New podcast highlights the impact of CSU Health and Human Sciences research

Health and Human Science Matters: a podcast by CSU's College of Health and Human Sciences

Podcasts have been exploding across the entertainment sector for several years, and now the Colorado State University College of Health and Human Sciences is unveiling its own to be added to your queue. Anyone interested in how research is impacting human health, and anyone interested in lively, engaging conversations between members of the CHHS community, should give a listen to “Health and Human Science Matters.”

A podcast is born

The hosts of “Health and Human Science Matters” are Avery Martin, digital media strategist and podcast producer, and Matt Hickey, associate dean for research and graduate studies, in CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences. They first got the idea to start a podcast during the 2021 CHHS Research Day, when it was casually mentioned by fellow CHHS staff members.

“Jen Garvey and Gretchen Gerding, key members of the CHHS family, suggested the notion of a podcast, almost as an off-hand remark, in one of our discussions,” said Hickey. “At least for me, a lightbulb went on, and we decided to work together to give it a go.”

“After a few meetings and equipment orders, the podcast was in production,” Martin said. “I have some background in audio editing from my time as production director with the campus radio station 90.5 KCSU Fort Collins as well, so it all came together perfectly.”

Human side of research

While the main goal of the podcast is to highlight the amazing research taking place in the College, the conversations in the podcast revolve around the exploration of who someone is, exploring how they got interested in their research subject, what brought them to CSU, and what they love about working at a land-grant institution.

“The aim is to get to know the people who make up the CHHS community,” said Hickey. “The conversations intentionally feature discussions of both the person and the ‘scholar’ – not merely what one does ‘as an academic.’  Educational pathways, key mentors, family memories, personal interests, are all part of the conversation.”

“Our objective with the podcast is to highlight the who behind the what of our College’s amazing faculty, students, and staff,” Martin added. “Yes, these individuals are incredible scholars and researchers, but they are far more than their title. They’re parents, spouses, artists, and a plethora of other qualities that make them authentically human.”

When looking for interviewees, Martin and Hickey had one goal in mind: balance. The people interviewed within the podcast include one colleague from each of the eight academic units, a graduate student recipient of the CHHS Dean’s Fellowship, and one special guest during each season.

One of the guests this season is Lise Youngblade, Dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences, whose vision is to highlight the impact of the outstanding research in the College.

“I am thrilled by the opportunity to showcase the amazing people in our College and the fascinating work they do,” Youngblade said. “We have one of the most unique colleges on campus with our blend of disciplines.  Yet, we all are committed to our mission of improving the health and well-being of people, their communities, and the environments in which they live.  Avery and Matt are the perfect hosts for the podcast, and they have an exceptional way of drawing stories and connections from their guests – and in so doing, helping our college share our tremendous impact.  Health and human sciences truly do matter.”

Season one guests:

Construction Management: Chris Harper, associate professor

Design and Merchandising: Sonali Diddi, associate professor

Food Science and Human Nutrition: Tiffany Weir, associate professor

Health and Exercise Science: Neha Lodha, assistant professor

Human Development and Family Studies: Manfred Diehl, professor

School of Education: Jill Zarestky, assistant professor

School of Social Work: Samantha Brown, assistant professor

Dean’s Fellow Ph.D. student: Aly Cavalier, Health and Exercise Science

Special Guest: Lise Youngblade, dean

Avery Martin and Matt Hickey sit in front of microphones with a laptop screen that shows an audio file.
“Health and Human Science Matters” co-hosts Avery Martin and Matt Hickey.

Martin and Hickey are excited about the potential of the podcast to spotlight the incredible faculty and students in the College.

“I hope that the podcast will inspire prospective students, undergraduate or graduate, to want to be a part of our College after hearing directly from their potential professors,” said Martin. “Also, I’d like listeners to gain a greater understanding of CSU’s land-grant mission because I knew little to nothing about it during my time here as an undergraduate.”

Research impact

Both Martin and Hickey are passionate about the College, and about bringing attention to the amazing accomplishments that take place here every day.

“Recording Health and Human Science Matters has opened my mind to the many ways our faculty truly impact the world,” Martin said. “From construction management to social work, our diverse College collectively makes a positive impact on every facet of human life. For someone who doesn’t come from a science background, I have a new appreciation and understanding of the STEM and social and behavioral sciences disciplines. Working with Matt is truly an honor, as well – that man knows a little bit about everything, and you can tell how much he loves both his career and his colleagues.”

Hickey added, “Collaborating with Avery and getting to know members of the CHHS community better has been the most rewarding aspect of recording this podcast. It has been so fun, even better than I imagined.”

The first season of “Health and Human Science Matters” is now available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts. Take a few minutes out of your day to give it a listen, you won’t be disappointed!

To learn more about CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences, visit our website.