Interested in learning more about the relationship between personality and human nature? In this episode, Dr. Brent Roberts, professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois tells the story of his unique journey into psychology. In addition, we’ll discuss what exactly personality is, as well as some important cultural conversations around personality and human nature as they relate to narcissism, birth order, and parenting. We’ll also discuss personality change and how we can strive to change while also honoring who we are at our core.

The following is a conversation with Dr. Sanjay Patel, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and a founder of several start-up companies. In this episode, we discuss entrepreneurship and the challenges that come with trying to bridge the gap between research and marketable products with high real-world impact.

In this episode, Sanjay tells the story of how he and his fellow colleagues at the university founded Personify, a company specializing in artificial visual background technology. Additionally, this episode dives into how digital innovations-- such as the University’s Rokwire platform, on which the Safer Illinois App was created-- must address a new wave of concerns regarding data privacy, security, and information sharing. Our conversation dissects if these digital platforms we use nowadays respect ethical boundaries regarding privacy in this age of digital media.

What is the connection between the built environment and our well-being? In this episode, CSBS research scientist Peter Ondish will answer that question with Dr. Bill Sullivan. Bill is a professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture here at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. His work examines how our present-day physical environment can pose enormous demands on our capacity to pay attention, and what the consequences of those demands are on our health and happiness. They will also talk about how Dr. Sullivan has intended to move this research into our digital environment as well, and how we can create technology that preserves our health, well-being, and privacy.

The disappearance of newspapers and local news organizations has been ongoing for many years. In this episode of the CSBS podcast, we will examine the historical changes that journalism is undergoing and what this means for news and equality. Dr. Nikki Usher, associate professor at the College of Media, talks with the CSBS research scientist, Peter Ondish, and research development manager, Kaylee Lukacena, about her new book: News for the Rich, White and Blue - How Place and Power Distort American Journalism. The discussion will aid in understanding some of the key concepts from her book such as the cultural and existential importance of news, the significance of location for journalism, the goldilocks paradigm and more. 

In this episode, CSBS team members Brent Roberts and I will speak with Prof. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher about why community colleges are more important than ever before. She is a professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership and director of the oldest community college research hub in America, the Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL). Dr. Zamani-Gallaher will lead us through a critical conversation on how community colleges are a promising springboard for economic opportunity, but also how they are a reflection of the unspoken racial and ethical challenges existing in society. We’ll talk specifically about what is needed for higher ed to contribute to anti-racism work and encourage more equitable student outcomes.  

Talking about personal stories can be healing, gratifying, uncomfortable, and in some cases, life-changing. In this episode, CSBS Associate Director Cristiana Alvarez and Research Scientist Peter Ondish sit down with Professor of Psychology Carla Desi-Ann Hunter. As we unravel the truths of her own story, we will discuss racial trauma in black and brown communities, colorblind attitudes, and black lives matter. We’ll also discuss how to facilitate healing by normalizing and validating stories within communities of color.

In August, thousands of students traveled back to their college campuses amid a surge in coronavirus cases across the nation. Dorms opened, varsity athletics resumed, and greek recruitment continued. These typical student activities, combined with what we know about the typical behaviors of college students, kindled the ideal coronavirus breeding ground. Facing a deadly pathogen and a lot of uncertainty, some colleges confronted large outbreaks, while others successfully kept infection rates down. Cornell University happens to be one of the successful universities in managing the spread of COVID-19.

This episode will investigate the story behind Cornell’s success. Dr. Brent Roberts will talk with Dr. Peter Frazier, who is an associate professor at Cornell University and an expert in COVID-19 data modeling. They will discuss Cornell’s "behavioral compact” strategy and behavioral compliance with Cornell’s rigorous health and safety protocols. Dr. Frazier with conclude with several recommendations on what universities can do to effectively manage the spread of coronavirus on campus.

Oftentimes, natural disasters cause not only physical damage, but also they can become an agent for many secondary mental health adversities–especially within youth populations.

In the latest CSBS Podcast episode, CSBS team members, Cristina Alvarez and Kaylee Lukacena, speak with Dr. Tara Powell, Associate Professor in the School of Social Work, on the topic of mental health and youth, especially during times of crisis. They discuss both the virtual pilot studies and the proven methods alike, including the Journey of Hope Intervention program, that focuses on normalizing emotions, coping strategies, peer support and other protective factors. 

Dr. Powell addresses how mental health providers are tackling these challenges, and more largely, she shares some tips on coping with mental exhaustion, uncertainty, and staying connected during difficult times. 

Smartphones have radically changed our world. They’ve changed how we work, how we connect with others, how we date, and how we manage our finances, to name just a few things. Recently, they’ve also changed how individuals with mental health conditions receive services. For example, smartphones have changed the ways in which clinicians check in with their patients, and how patients with similar symptoms develop support networks. But like most technological advances, smartphones come with as many problems as they do promises. For example, for patients with schizophrenia, video conferencing has the potential to backfire and trigger symptoms of paranoia.

In this episode, we’ll talk with Dr. Christopher Larrison–a professor at the University of Illinois School of Social Work–about the promising and perilous aspects of using smartphones in community and mental health spaces.

We all know that exercise is generally good for our physical health, but creating healthy exercise habits and sticking to them is easier said than done. How can we pick up and stick with our exercise routines? To provide extra motivation, we will also consider the ways in which exercise can help improve mental health, well-being, and even cognitive function. We will talk with two University of Illinois exercise science experts, Assistant Professor Neha Gothe and Associate Professor Sean Mullen, from the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health. Together, we will discuss how to make our bodies work better for us in the time of COVID-19. 


* [13:25] Prof. Sean Mullen mentions poi swinging as an example of exercise. To learn more about this exercise, use the link provided here:

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