June 30, 2023
On Campus

Why Witt?

New immersive experience supports student success, augments career development and alumni engagement

Everyone’s version of success looks different, and finding a clear path isn’t always easy. Enter Why Witt?, a new immersive experience, which seeks to help Wittenberg University students navigate their “next” by listening to and engaging in others’ stories as told by those who have been right where students are.

Why Witt Podcast LogoThe brainchild of entrepreneurs Timmy McCarthy, class of 2002 and Wittenberg’s first-ever Professional in Residence, and John “HUD” Hudson, business owner, friend and former classmate, Why Witt? is an exciting new program set to air on campus in front of a live studio audience every fourth Wednesday of the month beginning in August. Featured guests will be Wittenberg alumni from all walks of life, and all will be expected to mentor a current Wittenberg student following their participation.

"I think the question of ‘Why Witt?’ is important because we, and our students, often may think they are alone in the struggle to figure out what to do with the rest of our lives,” McCarthy explained. “There is a lot of pressure from society and our families to figure it all out quickly. Money is being shelled out, and we are spending lots of time taking classes to discover what it is we are meant to do. But only a couple years ago, we were in our parents’ houses being told what needed to be done. This situation can quickly become a big and paralyzing transition in a short period of time, which we are then left to figure out. Why Witt? helps us navigate those moments by having access to a community that is sharing in conversation around how different people figured out their way through those often-nerve-wracking waters.”

In addition to each segment being in-person and livestreamed, every show will also be made available via podcast and YouTube following its airing. One to three Wittenberg alumni will be featured guests each time, and current students Jack Houck, class of 2024, and Zora Shakhan, class of 2025, will be assisting in the production. Additionally, Jermain Johnson, class of 1997, composed the theme music for Why Witt?, while Quadric Williams, class of 2001, agreed to provide videography support.

To see the program in action, McCarthy and Hudson will be hosting a special summer preview edition of Why Witt? titled “Homecoming on the Hardwood” on Friday, June 30, at 7 p.m. in Founders Pub on the lower level of Wittenberg’s Benham-Pence Student Center – the same location for the fall Why Witt? season. During this preview, the duo will engage Matt Croci, class of 1994 and Wittenberg head men’s basketball coach, and Melissa Kolbe, class of 1999 and Wittenberg head women’s basketball coach, in a conversation about their respective journeys.

Why Witt? will ask the following primary questions of all its guests: What led them to Wittenberg? What happened while they were here? How did they navigate the path after leaving Wittenberg? Each show will be approximately one hour – 50 minutes for conversation and 10 minutes for audience questions, both from those in person and from those watching via the live stream.

As for why this effort now, Hudson explains that “Wittenberg was always very good to me and good for me from a developmental standpoint, so when the opportunity was presented to give back, you always want to get to the point where you can give back in some capacity, which I why I decided to help Timmy with this project.

“One of the biggest things we hear is ‘networking, networking, networking,’ but what does that mean? You have to have that personal connection with someone, you need to have that human experience, and then you’ll further your goals. That’s what this show will be about. It might not be in your career immediately, but you never know when you’ll interact again.”
John Hudson, co-host of the Why Witt? podcast

Drawing from the Career Clusters approach and leveraging areas of student interest, the following topics are set to be explored in the fall following Friday’s special conversation with Croci and Kolbe.

  • August 23: The Business of Sports
  • September 27: Chemistry and the Art of Brewing/Distilling
  • November 29: The Art & Science of Being Undecided (What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do Next)
  • December 20: A “Best of” Recap
  • January 24: Startup Success: From the Left Coast to The Heart of It All
  • February 28: Biology Brought to Life (Super Aging, Dolphin Training, and Neurobiology)

Why Witt? seeks to engage multiple audiences, including current students, prospective students, parents, alumni, and friends. Wittenberg’s Office of Career and Professional Development is also a valuable resource to support students in their journeys as it provides powerful tools, personalized advising, and direct connections to opportunities that can help make a student’s dream career a reality. Additionally, Wittenberg is proud to offer NetworkWitt, a new platform for student and alumni engagement, which focuses on career exploration, mentorship, networking, and building Wittenberg connections along with employment opportunities. To sign up for NetworkWitt, click here.

A link to listen will be posted on the program’s website closer to the event time. Contact information for connecting with the Why Witt? creators can also be found on the website.

Podcast Experience
Finding a path isn’t always easy. That’s why we created a new initiative called Why Witt?, which seeks to help Wittenberg students navigate their “next” by listening to and engaging in others’ stories as told by those who have been right where our students are.
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Karen Gerboth
Karen Gerboth
Vice President of Marketing & Communications

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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