In these conversations, President Andy Hamilton interviews NYU faculty, students, and alumni who are using their intellectual gifts, determination, and creativity to make a profound difference in our world. With each guest, he pulls back the curtain to learn the origins of their inspiration, the current focus of their work, and their vision for the future.
13: Coach Kim Wyant
Kim Wyant, head coach of the NYU men's soccer team, is a groundbreaking athlete and coach. When she was appointed to this role in 2015, she was the only woman coaching an NCAA men's soccer team. In fall 2022, she gained wide publicity for a historic matchup against Julianne Sitch—the new coach for the UChicago men's team. The two teams played to a draw, and Chicago went on to win the NCAA Div III national championship.
In addition to her years of success as a coach for numerous teams, Wyant was also a highly accomplished player. She was a starter for the University of Central Florida in the first-ever NCAA Women's National Championship Game (1982), and was named MVP of that tournament. She was named first team All-American as a college senior.
Wyant played goalkeeper for the first United States Women's National Team in their inaugural international game against Italy in 1985. In 2008, Wyant received the Special Recognition Award from the National Soccer Hall of Fame for her contributions to the National Team.
12: Molly Shannon
Molly Shannon (NYU Tisch '87) is an actress and comedian who was a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1995 to 2001. Her recent television roles include Enlightened (2013), Divorce (2016-19), The White Lotus (2021), and I Love That For You (2022). Her voice can be heard in the animated films Igor (2008) and the Hotel Transylvania film series (2012–2022). In 2017, she won the Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Other People. Her best-selling memoir, Hello, Molly!, was published in April 2022. Shannon is renowned for comedy that is both fearless and empathetic.
11: Professor David Holland
David Holland is a renowned climate scientist who recently returned from the Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica. He works in close partnership with his wife, Denise Holland, who is his manager of field and logistics.
Fascinated by the Arctic since his childhood in Newfoundland and Labrador, he discusses what we know—and don’t yet know—about the warming of the oceans and its threat to humankind; his shuttling between teaching and research in urban centers and intensive fieldwork in some of the most beautiful and dangerous regions of the world; and the politicization of climate science as vast changes become more of a reality.
Holland is an esteemed global scientist—recently made a fellow of the American Geophysical Union—who has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers in the field of polar environmental science. At NYU, he is professor of mathematics and atmosphere/ocean science at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences; director of the Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in New York City; and director of the Center for Sea Level Change at NYU Abu Dhabi.
10: Professor Deb Willis
Deb Willis is an artist, photographer, author, and educator, and she is one of the nation's leading historians and curators of African American photography. At NYU, she is a University Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging in NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Willis is widely published; her most recent book is The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship (NYU Press, 2021). In addition to making art, writing, and teaching, she has served as a consultant to museums, archives, and educational centers. She has also appeared and consulted on media projects, including documentary films such as Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People; Question Bridge: Black Males, a transmedia project, which received the ICP Infinity Award 2015; and American Photography, a PBS Documentary.
Since 2006, she has co-organized thematic conferences exploring “Black Portraitures,” focusing on imaging the Black body. She holds honorary degrees from Pratt Institute and the Maryland Institute, College of Art. She is currently researching two projects, on photography and the Black Arts Movement, and artists reimaging history.
In the reckoning with the still-pervasive racism within America, Willis’s work confronts and upends our comprehension of the past and expands our capacity to understand the current moment.
She is also a contributor to the forthcoming Are the Arts Essential?, an anthology of major American artists, scholars, and funders who contemplate this question, based on a multiyear series of symposia convened by the Brademas Center (NYU Press, February 2022).
09: Rosanne Cash
Rosanne Cash has spent her career as a musician and author telling stories—from the Mississippi Delta, from her family’s roots in the 19th century, and from her own American experience. Now she brings that spirit to NYU students to "explore and spread the word about the roots music that informs so much of what I do and who I am.”
A four-time Grammy winner and immensely successful crossover artist in country, pop, and Americana, she moved from Nashville to New York City in 1991 and considers it home. She continues to compose, record, and perform extensively, as well as to write memoir, fiction, and essays.
Cash joined the NYU Steinhardt School as the 2021-22 Americana Artist-in-Residence—the first artist’s residency developed in partnership with the Americana Music Association Foundation. She will present, curate, and moderate a variety of lectures, discussions, workshops, performances, and classroom visits throughout the 2021-22 academic year, including a three-day Lyric Workshop, in which a handful of NYU Steinhardt songwriting students will develop and workshop original material under her guidance.
08: Professor Deborah Archer
Deborah N. Archer is the Jacob K. Javits Professor at NYU and Professor of Clinical Law at the NYU School of Law. She also directs the Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law, and the Civil Rights Clinic at the NYU School of Law. Archer is a nationally recognized expert in civil rights, civil liberties, and racial justice.
In January 2021, she was elected national board president of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the first Black person to hold the position in the ACLU’s 101-year history.
Before the board presidency of the ACLU, Archer was a member of the ACLU’s executive committee and served as general counsel to the board. She is a former chair of the American Association of Law Schools’ Section on Civil Rights and Section on Minority Groups. For many years, she served on the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, the body that investigates police misconduct. She was also a member of the board of the New York Civil Liberties Union, where she litigated in the areas of voting rights, employment discrimination, and school desegregation.
President Hamilton speaks with Professor Archer about her career as a civil rights attorney and scholar, her projects at NYU , her new role at the ACLU, and her view of the next steps—legal and cultural—toward the dismantling of racism within American institutions and society.
what a entertaining, informative podcast !!!
What an icon.
Interesting but very stiff
Don’t title this “Conversations” if this isn’t going to be a genuine conversation! Andy’s pre-written questions set up good talking points for interesting subjects, but every thought is quickly curtailed in order to make way for another pre-written question. This podcast should be interesting conversations with interesting people, not just interviews with them- for there are already many of those!