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The Bloom Pod

The Bloom Pod

By Tayler Onion
The Bloom Pod uses the power of storytelling to share the insights of people who are chasing big ideas and doing their damndest to turn those ideas into a reality. Using thoughtful, semi-guided interviews, Tayler Onion interviews people in higher education, entrepreneurship, and athletics. Guests are asked to share their stories and reveal the experiences that helped them bloom into the people they are today. Each interview is followed by a recap, featuring podcast sidekick Melissa Lutz, where main points from the guest — and other shenanigans — are discussed.
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#3 Owning Your Destiny with Tim Bryson

The Bloom Pod

#3 Owning Your Destiny with Tim Bryson

The Bloom Pod

#40 Pivoting to Stay on Track with Ashton Henderson
Ashton Henderson is a former football student-athlete, having played at Michigan State University (MSU). Ashton earned his advertising degree in 2010, after suffering a career-ending injury during his senior football season. As he pivoted and began to focus on life after football, he started a role as a graduate assistant in Student-Athlete Support services at MSU while earning his master’s degree in Public Relations.  Upon the completion of his master's degree, Ashton moved back home to Tallahassee, FL, and obtained a role as an Academic Program Specialist for football and the men’s and women’s track and field program at Florida State University. Before long, Ashton had the opportunity to serve as Associate Director of Football Academics at Clemson University before returning to Florida State to serve as the Associate Director of Football Academics and lead the Seminole Leadership Program.  Ashton transitioned into two new roles in 2021: one in professional athletics and one within the National Association for Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals (N4A). Ashton was appointed the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the Detroit Pistons in January 2021. He also began his tenure as the N4A President, leading an organization with over 2,600 members.  Ashton joined us to discuss his background and how it shaped the professional experiences he has had to date. He also shared his thoughts and insights on transitioning from a career in college athletics to the pro sports realm, and how he believes it will aid him in achieving his ultimate goal of becoming an athletic director. 
December 21, 2021
#39 HAIL MARY: The Rise and Fall of the National Women's Football League with Britni de la Cretaz and Lyndsey D'Arcangelo
Britni de la Cretaz is a freelance writer who focuses on the intersection of sports and gender. They are the former sports columnist for Longreads and for Bitch Media. Their work has appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, espnW, Vogue, The Washington Post, Teen Vogue, The Ringer,  Bleacher Report, The Atlantic, and more. Their work on racism in Boston sports media received the 2017 Nellie Bly Award for Investigative Journalism from the Transformative Culture Project, and that story was also a Notable Story in the 2018 Best American Sports Writing. Their writing on the queer history of women’s baseball for Narratively was nominated for a prestigious baseball writing award, the 2019SABR Analytics Research Award. Lyndsey D’Arcangelo writes about women’s college basketball and the WNBA forThe Athletic. Her articles, columns and profiles on female/LGBTQ+ athletes have previously appeared in The Ringer, Deadspin, espnW/ESPN, TeenVogue, The Buffalo News, The Huffington Post, NBC OUT and more. She received a Notable Mention in the 2018 BestAmerican Sports Writing anthology for her story, “My Father, Trump and The Buffalo Bills.” Lyndsey lives in Buffalo, NY. Britni and Lyndsey joined us to discuss their new book, HAIL MARY: The Rise and Fall of the National Women's Football League. In their captivating book, they share the little-known, yet utterly fascinating story of the rise and fall of the National Women's Football League (NWFL), told through the players whose spirit, rivalries, and tenacity carried the league and furthered the legacy of women in sports. ___ Fluffy by Smith The Mister Smith The Mister Free Download / Stream: Music promoted by Audio Library
December 14, 2021
#38 Managing the College Football Playoff with Holly Stalcup
Holly Stalcup is the Director of Stadium and Game Operations at the College Football Playoff (CFP). Holly joined the CFP staff in April of 2019 after having served as the Associate Athletics Director for Event Management at the University of Illinois. She began her career at Illinois in 2003 as a Graduate Assistant in the Athletics Ticket Office before transitioning to an Events Coordinator role and a promotion to Assistant Athletic Director of Event Management. While at Illinois, Stalcup was named to Central Illinois Business' Forty Under 40. Holly holds a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Athletic Training from Illinois, as well as a master's degree in Sport Management. She served on the National Board of Directors of the Collegiate Event and Facility Management Association (CEFMA) from 2016-20 and is currently a member of CEFMA and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). Holly joined us to talk about her experience transitioning from working on a college campus to working for the CFP. She also shared some insights on what it's been like as a woman working in a male-dominated field like athletic event management. Holly also discussed her love of broadway shows and how she knew moving from Illinois to Texas was the right move. Follow Holly: @HMS0428 ___ Fluffy by Smith The Mister Smith The Mister Free Download / Stream: Music promoted by Audio Library
December 07, 2021
#37 The Intersection of Sport and Higher Education with Dr. Lisa Rubin
Dr. Lisa Rubin is an Associate Professor at Kansas State University in the College of Education, supporting their masters programs in College Student Development and Academic Advising, and the doctoral programs in Student Affairs in Higher Education and Leadership in Academic Advising. Her education and research interests are ethics in intercollegiate athletics, advising and developing student-athletes, the changing environment of college athletics, NCAA reform and women in intercollegiate athletic administration. She began her career as a student worker in the Admissions Office at The University of Texas at Austin, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Advertising and her master’s in Kinesiology-Sport Management. Following her time in Austin, Dr. Rubin served as an Assistant Academic/Life Skills Counselor for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's athletic department before becoming an Athletic Academic Advisor and Life Skills Coordinator at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Dr. Rubin joined us to talk about the intersection of higher education and college athletics. She also shared her current research interests and information on an exciting new project she is working on.
November 30, 2021
#36 Elevating Community with Chris Everett
Chris Everett is the Partnerships Outreach Director for Elevation Church. A former football student-athlete at Western Carolina University, Chris spent several years working in college athletics before transitioning to his new role at Elevation Church in January of 2021. He got his start working in college athletics first working in tickets before moving into a student-athlete development role at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  Chris's desire to to serve others is ultimately what led him to work in student-athlete development and at Elevation Church. Following the murder of George Floyd, Chris felt called to serve a higher power. After a lot of thinking, he decided to leave college athletics and join the staff at Elevation. In his new role, he works to develop partnerships with those in and out of the Elevation Church community to create service opportunities. Chris brought a different aspect of higher education to The Bloom Pod, and we enjoyed hearing about his journey to date. He shared why service is so important and how his background in athletics has lent itself to his current role. ___ Fluffy by Smith The Mister Smith The Mister Free Download / Stream: Music promoted by Audio Library
November 23, 2021
#35 Examining Leadership Culture with Jennifer Cross
Jennifer Cross is a Co-Founder of Athlete Viewpoint, which is an innovative company providing quality survey and data analysis tools for athletics professionals and student-athletes. In that role, she works to assess and improve athletic culture for the students who participate and the professionals who work tirelessly to provide a positive experience. Additionally, Jennifer is the Owner of Perceptive Leadership Services (formerly Princeton Leadership Services), a consulting firm that specializes in leadership development programs and executive coaching, her mission is to positively transform your corporate culture one employee at a time. Jennifer has enjoyed working with a diverse array of organizations throughout the Midwest and Northeast since 1997. Current and past clients represent educational institutions, non-profit organizations, government agencies, business and industry, medical organizations and women’s athletic teams. Prior to starting her own company, she worked at several higher education institutions providing leadership training and team-building programs for staff and students. Jennifer also designed and taught a course on “Creativity and Innovation in Leadership” at Bradley University for the Leadership Studies Minor. Jennifer earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and a Master’s Degree in Education from the State University of New York at Buffalo. In 2018 she became a Board Certified Coach (BCC) through the Center for Credentialing in Education. She is a Lead Facilitator for the LeaderShape Institute, Inc. and a proud alumna of Mortar Board. She joined us to talk about the founding of Athlete Viewpoint, the landscape of higher education, and why using data and feedback is so important  for leaders -- especially in times of crisis. Click here to learn more about Athlete Viewpoint. To read more about Jennifer, please click here. ___ Fluffy by Smith The Mister Smith The Mister Free Download / Stream: Music promoted by Audio Library
November 16, 2021
#34 Football and Cookies with Marissa and Jeff Allen
Marissa and Jeff Allen are the husband-wife duo behind The Cookie Society. The two met at the University of Illinois, where they were soccer (Marissa) and football (Jeff) student-athletes. After college, Jeff pursued an NFL career and Marissa began to publicly explore her love for cooking via her blog/Instagram (@firstandfull). The couple’s most recent venture, The Cookie Society, was born from Marissa’s love for baking in general and a trip she and Jeff took to NYC. They discovered a famous bakery with amazing cookies, and Marissa turned her focus to making her version of the “Ultimate Cookie.” The Cookie Society officially opened for business in 2018, but Marissa and Jeff opened their first brick and mortar location in Texas in 2020. They joined us on The Bloom Pod to share their experiences opening their store during the pandemic, being first-time business owners, and how their student-athlete backgrounds have helped them along the way. Marissa’s Instagram: @firstandfull  More on the Cookie Society: ___ Fluffy by Smith The Mister Smith The Mister Free Download / Stream: Music promoted by Audio Library
November 09, 2021
#33 To NIL and Beyond with Sivonnia DeBarros
Sivonnia DeBarros, the Protector of Athletes, is a first-generation lawyer and law business owner, woman in business and a former track and field Division-I College athlete. DeBarros graduated from Chicago-Kent College of Law with her J.D. in 2013, received a M.S. in Criminal Justice from Everest University in 2010, and her B.S. in Political Science from University of South Florida in 2008. DeBarros has represented pro athletes from the NFL, MLS, NBA-G League, and Pro-Table Tennis sports; 7- figure National Brands and NY Times Best-Selling Authors by helping them to properly set up businesses, put proper agreements in place and create legacies that will pay dividends in the future. DeBarros has been featured on CBS, ABC, WGN, Shoutout LA, and a host of podcasts such as A Frugal Athlete, Influential Entrepreneurs, Tackle What’s Next, and Maximum Lawyer to name a few. DeBarros is passionate about helping athletes, women, and first-generation business owners because she understands the peculiar struggle many have faced by not having the necessary support and guidance to be successful. She joined us on The Bloom Pod to share how her experiences led her to a career in law and why her background in athletics is so important to the work she does today. Tayler asks about Sivonnia’s recent book on NIL, and the two discuss the potential impact of the legislation on athletes. Learn more about Sivonnia’s legal services at Listen to her podcast on sports legal issues and more at ___ Fluffy by Smith The Mister Smith The Mister Free Download / Stream: Music promoted by Audio Library
November 02, 2021
#32 Diversifying Candidate Pools with Daniel Fitzpatrick
Daniel Fitzpatrick is a student-athlete services expert who has worked extensively within collegiate athletics. Through his experiences, he realized the data showed there was both a lack of diversity within athletic departments and hiring applicant pools across the nation. Fitzpatrick currently serves as the Assistant Director for Student-Athlete Support Services at Loyola University Maryland and recently completed his master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction for Social Justice. Daniel joined us to talk about how his experiences attending a predominantly white high school and an HBCU led him to the work he is doing today. He and Tayler discussed the passion he has for his alma mater, Tennessee State University. The two talk about his recent ventures in launching Depth Chart Database.  More on Depth Chart Database:  ___  Fluffy by Smith The Mister  Smith The Mister  Free Download / Stream:  Music promoted by Audio Library
October 26, 2021
#31 Tayler and Melissa Return
We've said it before and we'll say it again - it's been a minute! Tayler and Melissa take some time to catch everyone up on what caused the 8 month hiatus between recordings. Melissa shares a semi-alarming story about how she spent her 30th birthday last January.  ____ Fluffy by Smith The Mister   Smith The Mister   Free Download / Stream: Music promoted by Audio Library
October 19, 2021
#30 Championship Baking with Julianna Jung
Julianna Jung is a championship baker and a student in the field of public health. She joined us to talk about her experiences with baking and shared how she ended up on TV. Since being discovered on Instagram, she has had the opportunity to showcase her baking skills for the masses. As a student in public health, she also discussed her thoughts on how COVID-19 might impact the future of healthcare systems. Tayler asks Julianna about the best baking appliances, and the two decide that buttercream icing is (of course) better than whipped icing. Julianna’s Instagram:
February 09, 2021
#29 Domestic Feminism with Alex Onion
Alex Onion is the self-avowed #DomesticFeminist and the owner and operator of Mertle and Dot, a Chicago-based floral design company. Outside of Mertle and Dot, though, she works in Chicago tech full-time. Excluding Tayler, Alex is the third Onion to grace The Bloom Pod, and she brought a new kind of bloom to the show. She explained how Mertle and Dot got its start and why it took her so long to launch an official website. Tayler asks about the domestic feminist hashtag, and the two discuss the concept of combining multiple identities to form one unique identity. Mertle & Dot:
February 02, 2021
#28 Creating Generational Impact with Edward Jones II
Edward Jones II is currently the Assistant Athletic Director for Player Development at Baylor University. With previous stints at Kansas University and the University of Houston, Edward focuses on the holistic development of the student-athletes he works with. He recently founded the Beyond the Field Program, LLC, which creates programming that inspires generational impact. Edward joined us to share how his grandfathers set the tone for generational impact in his own family. The two discuss Edward’s preferred name (Ed vs. Edward) and the meanings behind the names. Tayler asks if he prefers Kansas BBQ or Texas BBQ. Beyond the Field:
January 26, 2021
#27 Flights, Fitness and Felicity with Ashlynn Fields
Ashlynn Fields is a higher education professional, sports enthusiast, and a part of #TeamAwesome, otherwise known as Women Leaders in College Sports. She joined us to talk about her background, interests in higher education, love for craft beer, and much more. Tayler and Ashlynn discuss her purpose, which is to enhance the holistic growth of others and increase access for women of color who aspire to work in higher education and beyond. Ashlynn talks about how she started her @BreweryBliss Instagram page, which focuses on “flights, fitness, and felicity.” The two discuss Ashlynn’s latest blog post, which talks about vulnerability and getting outside of your comfort zone. Ashlynn’s website: Brewery Bliss:
January 19, 2021
#26 Framing Questions to Drive Change with John Shertzer
John Shertzer is the Executive Director at the Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ). John joined us to share how he went from working in leadership development for youth groups to his current role at SPJ. He discussed the idea of perpetuating a free press and the importance of fact finding and truth seeking in journalism. Tayler and John also discuss the differences in media accessibility between presidential administrations. More on the Society of Professional Journalists:
January 12, 2021
#25 Authenticity and Bringing Your Full Self with Resa Lovelace
Resa Lovelace is the founder and president of RBL Theory, LLC, and currently serves as the Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Enhancement at the University of Maryland, College Park. Resa is a repeat guest for The Bloom Pod, as she served on our first-ever panel-style episode last summer. She joined us to talk about what she’s been up to since our N4A Panel episode aired, and she shared the importance of being your authentic self in every space you occupy. Tayler and Resa also discuss the power of music as therapy and share some of their favorite artists. More information RBL Theory:
December 29, 2020
#24 Intentional Student-Athlete Development Programming with Alexander Martin
Alexander Martin is a student-athlete development professional and doctoral student. Currently, he serves as the Assistant Director of Student-Athlete Development at the University of Miami (FL). Alexander discusses his background and shares how a mentor during his undergraduate experience helped to shape his vision for his career path. Tayler asks Alexander about the differences between working in on-campus students activities versus working in athletics. The two discuss the keys to successfully developing student-athletes for life after college.
December 22, 2020
#23 Becoming a Millennial Millionaire with Blake Konrardy
Blake Konrardy is the Millennial Millionaire. He is also the Vice President of Product at kin insurance, and the creator of more than 40 patents granted by the US Patent Office. Blake joined us to talk about his book, Millennial Millionaire, and the experiences that led him to that point. Tayler asks Blake to “dumb down” the meaning of actuarial science. The two discuss Blake’s idea for a protein beer (which didn’t work out) and the sports betting company he started that was a bit ahead of its time. Blake’s Book:
December 15, 2020
#22 Building Community-Centered Team Cultures with Mike Avery
Mike Avery is the current head coach of Fort Wayne FC, which is a men’s outdoor soccer team competing in the United States Soccer League 2 (USL2). “Coach” Avery joined us to share his journey from college coaching and how his transition to the professional level came to be. Tayler asked Mike about his focus on “community centered program building.” Mike shared how his experience surrounding a team he coached in 2014 solidified the fact that athletes are in a unique position to help heal. More information Fort Wayne FC:
December 08, 2020
#21 "Npowering" Yourself and Others with Karyn Nishimura Sneath
Karyn Nishimura Sneath is the Director of Education for the Society of Professional Journalists, and the owner of Npower, which is a leadership and organizational development consulting practice. The two talk about Karyn’s first impressions of Tayler’s mom, Cathy. Karyn shared how her experiences in Panhellenic ultimately led her to a career in helping teams function at their best. Tayler asks Karyn about her thoughts on individual assessments versus team assessments, particularly with the DiSC brand. More information on Npower: More on the Society of Professional Journalists:
December 01, 2020
#20 Best of Season 1 (Bonus Episode)
Tayler’s mom, Cathy Onion, makes a triumphant (and surprise) return to the Bloom Pod to share some of her infamous episode notes! During this bonus episode, Tayler and Cathy revisit major points from the guests of season one, and share some of their favorite moments.
October 20, 2020
#19 The Power of Positivity with JP Abercrumbie
JP Abercrumbie serves as the Associate Athletic Director at Rice University and the Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer. She is a former student-athlete, a fellow Women Leaders Institute for Administrative Advancement graduate, and a lover of positive vibes. She shared with the Bloom Pod how her background and experiences - across all the time zones - propelled her to the position she’s in today. Tayler and JP give a shout out to their IAA West 2019 sisterhood. JP explains how you can learn something from anyone if you’re just willing to learn. In the recap, Melissa wonders whether celebrities fly on commercial airlines and Tayler provides an answer. The two revel in all the gems JP dropped during her interview. Social Media: @Just_JP_
October 13, 2020
#18 Speaking Your Success with Jonathan Jones
Jonathan Jones is a former student-athlete turned professional turned speaker. A TEDx Alum, he uses his life experiences to help develop current student-athletes through engaging and interactive sessions. Jonathan shares how he moved from an elementary after school to retail to speaking engagements. The two discuss his brief stint in phonebook sales in the Texas heat, as well as how his experiences at various jobs shaped the message for his book, Process. Jonathan speaks about how he was “vetted” prior to his TEDxKids experience and shares some advice on tangible strategies for success. More on Jonathan:
September 29, 2020
#17 The Intersection of Sport and Social Justice with Dr. Jeff O'Brien
Dr. Jeff O’Brien is the Vice President for the Institute of Sport and Social Justice (ISSJ), and serves as a facilitator and leader in a variety of other capacities, including NCAA Leadership Development, Huddle Up, and more. Jeff shared how his background and experiences led him to the work he does today. The two discuss the importance of active learning, particularly in spaces of social justice and gender equity. Jeff talks about how he became a Subject Matter Expert on bystander intervention and violence against women for all branches of the US military and Australian Army. He also shares a neat story about his experience facilitating a session for the NBA’s Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs. Social Media: @JeffOB_Ldrshp More on the ISSJ: More on Huddle Up:
September 15, 2020
#16 The Pandemic's Impact on the Arts with Lauren Partch
Lauren Partch is an actor, producer, writer, singer, and she is the cousin of our trusty sidekick - Melissa! Lauren shared with us her experiences in the arts and how COVID-19 has impacted the “normal” practices of the industry. Tayler shares a story about accidentally scaring Melissa when they lived together, and Lauren agrees that having Melissa as a roommate leads to many shenanigans. The two discuss Lauren’s favorite projects so far, as well as her latest endeavor with My Little Renaissance Girl. In the recap, Melissa and Tayler debate over the definitions of “feature film” and “short film.” Social Media: @lauren_rosemary_ More on My Little Renaissance Girl:
September 01, 2020
#15 The Power of Mindset with Harvie Herrington
Harvie Herrington is a Youth Motivational and Leadership speaker. A former professional football player, Harvie has also worked as a coach, a fitness instructor, and a teacher. He shared with us some of his life experiences, including his recent bout with kidney cancer. The two discuss how his coaching career led him to his current endeavors in motivational speaking. Harvie shares his insights on the power of mindset and goal setting. Harvie's Website:
August 11, 2020
#14 Life in the NBA Bubble with Tim Sinclair
Tim Sinclair is the public address announcer for the Indiana Pacers, the Chicago Fire, and the Fighting Illini. Tim has also served as the voice of the 2020 NBA All-Star game and the 2020 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament. Tim shares his experiences being in the NBA Bubble in Orlando during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tayler asks whether he ever sleeps with all that he is involved with. The two discuss Tim’s YouTube channel and the song parodies he’s been producing during quarantine. Tim shares his experience as an author and how his tech startup, RINGR, came to be. Social Media: @timjsinclair YouTube Channel: More about Tim:
August 04, 2020
#13 The Medical School Journey with Dr. Susie Koch
Dr. Susie Koch is in her residency at Washington University in St. Louis. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois, a former barista, and just a really swell lady. Tayler shares the Susie-based jingle that was stuck in her head prior to the interview. Susie discusses how her background and upbringing led her to pursue a career in medicine. The two talk about the ridiculous expenses associated with the application processes in higher education. Susie shares some of her insights about the COVID-19 pandemic.
July 28, 2020
#12 Defining Your Purpose with Mark Trumbo
Mark Trumbo is a student-athlete development professional and the mastermind behind Purpose Design. He’s also recently been rocking the alter ego of DJ TRUMBEATZ while facilitating some leadership development programming, which he and Tayler discuss. The two talk organizational involvement and the power of a great network. Mark gets into the “how” and “why” of his Purpose Design and how it came to be. In the recap, Tayler shares her experience of what it was like going through Mark’s Purpose Design, and Melissa shares more on her interest in attending a grocery store conference, as well as her love of pranks. Purpose Design: Social Media: @MarkHTrumbo
July 21, 2020
#11 Lifelong Learning and Lessons from the Farm with Cathy Onion (Tayler's Mom)
Cathy Onion (Tayler’s mom) is a lifelong learner, former college professor, farm kid, and all-around great lady. Tayler jokes that she wanted to interview Cathy to find out what it was like to have the perfect daughter. Cathy shares with Tayler some of her life story, including several stories Tayler didn’t know prior to the interview. The two talk about Cathy’s love of organizational involvement, which started at a very young age. In the recap, Tayler shares the Generous Coffee jingles she promised Melissa in a recent episode. Melissa brainstorms a potential comeback Tweet, after taking a nearly two-year hiatus.
July 14, 2020
#10 Youth Sport and Higher Education with Dr. Ed Horne
Dr. Ed Horne is a former tennis student-athlete and a current higher education professional. Tayler and Ed talk about his research interests. Ed talks about youth sport and the coach/parent relationships. The two discuss the ins and outs of the professional tennis circuit and how taxing it can be for the athletes. In the recap (which almost didn’t happen), Tayler and Melissa talk about mispronunciations, the game of cricket, and Melissa’s time management skills.
June 30, 2020
#9 From Coaching to Social Justice: "Be scared, but do it anyway" with Jen Fry
Jen Fry is a former student-athlete turned volleyball coach turned academic administrator turned social justice educator. She is the founder and owner of Jen Fry Talks, which is a social justice education firm that uses conversation to educate and empower audiences through an anti-racist lens. The two talk about their shared bitterness of losing the 2011 NCAA Volleyball National Championship to UCLA. Jen talks about how her experiences in athletics led her to her current anti-racism work. Tayler asks if it was scary to make a career pivot after so many years in the college coaching world. Jen talks about her latest webinar series with Dr. Victoria Farris.  Social media: @jenfrytalks  Website:
June 23, 2020
#8 N4A Panel: Student-Athlete Development & College Athletics
Today’s episode is our first-ever panel-style episode of The Bloom Pod! Our guests are college athletics and student-athlete development professionals from around the country: Lamarr Pottinger, NCAA Leadership Development (@Lamarr_Lead) Resa Lovelace, University of Maryland at College Park (@RBLTheory09) Dr. Kristina Navarro, University of Wisconsin-Platteville (@DrKMNavarro) Dr. Lacee’ Carmon-Johnson, Purdue University (@MRScoachlacee) These four have had a variety of different experiences both as student-athletes and professionals, and we’re so grateful they joined us! NCAA Leadership Development: Return on Inclusion: (website), @ROInclusion (Twitter) Resa's website:
June 16, 2020
#7 Graphic Tees and Entrepreneurship with Kari Jo Kelso
Kari Jo is a veterinarian practicing small animal medicine, and she is also the founder and owner of Rosebuds Tees, which is a company that makes “graphic tees for small town lovin’ women.” Since its inception in 2016, Rosebuds Tees has created a variety of graphic tees, tanks, and sweatshirts, and has garnered nearly 19,000 followers on Instagram. Kari Jo tells us how she came up with the name “Rosebuds,” and Tayler asks about her design process. The two discuss the difficulty of backing up a truck trailer. Rosebuds Tees Website: Rosebuds Tees Instagram:
June 09, 2020
#6 The Importance of Personal Branding with Will Baggett
Will Baggett is a professional speaker, an author, and the founder of The Executive Image. His book is titled The Blueprint for a Successful Career, and it has earned a solid five star rating on Amazon. As the founder of Executive Image, Will leads workshops on professional presence and development for college student-athletes. Tayler and Will discuss his career path to date, and the process of writing his book. Will talks about the power of utilizing relationships and networking as resources. They also talk about the importance of using personal branding to build a career. More on The Executive Image: The Blueprint for a Successful Career:
May 26, 2020
#5 The Dangers of Chasing Perfection with Dr. Ashlesha Lokhande
Dr. Ashlesha Lokhande is a Doctor of Philosophy, a higher education professional, and an entrepreneur. She currently serves as an academic advisor at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. Tayler and Ash talk about Ash’s experience as an international student and her  journey in and out of (and eventually back into) the world of college athletics. Ash discusses her adventure in candle-making and entrepreneurship, as well as her company’s nonprofit ties. The two discuss the idea of chasing perfection and the stresses it can bring. More information on fire & ash candle:
May 19, 2020
#4 "ONIONS!" Sport Broadcasting with Connor Onion
ONIONS! If you’re a sports fan, you’ve likely heard that catchphrase from Bill Raftery. Episode 4 features a different kind of sport-related Onion. Connor Onion is a sports broadcaster, and currently serves as the “TV Voice” of the Southern Illinois University Salukis. Connor has worked with an array of sports at the collegiate and semi-pro level including the Quad City River Bandits and the Kane County Cougars. Tayler and Connor discuss his career path from 2017 until now. Connor talks about the ins and outs of sport broadcasting. The two discuss #TheLastDance and Connor’s appreciation for Tony Kukoc.
May 12, 2020
#3 Owning Your Destiny with Tim Bryson
Tim Bryson is a Student-Athlete Development professional, and currently serves as Program Director for Student-Athlete Career Development at the University of Maryland, College Park. Tim is a speaker, future Doctor of Philosophy, and a craft beer fanatic. Tim and Tayler discuss Tim’s career path to date and his PhD research interests. Tim talks about his blog ( and how his pinned tweet (“you can’t impeach vision”) came to be. The two also talk about Tim’s love for craft beer. In the recap, Melissa and Tayler re-hash Tim's idea of saying “no” to things that don’t add value to your life. They also talk about their enneagram styles and Melissa shares a story from college that perfectly illustrates each of their styles. Tim's blog:   Tim's LLC: Social Media: @timothyfbryson, @TheIPAWay, @WalkWithTFB
May 05, 2020
#2 Starting Over: Life as a Professional Athlete with Olympian Michelle Bartsch-Hackley
Michelle Bartsch-Hackley is a professional volleyball player and a member of the USA Volleyball National Team. Affectionately known by her family and teammates as “Bartschy,” she was recently inducted into the 2020 Illini Athletics Hall of Fame Class. Barstchy tells the BloomPod the anticlimactic way she found out about her induction, and talks about the night her husband proposed. Tayler and Bartschy discuss emotional whiplash and the vibe around the Olympics being delayed. They also talk about Bartschy’s home renovations and recent partnership with Mizuno Volleyball.
April 28, 2020
#1 Dreaming Big and Paying it Forward with Melissa Lutz
Melissa Lutz is the Owner/General Manager of the Generous Coffee Shops in Denver and Golden, Colorado. Melissa tells the BloomPod how she met Tayler, and how she used to pretend to be the libero on the volleyball team at the University of Illinois. Tayler makes a big ask of Melissa as her first guest on the show, and Melissa builds suspense by waiting until the end of the episode to mention the relatively big name of her business partner at Generous Coffee. The two talk about Melissa’s hobbies outside of running the coffee shops, and they not-so-subtly ask Google and Bagel Bites to sponsor the show. More information on the Generous Movement:
April 21, 2020
The Bloom Pod Preview
Not sure if The Bloom Pod is for you? Have a listen and confirm your suspicion! Each episode will bring you new people talkin' about stuff. Stuff that makes them who they are. Stuff that makes their ideas move. And then probably just some other general stuff, too. 
April 11, 2020