Telling the Story of Community Agencies: UW-Parkside Communication Students Share Podcasts During Virtual Event

Published: May 8, 2020
By: UW-Parkside Marketing & Communications

SOMERS – UW-Parkside students in Communication professor Dr. Jackie Arcy’s podcasting course will host a virtual listening party on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. During the event, guests will listen to six podcast episodes created by UW-Parkside students in partnership with local non-profit organizations and the organizers of Harborfest, Kristen Kief and Michael Polzin.

Harborfest is an annual community event designed to promote nonprofit agencies in Kenosha and Racine counties. Each year, the event organizers recognize several agencies with an “outstanding impact” award. Together Arcy, Polzin and Kief realized that Arcy’s students could assist Harborfest in further recognizing these outstanding agencies by creating podcasts to highlight their work and share their stories with a wider audience.

The podcasts will feature the following organizations:

  • Prevent Blindness Wisconsin
  • Kenosha Public Library
  • Racine Theatre Guild
  • Racine Public Library
  • Shalom Center
  • Sleep In Heavenly Peace

Arcy says that her students “have created engaging podcasts that use creative storytelling to highlight the critical work performed by nonprofit organizations in our region.” Many of the podcasts address how the agencies are adapting and continuing to serve the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Completing the podcasts during the shift to online classes at Parkside and while following Wisconsin’s Safer at Home orders presented new challenges, but both students and their community partners rose to the occasion. For example, Grant Wagner, one of the students working with Prevent Blindness Wisconsin, said, “Prevent Blindness Wisconsin put a lot of effort into making sure our end went smoothly. We only had the chance to meet them once at their site in Milwaukee, but even after campus closed, their constant support and communication made it appear as if we were all still together.” 

Their efforts resulted in a high quality podcast that will bring value to the organization and a memorable learning experience to the students. Bridget Gaughan, Special Events, Meetings, and Communications Manager at Prevent Blindness Wisconsin commented, “This podcast went above and beyond what we ever expected. We cannot thank the students enough for their hard work and diligence to create an educational, motivational, and compelling piece to share with donors, volunteers, partners and friends.”

Byron Dowse, a student who also worked on the project, said “It was a privilege to share with the public how the Prevent Blindness Wisconsin staff and the hundreds of volunteers are helping to prevent blindness throughout the entire state. Many Wisconsin residents, young and old alike, need to know that these unsung heroes are promoting healthy vision care.” Wagner added, “My experience was not only a way to extend my knowledge to the real world, but a chance to get involved and make something impactful. It is a memory I will not soon forget.” 

Community members can listen to the podcasts by joining the virtual party via the link or phone number below:

Video Link

Dial in: +1-571-392-7650 PIN: 805 805 0144



Jackie Arcy

Amy Garrigan

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