From the Campus Recreation Center to Counseling and Psychological Services, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln tries to provide a wide variety of resources to help its students succeed. Many students, however, might not know about the resources available or don’t know how to access them.
Brian Stutz, an academic outreach specialist for TRIO programs, is on a mission to solve this problem with his podcast, TRIO Thirty Talk. During each 30 minute episode, Stutz highlights student resources at UNL, along with campus events for the given week.
Stutz said the podcast was originally created during the dawn of the pandemic for students in the TRIO program. TRIO is a federal outreach program aimed at providing services for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Stutz said that getting resources to these students, many of whom are first-generation students, is important since they typically have less guidance from parental figures.
“One of the biggest things, I think, for first-gen students is the lack of institutional knowledge — so things that are happening on campus, where to find things,” Stutz said. “They don’t have that parent that I did, saying, ‘You have to look here,’ or ‘You have to go there to get these resources.’”
Stutz used the podcast to share campus resources with TRIO students when learning was strictly remote. After students came back to campus, he decided to continue with the podcast. Despite the original audience of TRIO students, Stutz said the podcast has beneficial information for all Huskers.
“The stuff that I talk about, it’s really for any student that wants this information,” Stutz said. “I always say I designed this podcast for our students, but if any student wants to know about resources or events, they don’t need to be a TRIO student to listen.”
According to Stutz, the podcast is a one man operation. He prepares, records, edits and uploads the podcast all on his own. Stutz said that he uses simple means to produce the podcast; he records the audio on Zoom, doesn’t do a ton of editing and uses university resources to upload the podcast to various platforms.
According to Joyce Lehn, assistant director of student support services for TRIO, Stutz is doing well running the podcast on his own.
“I think that he’s been doing a great job with it,” Lehn said. “As a whole department, we are very supportive and we all feel that he’s been doing a great job. I’ve also heard feedback from some of the guests he’s had on the podcast, and they’ve been very impressed too.”
Stutz said that he averages about 10 listeners per episode as of now. Both Stutz and Lehn said they hope that that number will grow in the future as they spread the word about the podcast's existence.
Students can listen to TRIO Thirty Talk on YouTube, Spotify and Apple Podcasts. New episodes are posted every Friday at 3 p.m.
Lehn encourages all students to listen to the podcast to receive a variety of information in a short, easy format for them to listen to.
“I think students should listen to the podcast because it features great resources in a bite-sized format,” Lehn said. “It’s very convenient in the time that they have. There’s little pieces of information that will be very helpful, and it’s a quick way to grab that information and be able to use it right away.”