Exploring the Potential of Professors FM: A Conversation with Robert Li

Exploring the Potential of Professors FM: A Conversation with Robert Li
by
Shelby Moquin
on
July 5, 2024
Podcast

About the Blog

In the latest episode of The Higher Ed Geek Podcast, host Dustin Ramsdell welcomes back a returning guest, Robert Li, a prominent figure in higher education content creation. Robert, who is deeply entrenched in the higher education podcasting world, shares his journey and the innovative steps he's taking with his latest venture, Professors FM. This episode dives into the significance of engaging faculty in public scholarship and the transformative power of podcasting in amplifying the valuable work being done in higher education.

The Genesis of Professors FM

Robert Li, co-founder of University FM, which is a dedicated higher education podcast agency, introduces his new initiative, Professors FM. This podcast network exclusively features shows hosted by scholars, including professors, lecturers, and researchers. Unlike traditional academic communication, these podcasts aim to make research accessible and engaging for the general public.

Robert's inspiration for Professors FM traces back to his days at the University of Michigan's radio station, WCBN 88.3 FM, where he honed his skills in audio storytelling. Recognizing the untapped potential in higher education storytelling, Robert, along with his brother Sean, sought to create a platform that could bring impactful academic stories to a broader audience. The aim is not just to communicate research but to make it relatable and actionable for everyday life.

Addressing Unmet Needs in Academia

Professors FM was born out of the recognition of two unmet needs. Firstly, many scholars desire to publicize their research and engage with a wider audience but often lack the necessary support and bandwidth from their institutions. University FM steps in to fill this gap by providing production assistance, consulting, and even developing podcast training programs in collaboration with institutions like Emory University's Public Scholarship Center.

Secondly, there is a growing demand among the general public for credible, expert-backed information. While many sources of information exist, they are often fragmented and hard to access. Professors FM aims to be the go-to resource for anyone seeking well-informed, research-based insights directly from scholars. This initiative not only benefits the scholars in reaching a broader audience but also addresses the public's need for trustworthy and relevant information.

Overcoming Challenges and Inspiring Change

The journey to making Professors FM a reality is not without its challenges. One significant hurdle is helping scholars, who may not be natural communicators, to effectively convey their research in a podcast format. Robert emphasizes the importance of training and practice, offering guidance on refining key messages and breaking down complex concepts into simpler terms. This support system is crucial in helping scholars gain confidence and proficiency in public communication.

Moreover, the initiative seeks to align with the strategic goals of faculty heads, research directors, and media relations teams within institutions. By making it easier for scholars to engage in podcasting, Professors FM hopes to foster a culture of public scholarship that not only highlights the value of academic research but also inspires thoughtful discussions and applications in everyday life.

The Broader Impact of Professors FM

As the conversation winds down, Robert expresses his excitement about the potential of Professors FM. The initiative is institution-agnostic, welcoming scholars from all types of institutions and backgrounds. This inclusivity ensures a rich diversity of perspectives and knowledge, creating a centralized source for high-quality, research-based content.

Robert envisions Professors FM as a blend of the breadth of Wikipedia and the depth of a TED Talk, offering listeners a platform to explore interconnected areas of knowledge. This holistic approach not only enriches individual lives but also elevates the public's understanding and appreciation of academic research.

In conclusion, Professors FM represents a bold step forward in public scholarship, leveraging the power of podcasting to bridge the gap between academia and the general public. By making research more accessible, engaging, and actionable, this initiative has the potential to transform how we perceive and interact with academic knowledge.

Key Takeaways:
  • Professors FM: A new podcast network featuring shows hosted by scholars, aimed at making academic research accessible to the general public.
  • Unmet Needs: Addresses the lack of support for scholars wanting to publicize their research and the public's demand for credible information.
  • Training and Support: Provides production assistance, podcast training, and guidance to help scholars become effective communicators.
  • Inclusive Platform: Welcomes scholars from all types of institutions, creating a rich diversity of perspectives and knowledge.
  • Holistic Approach: Aims to blend the breadth of Wikipedia with the depth of a TED Talk, fostering interconnected knowledge and thoughtful discussions.

To dive deeper into the fascinating world of Professors FM and explore the innovative ways they are bridging the gap between academia and the public, tune into the full episode of The Higher Ed Geek on the Enrollify Network. Discover more about Robert Li's inspiring journey and the transformative potential of podcasting in higher education.

Shelby Moquin
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