Kevin Stiner | February 03, 2022

Alumni Podcast Takes Flight

“Where Golden Eagles Soar!” debuts, featuring the incredible stories of successful graduates.
Where Golden Eagles Soar

The SUNY Brockport Division of Advancement is set to explore the world of podcasting with “Where Golden Eagles Soar!” The monthly podcast will share impactful stories from a variety of alumni, and it will be featured on popular listening platforms beginning with today’s release of The Port.

“Building a podcast is about interviewing people and asking good questions,” said Doyle, who also serves as the podcast producer. “Then you figure out a way to turn it into something interesting.” Guests of “Where Golden Eagles Soar!” offer a wide range of careers and life experiences for investigation by co-hosts Michael Doyle ’80 and alumni director Kerry Gotham. Each podcast explores an alum’s connection to Brockport before diving into more detail about the keys to their success post-graduation.

How It Came to Be

Many friends encouraged Doyle to create a podcast based on his many years in the radio industry and his degree in speech communication with an emphasis in broadcasting. The recently retired President of Sales Operations for Entercom Communications was eager to return to an on-air presence that began with his time as a student at WBSU, 89.1 The Point.

The Point

“I never wanted to do something that only I’d want to listen to,” said Doyle. “I started listening to some other colleges’ podcasts and to be candid a lot of them weren’t that good. It was like a raw reporting of talking to someone who was a graduate. I thought if you produced it more and made it more like an entertainment podcast, it might sound a little more interesting and what you’re looking for is something a little edgier.”

Doyle pitched the idea to Mike Andriatch, Vice President for Advancement at SUNY Brockport, during an event reception.

Michael Doyle '80

Michael Doyle ’80

The five alums to be featured in the first wave of podcasts span more than five decades, from the late 1960s to the 2000s.“I loved the idea right away and the wheels were soon in motion,” said Andriatch. “It’s a medium that allows for great conversations and stories about the alumnus and the College, their career, and how they want to leave their mark on the world.”

“They’ve all been really great,” shared Doyle. “We haven’t done one that I haven’t thought wow this is so interesting.”

“We have so many amazing alumni and it gives us another way to share their inspirational stories,” Andriatch shared. “I hope people reach out to us to let us know about former classmates or colleagues or neighbors who are alumni who have cool stories to tell. I can’t wait!”

Sneak Peak at Upcoming Guests

Larry Gostin ’71, discusses his journey as a young man from Queens to Western New York. His journey initiated a life of student activism, jitterbugging, and appearing on national TV as a leading expert in public health and the law.

A future folk star nearly chose a different college, but a temporary semester of Brockport classes persuaded Christine Lavin ’73 that she had found the right school. This episode traverses Lavin’s folk music career that captured the admiration of Emmy Award winning actor Jeff Daniels.

Marisa Ballaro ’07 shares how assisting students in her mother’s ballet studio helped contribute to her future in dance. Ballaro details her mother’s encouragement towards pursuing a career in dance and how she built a dance company of her own.

Troy Pearley ’92 developed a unique way of digesting information as a double major. Find out how he smoothly navigated his way through the ups and downs of being a student-athlete, deejaying hip-hop sets, and ultimately landing a sweet job with Divine Chocolate, a company focused on the fair trade of cocoa.

Paul Overacker ’95 made his dreams come true, advancing from small neighborhood films as a child in Rochester to a Hollywood producer and director. His story explores the power of passion, vision, and drive and their cumulative ability to transform fantasy to reality.

Where It Can Be Found