inspiring leader of the entertainment economy in Detroit, as co-founder of Sick Em Records with hip hop artist Kid Vishis, co-founder of the Detroit Music Foundation and a manager of bands during his years at Michigan State University.
26 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 82 - Jessica McCormick - Envisioning a new type of Jewish community
For decades, we’ve heard that Americans are losing interest in formalized religion – while at the same time seeking spiritual connection. This episode’s Make Meaning podcast guest, Jessica McCormick, is part of an effort to reimagine how American Judaism can be. As director of the Jewish Emergent Network Rabbinic Fellowship, Jessica oversees seven innovative Jewish communities across America.
25 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 81 - John Hartig - How to inspire future generations to care about conservation
From a young age, John Hartig knew he wanted to work toward protecting the environment, especially waterways and the quality of water in the Great Lakes region. Today, he is a Visiting Fulbright Scholar at the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research at the University of Windsor and the Great Lakes Science Policy Adviser for the International Association for Great Lakes Research. He’s the author of five books and more than 100 articles about the environment, and for 14 years he served as Refuge Manager for the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. Considering that 80% of people in the United States and Canada live in urban settings, it’s especially important, says John, to encourage relationships with the natural world among young people and toward grooming the next generation of conservationists.
29 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 80 - Iris Lee Underwood
Meaning has directed Iris Lee Underwood along the many paths of her life – from her childhood in Appalachia, hailing from the McCoy part of the Hatfield-McCoy legend, to raising three daughters in Michigan, to losing her eldest daughter to drug addiction and farming lavender as a way to heal from that devastating loss. Along the way, she’s served as president of Detroit Working Writers and writer-in-residence at the Troy Public Library, published three books and authored a weekly column for her local newspaper. She also opened her home to the public as a lavender farm, baking lavender scones and making lavender lemonade as guests clipped the fragrant branches under the bright sunshine.
27 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 79 - Laura Munson - How to find refuge in writing
In this episode, Laura and Lynne Golodner talk about writing past the fear of exposure, writing as practice, prayer, meditation, a way of life and a way TO life, and so now what?, the next logical step from pandemic or other life-changing events. They also discuss the courage to face the empty nest, and how cultivating a self-definition that is productive and creative during motherhood can help women transition through the time that their children leave the nest.
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