Far & Widener Podcast

The Far and Widener podcast explores the far-reaching world of Widener University and the many ways Widener strives to create a better future while shaping tomorrow’s leaders.

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Episode 18: Amberly Caballero, CEO of Elevated Kids, discusses early analysis and innovative play-based interventions for young children with Autism

In this episode, Greg Potter interviews Amberly Caballero, CEO of Elevated Kids, about the significant need for developmentally-appropriate and effective intervention for toddlers and young children diagnosed with Autism. Caballero, who completed her certification in infant and early childhood mental health at Widener, discusses the innovative, play-based approaches to intervention that her organization offers to families. She explains how increased Autism awareness and diagnosis has led to a higher demand for the research-based services her team is helping to provide in a more timely fashion. Potter is associate vice president of University Relations at Widener University.

Explore Past Episodes

In this episode, Greg Potter interviews Dr. Angie Corbo, associate professor and chair of communication studies, and faculty chair at Widener; Dr. Wes Leckrone, professor and chair of political science at Widener; Dr. James Vike, professor, associate dean of social science, and director of the masters of public administration program at Widener; and Kyle Meier, a 2024 political science graduate from Widener, who has also served as an intern for the office of New Jersey Congressman Donald Norcross. The team discusses the current political climate, political engagement initiatives at Widener University, and what impact the 2024 election season will have on political education on college campuses. Potter is associate vice president of University Relations at Widener University. Pictured in the episode graphic, left to right: Wes Leckrone, James Vike, Kyle Meier and Angie Corbo. 

In this episode, Marcus Bagby interviews Natasha Camy, a 2010 graduate of Widener's Communications and Media Studies program. Natasha is an NCAA Division I women's basketball referee and officiated games during the history-making 2024 March Madness basketball tournament. She discusses the impact that new interest in women's basketball is having on the sport, as well as her role as founder of the Referee Ready Academy, which aims to improve the expertise, abilities, and self-assurance of referees. She also speaks to entrepreneurship, and her part ownership of the Cape Town Tigers, a team in the Basketball Africa League based in Cape Town, South Africa. Bagby is the associate director of alumni engagement at Widener University. 

In this episode, Greg Potter interviews Widener professors Dr. Brian Larson and Dr. Amin Keramati and marketing junior Ben Miller on their research project at the Philadelphia Union. The researchers discuss collecting data on sports fan experience and how interest in the project is spreading internationally, including Barcelona and the Netherlands. They explore the benefits of using human-centric marketing, artificial intelligence, and facial recognition to improve the fan experience while increasing profits and efficiency. Pictured in the episode graphic, left to right: Amin Keramati, Brian Larson, and Ben Miller. Potter is the associate vice president of University Relations at Widener University. 

Marcus Bagby interviews Marcia Zaruba O’Connor, president and CEO of The O’Connor Group, a leading outsourced human resources and talent acquisition company based in King of Prussia, Pa. O’Connor has won several leadership awards, including Most Admired CEO and Philadelphia Titan 100, and her company is recognized as one of Philadelphia Business Journal's Best Places to Work. O’Connor earned her accounting degree at Widener in 1990, and she is an active alumna, serving on the Accounting and Information Management Advisory Board. She runs Shadow Her, a mentoring and coaching course for women entrepreneurs, and produces the popular Top Three podcast. O’Connor discusses her journey to success and the challenges she faced, the importance of mentorship, and how HR has evolved over the years and current trends. She also gives career advice for those starting out or starting over. Bagby is the associate director of alumni engagement at Widener University. 

Greg Potter interviews Robert Buckley Jr., the president of Buckley and Company, the family-owned construction company that was instrumental in the nation’s record-setting rebuild of the collapsed portion of I-95 in the summer of 2023. Buckley discusses the logistics of the rebuild and the origins, culture, and philosophy of his company. Buckley credits his success to his dedicated team, some of whom have been with him since his college days, and the power of networking. He says, “Your word is your bond, and the handshake is the deal.” Buckley is an advisor for Widener’s new engineering construction management program and a Widener 1981 alumnus. Buckley and Company helped to raise funds for the family of Nathan “Nate” Moody, the truck driver and father of three who tragically lost his life in the accident. To donate to the Moody family’s Go Fund Me, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-for-the-family-of-nate-moody. Potter is the associate vice president of University Relations at Widener University. 

Widener student Anthony Pompilii interviews Dr. Lise Deguire, author of Flashback Girl: Lessons on Resilience from a Burn Survivor about her experience as a TEDx speaker. Deguire’s TEDx Talk “SCARRED Not Scary” confronts the prevailing stereotypes in movies and other media of disfigured people as evil villains and pathetic creatures. These depictions have serious negative consequences, creating bias and fostering discrimination against disfigured people. Deguire seeks to bring awareness and stop this harmful practice. Deguire earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from Widener University. She has appeared on NPR, NBC, ABC, and FOX and has presented for The World Burn Congress, The Security and Exchange Commission, The American Burn Association, and the New Jersey Psychological Association. Pompilii is a communication studies major in his senior year, and he was also a TEDx speaker in 2023. Pompilii’s Talk “A Call for Struggling Athletes to Seek Help” focuses on suicide prevention. Both of their TEDx Talks are available on the official TEDx YouTube channel.

Greg Potter interviews Doug Wolfberg about his new book The Beatles Fab but True: Remarkable Stories Revealed. Both Potter and Wolfberg are avid Beatles fans and passionate musicians. Wolfberg shares some fascinating Beatles information, including how Liberace’s lawyer cost the Beatles millions of dollars and how the Beatles collaborated on the infamous “Images of a Woman” painting while sequestered during the Budokan protests in Tokyo. Of course, they discuss The Beatles last song, “Now and Then.” Wolfberg says, “musically, it’s a good song—culturally, it’s a tidal wave.” Potter and Wolfberg also talk about Wolfberg’s lifetime work in the emergency medical services. Wolfberg became an EMT at age 16 and has been involved in EMS ever since. He is an attorney and a founding partner of Paige, Wolfberg, & Wirth—the leading EMS law firm in the United States. Wolfberg teaches health law classes at the Commonwealth Law School and is a Widener University Board of Trustees member. He received his law degree from Widener in 1996. Potter is the associate vice president of University Relations at Widener University.

It is the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop, and Greg Potter interviews Delaware Law School Dean Todd Clark about his expertise with Hip Hop culture and law. Clark defines Hip Hop as a function of black culture, and they discuss how Clark's Hip Hop law class establishes belonging and provides a sense of comfort and of having a place. Clark notes that Hip Hop artists like André 3000, Jay-Z, and Dr. Dre are primarily story tellers, and Hip Hop brings people together and creates understanding. They talk about critical race theory, overt racism, and the evolution of Hip Hop over the years. Clark tells Potter about his history and joint Hip Hop projects with mentor André Douglas Pond Cummings. In addition, Clark reveals that bar passage success is his number one priority at the Delaware Law School, and he notes that it is tied to fostering relationships, accountability, and building a culture of success. Potter is the associate vice president of University Relations at Widener University.

In 2023, Widener University welcomed its largest and most diverse incoming undergraduate class in its history. Greg Potter interviews Widener’s Vice President of Enrollment Joseph Howard on the efforts, strategy, and drivers that led to Widener’s recruitment success. They also discuss trends in university admissions, student loans and financial aid, the value and cost of higher education—including the human capital argument, and the importance and benefits of diversity and inclusion. They address the need to tackle issues relating to the sticker price of higher education, financial aid, and student loans at a national level. Greg is the associate vice president of University Relations at Widener University.

In this episode, Marcus Bagby interviews Amy Franzini, a Widener communication studies professor and a research expert who focuses on popular media. They discuss how caregivers can intentionally watch television and movies with their children, tweens, and teens to help build healthy relationships, find teachable moments, and create a safe space to communicate about difficult issues. They look at the Barbie and Top Gun movies as examples, as well as traditional television, YouTube, and social media. They also talk about the need for moderation, curation, and independence with children's screen time. Amy's work has been published in several journals, and she recently finished writing her book Secret Identities and Double Lives on Tween TV. Stay tuned for her related TEDx Talk on YouTube later this fall. Marcus is the associate director of alumni engagement at Widener University.

Greg Potter interviews Dante DiBattista, author of The Transformational Leadership Experience, host of The Pursuit of Self-Actualization Podcast, inspirational speaker, consultant, and transformational leadership coach. Dante is listed as one of the "8 Top Leadership Coaches to Follow in 2023" by LA Weekly. In this episode, Dante and Greg discuss the need to make higher education more affordable, the value of higher education, tips for succeeding in school and business, and the demand for microlearning. They talk about how Dante's psychology degree from Widener University changed his life. They also talk about the importance of emotional intelligence training in business, psychology research as a data-driven approach to changing behavior, the bottom line of having quality leadership in business and society, the future of work and independent contractors, artificial intelligence and automation, and much more. Greg is the associate vice president of University Relations at Widener University. To learn more about Dante, visit dantedibattista.com.

Marcus Bagby interviews Fred Akl, now-retired dean of Widener's School of Engineering. Akl led engineering at Widener University for a quarter of a century. They discuss the challenges in academia surrounding STEM, how the creation of Living-Learning Communities on campus increased retention and supported engineering students in areas of life, and how Akl spearheaded ground-breaking engineering programs at Widener, including biomedical engineering and the first robotics engineering major in the region. In addition, Akl reminisces about his work with NASA's Glenn Research Center and the Johnson Space Center and chats about his current fascination with the Civil War. Marcus is the associate director of alumni engagements at Widener University.

In this episode, Greg Potter interviews Domenic Colasante, CEO and a founding member of 2X-a pioneering offshore B2B (business-to-business) marketing firm. Before founding 2X, Domenic held several marketing leadership positions with SAP, Siemens, and WGroup. He is also a Widener Board of Trustees member and an alumnus. Greg and Domenic discuss artificial intelligence (AI), especially how it benefits the marketing industry, ethical concern surrounding AI-generated works, AI's possible impact on jobs, and how Widener is integrating AI into its curricula. Greg is the associate vice president of University Relations at Widener University.

In this episode, Marcus Bagby interviews John Vanore, an alumnus, director of Widener's Jazz Ensemble, and Widener Artist in Residence. John is also the head of Abstract Truth, an award-winning band formed in the 80s that combines the intimacy of a small group with no power of a big band. John's fascinating story begins with his interests in engineering and science and how those interests influenced his career in music. After graduating from PMC, John joined the legendary Woody Herman band and later became a mainstay in the trumpet sections for performers visiting Philadelphia, including Tony Bennet, Michel LeGrand, Mel Torme, Louis Bellson, Peggy Lee, and many others. During this time, John also became the director of music at Widener, developing an intensive Jazz Ensemble program. Marcus is the associate director of alumni engagement at Widener University.

Widener student Anthony Pompilii interviews Professor Robert Reutter, director of Widener's Lone Brick Theatre Company, and Luis Aguilar, a Widener biomedical engineering alumnus and longtime member of Lone Brick. They discuss Lone Brick's 10th anniversary and growth over the years, immersive theater and audience participation, and how theatrical productions have had to adapt and change during and after the pandemic. Anthony is a communication studies major in his junior year. In the episode graphic, Reutter (left) and Aguilar, who is covered in stage blood, work together on set.

In this Far and Widener interview, Marcus Bagby interviews Anthony Wheeler, dean of Widener's School of Business Administration, and Jill Alspach, a Widener MBA alumna, adjunct professor, and managing partner of Spock Logistics. They discuss the 4th industrial revolution and the future of work, including how artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation will impact industry and workers nationally and globally. Marcus is the associate director of alumni engagement at Widener University.

In this Far and Widener interview, Greg Potter interviews Widener University President Stacey Robertson. She reflects on what attracted her to Widener, her first 100 days here, the opportunities and challenges that Widener faces in the future, including the upcoming enrollment cliff faced by all institutions of higher learning, the national discussion about the cost of higher education and the actual long-term return on investment, student loan forgiveness implications, and her values related to the people of the Widener community. She even shares a fun time management tip for saving time in the morning. Greg is the Associate Vice President of University Relations at Widener University.

Meet Your Hosts

Greg Potter headshot

Greg Potter, Associate Vice President, University Relations

Marcus Bagby

Marcus Bagby, Associate Director, Alumni Engagement

Anthony Pompilii headshot

Anthony Pompilii '24, Communication Studies Major

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