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. 

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KC Currents
4:41 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Artist Paul Anthony Smith Mines History Of His Native Jamaica

Paul Anthony Smith, Market, 2013, unique picotage and spray paint on color print
courtesy of Joshua Ferdinand

Artist Paul Anthony Smith is riding the wave of early success. Just a few years after graduating from the Kansas City Art Institute, Smith was invited to do a one –person show at the ZieherSmith Gallery in New York.   Recently, Smith was listed by the Huffington Post as one of America’s top 30 black artists under 40. His paintings take a fresh look at the lives of everyday people in his home country of Jamaica.  

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Central Standard
5:09 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Four Strategies For Dealing With Bad Bosses

Credit Victor1588 / Flickr - CC

A boss can make or break a job. Lack of manager training, promoting for the wrong reasons, and even personal character flaws have resulted in multiple "bad bosses" making the work environment for many stressful, or even toxic. According to an American Psychological Association survey, three-fourths of Americans suffer from workplace stress. And that stress can take a toll.

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KC Currents
1:18 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

KC Charter Review, Sustainable Neighborhoods, Cheerleading Gym

Sisters Amber Finley and Marie Abed pose in front of this outer space themed Art Squad alleyway mural.
Credit Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

Citizen Group Reviews KC Government Charter

Kansas City is known as a “weak mayor” town. That’s no slight on Mayor Sly James, it’s the way the city charter sets up our government, where the mayor is a glorified city council member, and the city manager really runs the town. Since June, citizens in the Charter Review Commission has been meeting to make recommendations to revise the charter. Two major issues are the role of the mayor and the composition of the city council.  

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KC Currents
10:00 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Grandview Cheerleading Gym Empowers African-American Girls

The Nash Jem All-Star Elite girls practice in their facility on Grandview Road.
Credit Susan B. Wilson / KCUR

According to the National Cheerleading Association, more than 3 million Americans participate in the sport. But cheerleading is no longer just about pom-poms and whipping crowd spirit into a frenzy, it has evolved into a bona fide sport where many athletes — as they are now considered — train year-round.

These athletes work on the strength, balance and gymnastic skills they need to stand out and win competitions. I recently visited a gym in Grandview where teaching girl power and the sport of cheerleading go hand in hand.

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KC Currents
4:53 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Coming Out In College, Forte Records, Steamboat Arabia

Photo of Marva Whitney used by permission of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Libraries, Dr. Kenneth J. LaBudde Department of Special Collections.
Credit UMKC LaBudde Special Collections
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KC Currents
12:58 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Uzazi Village, Self-Realization Fellowship, Medicine Museum

Sherry Payne, Executive Director of Uzazi Village, works to address infant and maternal health inequalities, especially in Kansas City's African-American community.
Credit Monica Sandreczki / KCUR
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KC Currents
4:44 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

4 Things You Should Know About The KCI Decision

Terminals B and C at KCI. One possible plan is to combine all of the terminals into a single one.
Julie Denesha KCUR

Dave Helling of the Kansas City Star has been covering the potential overhaul of KCI. KCUR’s Susan Wilson sat down with Helling and had these four takeaways:

1. Taxpayers will not bear the weight of the $1.2 billion price tag.

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KC Currents
4:37 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

KCPS Achievement, Black Israelites, Kosher BBQ

Travelers waiting for a flight at KCI.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

 

Kansas City School District Celebrates Good Evaluation

On Friday morning at Paseo Academy, Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Stephen Green made a big announcement about the district's accreditation status.  It had leaped more than 40 points in the new state assessment system. KCUR’s Maria Carter was there and talked to us about what happened.

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KC Currents
12:38 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Mo. Voter Fraud, Operation Breakthrough, KC Creative Couples

Zhou Long and Chen Yi have taught for more than a decade at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance in Kansas City, Mo.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR
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Central Standard
6:24 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

The Rewards And Challenges Of Breastfeeding

Credit MuddyBootsPhotos / Flickr -- Creative Commons

The CDC has good news, 76.5 percent of U.S. infants start out being breastfed. Yet, only about 27 percent of mothers breastfeed for the recommended twelve month period.

What barriers are keeping women from breastfeeding? What medicines, foods, and environments should a breastfeeding mother avoid ? And what are the positive health benefits of breastfeeding to the mother and newborn?

We discuss this and look at the changing laws that will impact breastfeeding mothers, and look at the ins and outs of breastfeeding.

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KC Currents
1:59 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Kansas City Museum, Oz Memorabilia, KC Creative Couples

The Kansas City Museum has been the subject of controversy since Union Station management fired the museum director.
Credit Susan B. Wilson / KCUR

Union Station Issues Statement On Museum Agreement With City

It came as a shock to a lot of people when Kansas City Museum director Christopher Leitch was let go last month by the management of Union Station. The two institutions merged back in 2000, but have had a rocky relationship ever since.  And now it’s really unclear what the future will be for both institutions.  KCUR arts reporter Laura Spencer has been following the fall-out from the departure of the museum’s director.

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KC Currents
1:06 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Sexual Assault, Rape Culture And Missouri State Law

The Maryville rape case leaves us with a lot of questions – the main one being: why was the case dropped? And, perhaps more importantly, why do similar cases keep happening all over the country? 

For a better understanding of the issue, KC Currents' Susan Wilson talked with Dr. Kimberly Lonsway, Director of Research at End Violence Against Women International.

INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS:

On myths surrounding rape and sexual assault:

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KC Currents
5:05 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Diocese Monitors Abuse, Tech-y Genealogy, KC Creative Couples

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City, Mo. The Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese is the first diocese in the US to employ an ombudsman.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR
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KC Currents
4:42 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Women In Soccer, Paseo YMCA, KC Creative Couples

Credit Sangeeta Shastry / KCUR

President Obama Visits UCM, Lauds Missouri College Cost Cut Program

A western Missouri-based educational program was the lure to bring President Obama to speak in Warrensburg last week. The President said so, directly, in his address at the University of Central Missouri. Hear from some originators of what's known as the Missouri Innovation Campus.

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KC Currents
4:42 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

New Book Explores Stories Of 'Extraordinary Black Missourians'

Written histories of Missouri (and arguably, all states) often overlook the contributions of African Americans, but a new book by St. Louis-based authors John and Sylvia Wright attempts to fill in the gaps.

Extraordinary Black Missourians: Pioneers, Leaders, Performers, Athletes and Other Notables Who’ve Made History  includes stories about well-known Missourians like Tina Turner, Dred Scott, and Langston Hughes, but also includes untold stories of little-known African Americans.

Here are a few stories from the book, as told by the Wrights.

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Central Standard
6:00 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Demystifying Nudists

Credit Steven2358 / Flickr -- Creative Commons

We're born naked, but somewhere along the way we adopt cultural practicality and shame with our bare bodies in public. There are a number of misconceptions about people who find liberation and fulfillment in sharing space naked with others.  Guests Nicky Hoffman, Co-Owner of The Naturist Society and editor of N Magazine as well as Scot, a member of the  Heartland Naturist, join Central Standard to help explore these questions and give us a more complete picture of nudists and their lifestyle.

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Central Standard
6:00 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Being Biracial-Bridging Two Worlds

Credit Nastassia Davis / Flickr -- Creative Commons

According to the US census, the number of people who consider themselves multiracial has grown by 32% over the past decade. Yet America’s troubled racial past and complicated attitudes about race can pose challenges for biracial families and children. Where does a biracial person fit in? What kind of identity crisis can they face? And what should parents think of when raising a biracial child? On the other hand, being from two or more cultures can be a rich and rewarding experience.

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KC Currents
1:56 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Paddlefish Caviar, Frida & Diego, Rural Librarian

A sample of caviar produced by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
Credit Ryan Schuessler / KCUR

KC Regional Health Assessment Finds Rising Rates of Obesity, Poverty

Since 2000, poverty in the metro area has increased by 75 percent. A quarter of the population is currently uninsured or on Medicaid.  And the number of elderly people in the area will double in the next three decades. Those are just a few of findings in a new regional health assessment produced by the Mid-America Regional Council.

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KC Currents
12:17 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Treece, Kan., Fast Pitch Softball, Grand Marquis

Credit Zack Lewandowski / KCUR

Kansas City International Airport Weighs Proposed Changes

Kansas City International Airport is looking at a potentially major change: tearing down the current three terminals and moving to a single, new terminal on the site of the current terminal A. The one terminal idea came to a head in 2008 when the Master Plan called for a new, central terminal south of the current airport. That came just four years after the airport wrapped up nearly $260 million in renovations.

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KC Currents
3:59 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Abortion Lawsuit, Sprint Deal, Gordon Parks School

Credit Payne Roberts / KCUR

Planned Parenthood Sues Kan. Over Free Speech Violation

This month, two different lawsuits were filed in Kansas over a new state abortion law. But the lawsuit that Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri filed on June 20 isn’t about the freedom to perform abortions. It’s about freedom of speech. 

4 Things You Should Know About The Sprint-SoftBank Deal

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KC Currents
11:36 am
Mon July 1, 2013

4 Things You Should Know About The Sprint-SoftBank Deal

Reporter Mark Davis covers Sprint and the wireless industry for the Kansas City Star. He sat down with KCUR's Susan Wilson to discuss the details of the Sprint-SoftBank deal, and what it means for Sprint customers and the Kansas City area at large.

Here are four major takeaways from the interview:

1. Sprint customers should see better service

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KC Currents
2:04 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

KC Shopping, Wiccans on Solstice, Bloodstone

Credit Ryan Schuessler / KCUR

The show for June 23, 2013. Click "Listen" to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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KC Currents
11:06 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Bloodstone Band Keeps 'Natural High' Going

They started out as a high school band called The Sinceres in the 60’s, but the Kansas City-bred band Bloodstone has never stopped performing after all these years.

Rev. Charles Love was one of the founding members of the band in 1962, when a group of friends at Central High in Kansas City started performing at school talent shows. Since then, they have performed with the likes of Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield and Elton John.

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KC Currents
4:50 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Downtown Resurrection, Harvey Girls, Audio Theater Festival

Harvey Girls waitressed at restaurants along the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroads. Many of these women transitioned to other careers after WWII. Opal Jaquess, on the far right side of the first row, is interviewed in the film, Opportunity Bound.
Credit Courtesy of Opal Jaquess

The show for June 16, 2013. Click "Listen" to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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KC Currents
4:03 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

New Documentary Tells Harvey Girls Story

Opal Jaquess, on the far right side of the first row, is interviewed in the film, Opportunity Bound.
Credit Courtesy of Opal Jaquess

America’s tales about taming the Wild West rarely include women. But in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, more than 100,000 pioneering young women left home to work as waitresses in restaurants located on train platforms along the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway. 

They were called “Harvey Girls” because they worked in the Harvey House restaurant chain started by Leavenworth entrepreneur Fred Harvey. These women  later played an important role in World War II and helped transform society’s view of women’s work. 

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KC Currents
11:15 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Right To Farm, Estate Sale Photos, Betse Ellis

Credit Gloria Baker Feinstein

The show for June 9, 2013. Click "Listen" to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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KC Currents
10:46 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Spelling Bee Sisters, Streetcar Update, Blues Singer Cassie Taylor

Vanya Shivashankar, right, talks with older sister Kavya after the final round of the 2013 Scripps national Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., on May 30. Kavya, who helped coach Vanya for this year's competition, won the Bee in 2009.
Credit Credit Mark Bowen / Scripps National Spelling Bee

The show for June 2, 2013. Click "Listen" to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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KC Currents
1:17 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Blues Musician Cassie Taylor Settles Down In Kansas City

Blues musician Cassie Taylor recently moved to Kansas City, where she has several shows scheduled for this summer. Her new album is called 'Out of My Mind.'
Credit Sam Frickleton / Shore Fire Media

For the past decade, blues singer and bassist Cassie Taylor has made her home on the road. At age sixteen, she started touring with her father, bluesman Otis Taylor, and she started her own solo career a few years after that.

While Taylor has no plans to slow down, the 26-year-old veteran is settling down a bit. She was recently married and moved to the Kansas City area. Some of the true-life stories of the blues life and love lost and found are the subjects of her new CD, called Out of My Mind.

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