The Michigan Minds Podcast

Michigan Minds brings to life the breadth and depth of faculty expertise at the University of Michigan. This series features quick yet informative analysis that provides unique perspectives on today’s top issues.

U-M faculty are among the world’s leading researchers and teachers across all disciplines. Michigan Minds taps that thought leadership and shares this expertise with the world.

You can download and subscribe to Michigan Minds from wherever you listen to podcasts — Apple PodcastsGoogle PlaySoundCloudStitcher, and Spotify.

Listen and enjoy!

If you have an idea for a podcast subject you’d like to hear, email the podcast editor: terrykos@umich.edu

  • Surveying transgender healthcare experiences

    Transgender people often face discrimination, but one of the areas where this can be subtle yet do more harm is in the healthcare setting. In this episode, University of Michigan researchers Shanna Kattari and Ashley Lacombe-Duncan talk about their studies on transgender experiences with  health professionals. They also talk about their goal of creating easily accessible information for healthcare providers to help better care for transgender patients.

  • Reduce chronic student absenteeism by addressing poverty

    School attendance is a major predictor of student success. Unfortunately, Michigan has the sixth-highest chronic absenteeism rate in the country. In this episode, University of Michigan Poverty Solutions researcher Jennifer Erb-Downward talks about the connection her research uncovered between poverty and student attendance. She also discusses ways educators can help these students improve attendance and succeed academically.

  • Examining slavery’s long shadow

    It was 400 years ago that the first Africans arrived in colonial Virginia, triggering the system of chattel slavery in America. In this episode, University of Michigan professor Earl Lewis talks about the long-lasting effects of slavery. Lewis, who heads the Center for Social Solutions, also discusses the center’s Slavery Initiative and the conversations it’s trying to spark.

  • The rise of three-generation households

    The number of kids living in a home with both parents and grandparents has nearly doubled in the last 20 years. Why does it matter? In this episode, University of Michigan professor Natasha Pilkauskas explains why finding out the reasons for this trend are important. She also says it should spark a rethinking of the way educational and social services are designed.

  • Michigan Minds Podcast: Do trigger warnings help?

    There’s a lot of debate about trigger warnings but far less research on whether they actually work as intended. University of Michigan PhD student Izzy Gainsburg talks about his study on trigger warnings and why more research is needed before setting policy on them.

  • Safety realities of autonomous vehicles

    Everyone’s excited about the potential for autonomous vehicles. But there’s a lot to be ironed out, especially in regard to safety, before we have a fleet of driverless cars on the highway. That’s according to professor Matt Reed, who heads the biosciences group at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. But he does see lot of potential for low-speed, autonomous vehicles in the near future.

  • Closing the gender pay gap

    Despite gains by women in the workplace, the gender pay gap remains persistent. University of Michigan professor Cindy Schipani says there are moves companies can take right away to close that gap. Some already have, providing a blueprint for what works.

  • Identity integration helps American Muslim students

    When Muslim teenagers in America face discrimination or negative messages, how resilient they are depends a lot on how well they integrate their Muslim and American identities. University of Michigan professor Muniba Saleem explains why this identity integration matters a great deal to students who grapple with two identities.

  • How ‘13 Reasons Why’ could affect at-risk youth

    The hit Netflix show 13 Reasons Why has drawn some criticism recently for its portrayal of teen suicide. In this Michigan Minds episode, U-M researchers Victor Hong, MD, and Cynthia Ewell Foster, PhD, talk about their study, which asked at-risk youth about how the show affected them. The researchers also talk about resources available to parents and the community to help start the conversation about the show with teens.

  • The value of research universities

    The value of research universities has been questioned in some circles, along with the taxpayer support public institutions receive. But U-M sociology professor and IRIS executive director Jason Owen-Smith explains how research universities are a critical part of our social and economic infrastructure.