Free Food For Thought


Free Food for Thought is a student-run, student focused podcast that seeks to feed intellectual curiosity. We will interview renowned speakers, passionate students, and anyone else we think has an idea worth hearing!


  • Debra Tolchinsky

    Debra Tolchinsky

    30/04/2020 Duration: 34min

    Debra Tolchinsky sheds light on her documentary project, “True Memories and Other Falsehoods,” her interest in the human memory, and her career as a documentary filmmaker.

  • Alex Kotlowitz

    Alex Kotlowitz

    07/03/2020 Duration: 22min

    Koss and Seth sit down with Alex Kotlowitz, former staff writer of The Wall Street Journal and critically acclaimed author of An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago. They discuss his journey from working on a cattle ranch to the Emmy winner he is today, his approach to journalism and his drive to share the stories of a segregated society.

  • Katherine Forest

    Katherine Forest

    04/03/2020 Duration: 25min

    Seth and Maya sit down with former District Judge for the Southern District of New York, Katherine Forrest, to discuss the use of Artificial Intelligence in the courtroom.

  • Nikole Hannah Jones

    Nikole Hannah Jones

    29/02/2020 Duration: 23min

    Melanie and Anna sit down with Nikole Hannah-Jones, a writer for the New York Times Magazine and creator of the 1619 project. Listen in to hear their discussion on modern-day segregation in America's public school system and how Hannah-Jones' own relationships with that system inspired her journalistic career.

  • Dwayne Betts

    Dwayne Betts

    26/02/2020 Duration: 24min

    Anna and Nandeeni sit down with Dwayne Betts, a poet, Yale Law School graduate and current Ph.D. candidate, who spent nearly 9 years in prison for a crime he committed at age 16. They discuss his decision to pivot from poetry to law, blending legalese into poetry, and his past and present ambitions.

  • Susan Hockfield

    Susan Hockfield

    21/02/2020 Duration: 25min

    Sabrina and Sam sat down with Professor Susan Hockfield to talk about her passion in STEM, her current book and the interdependence of academia, administration leadership in higher education and public service in government.

  • Kathryn Matthews

    Kathryn Matthews

    19/02/2020 Duration: 21min

    This week, Mel and Bryn sit down with Kathryn Matthews, Ph.D., who works as the chief scientist for Oceana, the largest international advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans. Kathryn’s work has bridged subjects and settings from the Arctic ice caps to Capitol Hill, international treaty negotiations, and the waters of the eastern tropical Pacific--listen in to hear how Matthews has navigated science policy and handled the frustration of working on such a polarizing political issue in D.C.

  • John Brennan

    John Brennan

    15/02/2020 Duration: 26min

    Joe and Sabrina interview John Brennan, CIA Director 2014 - 2017. Brennan shed light on his early experience in the CIA as well as his time in the White House, spanning multiple administrations. Brennan reveals his personal definition of success and what he thinks of America's future.

  • Nick Sousanis

    Nick Sousanis

    07/02/2020 Duration: 22min

    This week, Sam and Seth sit down with Nick Sousanis, an Eisner-winning comics author and an assistant professor of Humanities & Liberal Studies at San Francisco State University. Listen in to hear about Sousanis' perspective on comics as an academic, and how his studies informed his recent book Unflattening, which argues for the importance of visual thinking in teaching and learning. Happy listening!

  • Michael Shear

    Michael Shear

    30/01/2020 Duration: 01h13min

    For our first-ever live interview at the Claremont McKenna Athenaeum, Sophia and Melanie sat down with Michael D. Shear, a White House correspondent at The New York Times. Before joining the Times, Shear spent eighteen years writing about local, state, and national politics at The Washington Post. In this wide-ranging discussion, Mike discusses his experience reporting on immigration before and after the 2016 election and how it led to co-writing his first book, "Border Wars."

  • Judy Grisel

    Judy Grisel

    21/01/2020 Duration: 17min

    Listen in to hear Joe and Sabrina sit down with Judith Grisel, Ph.D., an internationally recognized behavioral neuroscientist and a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Bucknell University. Grisel, whose research focuses on determining the root causes of drug addiction, speaks with Joe and Sabrina about how her research insights and personal experience inform her recent book "Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction."

  • Robert Dry

    Robert Dry

    14/01/2020 Duration: 19min

    This week, Joe and Melanie sit down with Robert Dry, who served as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer in the Middle East, East, and Southeast Asia. He now teaches international relations at New York University, and before delivering his talk "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: How the United States and China Fail the Global Environmental Governance System," he reflects on some of his most memorable experiences in the foreign service.

  • Dan Rose

    Dan Rose

    02/01/2020 Duration: 22min

    Ring in the New Year with some Free Food for Thought--this week, Sabrina and Izzy sit down with Dan Rose, who spent 20 years in leadership roles at Amazon and Facebook before becoming chairman of Coatue, a venture capital firm based in San Francisco. Listen in to hear Sabrina and Izzy learn about Dan's early influences from college and his takeaways from being a manager and leader in Silicon Valley during periods of massive growth at two tech companies.

  • Kendyl Klein and Jeff Klein

    Kendyl Klein and Jeff Klein

    26/12/2019 Duration: 37min

    This week, father-daughter duo Jeff and Kendyl Klein sit down with Sam and Brian to talk about launching their careers in media, their collective decades of experience across news media and social media, and the generational and cultural trends they've witnessed over time. Listen in to hear Jeff, a long-time media executive, lawyer, writer, and communications professor, and Kendyl, an expert in digital content strategy, dissect how their careers have overlapped and diverged.

  • Paul Hessburg

    Paul Hessburg

    23/12/2019 Duration: 19min

    This week, Sam sits down with Paul Hessburg, a research ecologist with Pacific Northwest Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service. The two talk about the history of firefighting in the U.S., the dawn of the megafire, and how science can help us prepare to tackle the wildfires of the future.

  • Anna Lau

    Anna Lau

    04/12/2019 Duration: 21min

    In this episode, Shiv and Sam sat down with child clinical psychologist and UCLA professor Anna Lau. Listen in to hear Lau delve into the nuances of mental healthcare and education and her unique approach to translating psychological research to practice.

  • Samantha Power

    Samantha Power

    13/11/2019 Duration: 23min

    This fall, Melanie and Joe sat down with Samantha Power, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and current professor at the Harvard Kennedy School. In their interview, Power discusses her early career as a journalist, her time working with the United Nations, and how her experiences informed her just-released book, The Education of an Idealist. Listen in to hear about Power's incredible professional experiences and her personal advice for young people hoping to change the world.

  • Symone D. Sanders

    Symone D. Sanders

    11/11/2019 Duration: 32min

    Free Food for Thought is kicking off its eighth season with the last interview we recorded in the spring, a conversation with Symone D. Sanders that couldn't be more relevant to today's political conversation. Sanders, a current senior advisor for former Vice President Joe Biden's 2020 presidential campaign, sat down with Skip and Anna to discuss her early career as political strategist, her thoughts on the importance of millennial voices in political media, and why she approaches presidential campaigns like start-ups. Get ready for an engaging political conversation and another fifteen episodes of Free Food coming out biweekly this fall!

  • Zeid Raad al-Hussein

    Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein

    12/05/2019 Duration: 25min

    "Had my flight left earlier, my whole life would have been very different from what it is now...and so my advice to all students is to keep your eyes open all the time." A special Saturday release this week to share Sabrina and Nandeeni's conversation with Prince Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, a career diplomat, expert in the field of international justice, and the former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Listen in to hear Nandeeni and Sabrina ask Zeid about his entrée into the field of diplomacy and his reflections on a career dedicated to service and working toward resolutions of complex refugee crises.

  • Eric Poehler

    Eric Poehler

    03/05/2019 Duration: 27min

    “I was so captivated by the notion of not just being able to understand the past, but in a certain sense to stand amongst it and to be within the past.” This week, Zach and Sam sat down with Eric Poehler, an associate professor of classics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the director of the joint Blended Learning and Digital Humanities program for the Five Colleges consortium. Listen in to hear about Eric's path toward archeology and thoughts on a profession that forces one to be constantly immersed in the past.

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