CAM Leadership at NPR’s “Next Generation Radio”

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Background: Around last November, a former NPR colleague of Leslie Gaston-Bird‘s, reached out to her to inquire about her interest in being the Technical Advisor for NPR’s “Next Generation Radio”. The program has been around for about 20 years.

“The Next Generation Radio project is a full-scale, digital-first multimedia training project with an emphasis on “radio storytelling.” We are committed to the professional development of undergraduate and graduate students who are focused on journalism.”

The project:

The stories during this session included topics covering:

​a transracial adoptee
a Syrian refugee
a Congolese refugee
a convected felon who trains horses in prison
César Chavez’ bodyguard embarking on a “spiritual run”

Prof. Gaston-Bird’s task was to train young reporters on how to use their equipment (microphones, digital recorders, and editing equipment). Accompanying her was MSRA student Drew Jostad.

The Mentors: Prof. Gaston-Bird was the “tech mentor”, along with this roster of journalism mentors:

Tristan Ahtone, Multimedia Reporter, Al Jazeera, Albuquerque,NM
Reema Khrais, Education Reporter, WUNC Chapel Hill NC
Robert Boos, Online Communications Specialist, Metro State Minneapolis MN
Cheryl Devalll, Editor, Los Angeles CA
Traci Tong Senior Producer, PRI-BBC “The World” Boston. MA,
Mónica Ortiz Uribe Senior Reporter, Fronteras Desk El Paso, TX
Carrie Jung, Reporter, KJZZ Phoenix

The team was kind enough to feature CAM’s existing support by putting a logo on their webpage at

She wants to broaden the scope of CAM’s involvement to include broadening the involvement by visiting with Boulder’s CMCI and Colorado Public Radio to discuss the possibilities. Universities in Sacramento, Reno, Utah, Philly (sponsored by WHYY) are part of this year’s destinations.

Prof. Leslie Gaston-Bird far left
Prof. Leslie Gaston-Bird far left
Prof. Leslie Gaston-Bird and CAM recording arts student Drew Jostad
Prof. Leslie Gaston-Bird and CAM recording arts student Drew Jostad
Laurence Kaptain

About Laurence Kaptain

The College of Arts & Media at CU Denver We envision a world made smaller, and more fully human, by the artist’s interpretation of the human experience. Our students come to us with passion for artistic expression. Our goal is to send them out into the world confident of purpose, ready to succeed. Mission Our mission is to effect change by preparing students to successfully pursue their passions. Our students acquire the skills they need to excel in an academically rigorous, experiential learning environment energized by creative exchange, real-world experience and diversity of voice. Laurence Kaptain, Dean of the College of Arts and Media at the University of Colorado Denver, brings 16 years of higher education leadership experience at leading public and private universities to his new assignment. As a recording artist he can be heard on a Grammy-winning recording (2001) with New York's Orpheus Chamber Ensemble, as well as numerous recordings with the Chicago Symphony (Solti, Boulez, Jarvi), St. Louis Symphony (Slatkin), St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (Wolf) and LaScala Opera (Reynolds). He is currently a Fellow in the Royal Society of the Arts, a member of the National Advisory Board of the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP), a member of the Board of Directors of the Denver School for the Arts Foundation, Dr. Kaptain served as the Director of Creative Initiatives in the Department of Research and Economic Development and Paula Manship Professor of Music, and prior to that, Dean of the College of Music and Dramatic Arts and Penniman Family Professor of Music at Louisiana State University from 2009-14. Prior to assuming this post at LSU, he was Dean of Shenandoah Conservatory near Washington, DC, Director of the heralded Schwob School of Music in Georgia, and Vice-Provost for Faculty Programs and Academic Quality at UMKC. He received the first doctorate in percussion instruments at the University of Michigan, where he was a Fulbright Scholar to Mexico and received the prestigious Rackham Graduate School Pre-Doctoral Fellowship.