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Techawat with Benjamin Morse

Techawat with Benjamin Morse

By Benjamin Morse
Travel ignites change. It helps us identify what’s important and empowers us to dissect and challenge the status quo. Join Benjamin Morse, returned Peace Corps volunteer and world traveller, as he speaks with a wide range of guests who’ve reinvented themselves through exploration. Benjamin brings a personalized approach by offering his own perspectives as a father, ultra-endurance athlete, higher education professional, and plant-based individual. Wherever you are on your pursuit of greatness and authenticity, this podcast will embolden your dreams and inspire creativity. More at Techawat.com
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Marcus Hall: Intersectionality in Travel
Today’s guest is Marcus Hall. Marcus is a stunning and eloquent storyteller, who has used travel and connection as a means to understand himself and the world around him. I had the opportunity to work with Marcus at the University of Michigan, and it has been an amazing learning experience for me to unpack his story and continue to learn from him each time we connect. In this episode Marcus opens up about his journeys abroad, starting at the age of 17 and building from there. We discuss second language acquisition and different ways people can learn a new language   and dive deeper into new experiences along the way. Marcus offers insight into the concept of intersectionality, which is ostensibly a analytical framework for understanding how aspects of a person's social and political identities combine to create different modes of discrimination and privilege depending on the context. Marcus spent the past 15 years engaged in international travel, with his first trip abroad to Eindhoven, in the Netherlands in 2007. Since then, he’s either lived in or travelled to an array of countries around the world, be it Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Portugal, Italy, the UK, France, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Canada, and South Africa. We dive into a few of these chapters during this conversation, and unearth the particularities behind these experiences. Marcus is the first in his family to attend higher education, both for undergrad and graduate school, and the first in his immediate family to travel internationally. Marcus dispels myths of travel and offers any eager explorer a roadmap for adventure, self-growth, and transformation. This episode is a bit longer than my typical show, but I’d encourage each of you to see this one through, whether you break it up, or listen in one go, Marcus certainly has a lot to offer! Connect with Marcus: Instagram: @marcusdelmundo LinkedIn: Marcus Hall
01:59:29
August 24, 2021
Drew Chafetz: Love Fútbol
Drew Chafetz has a unique passion for both soccer and social enterprise and has become one of the foremost experts in engaging and mobilizing communities around the world through sport. Drew is the co-founder and CEO of love.fútbol, a nonprofit that partners with communities worldwide to create, reclaim, and redefine sports spaces as lasting platforms for social change. In this episode, Drew takes us into the beautiful origin story of love.fútbol, which is intimately tied into Drew’s personal experiences traveling the world as a young soccer player. He describes a series of life-changing experiences while living abroad, specifically around soccer, that ultimately led to the creation of his impactful organization. Through the organization’s award-winning methodology, local residents from over fifty communities across 5 continents have dedicated over 70,000 volunteer hours to plan, organize, build, and maintain inclusive and inspiring sports spaces designed to bring communities together and ensure play across generations. Drew’s unique ability to share his philosophy around this work makes this episode special and a must-listen. The impact of his work cannot be understated, Tens of thousands of children play on love.fútbol sports spaces every day. love.fútbol sponsors include ESPN, Coca-Cola, Disney, Under Armour, Unilever, UEFA, Manchester City, and the Pincus Family Foundation, which funded love.fútbol’s first projects in the United States in 2019. I’m excited to share this one with all of you footballers, soccer players, sports fanatics, and international development workers across the globe. So let’s lace up and step on the metaphorical pitch with the one and only Drew Chafetz. To connect with Drew: https://www.lovefutbol.org/ https://www.instagram.com/love.futbol/ https://www.instagram.com/drewchafetz/ https://www.facebook.com/lovefutbol/ Support the Show: Visit: www.techawat.com  Instagram: @techawat_with_benjamin_morse, @benjamin_august_blair   Original Music by Elly Daftuar, connect on Instagram: @elecaster Logo by Jeff Butler, connect on Instagram: @butlejef2
01:18:21
August 10, 2021
Keesa Johnson: Designing Equitable Food Systems
Keesa Johnson is shaping the future of food and co-designing agri-food systems with black and brown farmers across Michigan and beyond. In today's episode, I speak with Keesa about her experiences studying and practicing participatory "21st Century" design within the context of the wicked problem of equity and access in food systems. This conversation has a little bit of everything, we talk about foundational design principles, along with several core tenants of participatory design such as diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. Keesa is not only an amazing storyteller, she's passionate about her work and highly skilled at what she does. I'm excited to share a bit of this wisdom with all of you today. I hope you tune into this conversation as we collectively reimagine the food system and create equitable, just, and liberating ecosystems through the lens of integrative and participatory design. Keesa is a luminary in the the design space, having been the first black female to graduate from the Masters of Design in Integrative Design (MDes) program at the University of Michigan. While studying in the MDes program, she won the prestigious MLK Spirt Award and was named as one of the top 50 designers in the country by Graphic Design USA (article here). She's currently the DEI Manager at the University of Michigan Campus Farm, and the Racial Equity Chair at the Washtenaw Food Policy Council in Michigan.  To connect with Keesa and to learn more: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/keesavjohnson/  A Living Learning Lab For Equity: Keesa Johnson Article: Redesigning Online Food Consumption to Enhance Racial and Social Inclusion Through Generative Production Networks  Support the Show: Visit: www.techawat.com  Instagram: @techawat_with_benjamin_morse, @benjamin_august_blair   Original Music by Elly Daftuar, connect on Instagram: @elecaster Logo by Jeff Butler, connect on Instagram: @butlejef2
01:09:16
July 27, 2021
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: Identity, Travel, and Healing Politics
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed is a physician, epidemiologist, educator, author, speaker, and podcast host. We first met back in 2017 while I was competing in a pitch competition for a start-up I had at the time, Abdul was the keynote speaker. He told an incredible story about his time as Detroit’s Health Director, where he often worked directly with kids who faced uncertain futures because of the health risks present in the communities. From that moment on, I’ve been a huge fan of Abdul’s work and his overall outlook on life. Better yet, only a few days prior to that speech he announced his historic candidacy for the Governor of Michigan, which would have seen him become America’s first Muslim governor. While he didn’t win this race, he earned tremendous support from progressives all over the country led by Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and touched the lives of thousands of people across Michigan and beyond with his vision for a better future and his unique brand of progressivism. Abdul and I have stayed in touch over the years and I’m always inspired by his ability to capture and articulate the moment, and help chart a collective path forward. In this episode, we talk about the role that travel plays in developing and defining one’s identity. He shares his experiences traveling between the United States and Egypt as a child and how these trips continue to shape his life today. We also talk about his time living in the United Kingdom as a graduate student, and what lessons from abroad he’s been able to bring home to Michigan. We touch on his 2018 run for the Governor of Michigan, his reflections and current thoughts on the Covid-19 pandemic, and what the future of travel looks like as we begin to engage in exploration again. We end the conversation in a similar manner to when I first met Abdul, with him speaking about the future of the progressive movement and where he views his role going forward.  Follow along with Abdul's work: His newsletter, "The Incision," cuts to the heart of the trends shaping our moment. He is a commentator at CNN. His two books include "Healing Politics," calling for a politics of empathy to cure our epidemic of insecurity, and "Medicare for All: A Citizen’s Guide" with Dr. Micah Johnson. He is the host of “America Dissected,” a podcast by Crooked Media, which goes beyond the headlines to explore what really matters for our health. He is a Senior Fellow at the FXB Center for Health & Human Rights at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, and a Scholar-in-Residence at Wayne State University and American University, teaching at the intersection of public health, public policy, and politics. He is formerly the Health Director for the City of Detroit and candidate for governor of Michigan in 2018. Follow Abdul on Instagram and Twitter.  Support the Show: Visit: www.techawat.com  Paypal: paypal.me/BenjaminMorse    Instagram: @techawat_with_benjamin_morse, @benjamin_august_blair   Original Music by Elly Daftuar, connect on Instagram: @elecaster Logo by Jeff Butler, connect on Instagram: @butlejef2
34:45
July 13, 2021
Vitor Machado Lira: The Vegan Revolution and a Plant-Powered Life
Exploring a plant-based or vegan diet? Looking for ways to reduce your impact on the environment? This episode is for you.  Born and raised in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Vitor is a passionate advocate for environmental conservation, community empowerment, and sustainable development. Vitor grew up a wildlife aficionado and football fan, and in 2008 at the age of 17, he left his home country to experience one year of high school at a boarding school in Massachusetts. One year turned into two, as the beautiful game and the outdoors helped him connect with students from all over the world, better understand diverse perspectives, his origin story, creativity, and self. Since then, he’s continued crafting his journey in the United States through higher education, the job market, and any opportunity to fine-tune his abilities to help people and animals wherever he goes. In 2010, Vitor earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy and Religious Studies at Marist College, where he studied how humans think and interact with each other and the natural world. In 2014, he earned a Master of Science Degree in Natural Resources and Environment from the University of Michigan, where he pursued two concentrations in Environmental Justice and Behavior, Education, and Communication, and was introduced to veganism in 2015. In our conversation, we talk about Vitor’s family life in Brazil and we confront a complex history of colonialism around the world. We also talk about higher education, and that learning has played throughout his life. We wrap up this conversation with a deep dive into the vegan, or plant-based lifestyle.  Resources Mentioned:  https://www.richroll.com/   https://gamechangersmovie.com/  https://www.nomeatathlete.com/   https://www.cowspiracy.com/   https://www.seaspiracy.org/  https://nutritionstudies.org/  To connect with Vitor:  Instagram: @vimachli  LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vimachli/   Support the Show: Paypal: paypal.me/BenjaminMorse     Instagram: @techawat_with_benjamin_morse, @benjamin_august_blair    Original Music by Elly Daftuar, connect on Instagram: @elecaster  Logo by Jeff Butler, connect on Instagram: @butlejef2
01:42:46
June 29, 2021
AJ Moore: An Artistic Pursuit
As an artist who has used art to travel the world and connect with people from all walks of life, AJ Moore is simply driven and dedicated to his craft. AJ is an accomplished artist in both digital and theatrical arts, along with traditional media. He’s also the host of a Youtube nature show he produces with his brother Tony called “It’s Nature Y’all.” In this conversation we explore AJ’s love for nature and exploration and how having a compassionate, artistic eye has helped him identify what engenders fulfillment and meaning. AJ has traveled across the globe for artistic pursuit and it is through this lens that he unpacks stories of transformation brought about by genuine connection to fans from all walks of life. We also talk about how identity and race has impacted his travels and offered him an array of lessons learned throughout the journey. To connect with AJ: It’s Nature Y’all: youtube.com/ItsNatureYall Youtube (Livestream drawing) - https://www.youtube.com/user/livemindpro Instagram and Facebook: ArtistAJMoore Support the Show: Paypal: paypal.me/BenjaminMorse  Instagram: @techawat_with_benjamin_morse, @benjamin_august_blair Original Music by Elly Daftuar, connect on Instagram: @elecaster Logo by Jeff Butler, connect on Instagram: @butlejef2
01:27:48
June 15, 2021
Jerome Moore: Black Americans Making Their Mark Abroad
Jerome Moore served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay, and currently runs an organization called Community Changers in Nashville, TN. He's also the host of several podcasts, one about travel and black identity called “Black Americans Making Their Mark: Stories Abroad,” along with another podcast called “Deep Dish Conversations.” Jerome is a captivating storyteller, using narrative to help people recognize the ways in which they can make a difference in their community. Part of his process is encouraging people to get out of their community and to get out of the United States (if that is where they reside). He encourages people to go experience what life is like in another country and use travel and immersion as a mirror to better understand who they are. This conversation is full of stories and insight into how his experiences abroad as a black male in Paraguay, Costa Rica, and most recently China, helped shape his path towards community engaged work back in his hometown of Nashville, TN. This is a must listen episode, as we collectively examine the role that identity plays when traveling abroad. I learned a lot from Jerome here, and I’m confident that you will too. Connect w/ Jerome: Website: Jeromelmoore.com Instagram: @Jeromelmoore & @blackamericansmakingtheirmark LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/jeromelmoore Email: Jmcommunitychangers@gmail.com Black Americans Making Their Mark: Stories Abroad Podcast: https://anchor.fm/jeromelmoore Support the Show: Paypal: paypal.me/BenjaminMorse  Instagram: @techawat_with_benjamin_morse, @benjamin_august_blair Original Music by Elly Daftuar, connect on Instagram: @elecaster Logo by Jeff Butler, connect on Instagram: @butlejef2
01:22:03
June 1, 2021
Ambassador Greg Engle: A Simple Prayer
Today’s guest is Ambassador Gregory W. Engle (Ret.). Greg and I first met in Ethiopia in 2012 when he became the Peace Corps Country Director while I was a volunteer. Having served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South Korea (1980-1981), his assignment as a Peace Corps country director brought his international career full circle in many ways. In this episode we dive deep into Greg’s life and career as a Foreign Service Officer, which spans decades and is full of breath-taking stories of meetings with Presidents and even a dinner with Nelson Mandela. Greg provides guru-level advice for those interested in joining the Foreign Service or the Peace Corps, so be sure to pull out your notebooks for that section. He speaks with a unique conviction that will have you sitting on the edge of your chair and offers layers of sage-like wisdom that will surely help you chart your path into travel and exploration. As I mentioned, Greg is a retired Foreign Service Officer whose diplomatic career included assignments in Pakistan, Germany, Ethiopia, Cyprus, Malawi, South Africa, Iraq, Washington and Togo, where he was the U.S. ambassador.  He was the recipient of the U.S. Department of State's prestigious Leamon R. Hunt Award for Administrative Excellence in 1990, as well as a Presidential rank award in 2016 for his service in Iraq. Greg spent his last two years in the Foreign Service as Diplomat-in-Residence at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Following his retirement from the U.S. Department of State in 2008, he continued as adjunct faculty of the LBJ School (2008-2018). For the first time on this show, Greg treats us to a live musical performance in the middle of our conversation, playing “A Simple Prayer” from his 2010 debut album “Take it Personally”. He also won first prize in the annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival songwriting competition in Okemah, Oklahoma in 2011. He has performed and conducted songwriting workshops in Swaziland (2012), Lesotho (2015), Mauritania (2016), Cote d’Ivoire (2018), Djibouti (2019) and Eritrea (2019) under the U.S. Department of State’s Arts Envoy Program. Greg is also the co-author of a book entitled Managing Overseas Operations: Kiss Your Latte Goodbye (Vargas Publishing, 2012), which he wrote with Ambassador Tibor Nagy. Greg has been an ardent supporter and mentor of mine over the years and I’m humbled and honored to help share his words with you. This episode is truly a treat, so grab your pen and paper, your folk-festival shoes, and your imagination as you dive into this one! To connect with Greg: Greg Engle Watch “A Simple Prayer” videos: Friends of Korea: A Simple Prayer Glimmer of Hope (Ethiopia): A Simple Prayer Official Video: A Simple Prayer Support the Show: Paypal: paypal.me/BenjaminMorse  Instagram: @techawat_with_benjamin_morse, @benjamin_august_blair
01:40:01
May 18, 2021
Robert Steinglass: Pioneering Public Health
Robert Steinglass: Pioneering Public Health My guest today is Robert Steinglass. Robert is a titan in the global public health sector. He is currently an independent public health consultant who for 40 years strengthened immunization programs at all levels, across 50 countries around the world. He worked primarily in Africa, Asia and within Newly Independent States. Robert has worked in smallpox eradication both as a Peace Corps volunteer in northern Ethiopia (1973-75) and also as World Health Organization Operations Officer in North Yemen. After playing a key role in eradicating smallpox globally, he went on to work for the World Health Organization for a decade, establishing nationwide immunization programs in North Yemen, Oman, and Nepal. After this he settled in for a 30 year career with John Snow Inc. (JSI), based in Washington D.C.   At JSI, he led immunization teams on a succession of USAID-funded projects. While overseeing and providing technical support to countries, he also served on many advisory committees to organizations like the WHO or UNICEF. Robert retired in 2018 as Director of the JSI Immunization Center, which he also founded. He’s authored nearly 40 peer-reviewed journal publications and several book chapters on immunization and vaccine-preventable disease control. Need I say more, his impact on the world of public health is immeasurable.  In this conversation, Robert meets the moment with grace and nuance, and pulls back the curtain on the intricacies of global public health. He also reflects on his experiences working and living abroad, both as a Peace Corps volunteer, but then also as a public health professional. We spend some time exploring what Ethiopia was like in the 1970s, talking through Robert’s work in eradicating smallpox in the country, but also shifting his focus to address famine and humanitarian crises at the same time. The granular details in his stories bring to life a cornucopia of personal experiences working abroad which provides a glimpse into the life of a public health expert. Whether you’re interested in a career in global public health, or you’re simply curious about Robert’s story, this conversation will not disappoint.  To connect with Robert:  LinkedIn Robert’s work: Book Review, written by Barry Hillenbrand: “Eradicating Smallpox in Ethiopia” Amazon: Purchase “Eradicating Smallpox in Ethiopia” Please also subscribe to the Techawat with Benjamin Morse podcast on your favorite platform, it is greatly appreciated! Also, you can connect with me on Instagram at: Podcast: @techawat_with_benjamin_morse   Me: @benjamin_august_blair       Original Music by Elly Daftuar, connect on Instagram: @elecaster Logo by Jeff Butler, connect on Instagram: @butlejef2
01:19:10
May 4, 2021
Dan Baker: Facilitating Peace Corps Journeys
Facilitating Journeys  Today’s guest is Dan Baker. Dan is an exceptional leader with decades of international experience working directly with the Peace Corps. He’s helped to articulate and facilitate the Peace Corps journey for hundreds, if not, thousands of volunteers over the years. He brings a unique mix of humility and confidence to his work, always striving to improve the volunteer experience, be it before, during, or after service. In this conversation, we talk about Dan’s upbringing  in rural Appalachia and his path toward an internationally-focused career. We touch on his time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia and Timor-Leste, and how those experiences set him up to help facilitate the journey for others. We talk about his career in the Peace Corps, having worked as the Associate Peace Corps Director for the Youth Program in Costa Rica, Country Director and the Director of Programming and Training in Ethiopia, and as a member of the Peace Corps senior management team for the Africa Region, providing leadership and guidance to 26 overseas posts. Dan is now the Global Reentry Program Director at the National Peace Corps Association, a position that is incredibly important as he helps navigate the NPCA’s response to evacuating all of Peace Corps volunteer globally due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Dan is full of wisdom about the Peace Corps and beyond, and if you’re interested in service abroad, this is the conversation for you!  Connect with Dan:  LinkedIn Email: dan@peacecorpsconnect.org  Instagram: @danbakerpc Please also subscribe to the Techawat with Benjamin Morse podcast on your favorite platform, it is greatly appreciated! Also, you can connect with me on Instagram at: Podcast: @techawat_with_benjamin_morse   Me: @benjamin_august_blair     Original Music by Elly Daftuar, connect on Instagram: @elecaster Logo by Jeff Butler, connect on Instagram: @butlejef2
01:13:12
April 20, 2021
Jeff Butler: Transcendence Through Film
My guest today is Jeff Butler.  Jeff is an amazing and introspective person with many years of experience in film, storytelling, media production, and design. He is unparalleled in his ability to look deep within and share life’s lessons back out to those around him. Sometimes that happens through film and the scripts he writes, other times he invites you into his personal life by offering little pearls of wisdom along the way. Jeff is wise well beyond his years and in this conversation he paints a mosaic of experiences for you to enjoy as he talks through his personal and professional journey as a filmmaker, creative, and artist; all titles he categorically rejects.  In this conversation we talk about his hometown Dewitt, Michigan, and how various experiences have shaped who he’s become today. We explore the canyons of adolescence and chart a path toward adulthood. He walks us through why he went to film school and reluctantly offers advice to aspiring filmmakers. We discuss the difference between narrative and documentary filmmaking and the various trade-offs and considerations with the two approaches to storytelling. He provides a look into a short film that he’s working on called “How We Doing Tonight?” which is about grief and evolution. We also make a brief pitstop, discussing a documentary project in which he filmed my family’s adventures running several ultramarathons in 2019, culminating in a 100-mile race near the end of the year.  Jeff has much to offer, so I hope you get your popcorn for this one and have a listen! To connect with Jeff, follow him on Instagram: @butlejef2 How We Doing Tonight? Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/HowWeDoing/ Please also subscribe to the Techawat with Benjamin Morse podcast on your favorite platform, it is greatly appreciated! Also, you can connect with me on Instagram at: Podcast: @techawat_with_benjamin_morse Me: @benjamin_august_blair   Original Music by Elly Daftuar, connect on Instagram: @elecaster Logo by Jeff Butler, connect on Instagram: @butlejef2
01:28:55
April 6, 2021
Molly Maher: Evolving Through Travel
Evolving Through Travel  Molly is a world traveller with a gift for storytelling, which allows her to bring years of travel experiences to life in a whole new way. She has a background in journalism, health IT, educational design, behavioral science, and user research. I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Molly in her previous position within the Center for Academic Innovation at the University of Michigan, and by way of this work, I’ve really come to know who she is and what she stands for. What really strikes me about Molly is her facility to meet the moment. Whether in a professional setting, or an uncomfortable travel scenario, she’s a true master of communication and connection. She maintains a strong sense of humility coupled with a unique brand of awareness. In this conversation we talk about travel, diving deep into the minutiae of what drives Molly to explore. We also talk about behavioral science and motivational interviewing, two of my favorite topics, in which Molly puts a distinctive spin on as she connects these practices to an array of experiences traveling across contexts. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and I’m positive that you will too.   Connect with Molly:  Instagram: @mollycmaher  Twitter: @mollycmaher  LinkedIn: Molly Maher  Resources from Molly:  Heath Brothers: https://heathbrothers.com/  Decision Corner: https://open.spotify.com/show/6K2pEufhqJCupCkszfhF9m  NPR's Hidden Brain: https://www.npr.org/series/423302056/hidden-brain  Irrational Labs: https://irrationallabs.com/  Center for Advances Hindsight: https://advanced-hindsight.com/  Please also subscribe to the Techawat with Benjamin Morse podcast on your favorite platform, it is greatly appreciated! Also, you can connect with me on Instagram at: Podcast: @techawat_with_benjamin_morse Me: @benjamin_august_blair Original Music by Elly Daftuar, connect on Instagram: @elecaster Logo by Jeff Butler, connect on Instagram: @butlejef2
01:17:59
March 23, 2021
Taylor Gallegos: The Art of Travel
The Art of Travel. My guest today is Taylor Gallegos. He is my mentor, coach, friend, inspiration, muse, and so much more. Taylor is a painter specializing in murals and studio painting.  His work focuses on unity, connection, love, environmentalism, and creativity. He’s particularly talented in portraiture with an uncanny ability to capture the essence of people deep within the artwork that he creates. His creativity knows no bounds. As a professional artist his work has ranged from large-scale murals to portraits like I mentioned to abstracts in the studio to live art, mostly in the fields of painting and drawing with acrylics and oils. As we talk about in this episode, his work as an artist has taken him across the world, he’s been on tour with musicians, studied abroad in Italy, and travelled the world with an artistic eye. Taylor is also a talented and articulate storyteller, as you will experience for yourself in this episode and recently he combined those talents with his artistic acumen to launch his own very successful podcast called “Art and Life with Taylor Gallegos.” I’ve been fortunate enough to feature as a guest a few times on his podcast and I really enjoyed the experience. This my friends, is what led me to create the Techawat with Benjamin Morse podcast; the notion of bringing folks together in this medium to explore and share breathtaking stories about travel was just too good to resist! In this conversation we talk about art, and we also peel back the layers of travel. Taylor emphasizes the role of mentors both as a young traveler and ultimately as an artist. He is a true seeker and offers sage-like advice when it comes to taking the next step on your hero’s journey. One of things I truly respect about Taylor is his ability to embrace the moment and jump into the unknown. To get in touch with Taylor, connect on Instagram, Facebook, visit his website, and listen in to the Art and Life with Taylor Gallegos Podcast. Links: Instagram: @taylorgallegosart https://www.taylorgallegosart.com/ https://anchor.fm/c-taylor-gallegos https://www.facebook.com/taylorgallegosart/ Please also subscribe to the Techawat with Benjamin Morse podcast on your favorite platform, it is greatly appreciated! Also, you can connect with me on Instagram at:  Podcast: @techawat_with_benjamin_morse Me: @benjamin_august_blair  Original Music by Elly Daftuar, connect on Instagram: @elecaster Logo by Jeff Butler, connect on Instagram: @butlejef2
01:22:29
March 9, 2021
Sonia Howell: Finding Harmony Through Grit
Finding Harmony Through Grit. In this episode I speak with Sonia Howell of South Bend, Indiana about her pursuit of genuine self through travel, resilience, grit, and humility. Sonia, who is originally from Drogheda, Ireland is fittingly a Senior Producer at Notre Dame Learning. We first met in a professional capacity while working on an online educational project, which was centered around the people of Puerto Rico and the impact that 2017’s Hurricane Maria had on the island. Both working with Sonia and by getting to know her personally, I’m truly better off as a human and I’m impressed with not only her ability to connect with those around her, but to harness those connections into meaningful impact. In this conversation, we talk about the value of education and taking a chance on investing in yourself and your future. She describes the profound ways in which education has transformed and continues to transform her life today. We talk about mentorship, and the role that it plays in helping each of us chart our heroes' journey. We talk about how her travel’s have helped shape who she is today, touching on her experiences competing internationally in karate and her shift into marathon and distance running and the ways in which these athletic endeavors have both helped and hurt her on her journey. We also talk about how the pandemic has forced people, organizations, countries, well just about everyone, to look deep within. When things fall apart, we have hidden opportunities to build things back in a way that far surpasses where they were before. There is a lot of great insight in this one, and I’m excited to share it with you. To connect with Sonia, shoot her an email: showell3@nd.edu Please also subscribe to the Techawat with Benjamin Morse podcast on your favorite platform, it is greatly appreciated! Also, you can connect with me on Instagram at: @benjamin_august_blair Original Music by Elly Daftuar, connect on Instagram: @elecaster Logo by Jeff Butler, connect on Instagram: @butlejef2
01:03:23
February 23, 2021
Molly Green: Travel and Engage Authentically
Travel and engage authentically. Today’s guest is Molly Green. In this conversation we talk about all things international development and community-based development. Molly has extensive experience living and working abroad, and is an expert in compassion and connection. Molly Green is a PhD Candidate in Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Her research focuses on the effects of the social environment, especially discrimination, on mental health for Arabic-speaking folks. Before pursuing her graduate studies, Molly served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco and worked for a global health non-profit in Washington, DC. In her free time, she enjoys running, baking and crafting. She lives in Ann Arbor, MI with her partner and her dog, Rue. We first met while working as Peace Corps recruiters at the University of Michigan and grew into close friends. Molly speaks to our collective consciousness better than anyone I’ve met, always connected to the social justice dimensions of our society and not afraid to speak truth to power when needed. She’s an unwavering advocate for change and has the personal and professional background to go the extra mile. I’m excited to share this conversation with you all today, it has a bit of everything in it! To connect with Molly, give her a follow on Instagram or connect with her in LinkedIn: @thegreenmoloy Molly Green LinkedIn Please also subscribe to the Techawat with Benjamin Morse podcast on your favorite platform, it is greatly appreciated! Also, you can connect with me on Instagram at: @benjamin_august_blair Original Music by Elly Daftuar, connect on Instagram: @elecaster Logo by Jeff Butler, connect on Instagram: @butlejef2
01:28:27
February 10, 2021
Ally Noel: The Pursuit of Passion
Follow your dreams. Today’s guest is Ally Noel, a passionate practitioner of pursuing the things she loves and finding time for what’s important. Ally is an amazing yoga practitioner and teacher, and shares this gift with tens of thousands of people via her Instagram account. She is also a world traveller, returned Peace Corps volunteer, Ironman athlete, and a supportive partner to her husband Nick. In this conversation Ally and I talk about our origins in Ethiopia where we both worked as Peace Corps volunteers. We talk about international development and authentic connection to the communities in which we serve. We also chart Ally’s life, from becoming a Division 1 water polo walk-on at the University of Michigan, to the many years traveling and living abroad in pursuit of her dreams. We talk about the various races that Ally has completed and her life as an Ironman triathlete. We also dive into yoga and her gift of sharing this dedicated practice with so many in her community and beyond. Ally has an uncanny ability to follow her dreams, take risks, and dive in head first. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did! To connect with Ally, give her a follow on Instagram and visit her website: https://allybnoel.com/ @allybnoel @giveyogatri @stitchandscript Please also subscribe to the Techawat with Benjamin Morse podcast on your favorite platform, it is greatly appreciated! Also, you can connect with me on Instagram at: @benjamin_august_blair Original Music by Elly Daftuar, connect on Instagram: @elecaster Logo by Jeff Butler, connect on Instagram: @butlejef2
01:26:45
January 27, 2021
Bernard Smalls: Identity Across Culture and Context
First, let me say welcome to the conversation, it's great to have you here! I’ve decided to embark on this journey as a way to reconnect with some of the most influential people I’ve met in my life and to share their stories with you. I’m here to bring people together from across different walks of life to discuss the things that really matter and explore the depths of revolutionary change brought about by travel. Travel ignites change. It helps us identify what’s important and empowers us to dissect and challenge the status quo. Wherever you are on your pursuit of greatness and authenticity, this podcast will embolden your dreams and inspire creativity. I couldn’t be more excited to have Bernard Smalls as my first guest. Bernard is an animating and brilliant individual who’s always been able to inspire those around him. As we detail in this episode, Bernard and I first met on October 3, 2011 as we were getting ready to embark on a two year service as Peace Corps Volunteers in Ethiopia. From the moment that I met Bernard, I knew we’d be lifelong friends with a storied history. In this conversation we talk about our relationship over the years from simple acquaintances to best friends (Bernard officiated my wedding, to another Peace Corps Volunteer). We unpack Bernard’s story, from being born in Germany to an African American military dad and a white German mother. We sort through Bernard’s heroic and ever-evolving journey exploring what identity means across culture, religion, context, and time. We discuss what it was like to be an LGBTQIA+ individual abroad and across cultures and how he’s been able to embrace his authentic identity through struggle and resilience. We also touch on environmental education and the future of our planet, our younger generations, and what Bernard is doing to affect positive change in his community. This one has it all, so proud of Bernard for stepping into his most authentic and genuine self for this episode. I hope you enjoy it! To connect with Bernard, give him a follow on Instagram: @bernardcsmalls Please also subscribe to the Techawat with Benjamin Morse podcast on your favorite platform, it is greatly appreciated! Also, you can connect with me on Instagram at: @benjamin_august_blair Original Music by Elly Daftuar, connect on Instagram: @elecaster Logo by Jeff Butler, connect on Instagram: @butlejef2
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January 27, 2021