Rising To The Challenge: A Podcast by the University of Illinois System

The Rising To The Challenge Podcast

The University of Illinois System's Rising to the Challenge podcast explores the work of researchers, innovators, and newsmakers from across the University of Illinois System. Each episode takes you behind the scenes to learn about exciting new discoveries and initiatives directly from the experts. The podcast also explores how challenges faced by University of Illinois System's universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and Springfield as well as the state have lead to innovation that benefits the public good, in Illinois and beyond.

Rising to the Challenge is produced by the University of Illinois System with production support from Illinois Public Media. (The Illinois Public Media newsroom was not involved with this podcast).

Episode 5: COVID Trickle-Down Effects: The Good, The Bad, And The Ponies

Host Gwen Macsai visits with a family doctor who started a food pantry at the University of Illinois Chicago. Talks with an Engineering Professor about the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign’s development of the RapidVent and its potential. She then heads to the University of Illinois Springfield to get the impact of COVID waste on the environment and finally checks in at the UIUC horse farm to see how they dealt with 24 new horse births in the middle of a pandemic. 

Rising to the Challenge: A podcast by the University of Illinois System

Episode 4: Tech it or Leave It

Host Gwen Macsai breaks down some of the technology that the University of Illinois System is using to implement its COVID-19 mitigation plan. She takes a tour of the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab to follow saliva samples through the full process, then talks with Nigel Goldenfeld about the computer modeling the school and state are using to develop its testing protocols. She also talks with Rashid Bashir, the Dean of the Grainger College of Engineering about a test that can detect COVID-19 with your cell phone, then takes a ride with the Bryan Rives, Director of the University of Illinois Springfield Sangemon Performing Arts Center on his 26th trip driving samples from UIS to UIUC.

Rising to the Challenge: A podcast by the University of Illinois System

Episode 2: Testing, Testing 1, 2, 3 Testing

Host Gwen Macsai talks with Dr. Martin Burke from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign about developing the rapid saliva test, gets a look at the SHIELD Illinois Program with Ron Watkins from UIUC and learns how the University of Illinois Chicago is getting tests to the homeless with Dr. Stockton Mayer and Rebecca Singer. Then talks to Anant Naik about the children's book he wrote about COVID. It's called Heroes of the Pandemic: Those Who Stood up Against COVID-19.