About Us

Lives of the Mind (LoM) explores the passions and pursuits of Quad Citizens who live their lives by their interests through meaningful conversations that cultivate curiosity and encourage lifelong learning. The podcast is an Augustana College student-run project recorded and produced at the Doris and Victor Day Broadcast Center in cooperation with WVIK, Quad Cities NPR.

An Augustana podcast “network”

As of the 2019-20 academic year, Lives of the Mind became an Augie-focused podcasting network. As an established podcast, we’re happy to provide the infrastructure happy to provide the infrastructure for you (Augie students and faculty) to produce your own high quality audio content (episode(s) or mini-series).

Our services include:

  • Studio space to record episodes at WVIK, Quad Cities NPR
  • Editing guidance
  • Publication on our website and all major podcast platforms

As an Augustana College podcasting network, we aim to:

  • Close the gap between academia and society by showing the human stories behind
    academic research through interviews with professors and thinkers from various
  • Highlight the value of an Augustana College liberal arts education through interviews
    with alumni who’ve lived interesting “lives of the mind” since graduating
  • Document life on campus through creative “bonus” episodes covering events, groups,
    student research projects, etc.
  • Provide a platform for Augustana students and faculty to use a popular medium
    (podcasts) to express themselves and share knowledge with the greater Augie

A student-run podcast since 2017

Christian Elliott and Maura Karr interview Dr. Adam Kaul

Originally part of Augustana’s Austin E. Knowlton Honors Program, LoM now functions as an officially-recognized independent student organization. Through a new relationship with WVIK, the podcast’s focus has expanded from sharing Augustana College liberal arts professors’ research with the campus to recording the ideas and stories (the “lives of the mind”) of professors, alumni, and community leaders with the entire Quad Cities community.

For students, the podcast provides an opportunity to form personal relationships with faculty, alumni, and interesting Quad Citizens, and go above and beyond program expectations by conducting interviews in a professional setting and recording, editing, and producing high-quality podcast episodes at an NPR station. For professors, alumni, and community leaders, the podcast provides a platform to share the good work and interesting research they do in the community every day.

Currently, new Lives of the Mind podcast episodes are released monthly. You can also follow the podcast on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and updates, and contact student production managers anytime to get involved or share ideas via email at livesofthemind@augustana.edu.

Meet the podcasters

Augustana students (freshmen through seniors) control the production process. Students do extensive research on guests, then schedule and co-host the interviews at WVIK’s studios.

Christian Elliott

Year: Senior
Majors: Anthropology and Environmental Studies majors, Computer Science minor
Role: Producer
Why LoM?
“I’ve been fascinated by podcasts for a while, and when Dr. Zargar invited me to participate as an honors student my sophomore year I jumped aboard. I love the podcast’s focus on interdisciplinarity and lifelong learning, and I’ve had a fantastic time this year establishing us as a student group and forging an exciting new relationship with WVIK this year with Ethan’s help.”
Other favorite podcasts?
“So many! To learn something, 99% Invisible, Invisibilia, and The Familiar Strange. For fun, Critical Role, Night Vale, and Limetown.”

Margaret Cannizzaro

Year: Sophomore
Majors: Spanish
Role: Host
Why LoM?
“I love talking to people and finding out what they are most passionate about. It serves as an important reminder about how interesting and individual each person is. Lives of the Mind has allowed me to meet and learn from so many interesting and inspiring members of the Quad Cities community. I look forward to learning more about the production side of the process in the future and continuing to shine a light on the interesting lives of those living among us.”

Charlie Nawara

Year: Junior
Majors: Communication Studies and Art History
Role: Head Editor
Why LoM?
“What originally interested you about LoM, and what’s your favorite part of being on the podcast team?
“I wanted to be a part of a new group on campus and help out with making Cyrus Zargar’s passion project a reality!”
Favorite other podcasts?
“I don’t listen to too many other podcasts but sometimes I hear Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Revisionist History” and that’s pretty neat.”

Maria Wood

Year: Junior
Majors: Spanish and History
Role: Blogger
Why LoM?
“I joined my freshmen year when the podcast was still a part of the honors program. I thought that it was a super cool idea, and I wanted to be a part of it. I also have always wanted to be a part of a podcast, so I decided to join, and I have had no regrets! I really like how this podcast gives you the opportunity to learn more about professors as well as all of the cool stuff they do besides teach. I also like all of the cool things I have learned about the Quad Cities.”
Favorite other podcasts?
“I adore “Welcome to Night Vale” and listen to it regularly!”

Former podcasters (gone but not forgotten!)

Ethan Conley-Keck

Year: Class of 2018
Majors: Religion major, Anthropology and Chinese minors
Role: Producer
Why LoM?
“I joined after Dr Zargar asked me to help out editing the podcast my sophomore year. Since then I’ve loved getting to meet some really interesting people.”
Other favorite podcasts?
My favorite podcast is Dissect, an in depth music podcast.


Maura Karr

Year: Class of 2018
Majors: Biology major
Role: Social Media Coordinator
Why LoM?
“I was originally asked to join the podcast by the former adviser/creator, Cryus Zargar, since I was the Honors Program student worker at the time. I loved the idea instantly and was hooked on the concept of bringing professors’ stories to life with our series. As we transitioned to being open to all members of the campus and expanding our mission to explore stories from influential people all over the QC, my appreciation for the group grew even more. Additionally, our partnership with WVIK has been exciting, since I have been listening to them since I was high school. I’ve always been intrigued by podcasts and am so blessed to have been involved one like Lives of the Mind.”
Other favorite podcasts?
“TED Radio Hour and Hidden Brain!”