KAMP student radio guest appearance


KAMP programming director Alli Gilbreath and Shane Burgess on the air.
KAMP student radio programming director Alli Gilbreath (left) and Shane Burgess played songs and had a wide-ranging conversation during Gilbreath's show Nov. 5, 2018.

Nov. 7, 2018

By Shane Burgess, University of Arizona Vice President for Agriculture, Life and Veterinary Sciences, and Cooperative Extension

The last time I visited a college radio station, there were stacks of vinyl records and all the phones had cords attached to the receivers. I won’t date myself any further than that.

I was delighted when I had the opportunity to stop by KAMP student radio recently for a guest appearance on Alli Gilbreath’s show. Today, digital has replaced vinyl and everyone has a smartphone, but as Alli and I talked about, change is something to be embraced.

In fact, we covered an incredibly wide range of topics, from British author and veterinarian James Herriot to pop star Britney Spears, and the earliest humans at Olduvai Gorge in Africa to the origins of young people’s careers as they transition from college to professional life, plus careers, stress management, the importance of creativity, and more. I really enjoyed the conversation.

I also got to play DJ, and Alli was kind enough to indulge my playlist. If you’d like to have a listen, it’s been compiled on Spotify.

“It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” R.E.M, 1987

In life, there is always an “end of the world”, which is a positive thing rather than a negative. Change is constant. That’s why I am energized whenever I hear this song. I understand the pressure college students feel almost constantly, from coursework and exams to graduation and trying to decide what’s next and how to get there, and the best advice I can offer is, it’s not the end of the world.

“Scatterlings Of Africa” Johnny Clegg, 1982

I love this song because it reminds us that we as humans are fundamentally the same. Genetically, we can all trace our beginnings to Olduvai Gorge, so we are all “scatterlings” on a journey of discovery. My own journey took me from my home country of New Zealand to Australia, England, Scotland, Mississippi, and now Arizona. I certainly never expected to become a college dean; I began my career as a veterinarian and then went into research, but again, change is constant. Life is rarely a linear progression—and that is OK.

“Weather With You” Crowded House, 1992

Crowded House is a band that includes members from both New Zealand and Australia, so of course having family roots in both countries I connect strongly with that. As I told Alli, I don’t know if this is what the song really means, but to me it’s about the fact that your attitude is the only thing you can change and carry with you. No one can take away what you decide or how you think; only you chose if they influence it or not.

Alli asked me about stress management, and how I earned my Ph.D. while working full-time. I know many undergraduates worry about what they want to do next in life. I was fortunate in that I was able to continue my professional career while working toward my Ph.D., but managing stress is always important. I have no secret, but being energized with what you are doing versus depleted by it makes a difference.

“Dance Called America” Runrig, 1985

This song prompted our discussion about creative collaboration. For me, creativity comes from interacting with others. It was a turning point for me when I took a Myers-Briggs test and found out I am an auditory learner rather than visual learner. No matter if you are still an undergraduate or in the middle of your career, it’s important to be on a continual path of self-exploration.

“Some Nights” Fun, 2012

Finally, into the 21st Century! Doesn’t everybody have some nights of self-doubt, questioning what you believe? And as I said on-air, I’ve been through some terrible things in my life, a very few of which actually happened. I like this song because to me it’s ultimately optimistic.

I had a great time being on the air with Alli and I look forward to a return visit with a new playlist!

Here is a link to a recording of the show: https://anchor.fm/alli-gilbreath/episodes/KAMP-Student-Radio-Interview-with-Dean-Shane-Burgess-e3pfn8

Media contact:
Joel Badzinski, coordinator, external communications
520-621-3729, jbadzinski@email.arizona.edu