Sheilah Kast | WYPR

Sheilah Kast

Host, On The Record

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.  Originally, she hosted WYPR's  Dupont-Columbia University award-winning Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast from 2006 - October 2015.  She began her career at The Washington Star, where she covered the Maryland and Virginia legislatures, utilities, energy and taxes, as well as financial and banking regulation.  She learned the craft of broadcasting at ABC News; as a Washington correspondent for fifteen years, she covered the White House, Congress, and the 1991 Moscow coup that signaled the end of the Soviet empire.  Sheilah has been a substitute host on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday and The Diane Rehm Show.  She has launched and hosted two weekly interview shows on public TV, one about business and one about challenges facing older people.

Deborah Ramsey didn’t fit the profile of the typical applicant when she joined the Baltimore Police Department decades ago. She was in her 30s, a mother. Deborah knew she loved Baltimore. her hometown, and that she was a people-person. She approached her police job with these strengths in mind. Working as a patrol officer and later a detective, she saw people in both their worst and best moments, dealing with the sudden death of a family member, or celebrating the return of a missing child. Now Deborah Ramsey has been awarded one of this year’s ten Open Society Institute Baltimore fellowships. Each fellow will receive $60,000 over the next 18 months to fund a local project. The Open Society Institute is a nonprofit that supports efforts to address problems in Baltimore's underserved communities, from mentoring young people to criminal justice reform. 

Painting, poetry, photography, sewing, even songwriting. These are some of the arts activities that Gianna Rodriguez and the organization Baltimore Youth Arts bring to young people across Baltimore.

Courtesy of Holistic Life Foundation

A nonprofit called the Holistic Life Foundation has been bringing mindfulness, yoga, and meditation into Baltimore public schools for nearly 15 years. Suspensions and detentions appear to have dropped as a result, and some kids have really taken the practice to heart. We hear from the co-founder of the Holistic Life Foundation, a student who has since become a teacher in the program, and a researcher who studies school-based mindfulness programs.

The priest who would become Pope Francis impressed his Jesuit superiors in Argentina from early on, taking on more responsibilities, sure of himself - until it became apparent that he had divided the Jesuit community - and he was sent away to a kind of internal exile that lasted two years. Mark Shriver, nephew of President John F. Kennedy, head of an international lobby network for children, former Maryland state legislator, discusses his new biography of the 266th pope. It's titled, “Pilgrimage: My Search for the Real Pope Francis.”

Children in foster care may bounce around to different placements and different schools. But some of Maryland’s 4,700 foster children can count on a court-appointed volunteer to be a dependable presence in their lives. How does that work? We’ll hear from a volunteer, a mother whose son she worked with, and Ross DiEdoardo, executive director of the nonprofit CASA of Harford County

Javier Romero Otero/Flickr via Creative Commons

What does our newfound ability to handle vast amounts of data mean for the future of medicine? Healthcare is likely to become more tailored to the individual. This has become known as ‘precision medicine.’ What will it mean for our health? We talk to the head of a Johns Hopkins University precision medicine initiative. Original air date: Oct. 31, 2016

The civil war in Syria has been raging now for five years. In that time, more than 450,000 Syrians have been killed. Half the country’s population has been displaced. The Syrian government officially reclaimed the city of Aleppo from rebel forces last week. The world watched as desperate civilians in the city pleaded for help on social media. The final round of evacuations appear to be underway now but the effort has been halting and the future is uncertain even for those who have escaped Aleppo. What has it been like for Syrians outside the country to watch the suffering there? Do the images we see in the media square with the place they know? Civil rights lawyer and journalist Alia Malek joins us. She was born in Baltimore to Syrian immigrants, and she lived in Damascus for several years at the start of the civil war. Her memoir about the history of her ancestral home in Syria will be published in February, with the title "The Home That Was Our Country: A Memoir of Syria." 

Airman Magazine/Flickr via Creative Commons

More than 900 people were shot in Baltimore last year, 301 of them fatally--the deadliest year in the city’s history. The violence has barely abated. So far this year, more than 260 people have been fatally shot in Baltimore. The vast majority of the victims are young black men, and many of them end up at the University of Maryland’s R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. What if there were a way to save more of their lives? A surgeon at Shock Trauma thinks he has found a way. But the technique is both controversial and ethically fraught. Freelance writer Nicola Twilley recently wrote about it for The New Yorker Magazine, in an article titled “Can Hypothermia Save Gunshot Victims?” She joins us. Then, Harriet Washington, a medical ethicist and the author of “Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present” shares her thoughts on the new technique. 

Maryland Department of Agriculture / Flickr via Creative Commons

Baltimore City Schools CEO Sonja Santelises announced last week that the school system faces a $129 million deficit in next fiscal year's budget. What might this mean for filling vacancies or upgrading facilities? How might the school board approach a budget deficit of this magnitude? We speak to two former city school board members, David Stone and Kalman “Buzzy” Hettleman.

Jermaine Bell says he found a power in art that he didn’t feel in words. After studying graphic design at the Community College of Baltimore County, and graduating from the Maryland College Institute of Art, Bell entered the world of advertising. Then a few years ago, he turned his sights on a different line of work: supporting Baltimore artists - particularly artists of color - and the institutions that showcase their work. Now Jermaine Bell has been awarded one of this year’s 10 Open Society Institute Baltimore fellowships. Each fellow will receive $60,000 over the next 18 months to fund a local project. The Open Society Institute is a nonprofit that supports efforts to address problems in Baltimore's underserved communities, from violence prevention to food access. You can find Jermaine Bell on Instagram and Twitter at @jtbeezwax.

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