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Stateside: Firefighter shortage; holiday greetings on vinyl; first-generation college students

record player
James Sutton
A Michigan family took a relatively modern approach to sending seasons greetings in the early 1940s— via vinyl record.";

Today on Stateside, fewer people are stepping up to serve as volunteer firefighters. What does that mean for the safety of Michigan communities? Plus, how best to support non-traditional students in their career paths.

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below.

Volunteer firefighters are essential to some areas, but it's getting harder to recruit them

Stateside’s conversation with Michael McLeieer

  • Volunteer firefighting has a long history in this country. But in 2019, the nation is struggling with a shortage of volunteer firefighters. Some fire departments have even been forced to cut services because they can't find enough volunteers.
  • Lt. Michael McLeieer is the president of the Michigan State Firemen’s Association. He explainedwhat the shortage means for cities and towns in Michigan.
  • This segment originally aired on July 15, 2019

In 1939, a pioneering Michigan family exchanged seasons greetings recorded on vinyl

Stateside’s conversation with Mark Harvey

  • As the holiday season approaches, you might be getting ready to send out cards to your friends and family. Mark Harvey is the state archivist with the Michigan History Center. He talked to us about a Michigan family in the early 1940s that took a different approach to the holiday card by sending voice recordings on 78 rpm records to one another.
  • This segment is produced in partnership with the Michigan History Center.
  • This segment originally aired on November 21, 2018

Ragatz: Most undergraduates are “nontraditional” students. High schools should do a better job preparing them

Stateside’s conversation with Matinga Ragatz

  • The college freshmen of movies and TV are usually 18 years old, living in a dorm, and partying on the weekend. But that doesn't actually reflect the reality of student demographics in higher education today. Around three-quarters of undergraduates enrolled at colleges and universities meet at least one criterion of a "non-traditional" student.
  • Education commentator Matinga Ragatz says there’s value in taking your time figuring out what you want to do in life, and she thinks schools could do a better job of preparing students who aren’t going straight into college or a well-defined career.
  • This segment was originally aired on September 4, 2019

Grand Rapids program helps first-generation and minority students get “to and through” college

Stateside’s conversation with Shayla Willis and Cindy Gonzalez

  • Students who are the first in their families to attend university face unique challenges, particularly if they don’t have any mentors to help guide them through the complexities of college life. The T2C Studio is offering that guidance to students in Grand Rapids to help get them "to and through" college.
  • Shayla Willis is the T2C Studio coordinator, and Cindy Gonzalez is a Michigan State University student who uses T2C’s services and also volunteers there. T2C is focused on supporting first-generation and minority students who are seeking two- or four-year degrees.
  • This segment originally aired on February 7, 2019

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Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.
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