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

W&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 Four

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact Us

Office of Lifelong Learning
Washington and Lee University
204 W Washington Street
Lexington, Virginia 24450

Our Team

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

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

After Class
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?