Creeks to Peaks: The Understory
By Creeks to Peaks: The Understory
Welcome to Creeks to Peaks: The Understory, the podcast that highlights West Virginians near and far who are doing great things in their respective fields.
Ep. 11 - Princess Sarah Culberson
On this episode, Michael interviews Princess Sarah Culberson, a Morgantown, West Virginia native. Princess Sarah’s extraordinary journey has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, and BBC, along with numerous other media outlets. Her story inspired the book, "A Princess Found,” which is being turned into a live-action movie with Disney. Princess Sarah's background and experience in education over the past 15 years has led her to present and create curriculum for schools, universities, and corporations. Her work spans the globe, both in the entertainment industry as well as through her NPO, Sierra Leone Rising. Her work in education and technology has led her to create new projects including an animation show with Randy Jackson as well as a Roblox game to connect children to cultures around the world. We’re excited to share her amazing stories with you, so as always, take a listen!
July 21, 2021
Ep. 10 - Archie Talley
On this episode, Kylenn interviews Archie Talley. Archie is a former basketball star who spent 4 years attending Salem College in Salem, WV, after growing up in Washington, D.C. While there, he was named AP Player of the Year and All-American. He set the NAIA all-time single season scoring record (averaging 41 points per game), and still is the 3rd all-time points scorer across all collegiate divisions. Archie is a member of the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, and last year was inducted into the National Small College Basketball Hall of Fame. Since 1984, Archie has been traveling the world working as a motivational speaker, sharing his lifetime of experiences and teaching kids about his "Ingredients of Life." Archie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Relations and a Master of Education degree, both from Salem University. To book Archie for a speaking event, check out his website by clicking here. Take a listen! Check out these organizations highlighted in this episode: St. Jude Wincore Windows
June 20, 2021
Ep. 9 - Cheryl Laws
On this episode, Michael is joined by Cheryl Laws, a native of South Charleston, WV. Cheryl is the founder and COO of Pollen8, a non-profit organization that strives to change the narrative around substance abuse disorder and works to break the cycle of addiction by providing prevention, treatment, and reintegration programs for women and children. Motivated to make a difference in the lives of women in WV suffering from addition, Cheryl returned to college at the age of 42. She received both a bachelor's and a master's degree before returning to the Mountain State to begin creating change. We talk to Cheryl about her highs and lows, the fight against substance abuse stigma, and what she is currently working on that may be the first of it's kind in the United States. Take a listen. Check out these organizations highlighted in this episode: Manna Meal Centered This episode discusses issues around sexual assault and substance abuse. If you or someone you know needs assistance, the below resources are available 24/7. RAINN Drug Helpline
May 24, 2021
Ep. 8 - Nick McGarry
On this episode, Michael interviews Nick McGarry. A native of Buckhannon, WV, Nick is a decorated former Special Forces non-commissioned officer and a veteran of the War on Terror. Today, Nick resides in North Carolina where he works as Executive Vice President for True Velocity. Nick remains passionate about West Virginia, Appalachia, veterans issues, and the Special Forces mission. Nick shares what led him to join Special Forces, his thoughts on West Virginia and veterans affairs, and details events from his deployments that would forever leave an impact on his life. Take a listen. Check out Operation Welcome Home
April 18, 2021
Ep. 7 - Elaine McMillion Sheldon (Pt. 2)
This episode is Part 2 of our conversation with filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon. We explore one of Elaine's earliest projects, Hollow, an interactive documentary experience based in McDowell County. We also dive deeper into the differences she sees between documentary film and journalism and the conflicts those differences present. Take a listen.
March 30, 2021
Ep. 6 - Elaine McMillion Sheldon (Pt. 1)
This episode is Part 1 of 2 with our guest Elaine McMillion Sheldon. Elaine is an Academy Award nominated and Emmy and Peabody award winning filmmaker. She is best known for directing two Netflix original documentaries Heroine and Recovery Boys, and was recently named to Doc New York City’s 40 under 40 list for 2020. Having grown up in southern WV, Elaine now lives and teaches film in Knoxville TN. On this episode, we ask Elaine about her passion for documentary filmmaking, and also catch some cool stories from her time on the red carpet at the Academy Awards. Be sure to stay tuned for the release of Part 2 of Elaine’s interview in the coming weeks. Until then as always, Take a listen.
March 14, 2021
Ep. 5 - Janney Lockman
Our guest on Episode 5 is Janney Lockman. Janney grew up in Green Bank, West Virginia in the shadow of the Green Bank Telescope swimming in creeks, playing old time music with her dad, and reading her way through the public library. After spending over a decade living outside of the region for school and work, Lockman returned to her home state where she currently works as an urban planner and dreams of a socially, economically, and environmentally-just future for Appalachia.
March 03, 2021
Ep. 4 - Kimberly Reed
Our guest on this episode is Kimberly Reed, a native of Buckhannon, WV. Kim obtained an undergraduate degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College and a law degree from the West Virginia University College of Law. Most recently, She served as President and Chairman of the Export Import Bank of the United States. Prior to that, her career spanned the public and private sectors, leading organizations such as the International Food Information Council Fund and the Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. Kim recently received the Medal of Distinguished Public Service from the US Dept of Defense. On this episode, we discuss Kim’s vast experience at the federal level, her time at one of WV’s premier liberal arts colleges, and her memories as a Golden Horseshoe winner. Take a listen.
January 31, 2021
Ep. 3 - Our Understory
In this episode, co-hosts Michael and Kylenn give listeners insight to the “why” behind the podcast and how it connects to the broader mission of their non-profit, Flag Spruce Initiative. Take a listen.
January 18, 2021
Ep. 2 - Matthew Jackfert
Matthew Jackfert is a native of Charleston, WV. Jackfert currently works in Charleston as a composer and radio host with West Virginia Public Broadcasting in addition to his freelance work, and he performs, writes, and arranges for the Appalachian-rock group,The Company Stores. Jackfert has written for concert music, radio, TV, film and videogames. He has had his music performed by several ensembles of different sizes and instrumentations including the National Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony, the Atlanta Pops Orchestra, and the Montclaire String Quartet. Jackfert has been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition as well as on the national radio program Performance Today several times, and he has been a finalist for the Morton Gould Young Composers Award, and has received the Commissioned Composer Award from the WVMTA.
January 03, 2021
Ep. 1 - Dr. Eric Lovell
Our guest on Episode 1 is Eric Lovell, a native of Sistersville, West Virginia. As an undergraduate at West Virginia University, Eric pursued his fascination with geography and mapping by studying geography while escaping Morgantown on the weekends to explore West Virginia’s hills and hollows. Keen to map things, Eric went on to receive a masters in geography from Ohio University and a PhD in geography from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he received the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. Eric now works for ESRI, a leader in geographic information systems, or (GIS), and location intelligence. We’ll explore Eric’s childhood growing up in West Virginia, the role GIS plays in today’s world, and his views on socio-political factors impacting the state. Take a listen.
December 20, 2020
Ep. 0 - Welcome!
STAY TUNED! Ep. 1 release scheduled for Sunday 12/20! Hi, welcome to Creeks to Peaks: The Understory, the podcast that highlights West Virginians, both near and far, who are doing amazing work in their respective fields. Many of whom you may not even know about. Our goal is to bring your attention to these individuals, their stories, and how they connect to the state.
December 17, 2020