Emily Siner | Nashville Public Radio

Emily Siner

News Director

Emily Siner is the news director at Nashville Public Radio and host of the Movers & Thinkers podcast. She also reports on a wide range of topics, including higher education, science and veterans. She's traveled around Tennessee to tell national news stories for NPR and Marketplace.

Emily began at the station in 2014 as an enterprise reporter. She soon launched the station's first podcast and has since helped the station develop a whole fleet of shows with live events. She became the newsroom's assistant news director in 2016 and news director in 2017.  She has been named the Associated Press Radio Journalist of the Year and has received two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for her reporting.

Emily is passionate about storytelling on all platforms and spoke at TEDxNashville in 2015 about the station's efforts to share audio online. Before joining the news staff at WPLN, Emily worked in print and online journalism at the Los Angeles Times and NPR. She was born and raised in the Chicago area, so she's not intimidated by Nashville winters. Emily is a proud graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Brent Whitmore / / Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Inside a lab at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Reyna Gordon is holding up a tangle of elastic wires connected to electrodes.

“For the kids, we call it a spaghetti hat,” she says with a laugh.

Gordon, a music cognition researcher, fits the spaghetti hat over my head like a shower cap. The electrodes touch dozens of points on my skull. This is how she looks at my brain waves, she explains.

University of Tennessee

Representatives from 76 Tennessee colleges and universities are meeting in Nashville this week to discuss how to better address sexual assault.

The conference comes the same week that a trial wraps up over a high-profile rape case involving students at Vanderbilt University, and several weeks after two University of Tennessee football players were accused of sexual assault.

Emily Siner / WPLN

A four-hour listening session at Fort Campbell last night — with more than 1,300 people attending — made a case to military higher-ups about why the army post should be spared reductions.

The Army could cut up to 16,000 permanent positions at the post by 2020, about half of the current population. Worst case scenario: Between soldiers and their families, 40,000 people would leave the Fort Campbell area.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

After an impassioned campaign over Amendment 1, groups on both sides of Tennessee’s abortion debate are surprisingly practical about what they can accomplish in the legislature this year.

Whitehouse.gov

As President Obama announced his free community college plan in Knoxville on Friday afternoon, he was joined by top Republican lawmakers. But this doesn’t necessarily mean Obama’s proposal is getting bipartisan support.

Obama applauded Gov. Bill Haslam for implementing a statewide program, called Tennessee Promise, to pay community college tuition for all graduating high school seniors. The president also highlighted a similar initiative in Chicago.

Bobby Allyn / WPLN

Updated Thursday, 6:30 p.m.

In President Obama’s third visit to Tennessee in the past year, he will be announcing a proposal that would make community college free for all Americans, called America’s College Promise. Details are still emerging, but it could look similar to Tennessee Promise.

Obama released a Facebook video Thursday evening saying he will commend Tennessee on its education reform and then propose a way to make college accessible for everyone:

Jumpstart Foundry

For the past five years, Tennessee entrepreneurs who wanted to launch a new business idea might have tried to catch the eye of Jumpstart Foundry.

Jumpstart is what’s called an accelerator in the tech world. It’s a company that helps other companies grow — playing the roles of mentor, shareholder and money matchmaker. Since its inception, it’s put about 40 fledgling tech companies through a sort of how-to-run-a-business boot camp, setting them up with seasoned advisors and showing them off to potential investors. And it’s been successful. Last year, an MIT business professor ranked Jumpstart the 14th best accelerator in the country.

greeblie via Flickr

Tennessee drivers received 102,000 seat belt citations in 2014 — 30,000 more than the year before. According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the increasing enforcement of seat belt laws is part of its effort to bring down the number traffic deaths.

By the end of 2014, 952 people died in Tennessee as part of vehicle crashes, compared to 986 in 2013. It’s still too many, says Sgt. Bill Miller, a spokesman for the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

“They’re not numbers to us,” he says. “They’re friends. They’re family.”

Emily R. West / WPLN

The Tennessee Board of Regents is trying to do away with undecided majors. According to the data, officials say, students who choose a college major right away are more likely to graduate.

“What we know is, a student who makes no choice has made a bad choice,” says TBR chancellor John Morgan.

Without a major, he says, students end up taking extra classes that don’t count toward their degree. Morgan told a group of policy makers, including the governor, that the TBR system would no longer have students with undeclared majors, by the end of December.

Emily Siner / WPLN

    

Todd Oney with the Nashville Electric Service is pointing to a utility pole next to I-40. There’s electricity at the top, then telephone at the bottom, and in the middle, three black cable lines.

“One’s Comcast, one’s our own cable, and … I’m not sure who owns the third one,” he says, as cars zoom by.

Pages