Season 3 – Kansas City

You can listen to each episode right here on this website!

Education and the Environment

This episode gives you an overview of the US education system while also discussing various educational ideologies. The second part of the episode goes more specifically into education as it pertains to the environment and environmental conservation. My guest in this episode is Bridgett Chapin, a dear friend from college who holds a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and is now a Professor of Environmental Science at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas.


This episode is basically a lesson in jazz, in dialogue with an amazing musician, Clint Ashlock, the artistic director of the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra. Clint is also a trumpeter and a composer and has been featured as a solo artist all over the world. The episode discusses the origins of jazz, how it compares to swing or the blues, goes into New Orleans Jazz vs. Kansas City Jazz, and delves into some of the socio-cultural aspects of jazz. Clint Ashlock exudes music even when he’s speaking.

His verbal imitation of different beats and styles is incredibly informative and entertaining. And, you will find musical treats from the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra both within this podcast episode and on our website  

Video: Both Sides Now – featuring Molly Hammer, Clint Ashlock and the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra. Complements of KCJO.

Clothing and Fashion

Why have humans placed such importance on the way they cover their bodies? Do clothes make the man? What is the difference between mere clothes and fashion? How has fashion developed throughout history? What are some of the milestones in fashion? What is the difference between clothes, fashion, haute couture, and costumes? – these are some of the questions discussed in this episode. 

My guest is Vincent Scassellati, resident costume designer for the Missouri Repertory Theater and head of the costume design program at UMKC between 1964 and 2000. Vincent has designed the costuming for more than 250 professional theater productions throughout the United States and continues to put his talent and knowledge to work at the Kansas City Costume Company.


From addressing issues faced by the police to discussing education, community leadership, housing, transportation, the fire department, and the founding principles of the US in general, the Mayor of Kansas City, Kansas, Tyrone Garner, talks quite candidly about his plans and visions for bettering people’s lives through his public service. Mayor Garner is a former police officer and deputy chief of police. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico. He is a great supporter of Barack Obama’s ideas for community policing. He is an advocate for unity and humanity and working together for the common good. Website:; Instagram: @drjpodcast; LinkedIn: Henriette J. Runte


What do we eat and why? How do we nourish our families and our communities? How can cultural integration occur through the sharing of food? What is the actual value of our food – the fruits and vegetables we consume, the dairy products we use, the animals we eat… Jennifer Doty from the Lenexa Farmers Market joins me to answer these questions and more. 
@drjpodcast @quadylle


As I grow older, I find myself often preoccupied with trying to achieve a sense of beauty and elegance that I would call ageless grace. My guest in this episode is Michele Hamlett-Weith, a retired Dutch-American ballet dancer and an all-around graceful person. Together, we tackle three main questions: How do we go through life and the many obstacles it throws in our way with grace? How do we age with grace? How does grace affect everything we do? 


January 15th 2022 marks the great playwright Molière’s 400th Birthday as well as the day I turned 50. This episode aires the lecture I held this past November at the Kansas City Museum. The lecture is entitled “Molière and me” and aims to draw parallels between the playwright and myself, and to entertain while informing the audience about Molière’s life and theater.


Gain insight into nursing in the USA from this interview with Leslie Rogers, a surgical nurse with 48 years of experience. Leslie speaks candidly about the nursing profession – the beauty, the difficulties and her hopes for the future.

Football – as in soccer

The sport known in the US as soccer and referred to everywhere else in the world as football has an amazing culturally unifying effect on both the players and the spectators. In this episode I talk to Peter Vermes, the Manager, Director and Head Coach of Sporting KC. Peter is a former professional soccer player and member of the US national soccer team (1988 – 1997). He went to the Olympics with the US national team in 1988 and played in the World Cup in 1990. He is, as of 2020, the longest tenured head coach in Major League Soccer. Peter and I talk about how soccer can transcend borders, about the significance of language and culture to national and club soccer, as well as about how success in soccer requires universal leadership and team-building strategies.    

At the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art with Director/CEO Julián Zugazagoitia [English]

„… speaking several languages can show people how life is nuance and how the many different ways of looking at the world are all legitimate.“

Julián Zugazagoitia and Dr. J first discuss the linguistic and sociological effects and implications of being not only bilingual but multilingual. The conclusion is that speaking several languages can show people how life is nuance and how the many different ways of looking at the world are all legitimate. The second part of the interview concentrates on the museum experience, and Julián Zugazagoitia draws on his intimate knowledge of many renowned museums around the world. The focus, however, is the amazing Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City and how the museum represents the world in the heart of the Midwest with its fabulous and rich collections of art and its community outreach programs.

The entire interview is in English. The episode includes one brief exchange in Spanish, one in French and one in German.

Medicine in the US: An Interview with Dr. Tom Franey [English]

Dr. Tom Franey graciously answers Dr. J’s questions about studying medicine in the US and explains the most important aspects of the US medical system. Dr. J is joined in this episode by her husband, Dr. Hendrik Runte, who is a German physician, specialized in anesthesiology.

The second part of the episode goes into a more in-depth comparison of day-to-day working practices in Germany and the US, and into discussing treatment protocols for ailments ranging from breast cancer and thyroid cancer to operations of the gall bladder and hernias. Finally, Dr. Franey talks about being a Kansas City doctor and about his personal attachment to Kansas City, Missouri.

Teaching Resources

From In-Vitro to Solving the Problems of the World – An Interview with Dr. Gregory Starks

In the first part of the episode, Dr. Starks speaks about medicine and medical education in the US. He delves into how medical knowledge is passed on in practice and into details about in-vitro fertilisation. In the second part, Dr. Starks joins Dr. J in trying to solve the problems of the world. Dr. Starks and Dr. J speak about technology, the overabundant use of screens, about plastic, general culture, work-life balance and more.

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