Sara Shahriari

Assistant News Director

Sara Shahriari is the assistant news director at KBIA-FM, and she holds a master's degree from the Missouri School of Journalism. Sara hosts and is executive producer of the PRNDI award-winning weekly public affairs talk show Intersection. She also works with many of KBIA’s talented student reporters and teaches an advanced radio reporting lab. She previously worked as a freelance journalist in Bolivia for six years, where she contributed print, radio and multimedia stories to outlets including Al Jazeera America, Bloomberg News, the Guardian, the Christian Science Monitor, Deutsche Welle and Indian Country Today. Sara’s work has focused on mental health, civic issues, women’s and children’s rights, policies affecting indigenous peoples and their lands and the environment. While earning her MA at the Missouri School of Journalism, Sara produced the weekly Spanish-language radio show Radio Adelante. Her work with the KBIA team has been recognized with awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and PRNDI, among others, and she is a two-time recipient of funding from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

Ways to Connect

Kristofor Husted/KBIA

Today, we’re bringing you United and Divided, a series of stories on bridging the urban-rural divide. It's reported by Harvest Public Media.

In the wake of the 2016 presidential election one thing is clear: rural America and urban America see things differently. In this series of profiles, Harvest Public Media reporters introduce us to our fellow Americans and examine the issues that they hold dear. We re-discover the ties that bind us and learn more about the lines that divide us. And through these voices, we come to know Americans just a little bit better.

Reporters from Missouri, Colorado, Iowa and Nebraska explore topics causing rift in the country, and how those differences define the future. They looked at schools, religion, immigration and trade policy. 


Courtesy Anton Treuer and Bemidji State University

November is Native American Heritage Month. This week author and professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University Anton Treuer talks with host Sara Shahriari. MU professor of digital storytelling and citizen of Cherokee Nation Joseph Erb joins in the wide-ranging conversation on language's role in maintaining a culture, Truer's book Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask, and the damage done by some mascots that mimic Native Americans. 


Sara Shahriari/KBIA

This week on intersection we are joined by Dr. Rebecca Johnson. She is the Millsap Professor of Gerontological Nursing and Public Policy Professor at the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing. She's also a professor and serves as the director of the Research Center for Human Animal Interaction in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Johnson researches how people and pets interact, including the beneficial effects animals can have on people and the science behind it all.


Beatriz Costa-Lima / KBIA

Welcome Home is a transitional emergency and service center for veterans. The organization has been operating in Columbia for more than 25 years, and recently expanded. The mission? To reduce veteran homelessness by helping people gain housing, services and skills to form stable lives. 

Intersection's Sara Shahriari sat down with Timothy Rich, the executive director of Welcome Home, to learn about the organization and its new facilities.


Photo courtesy of T.J. Thomson

This week on Intersection we are joined by Jim Obergefell , who was the plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage. Obergefell visited the University of Missouri earlier this month to present a lecture called “Love Wins” for a symposium on the Science of Love. Timothy Blair also joined the conversation. Blair is an alumnus of the Missouri School of Journalism, and in 2015 he donated $1 million to create the Timothy D. Blair Fund for LGBT Coverage in Journalism. 

Missouri Task Force One

Missouri Task Force One is an urban search and rescue team that responds to disasters around the country. There are just 28 such units nationwide, and the Missouri force is managed by the Boone County Fire Protection District. A Missouri Task Force One team recently returned to Columbia from Texas after helping with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. 

Intersection's Sara Shahriari sat down with two members from the task force, Terry Cassil and Danny Mueller, to hear about their experiences. 


Benjamin Hoste

Lead has played a pivotal role in the history of Missouri. More than 17 million tons of lead have come out of the ground in the state over the last 300 years, and that's left a lasting impact on the state economically, environmentally and culturally. KBIA is exploring that history —and future—in our special series The Legacy of Lead.


Benjamin Hoste

Next week on Intersection, we look at Missouri's legacy of lead. In this preview of our upcoming show, Intersection host Sara Shahriari talks with photographer Benjamin Hoste about his images from Missouri's old lead belt. 

Hoste's photographs from the old lead belt are on display at the Greg Hardwick Gallery at Columbia College through September 27.

Sara Shahriari / KBIA

Intersection is marking the new school year with conversations with three MU professors whose work and teaching styles make then stand out. We learn that parts of Missouri were once on the coast of a huge inland sea, how a veterinarian and toxicologist gets to the bottom of mysterious ailments and how students are learning to understand the global market for fabrics. 


Dr. John Dane, left, wears glasses, a dark blue suit and a white and blue-checkered shirt. Gary Harbison, right, has a full beard and wears a dark blue shirt and suit.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

This week on Intersection we bring you a special on oral health from the new KBIA project, Missouri Health Talks. Health reporter Rebecca Smith spoke with Dr. John Dane, the current State Dental Director, and Gary Harbison, the Executive Director for the Missouri Coalition for Oral Health.

They cover the Missouri Oral Health Plan, which runs from 2015 to 2020, advances that have been made in oral health policy and struggles Missourians still face when it comes to accessing quality, affordable dental care.

You will also hear conversations gathered by Smith in June at the 6th Annual MOMOM, or Missouri Mission of Mercy, in Joplin. This yearly, two-day dental clinic put on by the Missouri Dental Association provides free dental care for anyone willing to wait in line. This year approximately 1,200 people were served and more than $800,000 worth of care was provided.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org

Nathan Lawrence

Central Missouri is on the path of totality for the upcoming solar eclipse. That means that the sun will completely disappear from view for a few minutes during the middle of the day. Intersection's Sara Shahriari and Harvest Public Media reporter Kris Husted talk with Mizzou Professor and Director of Astronomy Angela Speck about studying animal reactions, citizen data gathering and exactly how the moon and the sun line up to create daytime darkness. 

Janet Rogers / UMKC Communications

University of Missouri System President Mun Choi named an interim chancellor to the University of Missouri-Kansas City today.

Barbara Bichelmeyer will serve as interim chancellor of UMKC effective August 15, when Chancellor Leo E. Morton retires. Bichelmeyer is currently provost and executive vice chancellor at the university.

Morton has been chancellor since 2008, and he announced his retirement in May.

Sara Shahriari

UM System President Mun Choi announced today that the UM System is focused on saving students money on course materials.

According to Choi, the University will develop a system-wide strategy to encourage use of quality open educational resources – which are free to students. The university will also focus on Auto Access, a program that makes books available online at a lower cost than traditional textbooks.

"Our goal is to move into the future by introducing more open source material so our students can have an outstanding, affordable education," Choi said.

Mike Matthes / City of Columbia website

Columbia made steps toward social equity but also faces a lean budget, Columbia City Manager Mike Matthes said in his state of the city address today. 

"We have begun to close the employment gap between white and black Columbians. The American Community Survey measures unemployment by race; they’ve measured it since 2005. The gap is now the smallest we’ve ever seen," Matthes said. "When the City Council established the strategic plan, African American unemployment was 15.5% in Columbia. Today it’s 11.9%. We still have work to do, but we’re gaining on our goal." 

Looking to public safety, he credited community outreach policing efforts for significant decreases in crime in three neighborhoods. 


Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA

University of Missouri System faculty, staff and community members gathered in Columbia Friday to hear system president Mun Choi outline the University of Missouri System’s budget for fiscal year 2018.

Current decreases in state funding, uncertainty about future state funding and enrollment declines at the system’s flagship campus in Columbia have forced officials to look for both short- and long-term solutions to significant budget shortfalls.


This week on Intersection we are joined by William Trogdon, who writes under the name William Least Heat-Moon, to discuss his new novel, “Celestial Mechanics.”

 

The novel follows Silas Fortunato, an amateur astronomer, through a serious accident and life-changing relationships with three women. The novel is set in a place inspired by Columbia and Boone County. Heat-Moon is also the author of books including “Blue Highways” and “PrairyErth”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This week on Intersection, we continue our look at Columbia's new Unified Development Ordinance. 

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This week on Intersection, Columbia Mayor Brian Treece joins us to discuss the Unified Development Ordinance, which took effect at the end of March. The new zoning code is the biggest comprehensive reform to zoning in Columbia since the 1950s. Treece says some of the changes include strengthening protections for neighborhoods and increasing parking requirements for large residential developments.

Listen here: 


Columbia's First Ward City Council candidates joined us to share their priorities. The election is April 4. Candidates discussed their views on housing, infrastructure, community policing and social equity.

 

 


 

Columbia City Council elections for the Fifth and First Wards are April 4. This week, Intersection talked with the Fifth Ward City Council Candidates, Arthur Jago and Matt Pitzer. The candidates discuss issues including safety, policing, development and city growth.

 

 

 

 

 

Listen to the full episode here:

Dr.Farouk / Flickr

This week on Intersection, we talk with KBIA health reporter Bram Sable-Smith about possible changes to healthcare in Missouri. One change could come this Thursday, when the U.S. House is scheduled to vote on the American Health Care Act. This bill is the GOP’s proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. We discuss what the changes proposed in the GOP replacement bill could mean for Missouri, especially for people in rural parts of our state. 

Listen to the full episode here: 


This week on Intersection, we talk about the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veteran's Hospital's new patient education center and the hospital's patient-centered approach. Our guests are Communications Specialist Heather Brown, Health Promotion Disease Prevention Program Manager Jennifer Schmidt, Public Affairs Officer Stephen Gaither and MOVE! program participant and veteran Kent Lewis.

Listen to the full episode here: 


This week on Intersection, we listen to the first episode of the new True/False Podcast presented by KBIA. Host Allison Coffelt talks with directors Keith Fulton and Lou Pepe about their film The Bad Kids and the process of developing character in nonfiction film.

 

 

Listen to the full show here:


True False logo
File Photo / KBIa

This week on Intersection, we speak with the directors of several films in the 2017 True/False Film Festival. This year’s festival marks the thirteenth consecutive gathering of documentary filmmakers in Columbia. Conversations include Hebert Peck of I Am Not Your Negro and Petra and Peter Lataster, directors of Miss Kiet’s Children.

Listen to the full show here: 


This week on Intersection, we talk with Clarence Lang, Professor of African and African-American Studies at The University of Kansas. Lang’s book, Grass Roots at the Gateway: Class, Politics and Black Freedom Struggle in St. Louis from 1936-1975, explores St. Louis as an intersection of culture, economy and civil rights movements.

Listen to the full story here:


This week on Intersection, we talk with Representative Cheri Toalson Reisch about her first session in the Missouri General Assembly. Republican Reisch represents District 44, which includes Northeast Columbia, Hallsville, Sturgeon and Centralia.The seat was formerly occupied by Caleb Rowden, who now occupies the 19th District seat in the Missouri Senate.

Listen to the full show here:


KBIA

This week on Intersection, we talk with three MU professors about their teaching and research in and outside of the classroom. From the First Amendment and social media to what superheroes can teach us about American history, we're learning from some of our region's fascinating  educators.  

Listen to the full show here: 


Patrick Breitenbach / Flickr

This week on Intersection we talk with three students from the University of Missouri. Last fall Autumn Gholston, Daniel Litwin, Nora Thiemann and about 20 other students spent the semester exploring how to tell stories using sound in a digital storytelling class.

In this episode we hear audio essays these three students produced about everything from friendship to surviving a tornado, and talk with them about stepping outside their comfort zones, writing in new ways and putting their storytelling skills to work.

Listen to the whole show here: 


Mike Krebs/Missourian

The National Weather Service has issued an ice storm warning for nearly all of Missouri. As precipitation began Friday morning, KOMU8 reporters in Jefferson City and Columbia updated KBIA on conditions. 


A loaded gun was confiscated from a sixth grader at Lewis & Clark Middle School in Jefferson City this morning. 

Staff received information about the gun and the student was removed from the school, according to information posted by Jefferson City Public Schools (JCPS) on its Facebook page. No one was injured during the incident, and JCPS is working with the Jefferson City Police Department. 

"JCPS is committed to a safe and positive learning environment for all students and staff," the school system said on Facebook.

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