The Academic Minute

Weekdays, 7:34am and 3:56pm

The Academic Minute features researchers from colleges and universities around the world, keeping listeners abreast of what's new and exciting in the academy.

Hosted by Dr. Lynn Pasquerella, President of Mount Holyoke College, The Academic Minute features a different professor each day, drawing experts from top research institutions. You'll enjoy updates on groundbreaking scientific research, an explanation of the accidental discovery of chocolate and an analysis of how social media is transforming the workplace, to name a few.

The Academic Minute airs each weekday at 7:34 a.m and 3:56 p.m.  You can also stay connected by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.

If you have a pitch for a segment, or any questions or comments about the segment, please e-mail us.

The Academic Minute opens with a selection by WAMC contributor and renowned cellist Yehuda Hanani, who appears on Classical Music According to Yehuda during WAMC's Roundtable program. The piece is Bach's Suite No. 2 in D Minor.

Production support for The Academic Minute comes from Newman's Own, giving all profits to charity and pursuing the common good for over 30 years, and from Mount Holyoke College.

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Dr. Sarah Feakins, University of Southern California – Environment and Bipedalism

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Sarah Feakins of the University of Southern California explores the role environmental factors played in the origin of bipedalism. 


Dr. Feakins is an assistant professor of Earth sciences at the University of Southern California’s Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Her research uses biogeochemical analytical approaches to answer questions about climatic and ecological change. Her current projects include compound-specific carbon isotopic reconstruction of paleovegetation. She holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University.

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Academic Minute
10:51 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Dr. Phil Fisher, University of Oregon – Infant Perception and Parental Arguments

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Phil Fisher of the University of Oregon reveals an infant’s ability to pick up on the tone of conversations around them.  


Phil Fisher is a professor of psychology at the University of Oregon. His research focuses on childhood trauma and maltreatment, and foster and adopted children.  He is particularly interested in the effects of early stressful experience on children's neurobiological and psychological development.

About Dr. Fisher

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Dr. Jay Dickson, Brown University – Antarctica and Life on Mars

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Jay Dickson of Brown University explains what the world’s saltiest pond has to say about the possibility of life on Mars.


Jay Dickson is a science data analyst and lab manager in the Geological Science Department at Brown University where he works in the lab of Dr. James Head. His recent research involves the analysis of data from Antarctica’s Don Juan Pond.

About Dr. Dickson

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Academic Minute
8:44 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Dr. Paul Booth, DePaul University – Cultural Meaning of Doctor Who

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Paul Booth of DePaul University explores the cultural importance of the BBC science fiction series Doctor Who.


Paul Booth is an assistant professor of media and cinema studies at DePaul University where his teaching and research interests include new media, technology, popular culture, and cultural studies. His written works include Digital Fandom, which examines fans of cult television programs. He earned his Ph.D. at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Dr. Claudia Buchmann, Ohio State University – Higher Education Gender Gap

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Claudia Buchmann of Ohio State University explains the growing gender gap that exists on college campuses.

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Dr. Frank Elgar, McGill University – Psychological Health and Family Meals

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Frank Elgar of McGill University explores the psychological benefits of making time for family meals.

Frank Elgar is an associate professor of psychiatry and Canada Research Chair in Social Inequalities in Child Health at McGill University. His research explores social and behavioral determinants of child mental health and well-being. He holds a PhD in psychology from Dalhousie University.

About Dr. Elgar

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Dr. Aaron Sachs, Cornell University – Graveyards and Urban Parks

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Aaron Sachs of Cornell University reveals how many of America’s iconic urban parks had first lives as cemeteries.

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Dr. Natalie Spillman, Washington University in St. Louis – Killing Malaria

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Natalie Spillman of Washington University in St. Louis explains research that points to an effective way to kill the microorganism that causes malaria.

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Academic Minute
9:18 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Dr. Michael Poulin, University at Buffalo – Psychological Benefits of Giving

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Michael Poulin of the University at Buffalo reveals that while offering a helping hand to others, you may also be helping yourself.

Michael Poulin is an assistant professor of psychology at the University at Buffalo. His research seeks to understand why people engage in prosocial behavior as well as what factors influence a person’s response to stress and adversity. His work has been published in a number of peer-reviewed journals and he holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine.

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Dr. Zlatan Krizan, Iowa State University – Envy and Narcissism

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Zlatan Krizan of Iowa State University explains the role played by envy in creating a narcissistic personality. 

Zlatan Krizan is an assistant professor of psychology at Iowa State University where his research is focused on the basic emotional, motivational, and personality processes relevant to understanding the human condition. More specifically, his work asks how social comparisons play into self-perception and how social context influences the psychological processes underlying social judgments. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.

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