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UNC student Corey Brandon said he originally wanted to start a podcast because he enjoys talking with people, especially about pop culture.

Brandon, a sophomore majoring in business administration and journalism, released the first episode of his podcast, “COR meets World,” in January.

“If no one listens to this, I'm okay with that because at the end of the day, I'm using it as an outlet for myself and it's something I'm doing for me,” he said. 

Brandon's project primarily explores his college experiences and pop culture takes.

He records his episodes in the Undergraduate Library's Media and Design Center's two podcast studios. Each studio features four microphones with headsets as well as a RodeCaster, which assists in volume adjustment and connects to laptops via USB to input audio into a recording program or platform.

Anyone with an ONYEN account can reserve time in the studios. 

Justin D’Orazio, the media lab manager within the Media and Design Center, said that all of the equipment can look intimidating, but it is not.

“We try to keep everything as simple as possible for people to just walk in and be able to use it right away,” he said.

Brandon said reactions from fellow students have been “mind-boggling,” especially during a week when he did not post an episode and people messaged asking when it would be uploaded.

When he records and shares his personal anecdotes, he said he hopes to make listeners feel seen at UNC. 

“I think that's kind of what my goal is now — is to not only expand with engagement and views and lessons and things like that, obviously, but I really want to use that expansion to uplift other people,” Brandon said.

The podcast “DiversifyHER” was created by Raven Heyward in 2021, a sophomore majoring in business and minoring in conflict management and data science. Every episode, she features guests from various backgrounds, highlighting minority voices

“In order for us to see change, we need to have more conversations about it,” she said.

Heyward said she wanted a platform where not only her listeners could learn something, but she could too.

In 2022, Heyward was able to talk with junior MK Ware and the 2024-25 Student Body President Jaleah Taylor on her podcast. She said she wanted to hear how their experiences as women of color at UNC had influenced their time in college. 

“I really wanted to hear them talk about why they decided to become Student Orientation Leaders and how they've been able to be involved on campus since," she said. "Because, especially with it being my freshman year, I wanted that peer-to-peer conversation where I could hear their advice about it. And I know that it was one of my most listened to episodes because it was able to connect with a lot of students that already went here, but even some high school students listened to it so they know what to expect when they came to college." 

She said the conversations occurring on her episodes are “uncomfortable yet needed,” as diversity and inclusion gets talked about more within academic and corporate spaces. As her podcast evolves, Heyward said that she hopes someday to be able to host a conference or have a scholarship named after it.

Four students in the English and Comparative Literature Department are releasing a new podcast, "Close Knit," on March 8. One of the hosts is Kate Livesay, a senior majoring in English and minoring in history. She said the goal of the podcast was to create a smaller community within UNC.

One of the upcoming episodes will feature UNC librarian Dayna Durbin and discuss banned books and library equity.

Another host is senior Laura Cunningham, who is double majoring in English and linguistics. She said their team has been working together weekly since last semester to plan episodes that use knowledge and connections they have gained from the English department.

“We're really excited to be able to publish our work that we've been working on, and also hopefully be able to grow a community around the podcast and these topics that are interesting to us and hoping that it finds resonance with other students at the University as well,” Cunningham said.

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