Segue celebrates its 500th episode


In this week’s episode of Segue, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s weekly radio show exploring the lives and work of people on campus and beyond, WSIE celebrates the show’s 500th episode with a broadcast 50 minutes. Throughout the show, Chancellor Randy Pembrook and College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Dean Kevin Leonard interview a variety of guests critical to Segue’s enduring success.

This episode of Segue airs at 9 a.m. on Sunday, August 22. Listeners can tune into WSIE 88.7 FM The Sound or

Segue was created by Aldemaro Romero, PhD, former dean of CAS. His vision was to speak to various faculty members at SIUE while highlighting the four distinct areas of CAS: Fine Arts and Communications, Humanities, Science and Social Sciences. He ended his role as host of Segue after the 200th episode of the series.

Greg Budzban, PhD, was another former CAS Dean critical to the radio show’s advancement. Budzban hosted the show for five years and invited Steve Hansen, PhD, former acting chancellor, to co-host the show every other Sunday.

“When I joined SIUE as Chancellor in the fall of 2016, I was asked if I would like to continue welcoming Segue as Chancellor Hansen did on alternating Sundays,” Pembrook explains. “I was thrilled to do so, as this show gives me a great opportunity to learn more about guests from the University, the community and across the country. “

Jason Church, CEO of WSIE, joins the show’s two hosts for Sunday’s episode.

“Jason, you are one of the main voices of the WSIE,” notes Pembrook. “From your point of view, what is the main goal of Segue? “

“Segue offers a unique opportunity to reach and educate the public about what is going on at SIUE while providing entertaining information to listeners around the world,” says Church. “Topics can range from anthropology lectures from Dr Julie Zimmermann to Fred Gray discussing his experience during the civil rights movement.”

The first episode of Segue aired on March 6, 2011, starring world-renowned pianist and instructor Ruth Slenczynska. Heralded as the first child prodigy since Mozart, Slenczynska began playing the piano in

three years old and played with a large orchestra in Paris at the age of seven. She came to SIUE as Artist in Residence and taught at the University until 1987.

Asked about her teaching experience at SIUE, Slenczynska praised the students she has taught over the years. “I have had the pleasure of teaching so many young people,” she explains. “Many of them have gone ahead to win prizes and make a living from their music. When I went to Korea, I found four students who are now professors at various universities there. When I went to Australia, I found two who had been my students at SIUE.

After playing snippets from Segue’s early shows, the hosts went on to describe some of Romero’s favorite moments throughout his time hosting the show. Memorable moments included an episode that involved interviews with those who were rebuilding Joplin, Missouri, after a devastating tornado, which Romero described as a special human experience.

“The idea for Segue came about when I started meeting a lot of people all over the college,” Romero shares. “It was a large college with 19 departments and 335 faculty members with a lot of experiences and materials to share. As I read about the faculty’s experiences in both teaching and scholarship, I realized that all of these stories would be best told by them.

After working with the Department of Mass Communications to set up the show, a slot was prepared at 9 a.m. each Sunday morning for Romero to share stories from CAS professors. Since the inception of the fair, the guest group has grown to include SIUE alumni, lecturers visiting the university, professors outside of CAS and students.

“What makes hosting at Segue enjoyable? Pembrook asks.

“It’s great getting to know the great people who work here at SIUE, including our alumni and those who visit us,” says Leonard. “A highlight for me was being able to interview Ilyasah Shabazz, one of the daughters of Malcom X and Betty Shabazz. It was a delightful interview, and she was able to tell me a lot of things about her parents that you can’t find in the books.

“Do you have a vision for the next 100 shows? Pembrook asks.

“My vision for the future of Segue parallels my vision for the future of CAS,” says Leonard. “I see the program becoming even more inclusive. I work to ensure that my guests reflect the growing diversity of our student body, staff and faculty, and I always ask questions of my guests about their efforts to advance equity and inclusion. I also see the program putting more emphasis on community engagement.

Tune in at 9 a.m. on Sunday, August 22 on WSIE 88.7 The Sound to hear the full conversation.


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