College of Education advisers launch podcast for students

Student Academic Services team members

Academic advisers from the College of Education recently launched a podcast, ”Look No Feather,” for students and families to learn about on-campus resources and get advice from faculty members and staff.

The podcast is hosted by advisers Ixchel Verdugo and Emma Bjorngard Basayne, who work in the Student Academic Services suite. So far, Verdugo and Bjorngard Basayne have published episodes explaining how students can get involved on campus, develop leadership skills and navigate majors within the College of Education.

“We want to show students how involvement, picking a major and simply being a student on campus can help them develop the skills they need to move forward,” Bjorngard Basayne said.

Even though “Look No Feather” focuses on the College of Education, Verdugo and Bjorngard Basayne are creating content relevant for the entire UO campus community. The goal of the podcast, according to both advisers, is to connect students with resources they need to feel prepared in college and beyond.

“The podcast demystifies a lot of information,” Verdugo said. “Breaking information down in a relatable way and bringing in experts gives students someone to potentially connect with to feel more settled into student life.”

Verdugo and Bjorngard Basayne invite guests from around campus to speak about organizations and their own college experiences.

“I think the podcast adds to the variety of ways that students can learn from and approach their academic and nonacademic experiences,” said Jessi Steward, the senior associate director for student activities and programs at the Erb Memorial Union and a guest on “Look No Feather’s” first episode.

“It’s one thing to see a poster for a single event,” she said. “It’s another for a student to hear that this podcast is part of a bigger picture that has been created specifically with them in mind.”

The first episode was designed to help students find and connect with a community, especially following the beginning of the pandemic, and included information about student organizations, events at the Erb Memorial Union and the value of leadership.

“We were thinking about our own college experiences and how for us, being involved and having a community outside of class, made a big difference,” Bjorngard Basayne said. “We wanted to introduce students to that anchor early.”

 “Look No Feather” can also be a resource for families and prospective students.

“Even before future Ducks enroll at the University of Oregon, they will understand academic programs, university programs and what the College of Education can do for them,” said Angel Dorantes, senior academic adviser on the College of Education advising team.

Dorantes added that another benefit is the podcast’s accessibility, which can supplement advising appointments. Students can listen and re-listen to the podcast whenever needed, taking notes and formulating questions that prepare them to get the most out of one-on-one meetings with their academic adviser.

Listening to “Look No Feather” offers students a way to feel more personally connected to their advisers and faculty members.

“Students can hear their professors talk and can hear their passion and excitement,” Bjorngard Basayne said. “I think that adds a personal touch.”

Bjorngard Basayne and Verdugo hope “Look No Feather” will help promote the creation of accessible information resources for students. In the future, they will incorporate more student interviews and plan to feature reflections from graduating seniors and introductions to student groups from student leaders.

If students want to hear about a certain topic or be interviewed on the podcast, they can contact the Student Academic Services team via email at coesas@uoregon.edu. Bjorngard Basayne and Verugo want the podcast to be collaborative and responsive to students.

“The podcast can be accessed by anyone,” Verdugo said. “We’re hoping that this brings more students to the College of Education, so that they’re going out into the University of Oregon and supporting other campus communities. It’s a cyclical thing.”

Find current and future podcast episodes on Anchor.fm, Apple, Google, Spotify and Stitcher.

— By Madeline Ryan, College of Education