W&L After Class: Podcast

Join us here on W&L After Class, and hear the kinds of discussions that happen after class every day at W&L.

W&L After Class: Podcast

After Class Podcast logoW&L's Office of Lifelong Learning is here to help you explore questions that a good education stirs. 

In our podcast, W&L After Class, we invite you to join conversations with faculty who share their experiences, insights, and expertise. From accounting to the theatre to cyber security and the arts, listen to W&L's resident experts in a casual, candid conversation as though you are strolling with them along the Colonnade.  

Recent Episodes

Season Five

After Class Podcast Jenefer Davies

Leaps and Bounds

The Sky is the Limit with W&L Dance
Jenefer Davies, Professor of Dance and Chair of the Department of Theater, Dance, and Film Studies at Washington and Lee University shares her early beginnings at age three to her current role shaping W&L's dance program.
Recorded: May 21, 2024
Aired: July 9, 2024

Mark Drumbl, After Class Podcast episode

Facing the Gray

Mass Genocide, Child Soldiering and the Flicker of Goodness Through the Lens of Law
Through a serendipitous happenstance, Mark Drumbl, Class of 1975 Alumni Professor of Law and Director of the Transnational Law Institute, has dedicated his career to practicing, teaching and questioning international law. In this episode, we examine the function — and limitations — of law as Drumbl details his experiences as a defender for those accused of mass atrocities in Rwanda, his study into the marginalization of people and collective violence, and his beliefs on how we need to reconceptualize evil.
Recorded: May 13, 2024
Aired: June 4, 2024

Paul Youngman

W&L Through and Through

Paul Youngman: From W&L Undergrad to Professor and Department Chair to Associate Provost and W&L Parent
In this episode, Paul Youngman, W&L class of 1987, associate provost and the Harry E. and Mary Jayne W. Redenbaugh Professor of German, details his very full days as a W&L undergrad, his return to his alma mater as a German professor, his journey as W&L’s Associate Provost, and also what it feels like to walk in the shoes as a W&L parent.
Recorded: April 23, 2024
Aired: May 14, 2024

Photo of Wythe Whiting

Mindful Technology

Unraveling the Impact of Modern Technologies on Our Well-Being
In this episode, Wythe Whiting, professor of cognitive and behavioral science, helps us explore the complex connections between mental health, sleep, physical activity and cognitive functioning.
Recorded: March 3, 2024
Aired: March 12, 2024

Photo of Rob Straughan

The Williams School: Not Just a Business School

The Liberal Arts Approach to a Career in Business
In this episode, Rob Straughan, the Crawford Family Dean of the Williams School and Professor of Business Administration, brings a wealth of knowledge and insights about the unique interdisciplinary approach of the Williams School. In this episode, we'll delve into Rob's journey at W&L, the evolution of the William Schools' distinctive approach within a liberal arts curriculum, and the exciting initiatives on the horizon, including the plans for the new Williams School building.
Recorded: February 2, 2024
Aired: February 13, 2024

Season Four

Photo of Kish Parella, Class of 1960 Professor of Ethics and Law

Real World Solutions

Connecting conversations in the classroom to real-world issues in human rights and corporate accountability
In this episode, we chat with Kish Parella, Class of 1960 Professor of Ethics and Law, about her academic research in business and human rights, how her students influence her scholarship, and why working outside the classroom strengthens her role as a professor. We also explore the importance of corporate accountability and consumer education, including how contract clauses can have a major impact on an individual’s day-to-day life.
Recorded: October 4, 2023
Aired: October 11, 2023

Tom Camden '76

Into the Vault

Exploring Washington and Lee’s Special Collections and Archives
Tom Camden, Washington and Lee’s outgoing head of Special Collections and Archives, tells us how W&L ignited his career as a historian, then takes us on a tour of what has come to be known as “the vault” to showcase some of the university’s extensive collection.
Recorded: June 22, 2023
Aired: August 8, 2023

Photo of Rob Fure, former Director of Lifelong Learning

A Good Education is a Habit of Mind

W&L’s Dedication to Lifelong Learning
In this episode, we have a conversation with Rob Fure on his last day in the office as director of W&L’s Office of Lifelong Learning. We learn how Rob came to W&L in 1977 as an English professor and created programs that evolved into what is now the Office of Lifelong Learning. We’ll also hear from Rob about the experiences that have meant the most to him and what the one area of the world he recommends everyone visit.
Recorded: June 20, 2023
Aired: June 30, 2023

Photo of Jeff Schatten, Associate Professor of Business Administration

The AI Revolution

Understanding the Past, Present, and Future of Artificial Intelligence
Jeff Schatten, associate professor of business administration, helps us to better understand the ever-changing world of artificial intelligence (AI). In our conversation, we discuss the challenges and benefits of using AI in the classroom, and how we can implement it to help students think critically, freely, and humanely.
Recorded: April 13, 2023
Aired: May 9, 2023

Photo of Michael Hill, Professor and Chair of W&L's Africana Studies program and inaugural director of W&L's DeLaney Center

Paying It Forward

Exploring Black Identity, Family, and Southern-ness in the 21st Century
In this episode, we’ll talk with Michael Hill, professor and chair of Washington and Lee’s Africana Studies program and also the inaugural director of W&L’s new DeLaney Center. We’ll explore how Michael’s background, family, and formative experiences not only shaped his path as a scholar, but how many of his experiences have prepared him for his work with the DeLaney Center.
Recorded: March 20, 2023
Aired: April 11, 2023

Photo of James Dick, W&L's Director of Outdoor Education and Recreation

The Case for Getting Outside

A Holistic W&L Experience Extends Beyond the Walls of a Classroom
In this episode, we spend time with James Dick, W&L’s director of outdoor education and recreation. We learn how James found his way to W&L and why he loves his job, the ways in which recreation intersects with W&L students’ experiences in the classroom and life, and how the outdoors can be a lifelong classroom.
Recorded: January 6, 2023
Aired: February 14, 2023

Season Three

Photo of Sascha Goluboff, director of community-based learning and professor of cultural anthropology

Making the Strange Familiar and the Familiar Strange

Examining Life through an Ethnographic Lens with Sascha Goluboff
Sascha Goluboff, Washington and Lee’s director of community-based learning and professor of cultural anthropology, recounts her experiences of stepping into the unknown through ethnography research, working in local prisons and even improv.
Recorded: October 26, 2022
Aired: December 13, 2022

Photo of Harvey Markowitz, emeritus professor of anthropology

Walks With A Noise

Exploring Identity, Quietly with Harvey Markowitz
In this episode with Harvey Markowitz, emeritus professor of anthropology, we talk about how Harry first arrived on the Rosebud Indian reservation, his relationship with the Lakota people, and conversations about identity and acknowledgement in tribal communities.
Recorded: October 10, 2022
Aired: November 3, 2022

Photo of Caleb Dance, associate professor of classics

Studied Carelessness

A Discussion of Life as Improvisation with Caleb Dance
In this conversation with Caleb Dance, associate professor of classics, we explore the impact of humor, improvisation and "sprezzatura" (studied carelessness) on his research and teaching. He also shares the story of his journey into classics, the importance of studying abroad and his musical endeavors, including the work he does with the nonprofit MIMA.
Recorded: September 23, 2022
Aired: October 11, 2022

Photo of Amanda Bower, head of the Business Administration department

Find Your People

Absolut(e) W&L
Amanda Bower, head of the Business Administration department discusses the value of studying and teaching advertising in a liberal arts setting.
Recorded: July 5, 2022
Aired: July 11, 2022

Photo of Rich Bidlack

Russia Then and Now

The Arc of a Superpower
Rich Bidlack, shares what first sparked his interest in Russia, his research over the decades, and the direction his research will take upon his retirement from Washington & Lee.
Recorded: May 24, 2022
Aired: June 14, 2022

Photo of Megan Hess, associate professor of accounting

Accountant or Detective

A Credit to Her Profession
Megan Hess, associate professor of accounting at W&L, discusses her passion for teaching, how she grew up to love accounting, and what it's like to investigate corporate fraud.
Recorded: Mar. 16, 2022
Aired: Apr. 12, 2022

Photo of associate professor of theater Stephanie Sandberg

The Story Goes

Understanding Humanity Through Theater
Associate professor of theater Stephanie Sandberg tells the story of social justice theater, and why theater and a liberal arts education go hand-in-hand.
Recorded: Feb. 17, 2022
Aired: Mar. 8, 2022

Photo of Taha Khan, assistant professor of computer science

Protect Yourself!

A Discussion About Cybersecurity with Taha Khan
Taha Khan, assistant professor of computer science at W&L, discusses his research on computer security, privacy and human-computer interaction - including cybercrime.
Recorded Jan. 11, 2022
Aired Feb. 8, 2022

Season Two

Photo of George Bent, the Sidney Gause Childress Professor of the Arts at W&L

Art on the Wall

George Bent, the Sidney Gause Childress Professor of the Arts at W&L, talks about what inspired his love of art history, why he loves teaching it, and how he has engaged students in a remarkable digital history project, "Florence As It Was," that is reconstructing the Italian city the way it appeared at the end of the 15th century.
Recorded Nov. 1, 2021
Aired Nov. 9, 2021

Photo of Nadia Ayoub, associate professor of biology at W&L

Along Came a Spider

The Allure of Arachnids with Nadia Ayoub
Nadia Ayoub, associate professor of biology at W&L, weaves a fascinating lesson about her research into the genetics of black widow spider silk – and explains the wide-reaching implications of understanding these amazing arachnids.
Recorded Sept. 23, 2021
Aired Oct. 12, 2021

Photo of Tyler Lorig, professor emeritus of cognitive and behavioral science

The Nose Knows

The Science of Smell with Tyler Lorig
Tyler Lorig, professor emeritus of cognitive and behavioral science at Washington and Lee University, has spent decades studying the olfactory system and its impact on everyday life. After listening to him explain this crucial sense, you'll never think about odor the same way again.
Recorded May 18, 2021
Aired July 13, 2021

Photo of Elizabeth Knapp '90, professor of geology and director of the Johnson Program in Leadership and Integrity

No Stone Unturned

Rocking Out with Elizabeth Knapp
Elizabeth Knapp '90, professor of geology and director of the Johnson Program in Leadership and Integrity, discusses falling in love with rocks, the landscape of Rockbridge County and how the Johnson Program transforms campus and student lives.
Recorded April 14, 2021
Aired May 11, 2021

Photo of Jan Hathorn, W&L's athletic director

She's Got Game!

A Conversation About All Things Athletic with Jan Hathorn
W&L’s first female Athletic Director discusses the important distinction between an athlete and student-athlete, the changes to make W&L’s renowned swim test more equitable, and what it’s like to be a woman in a male-dominated profession.
Recorded April 1, 2021
Aired April 13, 2021

Photo of Rob Mish, director of the Lenfest Center for the Arts

All the World's a Stage

The Love of Musical Theater with Rob Mish
The director of the Lenfest Center for the Arts shares his infectious love of musical theater and how musicals have been reinvented over time to correct their flaws. We’ll also discuss his time spent in Alumni Engagement and the joy in connecting current students with alumni.
Recorded February 24, 2021
Aired March 9, 2021

Photo of Law Professor, Brian Murchison

Can They Say That?!?

Free Speech in a Crowded Theater: A Look at the First Amendment with Law Professor, Brian Murchison
The Charles S. Rowe Professor of Law and director of the Mudd Center for Ethics, kicks off Season Two of W&L After Class: The Lifelong Learning Podcast with a timely conversation about the First Amendment and mass media.
Recorded February 2, 2021
Aired February 10, 2021

Season One

Photo of Assistant Professor of Mathematics Sybil Prince Nelson ‘01

When You're a Statistical Improbability

Thinking Creatively about Life and the Mathematics within it with Sybil Prince Nelson
Join us for a truly unique conversation with Assistant Professor of Mathematics Sybil Prince Nelson (‘01). Together, we discuss her path through W&L as a Math and Music major; her current careers as a statistician, author and professor; and why she dubbed herself a "statistic improbability."
Recorded October 26, 2020
Aired November 10, 2020

Photo of associate professor of art history, Elliott King

Let's Get Real… About Surrealism

A Discussion of Dali, Curating and Surrealism's Lasting Impact with Elliott King
The associate professor of art history dives into the subconscious world of Surrealism, unpacking the work of Dali and explaining just how important his long-lasting career was. Professor King also shares how his journey with Dali and other Surrealist artists has deepened through his curatorial work and his courses with students.
Recorded October 12, 2020
Aired October 27, 2020

Photo of Mark Rush, Waxberg Professor of Politics and Law and Director of W&L’s Center for International Education

Not to Get Political But ...

Things Get Political with Mark Rush
The Waxberg Professor of Politics and Law and Director of W&L’s Center for International Education joins the podcast to discuss the importance of understanding our political system ahead of the 2020 election (and any election). With host Ruth Candler, Professor Rush also explores his career in international education, from W&L to Dubai and beyond.
Recorded September 29, 2020
Aired October 13, 2020

Photo of Associate Professor of History Mikki Brock

Which Witch?

A Deep Dive into Witches and Devils Throughout History with Mikki Brock
Associate Professor of History Mikki Brock talks witches, witch hunts, the Devil, and the "why" behind them in our latest episode, out just in time for you to enjoy it with a fall chill in the air. With Halloween just around the corner, listen at your own risk...
Recorded September 17, 2020
Aired September 29, 2020

Photo of Assistant Professor of Ethics and Poverty Studies and Adjunct Professor of Law Howard Pickett

Real Opportunity for All

An Inside Look at Poverty and Its Many Causes with Howard Pickett
The Director of the Shepherd Program, Assistant Professor of Ethics and Poverty Studies and Adjunct Professor of Law talks with us about poverty in America. In this episode, Pickett focuses not only on what "poverty" means but also on how we can creatively look at issues surrounding poverty and people affected by it.
Recorded August 11, 2020
Aired September 15, 2020

Photo of Julie Woodzicka, Abigail Grigsby Urquhart Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Science

Your Implicit Bias is Showing...

Talking Candidly About Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination with Julie Woodzicka
The Abigail Grigsby Urquhart Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Science explains concepts like stereotyping and bias. More importantly, Professor Woodzicka illustrates the impact of these human behaviors. Guests will also hear from W&L student Enuma Anekwe-Desince '22 and alumna Murray Shortall '03.
Recorded August 6, 2020
Aired September 1, 2020

Photo of Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Science, Karla Murdock

The Pursuit of Happiness

Finding Fulfillment with Karla Murdock
Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Science, Karla Murdock, teaches us about the most important thing in life: happiness. From marriage "advice" to smartphone technology, Karla provides insight into her research and the research of other scientists who have studied happiness, positive and negative affect and much more.
Recorded June 29, 2020
Aired August 18, 2020

Photo of Janet Ikeda, professor of Japanese

Enter the Clearing the Mind Abode

A Taste of Tea with Janet Ikeda
The professor of Japanese sheds light on the importance of Japanese tea culture and how this peaceful yet precise process can prepare students (and just about anyone) for the next step in their lives. A fresh cup of tea is suggested to accompany this podcast!
Recorded July 2, 2020
Aired August 4, 2020

Photo of biology professor Bill Hamilton

Beer, Bacteria and Bison

A Meeting of Microbial Minds with Bill Hamilton
The biology professor regales us with anecdotes from his Spring Term trips to Yellowstone, his long history as a brewmaster in Lexington, and how he’s helping make W&L a more sustainable campus. You’ll learn more about the microbes that make your beer – and your garden – delicious.
Recorded May 19, 2020
Aired July 21, 2020

Photo of W&L Law’s Sydney and Frances Lewis Professor of Law, Johanna Bond

The New Social (Justice) Network

A Conversation about Justice with Johanna Bond
W&L Law’s Sydney and Frances Lewis Professor of Law dives into the world of human rights, highlighting the justice reforms achieved by nonprofits with which she works. She explains some of the common threads linking violence against women around the world, how social justice compares to other forms of justice, and what work needs to be done to help women and families from the U.S. to Uganda, as well as how we can all get involved.
Recorded May 15, 2020
Aired July 7, 2020

Photo of Marc Conner, professor of English

Ralph Ellison Walks into a Jazz Bar

A Literary Chat with Marc Conner
The university provost and Jo and James Ballengee Professor of English talks Ralph Ellison and the writer’s views on America’s complex history. Conner discusses Ellison scholarship at W&L, how he came to co-edit a book of his letters, and how Ellison’s personality emerges in the thousands of his letters preserved in the Library of Congress.
Recorded March 12, 2020
Aired June 23, 2020

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Our Team

After Class is a collaboration of Lifelong Learning, Alumni Engagement and University Communications.

Ruth Candler
Ruth Candler

Ruth Candler

Associate Director of Lifelong Learning; Host, Executive Producer for W&L After Class Podcast

Ruth joined Washington and Lee’s Lifelong Learning team in April 2019. Her inquisitive nature and love of learning made her the perfect choice for launching and hosting After Class. Ruth also manages W&L’s educational travel program and enjoys the camaraderie of experiencing new places with her fellow travelers. When she is not on campus, she enjoys gardening, hiking, and spending time with her family.

Jim Goodwin
Jim Goodwin

Jim Goodwin

Digital Media Producer

Jim Goodwin serves as the Senior Digital Media Producer for the office of Communications and Public Affairs. He has been producing After Class since 2020. In addition to being a podcast enthusiast himself, he also curates a blog called Christmas Underground about underground Christmas music.

Christmas Underground

Kelsey Goodwin
Kelsey Goodwin

Kelsey Goodwin


Kelsey is a writer for W&L’s Office of Communications and Public Affairs and a member of the After Class podcast team. Kelsey spent 12 years in Student Affairs at W&L, most recently serving as Director of Student Activities. In her spare time she is a traveler, yoga instructor, and parent.

Laura Lemon
Laura Lemon

Laura Lemon


Laura is assistant university editor within W&L Office of Communications and Public Affairs and joined the After Class podcast team in 2024. She graduated from W&L in 2016 as an art history and communications double major and has since traveled the globe with her family and Lifelong Learning (her favorite experience being to Greeland’s Ilulissat Icefjord). In her spare time, she enjoys competing her horse and giving her dog belly rubs—and in the remaining hours outside of that, she loves hiking, kayaking, biking and driving on road trips.

Eric Owsley
Eric Owsley

Eric Owsley

Director of Admissions and Financial Aid Communications; Strategic Advisor for W&L After Class Podcast

Eric Owsley is the Director of Communications for Admissions and Financial Aid. A 2001 graduate of W&L, Eric has been a member of the W&L staff since graduation in various capacities in Communications, University Advancement, and IT. Eric enjoys podcasts that highlight the remarkable natures of things often overlooked – from the lives of everyday Americans to the intricacies of the human brain to almost anything that has to do with plants, trees, and fungi.

Drewry Sackett
Drewry Sackett

Drewry Sackett

Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs; Strategic Advisor for W&L After Class Podcast

Jim Goodwin
Kelsey Goodwin
Laura Lemon
Eric Owsley
Drewry Sackett
Ruth Candler

Art Goldsmith chatting with a student

Art Goldsmith chatting with a student

After Class

The learning doesn’t end when the class bell rings.

And our work doesn’t stop when you finish listening. Have an idea for a future episode of After Class or want to share feedback on a recent episode?