U of M Bicentennial Celebration and Sustainability Goals

The University of Michigan’s Bicentennial Celebration and the introduction of the new School for Environment and Sustainability, both occurring this weekend got the team at It’s Hot In Here feeling reflective. How have we experienced sustainability in our respective times here? What things are most promising? Where does the University fall short?

Guest Douglas Ham (Left), Heena, Ben, Harry, and DJ Tex (Front and Center)

This week’s guest, Doug Ham, joined hosts Harry Rice, Bean Sonnega, and Heena Singh for an engaging and fruitful, free-flowing conversation on his experience with the Michigan Medical System and its sustainability goals. Doug holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Anthropology, and is currently enrolled in the accelerated Bachelor’s of Nursing program at the University of Michigan. In this episode he spoke on issues such as the amount of disposable waste products generated by the hospital system, as well as views on interdisciplinary involvement between the medical field and other disciplines at the university. Yet, one of his best contributions was offering the perspective of an outsider looking in to the newly launch School for Environment and Sustainability, and causing some of us to address the difficulty in implementing such a lofty goal for our future.

The new school has made a point of focusing on involving experts from across campus such as those at the Ford School of Public Policy and the Ross School of Business. The Hot in Here panel all agreed that this interdisciplinary work will be the catalyst for positive change as we look to the University of Michigan to take the lead towards a more sustainable future.

All of this and more was nicely accompanied by music from Ann Arborites Sufjan Stevens and, past Michigan Wolverine, Iggy Pop. Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of It’s Hot In Here. We look forward to many more conversations with you.




Roustabout Theatre Troupe: Dark Ride Radio Hour

On this eerie Friday the 13th in the WCBN-FM studio, Roustabout Theatre’s Joe Zettelmaier and Anna Simmons join host Ben Sonnega for a chat about the troupe’s latest production, the hilarious and haunting Dark Ride Radio Hour.

Host Ben Sonnega, Anna Simmons, and Joe Zettelmaier

Joseph Zettelmaier is executive director of Roustabout Theatre and is an award-winning playwright with over 20 professional productions to his name. He’s taught at Eastern Michigan University for over a decade and been produced locally and internationally. Joseph Albright is a professional actor and director, appearing both on stage and on screen. He’s also been the Theatre Director at Ypsilanti’s Corner Health Center for many years. Anna is managing director for Roustabout and currently works at the University Musical Society.

Joe and Anna came to discuss not only the origins of the theatre troupe and their latest spooky endeavor, but all things Halloween (Joe’s undeniably favorite holiday) including classic Halloween rock tunes, favorite costumes, raffle prizes to be won at the live show, and much more!

Fashioned as a golden-era radio show, including live Foley sound effects, the Dark Ride Radio Hour will feature four new horrifying radio scripts by Joseph Zettelmaier, and TWO opportunities to catch the performance! The Dark Ride Radio Hour is an immersive experience, just in time for the Halloween season. Close your eyes to image the action or watch the way these gruesome sounds are made!

Performances will take place on October 14th at Bona Sera in Ypsilanti AND on October 21st at the Trinity House in Livonia, making this the very first Roustabout event to “roust” in and of itself! Go online and buy your tickets now as they are going fast!

Get in the Halloween spirit with Roustabout Theatre on this week’s episode of It’s Hot In Here.



EcoQuest: Stories From a Semester Abroad in New Zealand

When asked to describe an average day of class at the EcoQuest study abroad program, our guests replied, “there’s  no such thing.”

Jessa at Whangurai Falls

This week on It’s Hot, adventurers   Lauren Vesprani and Jessa Webber joined host Ben Sonnega live on air to share  one of the most exciting abroad experiences an undergraduate student could have.

Jessa is a senior studying Environmental Policy with a minor in Law, Justice, and Social Change, and Lauren is a senior studying EEB, evolutionary anthropology, and Program in the Environment. Last winter, both of them attended EcoQuest, a environmental and field-based study abroad program in New Zealand. The program runs in partnership with the University of New Hampshire and invites college students from the United States  to join in an immersive semester of ecological science studies based around the ecosystems and communities in New Zealand.

Beach at the EcoQuest Campus in Whakatiwai

Lauren and Jessa share stories of everything from deep water diving in coral reefs, to direct encounters with leading New Zealand government officials (and even a run-in with hypothermia! Listen in for more on why this experience-based learning environment is such a wild success,  plus music from New Zealand artist Pacific Curls, as well as Jack Johnson and Bob Dylan. What does adventure mean to you, Hot listeners, and do you agree most of us learn best when we live the lessons?