Sean Powers

Director of Podcasting

Sean Powers is Georgia Public Broadcasting's first director of podcasting. He joined GPB in 2014 as a producer/reporter with On Second Thought, and remained with the program until 2018. For his last four months on the show, he served as acting senior producer.  Powers is a native of the south suburbs of Chicago, and he graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Missouri. In 2012, he completed a fellowship at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He moved to Atlanta after working as a reporter for the public radio station in Urbana, Ill. His reporting has earned him a dozen Associated Press awards, two regional Edward R. Murrow awards, five national PRNDI awards, honors from the Atlanta Press Club, and recognition from the Georgia Association of Broadcasters. Powers previously developed podcasts for ListenUp Audiobooks in Atlanta. He's also mentored teenage journalists who report for VOX Teen Communications, a magazine in Atlanta.

Ways to Connect

Leighton Rowell / GPB

"Barbecue Nation," a new exhibit at the Atlanta History Center, takes a deep dive into the history and culture of the South's most-loved food. But barbecue, like the South and the rest of the United States, is increasingly global. So "On Second Thought" is setting out on a series of roadtrips to see how different cultures and countries represented right here in Georgia do barbecue.

We started off with a visit to Chama Gaúcha, a Brazilian restaurant in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta. Nelcir Muller, the general manager, took us inside the kitchen to show us how people in Brazil — South America's largest country — make their barbecue. In Portugeuse it's called "churrasco." 

GPB

Here’s something you add to your burn book. "Mean Girls" is now a Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical. The musical is up for 12 awards. (That’s so fetch!) The play features an all-star cast of mainstays and breakouts, including Grey Henson, who is nominated for the Tony for best featured actor in a musical. Henson grew up in Macon and plays Damian in the show. The actor talked with On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott about life on Broadway and what it’s like working with Tina Fey.

Virginia Prescott joined the On Second Thought team at Georgia Public Broadcasting earlier in May. Prescott, the new host of On Second Thought, comes to GPB from New Hampshire Public Radio, where she hosted "Word of Mouth" and the "Civics 101" podcast, which is used in classrooms throughout the United States. She spoke with Adam Ragusea about the move from New England to the South, and why she loves Georgia.

Last month, cast members from TV’s “A Different World” reunited at Home Depot’s Atlanta headquarters. They were there to award renovation grant money to nine Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports HBCUs have received less philanthropic support than most colleges and universities, particularly for infrastructure and campus renovation projects. The AJC has looked at the role of HBCU’s across the country and the financial health of these schools. We spoke with AJC reporter Ernie Suggs.

After writing his New York Times op-ed, “Dear White America," George Yancy received hundreds of hateful messages. Yancy, an Emory University professor of philosophy, knew that his letter was controversial, but he says he never thought he would receive literal death threats. This past April, he released his newest book, "Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly About Racism in America." It addresses how people confronted him after the publication of his op-ed, and how to proceed from there. In his book, he asks white Americans to rise above their initial racial response and have empathy for the African-American community. George Yancy joined us in studio to talk about "Backlash."

Matthew Sweet Returns To Georgia

May 23, 2018
Courtesy Matthew Sweet

Singer and songwriter Matthew Sweet got his start in the Athens, Georgia, music scene in the 1980s. His star rose in the 90s with hits like 100% Fun, Altered Beast and Blue Sky on Mars. Sweet’s drive to creative music hasn’t slowed down.

The United States Department of Justice estimates nearly two-thirds of all jail inmates have mental health problems. In Georgia, a new investigation raises serious questions about the quality of care those inmates receive.Over the last decade, 1 in 6 of more than 500 deaths in Georgia jails has involved inmates who showed signs of mental illness, the Georgia News Lab, WSB-TV and Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation has found. We spoke with Georgia News Lab reporters Christina Maxouris and Harrison Young to find out more. The AJC's Brad Schrade also joined.

It's been 100 years since a Spanish influenza epidemic killed as many as 50 million people worldwide, including 675,000 Americans. A new book on the deadly pandemic is out this week. It's called “More Deadly Than War.” The author, Kenneth C. Davis, talked with us about how the Spanish flu affected the course of World War I.

Colleges and universities across Georgia have wrapped up the semester, but one Morehouse College student has more work to do. Last year, Julien Turner took an extra credit biology assignment and turned it into a viral music video about the differences between mitosis and meiosis. The rising junior's video made it all the way to the people who work on "Sesame Street." Now, Julien and his brother are creating an educational music video for the show. Julien spoke with GPB's Leah Fleming about the project.

Atlanta’s Donald Glover has found a new level of success. He’s an actor, the creator of a hit show named after his hometown of Atlanta, and a rapper under the name Childish Gambino. But his most powerful statement might be “This Is America”, a new song and video released over the weekend. Freelance entertainment reporter Jewel Wicker gives us her take on the video and what role musicians should play when it comes to social issues.

Atlanta’s professional soccer team has come a long way fast. Atlanta United FC took to the field for the first time in March 2017. Now it draws in tens of thousands of fans. We talked with the team’s president, Darren Eales.

The heavy metal band Mastodon got its start performing in Georgia in 2000. Nearly two decades later, the band has a Grammy Award and returns to Atlanta May 16 with a show at the Fox Theatre. We sat down with Brann Dailor, Mastodon's drummer and vocalist, to talk about the band's journey to stardom and its latest album "Emperor of Sand."

Actor Tony Hale first rose to fame as the ultimate mother's boy Buster Bluth on the show "Arrested Development." Hale also starred in the HBO series “Veep.”  His character was the personal assistant to President Selina Meyer, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Hale's parents live in the Macon area and he spends a lot of time in Georgia. We talked with him in 2016 about his career. 

Georgia is a hub of multiculturalism. At Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, there’s a new class tapping into that topic. It's called "Literary Tribalism: How to Read Race, Class, Nation & Gender." Oglethorpe University English professor Reshmi Hebbar joined us in studio to tell us about her new class. Her students, Caleb Logan and Yasmin Tehrani, also joined the conversation.

May is Older Americans Month. In 2017, Georgia ranked 41st in the nation for senior health. GPB Special Correspondent Celeste Headlee talked about the state of our elder care system with Kathy Floyd, executive director for the Georgia Council on Aging, and Glenn Ostir, director of the Institute of Gerontology at the University of Georgia.

Pollution and global warming rank near the top of environmentalists' growing list of concerns. But according to the Environmental Protection Agency, another menace to the environment is in many people's own backyards. Over a two day period, the EPA studied waste from 100 dogs. The findings were alarming; there were enough bacteria to force the closing of a city’s watershed. Anna Truszczynski from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division explains how dog feces is an environmental hazard.

The face of local news in Macon, Georgia, is changing. After nearly four decades, Friday is Oby Brown's last day at The Telegraph in Macon. Brown's departure comes amid what another outgoing editor called a "transformation" of the newspaper. Brown joined us in the studio to discuss the way local news is changing and reflect on his longtime career covering the news in middle Georgia. 

Last month, investigators in Atlanta recovered about 500 pounds of methamphetamine hidden inside Disney figurines. That's worth about $2 million. Drug Enforcement Administration officials not only say that Atlanta is a hub for crystal meth distribution; according to the DEA, meth also the "No. 1 threat" in the metro area.

SHERRILLMILNES.COM

Opera singers Sherrill Milnes and Maria Zouves are married. Together they co-founded the Savannah VOICE Festival and as a couple have worked to expand and enliven Savannah’s opera scene. We asked them to contribute two songs to our growing Georgia Playlist. 

New research on anxiety in the workplace finds in some cases, anxiety can actually help improve employee performance. Georgia State University psychology professor Page Anderson developed a technology to help people with social anxiety by using virtual reality. The software simulates real life settings that cause patients anxiety, helping them learn to cope before they have to confront the same scenarios in the real world. 

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