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Public Radio Project Features Student Voices,Views

A special multimedia project featuring insightful voices from the SUNY Plattsburgh campus, with participants discussing their identities, what it’s like to live in the North Country and more, is being made available for listening online.

"A Mosaic of Voices," produced by Canton, N.Y.-based North Country Public Radio, was inspired by the national StoryCorps radio program heard on National Public Radio stations. The Plattsburgh recordings were made during the college's Diversity Week in February. NCPR set up a storytelling booth called “The Brave Space.” People were offered a quiet place to record intimate conversations with a friend, colleague, or stranger. 

Zach Hirsch, the reporter from NCPR who did the recordings, worked with Julia Devine from the college’s Center for Community Engagement, on the project. He brought recording equipment to the Angell College Center and was there to monitor some of the interviews but also trained some staff from the Center for Diversity, Pluralism and Inclusion on how to use the equipment.

“It was an experiment,” Hirsch said. “I wasn’t sure who would sign up, or what they would say into the microphone. But people always have a lot to say when you give them the opportunity.”

Hirsch said the ultimate goal “was to create a snapshot of some of the complexities of people’s identities and get people thinking about what it’s like to live in the North Country.”

He deemed it a success.

“The participants were incredibly thoughtful and candid and allowed themselves to be vulnerable. The ‘voices’ included students, faculty and staff, and community members. People went in pairs and took turns interviewing each other. Some pairs were student-student; some were student-community member; some were staff-student. It varied,” he said.

An interview — with two community members — was broadcast March 6 by NCPR. Now, the network of stations is placing excerpts of 15 interviews online. 

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