Learning for Life @ Gustavus Podcast Celebrates 100th EpisodeHosted by Gustavus history professor Greg Kaster, the podcast has been streamed in 43 countries and 45 states.
Posted on March 8th, 2022 by

Now 100 episodes in, the Learning for Life @ Gustavus podcast premiered on  May 26, 2020, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hosted by James and Patricia McPherson Endowed Professor of American History Greg Kaster, podcast episodes have explored the College’s response to the pandemic, racial justice issues in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, and faculty and student accomplishments in addition to numerous interviews with successful alumni in a variety of fields.

“I’ve learned that Gustavus is indeed an extraordinary place. I knew it before, of course, but to be able to speak to all these different Gusties and hear their stories, how they live out the values of the College in their lives, and how much they learned at Gustavus both inside and outside the classroom has been so gratifying,” Kaster says. “The podcast has been one of the highlights of my 35-year career and I look forward to continuing to tell stories of Gustavus students, faculty, staff and alumni along with leading experts in a variety of fields.”

Podcast host and historian Greg Kaster

The 100th episode, posted on March 8, 2022—International Women’s Day—features a conversation with Gustavus President Rebecca M. Bergman. Bergman discusses her background, her paths to the chemical engineering major at Princeton, her career in biomedical engineering at Medtronic and eventually the presidency at Gustavus, the similarities and differences between leadership in the private sector and nonprofit academe, the qualities of a successful leader, her work and achievements as president, her long-term hopes and case for the institution, and what she does to recharge. Listen to episode 100 with President Bergman on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, or Spotify.

With nearly 13,000 streams and counting from 45 states (and Washington, D.C.) and 43 countries, the Gustavus podcast differs from many higher education podcasts in its broad-based and wide-ranging approach, one that reflects a liberal arts education’s focus on interdisciplinarity, vocation, and sometimes even serendipity.

As the podcast continues, Kaster is considering additional storytelling opportunities including adding a video component to make Learning for Life @ Gustavus available on YouTube, and diving into thematic focuses such as “Poets at Gustavus” or “Student Activism Then & Now.”

The podcast will also continue to dig into big questions that get at the heart of a residential college experience—How does a liberal arts education equip people to engage with real-world issues? How do science researchers at smaller colleges work with students to act on the great challenges of our time? Why is it important to talk, listen, and connect with people from different backgrounds? And how do decisions get made at colleges and universities, anyway? From conversations with cancer and climate change researchers to behind-the-scenes glimpses into higher education decision-making, the engaging hourlong interviews introduce listeners to the people behind the ideas.

Learning for Life @ Gustavus is hosted by Anchor and available on platforms including Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsStitcherBreakerOvercastPocket Casts, and RadioPublic.

The podcast is supported in part by a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) “Sustaining the Humanities Through the American Rescue Plan” (SHARP) grant along with funding from the Gustavus Office of the Provost and the McPherson Chair endowment. 


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


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