Notables Profiles of outstanding faculty and students Modern Politics Krista Jenkins, Professor of Political Science and Director, PublicMind (Photo: Deborah Feingold) ![Notables](//cdn.coverstand.com/33182/378751/article_assets/k8.jpg) **POLITICS MATTER. THAT’S WHAT KRISTA JENKINS WANTS STUDENT TO REALIZE**. “Politics has a connection to their lives. It is not something that happens ‘out there.’ It affects all of us.” She also emphasizes critical thinking. “Ask critical questions. Follow the news,” Jenkins says. “Sometimes a question is not a challenge, it’s just a conversation.” In today’s polarized political climate, striking up a conversation can seem daunting, so Jenkins prioritizes an understanding of civics. “Part of society is discourse and respect for other viewpoints.” Sometimes that respect can start with a simple question. Jenkins may ask, “What’s your first political memory?” to kick off a discussion. Her own fascination with politics started early. “From a young age, I found politics interesting. I don’t really have a point in my life where it became relevant. It always was.” After Jenkins completed her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles, she studied gender and politics for her PhD at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J. There, she trained in survey methodology at the Eagleton Institute of Politics — leading her to FDU’s PublicMindTM polling institute. Her work there has made Jenkins more attentive to statewide issues. “Oftentimes, the things that affect you the most are not things happening in Washington, but rather things that are happening in your local community and in Trenton, N.J.” In the classroom, she strives to break down any discomfort about talking politics. “Young men seem to be more comfortable sharing their thoughts and opinions. Young women tend to be more reticent.” Society, though, benefits from having both men and women in positions of political power, contributing their voices and bringing up new and different life experiences and concerns, says Jenkins. “If there are more women in positions of leadership, on both the right and the left, it sends an implicit message to younger girls, “This is OK. You can do this, too.” The lifting of many voices can lead to change, which Jenkins is careful to point out, is not always inevitable. “Change happens because people make it happen,” she says. And after being in her class, her students know that, too. — K.C. **CV:** --- **Krista Jenkins** *Hometown* Orange County, Calif.*Civic Duty* Jenkins is a member of the board of education in her township. *Life Rule* “If you’re always the smartest, fastest and most articulate person in the room, it’s time to move on.” *Feminist Ideology* “Feminism is about … trying to do away with the expectation that biology is destiny.” ---------- **No Ordinary Shock Jock** -------------------------- *Alyssa Shock, junior, psychology major* ![No Ordinary Shock Jock](//cdn.coverstand.com/33182/378751/article_assets/1_Page_17_Image_0001.jpg) *(Photo: Deborah Feingold)* ![Notables 1](//cdn.coverstand.com/33182/378751/article_assets/k9.jpg) **IT’S 3 P.M. AND “MASTER WHAT?” IS ABOUT TO START.** With a practiced hand, host Alyssa Shock manipulates the knobs and faders on the soundboard. In a clear voice, she introduces herself and the show. What you can’t tell from the broadcast is that Shock is blind. Shock’s blindness doesn’t prevent her from accomplishing what she wants to do, even having a live radio show. “When you’re blind, you can do a lot of the same things that sighted people can do,” she says. “You can’t drive a car of course, but people say to me ‘whoa, you can [make a phone call]?’ and I’m just like, ‘uh, yeah, I can do that.’ Fortunately, they’ve been really great at the station. Everyone here has an open mind and lets me do my thing.” With only minor adjustments to the studio, she is able to host her show, and unlike many blind disc jockeys, Shock works the soundboard herself. The only accommodations made are bits of stick-on Velcro and raised bumps on certain controls, which enable her to navigate the board by feel. Besides the addition of low-tech Velcro, Shock gets an assist from a more high-tech source: a screen reader. The DJ makes her playlists on her computer, which plugs into the soundboard. The screen reader app audibly narrates the text on her screen, including the time, song titles and lyrics. When she’s on the air, Shock wears two pairs of headphones: a set of over-the-ear headphones for the screen reader and earbuds underneath playing the broadcast stream of the show. “Master What?” features a potpourri of music, trending toward pop but also including country and rock. Between songs, she talks about the latest science news and dishes out corny jokes and riddles. “The topics I’m talking about mainly are science news, computer scams and weird news,” Shock says. Hosting her own show is the realization of a dream for Shock, who was fascinated with radio as a child. “I was 9 or 10, and I would pretend to be on the radio,” she says. “I even went so far as to record commercials from the radio onto cassette tapes, so I felt like I was actually on the air,” she says. *— D.L.* **CV:** --- **Alyssa Shock** *What You Didn’t Know* Shock is a member of FDU’s University Honors Program and Psychology Club. *To Hear “Master What?”* Listen to WFDU’s HD3 “Masterworks” channel Wednesdays, 3–4 p.m., online at **[WFDU.fm](http://WFDU.fm)** or on smartphone apps including iHeartRadio. *Connect with Shock*“Master What?” is on facebook at **[www.facebook.com/wfdumasterwhat](http://www.facebook.com/wfdumasterwhat).** Fans can request songs there, Shock says.
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