Jennifer Stayton | KUOW News and Information

Jennifer Stayton

I feel very lucky to have been born and raised right here in Austin, Texas. An English teacher at my high school, St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, once suggested to the class that we tune in to KUT 90.5 for Paul Ray’s “Twine Time.” I have been a public radio fan ever since.

My original career path – Psychology – took a back seat to radio after I started volunteering at the Williams College student radio station during my time there.

I have worked for commercial and public radio stations in sales, music, production, and news. I stopped along the way to get a Master’s Degree from Syracuse University in Radio-Television-Film. I have been the anchor and host of “Morning Edition” on KUT since May of 2004.

When I am not napping (that 3:30 a.m. alarm comes awfully early during the week!) I enjoy time with my husband Charles, stepdaughter Samantha, and our cat and hamster. I also enjoy watching UT Longhorn football and and experiencing all that is cool about Austin.

For many communities in Texas, Friday means high school football.

But when Texas high schools were segregated, black athletes didn’t play under Friday night lights. They played on Wednesday and Thursday nights, while white high schools played Friday nights. 


Baylor University English professor Greg Garrett researches and writes about the intersection of religion and popular culture. In his most recent book, Living with the Living Dead: The Wisdom of the Zombie Apocalypse, the Austin author explores the current narrative of the zombie apocalypse and the modern threats it stands for.

The Great Smog was a pollution calamity that killed 12,000 people in London over five days in December 1952. At the same time, serial killer John Reginald Christie was preying on vulnerable women in the city and killed at least six.

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s documentary The Vietnam War premiered last night on KLRU. It’s a 10-part, 18-hour documentary about that divisive and still-controversial period in American history. To complement that documentary's release, KLRU has created some of its own local programming to examine how the war in Vietnam affected Central Texans.

As college football season gets underway, some teams are getting as much attention for what's happening off the field as what's happening on.

Texas will be cleaning up and rebuilding from Hurricane Harvey for a long time, and Hurricane Irma is getting ready to hit Florida hard. When a natural disaster strikes, many people have an immediate urge to help. But as the waters – and news coverage – subside, so can attention. 

A new series at the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center will use food to create connections with the history showcased in the museum and the contributions of African and African-Americans to food around the world.

Austin chef and writer Angela Shelf Medearis kicks off the “Eat Your Way Through History: Lunch and Learn” events Monday with an African, Caribbean and Texan menu. She’s hoping people from all over Austin will come to learn some history and about each other.

This is the 10th year St. David's Episcopal Church in downtown Austin has been a South by Southwest music venue. Nearby Central Presbyterian Church was the first church to be a venue for the festival, and it still is. Musicians will also perform at Promised Land Church this year.

Austin author Amanda Eyre Ward has written novels about undocumented youth and immigration, AIDS and death row. A review of one of her novels described her as “a leading author of socially conscious fiction.” So, what might readers expect from her newest novel, The Nearness of You?  

Ward tells KUT’s Jennifer Stayton, she shattered her own image of what a novel “should” be about when writing this one.

Documents tell us how much people were sold for during our country's history of slavery. But a new book goes further, looking at how people who were enslaved were valued throughout their entire lives.

People keep secrets for a lot of reasons. Imagine not feeling like you could share something fundamental about yourself with the people in your life. That’s the situation for many people diagnosed with a mental illness. They fear the misunderstanding, judgment or rejection that could come with sharing the details of their situation with others.  

Austin Clubhouse provides rehabilitation and support for adults who have severe and persistent mental illness, with treatment that focuses on quality of life issues. Member Jesse McCrum sat down with KUT to discuss his experience and the impact the Clubhouse has had on his life. 

Right after the election, there were demonstrations in Austin and around the country against Donald Trump’s win. The protests died down, but some groups felt like their work was just starting -- and they’re not necessarily groups that would call themselves “political.” 

For the past few months, we’ve been spending time in the area around 12th and Chicon streets in East Austin, reporting on the change

“They were very concerned that it would affect the chickens and they wouldn't know when to lay the egg.”

What could shake up things so much that chickens in Austin wouldn't know the right time to do their thing? That recollection from a newspaper article can be heard in a documentary called The Last of the Moonlight Towers, which illuminates (get it?) the history of those iconic towers. Seventeen of the 31 original towers built around Austin are still standing. And though Austin wasn't the first city in the country to get moonlight towers when they went up in the 1890s, Austin is the last city that still has functioning towers.

The recent remake of the groundbreaking 1977 mini-series “Roots” has been nominated for seven Emmys this year. To ensure accuracy in depicting the lives of enslaved people, the show enlisted UT-Austin history professor Dr. Daina Ramey Berry to read scripts, ask questions and ensure the production's accuracy – from word choices, to cloth used in costumes, to the breeds of on-screen horses.

"Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape" is the new book released this week from Austin-based journalist Jessica Luther.

Last year, Luther helped break the story about a Baylor University football player on trial for sexually assaulting another student. She argues the college football system as a whole bears much responsibility in cases such as these. And the system is where, she says, changes need to take place. 


Mental illness can be hard to acknowledge or talk about. Two Austinites who are educators and advocates with the National Alliance on Mental Illness want to help people get past that. And they’re focusing on the African American community.

How's this for a catchy book title: "If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy?”  

Author and UT McCombs School of Business Professor Raj Raghunathan admits it’s a provocative title, and maybe a little tongue-in-cheek. But, he says the book is really trying to answer that question. Why are people who are smart—successful, high achievers—not as happy as you might expect? Listen below to an interview with Raghunathan about the links between happiness and intelligence.