Listen Up: Professors on Podcasts

August 18, 2020

Ever have that moment where you’re trying to explain something your favorite professor was discussing in class, and you just wish they could have been there? Several of our expert faculty members have shared their knowledge and passion on popular podcasts like Ologies with Alie Ward and Scene on the Radio, allowing people beyond our campus the opportunity to listen in and learn about topics from jellyfish to Cherokee democracy.


Barbara Duncan

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Cherokee

Podcast: Scene on the Radio

Season 4, Episode 1: Rich Man’s Revolt

Scene on the Radio, a Peabody-nominated podcast, is hosted by John Biewen and collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika and tells stories exploring human experience and American society. Season 4, “The Land That Has Never Been Yet,” focuses in on democracy in America, and, according to Biewen, “there’s a good chance that we’ll complicate, maybe upend, our listeners’ understanding of American history.”

Barbara Duncan is in the very first episode of the season, which explores the American Revolution. Duncan, who teaches Cherokee language and culture courses at UNC Asheville and recently retired after 23 years at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, discusses the Cherokee version of democracy for everyone that preceded the American Revolution by at least a thousand years.


Rebecca Helm

Assistant Professor of Biology

Podcast: Ologies with Alie Ward

Episode: Medusology (JELLYFISH)

This comedic science podcast showcases the stories of scientists and the particular fields they study, such as aperiology (macro photography) or oikology (decluttering) or, in Biology Professor Rebecca Helm’s case, medusology (jellyfish). Ward describes Helm as “a ray of human sunshine in the depths of the deep sea,” and promises “one of the finest biology conversations you may ever hear.” The conversation includes the secret formulas to incite jellyfish puberty, pet jellyfish, and PacMan ghosts.

Helm and her students at UNC Asheville study the development and evolution of jellyfish—you can learn more about their work at The Helm Lab Blog. Helm also tweets about jellyfish, development and open ocean conservation at


Oliver Gloag

Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies

Podcast: Royal College of Psychiatrists

Episode: Re-reading Camus’s “The Plague” in Pandemic Times

The Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK is producing a series of podcasts specifically in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, with episodes on topics ranging from alcohol management during the pandemic to possible social cures for isolation and loneliness. Oliver Gloag, who recently published “Albert Camus: A Very Short Introduction,” joins podcast host Raj Persaud about the parallels between Camus’s depictions of disease-ridden Algeria in “The Plague,” and the COVID-19 pandemic we are currently living through, and about the impact Camus could have on our outlook and behavior during the pandemic.

Just want the highlights? Oxford University Press has posted excerpts from the podcast to their YouTube channel:


Darin Waters

Assistant Professor of History and Executive Director of Community Engagement


Marcus Harvey

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies

Podcast: The Waters and Harvey Show

Professors Darin Waters and Marcus Harvey host their own podcast, also aired locally on BPR, which addresses the experiences and influences of minorities across Western North Carolina. Now in its third season, the Waters and Harvey Show has covered the NASA’s pioneering African American women, North Carolina’s complex history during the Civil War, the realities of careers in sports, and much more. This season the show has moved over to Zoom, and the program has been expanded to an hour-long. The series strives to promote increased visibility and understanding of a range of challenging issues facing communities whose historical experiences often go unacknowledged.


Podcast: The Great Reset

George Heard

Professor of Chemistry

Episode: 14


Duane Davis

Professor of Philosophy

Episode: 20

The Great Reset is hosted by UNC Asheville alumnus Tommy Calloway and Shawndra Russell, who discuss the ramifications of the coronavirus and establishing a better way forward. Over the course of 60+ episodes they’ve interviewed the president of Asheville Pizza and Brewing, the director of programming and operations at WNCW, City of Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer, and many others on their perspectives of the pandemic. They’ve also interviewed two UNC Asheville professors, George Heard and Duane Davis.

In addition to his work as a chemistry professor at UNC Asheville, Heard is a comedy writer and performer. In his interview, Heard discusses online education at the college level, and his perspective on the larger implications of COVID-19.

In his interview, Professor of Philosophy Duane Davis explores the human condition existentially, and how people are measuring themselves against the global pandemic.


Susan Clark Muntean

Associate Professor of Management

Podcast: Talking ‘Ship

Episode: Entrepreneurship in Education

In this episode of Venture Asheville’s podcast on entrepreneurship, host Jeff Kaplan talks with Kevan Frazier, the executive director of Western Carolina University programs in Asheville and a UNC Asheville alumnus; and Susan Clark Muntean, who teaches courses on management, organizational behavior and theory, consulting and, of course, entrepreneurship.

Podcast: Her Two Cents

Episode: Who’s the Boss? A Focus on Female Entrepreneurs

In the Her Two Cents podcasts, the hosts offer a multi-generational perspective on all things financial, with the goal of normalizing the way women talk about and view money. In this episode the hosts ask Muntean about ways to to ensure that women have all the opportunities to be as successful as their male peers.


Wiley Cash


Podcast: Poured Over

Episode: Wiley Cash on “When Ghosts Come Home”

Alumnus, author, and Writer-In-Residence Wiley Cash doesn’t just talk about his latest book on this Barnes & Noble podcast, he also discusses his classes here at UNC Asheville, and even mentions a few student and alumni booksellers (book lovers, take note!)


Bonus listening:

Catch up on the Thursday 30 podcast from UNC Asheville Athletics with their most recent episode with Athletic Director Janet Cone.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs podcast, $40 in Paris, is now available on Spotify. The podcast works to build a virtual community and take a critical analysis of today’s most pressing topics, such as institutional responses to racism; performative social justice; and maintaining physical and mental health while navigating the impacts of the coronavirus, racial injustice, and student life in general.

The Department of Management and Accountancy also has a podcast available on Spotify: Conversations for the Curious Mind. Management and Accountancy faculty partner with other faculty across disciplines as well as professionals and outside experts to host conversations around critical conversations. Recent episodes have included topics such as global vaccine distribution and the polarized political landscape.

Did you know UNC Asheville has its own podcast? In the latest episode you can take an audio tour of the Fall 2020 Undergraduate Research Symposium and hear from some of the original minds on campus talk about their research, creative projects, and community engagement work.

Looking for more to listen to? Check out #AVLBound: The UNC Asheville Admission Podcast, launching September 2020.