This is Catalyze, a podcast produced by the Morehead-Cain Foundation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. With a wink and a nod to the Foundation's two chemist benefactors—John Motley Morehead III and Gordon Cain—“Catalyze” is meant to represent action, movement, and bringing about change. Our conversations with action-oriented alumni and scholars cover Carolina experiences, career evolutions, individual leadership approaches, personal values, and all kinds of stories of transformation, resilience, and achievement.
The Catalyze podcast: Oscars announcer and Forum emcee Janora McDuffie-Ryan ’99 on reframing success
The year of 2022 has been a remarkable one for Janora McDuffie-Ryan ’99, an actress, voiceover artist, and host. The alumna catches up with Catalyze about the past eight months, which have included movie deals, hosting Kia’s launch event in Phoenix for their first-ever electric vehicle, attending Pride Celebrations at the White House and Vice President Harris’s residence, announcing the Institute for Responsible Citizenship’s 20th anniversary celebration at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., and, of course, serving as the first African American and openly gay female announcer for the 94th Academy Awards.
Federal judge nominee Jerry Blackwell ’84 on the story behind the Chauvin trial as special prosecutor
Trial lawyer Jerry Blackwell ’84 sat down with Catalyze hosts Sarah O’Carroll and Benny Klein ’24 to share his story of joining the prosecution team, some of the strategies behind the case, and what it was like to deliver the closing remarks of the trial.
Brad Rathgeber ’01, CEO of One Schoolhouse, on a relationships-first approach to online learning, with scholar host Benny Klein ’24
Brad Rathgeber ’01 is the head of school and CEO of One Schoolhouse, a “partner to independent schools that envisions and embodies what’s next in education, online learning, and professional development.”
The alumnus shares with host Benny Klein ’24 of the Scholar Media Team about working with three other Morehead-Cains as a rising second-year college student for a nonprofit scholarship program in Zimbabwe, teaching and coaching at Holton-Arms School in Washington, D.C., and how his time at the school for girls formed the groundwork for building his own company.
Podcast producer Nick Andersen ’12 on navigating his career in media and what it’s like to work for PBS MASTERPIECE
Nick Andersen ’12 is a podcast producer for GBH Boston, the primary PBS member station in Boston. Nick shares with host Benny Klein ’24 of the Scholar Media Team about his work on the PBS MASTERPIECE series. Before joining GBH, the producer worked for WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station, and NPR’s On Point show.
Jamie DeMent Holcomb ’01 on how saying ‘yes’ led her to success as a museum CEO, venture capitalist, writer, chef, and farmer, with scholar host Benny Klein ’24
Jamie DeMent Holcomb ’01 stopped by the Foundation in March 2022 to speak with host Benny Klein ’24 of the Scholar Media Team during her campaign for North Carolina Senate (District 23).
Jamie shares about growing up in Franklin County, North Carolina; watching the Duke vs. UNC game during her final selection weekend; spotting Brad Pitt and Quentin Tarantino on the Universal Studios set, and her love of science museums.
A quick message from the Morehead-Cain Scholar Media Team, with Tucker Stillman ’25
Tucker Stillman ’25 from the Morehead-Cain Scholar Media Team shares about the latest stories from the team. The music for this episode was produced and contributed by Asher Wexler ’25 and Emmaus Holder ’23.
Great podcast for inspiration + connection to the Carolina community!
Love this podcast! It is inspiring to hear about UNC alumni in a wide range of professions, life stages, etc. The host does a great job of digging into more than the guests’ career trajectories. The breadth of guests and topics keeps each episode fresh. It energizes me when I’m reminded of this great community that I am lucky to be a part of!
Fantastic new podcast!
This podcast from the Morehead-Cain Foundation has tons of potential. The alumni of this program are so diverse and so accomplished that their stories would be interesting to anyone wanting to make a difference in the world! Can’t wait to see where it goes.