Susan B. Wilson

Host of KC Currents

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Susan admits that her “first love” was radio, being an avid listener since childhood.  However, she spent much of her career in mental health, healthcare administration, and sports psychology (Susan holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Bloch School of Business at UMKC.)  In the meantime, Wilson satisfied her journalistic cravings by doing public speaking, providing “expert” interviews for local television, and being a guest commentator/contributor to KPRS’s morning drive time show and the teen talk show “Generation Rap.”

Wilson has a passion for people and wide ranging interests in world cultures, sports, the arts, science and politics.  She serves as the Associate Dean at the UMKC School of Medicine. She is also a treating clinician and consultant to the National Football League. A mother of two, in her free time Wilson enjoys gardening, traveling, drawing and live music. Wilson is a member of Kansas City Association of Black Journalists, the American Psychological Association and Delta Sigma Theta, a national public service sorority. 

Ways To Connect

Courtesy / Greg Vranicar

“Going to Kansas City” is a series that shares the personal stories of how people came to Kansas City — and why they stayed.

Greg Vranicar grew up in a small town in Nebraska and went to college in Iowa. He currently works in Kansas City, Mo., as a planned giving director for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. Before that, he worked as a lawyer for Richard’s-Gebaur Air Force Base.

Courtesy / Natalie Skadra

Eds note: This is the first in an ongoing series called “Going to Kansas City” in which we share the personal stories of how people came to Kansas City — and why they stayed.

"I don't think it really hit me until the day we left," says Natalie Skadra of her move from Durham, N.C., to Kansas City in 2006. "I cried. Like tears that I don't normally cry. It was a very difficult, painful move."

But things have changed since that day more than seven years ago.

Photoguyinmo / Flickr-CC

We want to know what brought you to Kansas City, and what made you stay. Was it the relatively low cost of living? The arts scene? Was it the recession-proof economy? Or perhaps the barbeque? 

To collect these stories, KCUR is launching a new series called, Going To Kansas City

To kick off the series, I explore the idea of Kansas City as a “destination in song” with music historian Chuck Haddix. In the coming weeks we will profile Kansas Citians and share their stories about why they came here, and what made them stay.

courtesy flickr user AgriLife Today / Creative Commons

Tax season is upon us, so it's time to rummage through those shoe boxes of old receipts, dig up W-2 forms and file your 2013 return.

The Cash Money Crew is here to guide you through the process, including changes to be aware of and tips for a smoother tax return season in 2014. Later, we discuss the changing realities of retirement and how to prepare for it.

Guests:

Some watch the Super Bowl for the football. Others watch it for the multi-million dollar advertisements. Today we talk about the iconic cultural symbols presented in between the action on the field. Which ads resonated with audiences and which missed the mark?

Guests:

  • John January, SVP Executive Creative Director
  • J. Anthony Snorgrass, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Advertising, Branding and Strategic Media at Avila University
  • Nicole Melton, producer at Bic Media

As a job hunter, we all want that great salary that pays us what we’re worth. But sometimes that means doing things most of us are uncomfortable with, like negotiating with your boss.

A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research indicates that women make up only 2.5 percent of the nation’s highest salaries, in part because they often avoid negotiating for better pay.

Additionally, company budgets can limit what employers actually offer, and negotiating too aggressively can actually backfire. 

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States. The Cash Money Crew is here to discuss what you should do in case your identity is stolen. Also, the Crew will cover how to manage your credit whether it's good, bad or even nonexistent. 

Guests: 

Laura Spencer / KCUR

What Does The Kansas City Dialect Sound Like?

There is a general myth that Midwesterners, or even Kansas Citians specifically, speak without an accent. But that is not the case. Linguistic distinctions in Midland speech exist, and have been changing, perhaps without us even noticing, over the past 50 years.

TALK: Understanding Regional Accents

Courtesy of Mariachi Estrella

Food Hubs Try To Grow Local Farms

Restaurants across the country have jumped on the local food bandwagon. They’re trying to source more of their produce from nearby farms, but it's not easy. As a potential solution, “food hubs” are popping up across the country. These food processing and distribution centers make it easier for restaurants, grocery stores and others to buy local food.

A Look At The Food Hub Trend In Kansas City

Courtesy of Phil Dixon

In the late 1940s and early 50’s, Kansas City, Kan., native Tommy Campbell became the world’s number-two-ranked lightweight fighter. He won almost as many fights as Muhammad Ali, but his boxing career was cut short when he stood up against mob-controlled promoters and boxing matchmakers.

Author Phil Dixon, tells Campbell's story in his upcoming book Tommy Campbell: A Boxing Bout with the Mob.

Courtesy of Phil Dixon

Hallmark Cookie Exchang Feeds Artistic Community

Since the mid-1960's, Hallmark employees, past and present, and their spouses, have gathered each year - not for an exchange of greeting cards, but of cookies. KCUR’s Julie Denesha stopped by this year’s cookie exchange to bring us this audio postcard.

As Greeting Card Sales Decline, What Is The Future Of Hallmark?

Courtesy / Shane Evans

Kansas City author and illustrator, Shane Evans, will be at two events this weekend showcasing his new children's book and film, Chocolate Me!.

Chocolate Me! is a collaboration with actor and model, Taye Diggs, known for his roles in the original Broadway production of Rent and the movie How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Although Diggs often plays the hunk on the silver screen, as a kid he was teased for his looks.

The mystery and crime genre used to be largely a male-dominated world, but now thanks to groups like Sisters in Crime, women have found their inner sinister voice.

Host Susan Wilson discusses the world of female mystery writers and their growing support network.

Guest:

  • Linda Rodriguez, President of the Border Crimes Chapter of the Sisters in Crime

Jail time is frequently the end result for rapists and child molesters. However, groups like the Larned State Hospital feel that sex offenders are often victims of abuse  and need outside help.

Treatment programs have been designed to reduce the risk of re-offending, but does treatment work well enough to keep communities safe? What if a sex offender cannot be rehabilitated? Should we keep them “in treatment” forever even after their jail term has expired?

On Monday's Central Standard, host Susan Wilson examines the complicated world of sex offender justice.

Heather Cowper / Flickr - CC

General Manager, Robert Leyva, talks about the opening of luxury hotel, Hotel Sorella, job creation, and the development of the West Edge area. 

maplegirlie / Flickr - CC

Many of the communities around Kansas City have passed into law what some call "bully breed bans"—restrictions on specific breeds thought to be dangerous, like pit bulls and rottweilers. Kansas City does not have any bans, but the city does require all pit bulls to be spayed or neutered.

The following area communities do have pit bull bans:

• Independence, Mo.
• Leawood, Kan.
• Liberty, Mo.
• Marion, Kan.
• Overland Park, Kan.
• Platte City, Mo.
• Prairie Village, Kan.
• Roeland Park, Kan.
• Shawnee, Kan.

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media / KCUR

Chasing The American Dream In Rural Kansas And Missouri

For many generations, meatpacking plants in Kansas City were a place where immigrants found a foothold in U.S. society. Now, these plants have moved to rural areas, and the children of immigrant and refugee workers face more challenges in getting an education and pursuing their dreams. Harvest Public Media asked young people in Noel, Mo. and Garden City, Kan. about their aspirations.

Shane Linden / P.S. Linden Photography

How Haunted Houses Helped Develop The West Bottoms

In the weeks leading up to Halloween, thousands of people flocked to the historic West Bottoms neighborhood to tour Kansas City’s haunted houses. And while these houses are known as some of the oldest and most terrifying attractions in the country, you might not know that they’ve also been major contributors to the development of the former stockyards district. But not everyone thinks they should be part of the future of the West Bottoms.

Susan B. Wilson / KCUR

Earlier this month zombies walked the streets of Kansas City for the annual Kansas City Zombie Walk, a charity event that collects food for the hungry and homeless. But one zombie at the event stood out from the others - the Zombie Queen.

The Zombie Queen is played by Hyde Park resident and Zombie Walk president, Peige Turner. For the event Turner is in full zombie garb, and she walks on stilts, grabbing the attention of kids and adults alike.

The important business of becoming the Zombie Queen

ITU/Rowan Farrell / Flickr--CC

Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, are increasing their economic presence and power. Companies are investing in research to understand this group, which makes up 25 percent of the U.S. population. There might be a lot we still don't know about this significant segment of society, but according to our experts, here's what we do know:

Herkie / Flickr--CC

Boulevard Brewery grew from humble beginnings to be ranked 12th in the nation for craft beer companies. The Kansas City favorite announced October 17 that it had been sold to a 142-year old Belgian company called Duvel Moortgat Brewery.

When Boulevard Brewery founder John McDonald started his micro-brewery 24 years ago, he wasn't even thinking of an exit plan. His original business plan included 7,000 barrels per year and seven employees. He now produces 190,000 barrels and has 125 employees.

Esther Honig / KCUR

Bistate Conversation About Youth Mental Health

Earlier this year, President Barack Obama called for a national conversation on mental health. Kansas City was chosen as one of ten cities to host a dialog in a program called Creating Community Solutions. On Saturday,  September 21,  two mayors and some 360 participants spent the day discussing how to improve mental health in metro Kansas City, particularly among young people. Hear voices of young people at the event.

NIAID / Flickr - CC

The Center for Disease Control estimates that more than a million people are living with HIV in the U.S. In spite of widespread education and prevention efforts, there has been little change in the number of new HIV infections. The good news: new treatments have allowed people with HIV to live a normal lifespan with reduced risk of transmitting the disease to others. But social stigma and the psychological and economic impact of HIV/AIDS still take a toll on those diagnosed with the disease.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

How One Kansas City Public School Is Improving Scores And Making Change

Visit James Elementary School, in Kansas City's historic Northeast neighborhood, which has seen substantial improvement in student test scores. So much so that the school recently landed on Missouri’s list of most-improved low-income schools. 

The Kansas City Star recently changed the way visitors to their website can comment on stories. Commentors must now login to the system using a Facebook account, and their comments will be displayed using the name and photograph attached to that account.

"Facebook has a vested interest in making sure that the people using Facebook are real people," says Derek Donovan, public editor at the Kansas City Star. "This site is, or at least tries to be aggressive about weeding out fake accounts and also spamming accounts."

What Is Sex Addiction?

Oct 9, 2013
Lynda Sanchez / Flickr - CC

Now more than ever, our society seems preoccupied with sex. Sexting and twerking are a part of our lexicon. Whether we’re talking about television, popular music or movies, sexual images and innuendo are everywhere. And access to pornography is as easy as a click of a mouse for the over 40 million people who log into porn websites. Given the highly sexualized society we live in, can a person really become addicted to sex? And at what point does sex become an unhealthy addiction—a bad habit that interferes with work, relationships and mental health?

Susan B. Wilson / KCUR

Do you ever see something that catches your eye while you're walking or driving around town? Something that makes you turn you head in wonder as you pass by? 

I asked that question every time I drove past a sprawling, ornately decorated property in South Kansas City’s Red Bridge neighborhood. Finally, I stopped and met the owner who takes home and garden to a whole new level.

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