Fordham Conversations
Tapping into the Fordham University community to discuss and uncover issues that impact our world locally and beyond.


Fordham University was once a stomping ground for U.S. President’s, war heroes and leaders in a number of prestigious fields.

The Jesuit institution, formerly known as St. John's, has a long and storied history. Students faced with fighting each other during the American Civil War. The greenland around Keating Hall (shown above) served as a training ground for students heading off to the western front in WWII. We learn this and more on this week's Fordham Conversations with guest Debra Caruso as she discusses her book Fordham University and the United States: A History.

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On this week’s show, Fordham Professor Maureen Tilley tells us all about Christmas traditions and the stories behind them, some you may know and some you may not. From the horrifying folkloric Krampus to the reason we celebrate on December 25, why we exchange presents, and why Santa lives in the North Pole. Dr. Tilley is a professor of theology and medieval studies. 

 
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Fordham University professor of Law and Founder and Director of the Fordham Urban Law Center, Nestor Davidson discusses  the legal questions that arise as cities begin to grow.

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This week on Fordham Conversations, Fordham Philosophy professor William Jaworski talks about reconciling the spiritual world with the physical world. He discusses the Aristotelian concept of "hylomorphism" and how's he's adjusted it for the modern world. 


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Arguably the Internet is one of the greatest tools for communication and it gives the user the ability to communicate and connect with others. But there’s also a downside to being that “connected,” especially for kids who may not be aware of how their Internet activity is going to affect them in the future.
 
Fordham Law Center on Law and Information Policy released a first-ever curriculum for privacy education geared to middle school students.
 
Fordham Law student volunteers taught the pilot program last spring at PS191 in New York City, and now Fordham Center on Law and Information Policy (CLIP) is launching a partnership with volunteers from about a dozen universities who will teach the program in middle schools across the country.
 
The Volunteer Privacy Education Program was developed by Fordham CLIP as part of Jordan Kovnot's Privacy Fellowship and under the leadership of Fordham Law School Professor Joel Reidenberg, the founding director of Fordham CLIP. The spring program will be led by Cameron Russell, Fordham CLIP's Executive Director.School’s Center for Law and Information Policy.

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For people who feel like their income can't support their nutrition, food pantries and soup kitchens can shoulder the weight free of charge. That "free" comes at a heavy cost, with some of these pantries and kitchens requiring upwards of millions to operate annually. As part of WFUV’s Strike a Chord campaign, this week's Fordham Conversations looks at the growing need for food pantries and soup kitchens.
At the top of the show, WFUV's Chris Williams spoke with a woman who’s a regular guest at the food pantry St. John's Bread and Life.

Then Robin Shannon talks with Tony Butler and Dr. Dale Lindquist. Butler is the executive director of the St. John's Bread and Life food and public assistance program. He shares what it's like to operate a food pantry on a shoe-string budget. St. John's Bread and Life is one of three food pantries featured in "Our Daily Bread: Feeding the Hungry in New York City." The documentary was developed by Dr. Lindquist, Managing Director of the Beck Institute on Religion and Poverty at the Graduate School of Social Service Fordham University. He speaks on how food pantries can run on divergeant philosophies and yet remain succesful on their own terms.

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You probably never thought the Harlem Shake craze has a deeper spiritual meaning, but Fordham University Theology Professor Thomas Beaudoin says it's a "Spiritual Sleeper," a song with a hidden meaning. This week on Fordham Conversations, Professor Beaudoin talks about other Spiritual Sleepers and the Rock and Theology project. 

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A showcase of some of our best features and interviews.

Host Alen Kanlic showcases some of Fordham Conversations best features and interviews. 

Will Germain talks with military veterans about their experience returning to school after serving overseas.  Mary Wilson reports on Fordham Law students who  kept audio diaries about their fact finding mission in Nepal.  Robin Shannon sat down with Katy Raymond who was part of Fordham University’s first study abroad program in South Africa.  Vivadiana Castelan interviewed kids who are training to be reporters. She also talks with New Yorkers who make careers out of can collecting.

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This week Robin Shannon sits down with Fordham Professor Dr. Emily Rosenbaum and Albert Einstein College of Medicine Assistant Professor Dr. Earle Chambers. The professors collaborated on a study that identifies how public housing may affect the health of Latinos living in the Bronx.

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Today on Fordham Conversations we’ll talk to Daniel Campo, author of The Accidental Playground out now from Fordham University Press. It’s about what happened when Brooklyn residents gathered at the Brooklyn Waterfront, which was then an unofficial, do-it-yourself park. He talks about how the "unpark" was used in the late 90s and early 2000s and how it's changed since state officials got involved. 

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Fordham University Instructor Stefanie Vuotto is one of the principal investigators of a new study that highlights the role of homelessness and the crime of human trafficking.

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This week on Fordham Conversations we’ll take a look the University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP). It’s an organization dedicated to keeping housing affordable in the Northwest Bronx and New York City. The organization is cosponsored by Fordham University and the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition. Jim Buckley, executive director of the UNHP, talks about the challenges of keeping housing in the Bronx affordable.  Dr. Brian Byrne, Vice President of Fordham University Lincoln Center and UNHP board member, talks about how things have changed since the organization began in 1983. 

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This week on Fordham Conversations we talk to Mark Street about his film Hasta Nunca and how it was made. The film tells the story of a middle aged DJ in Uruguay who hosts a call-in radio show. Throughout Hasta Nunca, people reveal their secrets and insecurities on air. 

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There are a lot of opinions about the news media, the future of broadcast journalism and what constitutes professional reporting. On this week’s Fordham Conversations we explore these questions and more by listening to past interviews from former hosts. Fordham Professor Dr. Bill Baker talks with Mary Wilson on how to save the ailing print industry. Then, News legend Sam Donaldson talks with WFUV’s Claudia Morell about citizen journalism and its questionable influence on the new industry. Finally, WFUV’s Lauren Naymie talks to Fordham Alumni Lynn Neary about how she got her start in radio.

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During this year’s HOPE Week (Helping Others Persevere & Excel) community service initiative Yankees ballplayers lent a hand to an animal rescue organization, comforted children with “Pillow of Love,” took a stand against bullies, and threw a birthday party for the homeless. On this week’s Fordham Conversations Guest Host Kris Venezia talks with Fordham’s Nolan Silbernagel, Eric Mollo, Kenny Ducey, Nick Logerfo and Bobby Gubin about their experience interviewing the player and organizations involved in Hope Week. We also hear extended versions of the Hope Week series that ran on WFUV.

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Do you know who's watching you? This week, Fordham Conversations is all about spies and surveillance. WFUV's Connor Ryan reports on NYC's surveillance cameras and how some people feel their privacy is being invaded. Then, Chris Williams talks to Spy Store NYC owner Bob Leonard about different types of spying equipment and the reasons for using them. Fordham University professor Al Auster discusses how spies have been portrayed in film, and how that differs from actual espionage. 

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The sunny season encourages people to  pack their bags and take off on summer trips. On this week's Fordham Conversations, we’ll look back at past interviews with guests who’ve traveled "Beyond the Tri-State. Renato Frison rode from Bronxville to Brazil on his motorcycle. Filmmakers Jeff Azize  and Michael Campo discuss their trip to Peru to take care of abused orphans. Fordham Professor Robin Andersen discusses ecotourism in Curacao.

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WFUV's Claudia Morell talks about school bullying and teen suicide with Loyola High School English and Philosophy teacher Christian Gregory and Fordham University Psychology Professor Doctor Peggy Andover. Mr. Gregory completed a cross country bike tour to raise awareness about the problems of bullying. And, Doctor Andover is a cognitive behavioral psychologist whose research focusses on the risk factors and differences between non-suicidal  self-injury (NSSI) and attempted suicide."

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Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike just won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play. Chris Williams talks to one of the play's producers, John Johnson, who graduated Fordham in 2002. Johnson talks about what theater-goers can expect from the play, his responsibilities as a producer, and how he became interested in theater. 

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Every quarter WFUV’s Strike a Chord campaign examines an issue that’s important to you. This time we are delving into the need to combat mental health stereotypes with University of Southern California Law Professor Elyn Saks.  She discusses how she became an Ivy League grad, legal scholar, endowed professor all while coping with schizophrenia. 

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Host Robin Shannon talks with Fordham University’s  Julianny Gomez and Dr. Aimee Cox about the term “Ratchet.”  Julianny’s research examines how the derogatory term has been adopted as a way for young African Americans to police, embarrass and degrade one another.

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Joseph Kelly is a Fordham University alum from the International Political Economy and Development program or (IPED). He’s been working with the Catholic Relief Services and was recently awarded Fordham’s Swanstrom-Baerwald (Swan-strum, BEAR-wald) Award.  It recognizes members of the Fordham community for their commitment to the service of faith and the promotion of justice.

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WFUV’s Claudia Morell talks with ABC News veteran Sam Donaldson. He was awarded the WFUV Charles Osgood Lifetime Achievement Award in Broadcast Journalism for 2013. Donaldson is known best for his time as ABC’s White House Correspondent for Presidents Carter, Reagan, and Clinton. Donaldson also covered numerous historical events such as the Vietnam War, Watergate, the Iran-Contra Affair, and President Clinton’s impeachment. He’s anchored several shows, including World News Sunday and Primetime Live with Diane Sawyer. Donaldson wrote a book about his early career and time covering the White House called “Hold On, Mr. President!” where he defends and explains what some have called an aggressive style of reporting. During the interview Donaldson discusses his time in Washington, and examines how news has evolved with the rise of Internet and the 24-hour-news cycle.

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Graduating seniors are heading into the next phase of their lives.  While, many high school graduates are transitioning to college, some college graduates are gearing up for their careers.  On this week's Fordham Conversations we hear from Msgr. Joseph Quinn, Vice President of Mission and Ministry at Fordham University.  We'll discuss how Fordham's Living the Mission campaign can help prepare this generation, for leadership in a global society

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Spring is finally here, and for most of us that’s probably a breath of fresh air.  There’s not only a change in the

temperature but a change in people’s moods.  Most of us have heard about the winter blues, but do you know

where the saying comes from?  Every year, millions of Americans suffer from mild to severe cases of the winter

blues, a condition known as seasonal affective disorder, or what’s commonly referred to as SAD.  On this week's

Fordham Conversations, WFUV's Katie Fisher is joined by Fordham University Professor of Chemistry Joan

Roberts who's an expert on SAD.  Dr. Robert's talks about the cause of seasonal depression and the powerful

impact light has on health.

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Sandy was the deadliest and most destructive storm of the 2012 hurricane season. It was also the second-costliest hurricane in U.S. history. Monday marks six-months since the Superstorm struck our area.  On this week's Fordham Conversations we hear from Fordham alum Kendra Newkirk.  A few days after moving into her new house in Queens, Sandy hit, washing away almost everything Kendra owned. We talk with Kendra just after the storm hit and again a-half-a year later.  But first we also hear from Fordham Professor Mark Naison. He spearheaded an outreach effort to help Kendra recover from Sandy's wrath. 

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Fordham graduate student and WFUV reporter Jake Neher has a conversation with '50s and '60s pop icon Dion DiMucci. Records like "A Teenager in Love," "Runaround Sue," and "The Wanderer" made Dion one of the most popular pre-British Invasion artists in the world. He will talk about his upbringing in the Fordham section of the Bronx, the corner of Belmont and 187th - now called the "Doo Wop Corner" - where he and his group The Belmonts polished some of their early hits, and racial tensions between Bronx-area Doo Wop groups.

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The International Dyslexia Association defines dyslexia as "a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin."  But members of a boarding school for dyslexic students in Dutchess County, New York don’t use the term “disability.”   They prefer to call it a “way to learn differently.”  On this week’s Fordham Conversations we discuss the issue of dyslexia with three people who have first-hand knowledge of the condition. Kevin Pendergast is the Headmaster of the Kildonan School, a boarding school that empowers students with dyslexia. Dave Flink is the Executive Director of Eye-to-Eye, a national grass roots mentoring program. August Hunt is in his senior year at Kildonan.

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Legendary Insight

Most football fans know the success story of Coach Vince Lombardi’s days with Green Bay and Coach Tom Landry’s days with Dallas.  But what may not be as well known are the details of their shared relationship. That is until now. WFUV’s Ricky Cibrano and Kyle Kesses sit down with Author Ernie Palladino to discuss his book Lombardi and Landry: How Two of Pro Football’s Greatest Coaches Launched their Legends and Changed the Game Forever. 

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American Catholic religious sisters have had a dramatic impact on the Catholic church. From building parochial schools to pioneering higher education for women, Catholic sisters have expanded their ministries since the Second Vatican Council’s called for renewal in the 1960s. Recently Fordham university hosted a panel discussion that examined how the sisters’ ministry has changed the face of the church and what they are called to do today. On this week's Fordham Conversations, we hear excerpts form "Call and Response": How American Catholic Sisters Shaped the Church Since Vatican 2.

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WFUV’s Strike a Chord campaign is examining the need for more emergency housing during times of crisis.  Housing is just one of the major challenges that remain for Haiti, following a 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit the Caribbean country in 2010.  Fordham Professor Dr. Marciana Popescu knows firsthand about the struggles facing the people of Haiti.  She designed a course that takes Fordham students to different countries, where they receive on-site disaster-aid experience.  On this week’s Fordham Conversations, Dr. Popescu shares her observations from one of her many trips to Haiti.

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 2013 marks the bicentennial anniversary of Jane Austen’s beloved novel, Pride and Prejudice. Since its publication 200 years ago, the gravitas of Austen's second book carries has obtained status as an international phenomenon.  WFUV’s Katie Fisher sits down with Fordham University Professor and Jane Austen expert, Susan Greenfield for a candid discussion about the history of Austen’s career, her importance in the literary world, and the impact her writing has in contemporary culture.

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In the post-civil war south, many freed slaves relied on self-help groups known as benevolent societies to  bury their dead.  In a new documentary titled “The Contradictions of Fair Hope” we look at the evolution of one particular Alabama society called "Fair Hope", and why its survival is arguably a struggle between heaven and hell.   On this week’s Fordham Conversations, WFUV’s Robin Shannon talks with the films Executive Producer and Co-Director S. Epatha Merkerson and Cultural Anthropologist and Fordham Professor Aimee Cox.

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Fordham University recently launched a burial database project for enslaved African American.  It allows anyone to submit locations they suspect may be the site of an unmarked grave of slaves. On this week’s Fordham Conversations we hear from Sandra Arnold, the Founding Director of The Burial Database Project of Enslaved African Americans and Staff Member with Fordham’s Department of African and African American Studies.  "We also hear from Dr. Michael Blakey, Professor of Anthropology at William & Mary College and Former Director of the African Burial Ground Project in New York City, and a current adviser to the Burial Database Project of  Enslaved African Americans."

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In a job market that’s improved but still bleak, a top notch résumé, cover letter and strong interviewing skills are essential.  But there’s another way to become the brand of choice for a company. On this week’s Fordham Conversations, Fordham Professor Steve Horowitz discusses the principles of Public Relations and how job-seekers can make themselves more appealing to potential employers through branding.  We also hear from Fordham students Lauren Hutt and Katherine Graham, who went through their own self discovery process to uncover their personal brand.

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Author and Fordham Professor Dr. Mark Naison discusses so-called food desert, his research on health and food disparities in the Bronx, and how the borough is a prime location for cultural tourism.

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On this week’s Fordham Conversations:  We showcase some of the stories and interviews that WFUV student reporters have produced for Fordham Conversations.  Conor Teehan looks at siblings in the macro. Alyssa Taigos interviews the director of Fordham's Job incubator and examines women's soccer in the US post Olympic Gold. Kevin Cline learns about green living in the big city, and Viridiana Castelan examines bottle collecting as a way of life.

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Sex and the Soul

Author Donna Freitas discusses her book "Sex and the Soul: juggling sexuality, spirituality, romance and religion on America’s college campuses.

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The Center for Positive Marketing at Fordham University is preparing for a conference that will focus on a central theme… "Improving the World Around Us Through Marketing."  Host Robin Shannon talks with Fordham Professors Lerzan Aksoy and Dawn Lerman about the upcoming conference and the future of marketing in what some consider a world of consumer doubt.

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This week on WFUV's Fordham Conversations, Author and Professor Drucilla Cornell talks about her book Clint Eastwood and Issues of American Masculinity.  The book, which is available from Fordham Press, views the iconic actor’s films through a feminist and philosophical lens.

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