Here we are. 300 episodes. I can’t believe it really. FreshEd has been putting out regular content for 2,569 days. That’s just over 7 years and averages a new episode every 8.5 days.  We’ve produced close to 200 hours of recorded conversations about education broadly defined. Over 1 million words transcribed. In that time, we started a fellowship program for graduate students and two spin-off podcasts in other languages. There are so many people to thank, from the FreshEd team, who make this all possible, to our big institutional donors, who give us the freedom to produce independent content. I don’t have time to thank everyone who makes FreshEd possible. But I’d like to pay special tribute to the thousands of listeners who tune in every week from across the globe. Because of you, the whole FreshEd team devotes countless hours to make show possible week after week. So thank you. Thank you for your support, your engagement, and your shared love of education and podcasts. We’ll keep going so long as you keep listening.

I didn’t know the best way to celebrate 300. Reflecting on the past 7 years I started wondering about the pre-history of FreshEd. Where did the idea come from? Who shaped its direction? And then I remembered the name Greg Skutches, a mentor to me during my undergraduate studies at Lehigh University.  Greg saw education as an end in itself, not some means to another end like a high paying job. He loved learning and supporting the process of student learning. Recently he’s written an op-ed in the school newspaper where he calls for us to reimagine higher education as a Carnival of Learning. I love that phrase: a Carnival of Learning where anything is possible. I think it captures the idea Greg instilled in me nearly 15 years ago. I also think it’s what I’ve always wanted FreshEd to be.

So to celebrate this podcasting milestone I’ve invited Greg Skutches on the show. In our conversation, we discuss topics far beyond FreshEd. We get into the purpose and meaning of education. What it means to have a voice. And learn from our failures. To push boundaries. And take on institutional power.

Greg Skutches is the Director of Writing Across the Curriculum at Lehigh University and teaches courses in the university’s English department.

Citation: Skutches, Greg, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 300, podcast audio, November 7, 2022.