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Zox Launches The Social Workers Radio Talk Show on UAlbany's WCDB

UAlbany Graduate Students Gain Experience on the Air

School of Social Welfare graduate student Candi Griffin-Jenkins and nationally known radio personality Kathryn Zox on the air. (Photo Mark Schmidt) 

Nationally known radio talk show host Kathryn Zox has launched The Social Workers live talk radio show on UAlbany’s WCDB 90.9 FM. The show’s topics include such issues as teenage dating violence, the high-functioning alcoholic, and organ donation. Airing Thursdays at 9 a.m. Eastern time, the show can be heard online at and will offer listeners the opportunity to call in.

Zox, Your Social Worker With a Microphone®, has interviewed thousands of guests over the past 10 years on The Kathryn Zox Show on the VoiceAmerica/World Talk Radio network.

In the new UAlbany-based show, Zox, assisted by School of Social Welfare graduate students Candi Griffin-Jenkins and Elliot Luscombe, highlights current social work topics. “Our mission is to educate and enlighten, through the medium of radio, our university  and extended communities about current social work trends and services,” said Zox, who earned her master’s of social work (M.S.W.) degree from UAlbany’s School of Social Welfare in 1983. She serves as a public service professor at the School.

It is also a unique opportunity for the students to explore media opportunities in radio hosting, production and prep with an M.S.W. social worker who is also a professional broadcaster. One recent show featured an interview with President Obama’s half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, about her new children’s book Ladder to the Moon.

The Social Workers enables our social work students to learn how to harness the media to get the stories out regarding the needs of those they serve, important research and service innovations,”  said School of Social Welfare Dean Katharine Briar-Lawson. “This pioneering show with our distinguished alumna Kathryn Zox puts our School at the forefront of inventive new strategies, which elevates the profile and relevance of social work knowledge and practice.”

“This is the first time a live talk radio show hosted by social workers is being broadcast at the University at Albany. It allows us the opportunity to bring social work to the masses,” said Griffin-Jenkins, a returning student from East Greenbush and former EOP undergraduate who has been director of the Liberty Partnership Rising Stars Program at the School for the past 10 years.

On the show, Griffin-Jenkins is learning to choose topics and guests of interest to listeners, and how to book guests, sharpen interviewing skills, and operate the audio board. After anticipated graduation in 2012 with an M.S.W. degree, she plans to become a licensed social worker and open her own practice.

Luscombe, a May 2011 M.S.W. candidate for graduation and Plattsburgh native who enrolled at UAlbany after graduating from Stanford, said, “Not everybody gets to do this. The chance to not only be on radio, but to have it connect to a learning experience, is rare. In school, we learn about community and coalition building, as well as advocacy, but being on the radio gives you a different perspective on all of these concepts and really highlights how, when used properly, media can help get the message out.”

Long-term, Luscombe would like to find ways to integrate social media with social work. He believes Facebook and Twitter can be used to draw attention to pressing issues, improve communication with clients and agencies, and strengthen political advocacy efforts.

The April 28 program, airing at 9 a.m. EST, is featuring Maryanne Abbate, whose son Luke died in a tragic accident and became an organ donor. The Abbate family is the subject of  The 5th Quarter, a newly released film starring Andie MacDowell and Aiden Quinn, that tells “the incredible story of the Abbate family,” said Zox. Maryanne Abbate, who recently appeared on the Today Show, will draw attention to April’s designation as National Organ Donation Awareness Month. School of Social Welfare Dean Briar-Lawson and Assistant Dean Crystal Rogers are also guests that day.

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