Sara Shahriari

Assistant News Director (2015-2018)

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

Today on Intersection, we’re sharing interviews with local authors coming to the Unbound Book Festival this weekend, and also exploring concerns about diversity and expression at the festival. Unbound is a three-day event that brings authors from all over the world to Columbia to talk and share insight on their work. The event runs from April 19 to the 21, and will be held in venues across Columbia, including The Missouri Theatre and Stephens College. This year's headline speaker is author Zadie Smith.

As we put together this show, we learned of people voicing concerns over diversity and inclusion at the Unbound Book Festival, particularly on several panels with all white participants. 

Ibtisam Barakat, a Palestinian-American author, posted a statement to Facebook about a week ago saying she was encouraged by these discussions to reveal racism experienced while participating in an Unbound panel last year. Barakat talked with producer Abby Ivory-Ganja about her experience. Sara Shahriari spoke with festival organizer Alex George about what will change for the festival going forward.  


Creative Commons

The classic concept of bullying is a boy on the playground scaring other kids into giving up their lunch money. But that's far from how much bullying unfolds. Today on Intersection we explore what bullying, and efforts to stop it, look like in Missouri. We hear about revenge porn, online bullying and harassment, and prevention programs at local schools.

Editor’s note: On this episode, we discuss topics including suicide. This may not be suitable for all listeners.   

True False logo
File Photo / KBIA

Today, we're looking back at a few popular films from the True/False film festival. We spoke with six filmmakers about the process behind their films and what they hope audiences gain from their work. 

The films cover a range of topics, from the father-son relationship within a radical jihadist group, the nature-nurture debate and the loss of Singapore's first independent film. 

Our producers talked with the directors of Primas, Shirkers, Black Mother, Antonio e Catrina, Three Identical Strangers and Of Fathers and Sons. 


KBIA

Last week Missouri Governor Eric Greitens was indicted by a grand jury and charged with felony invasion of privacy. His trial is scheduled to begin May 14.

But what is a grand jury, an indictment or a felony? And for that matter, what is invasion of privacy?


T/F Film Festival

 Today, we’re talking with four True/False filmmakers about the inspiration behind their documentaries and what they hope audiences learn from their films. The documentaries cover a range of topics including aging, deportation and policing.

 

The True/False fest starts Thursday, March 1 and ends Sunday, March 4. Over the course of four days, 45 films will be shown. You can find a complete list of films on the T/F website.

 


Nathan Lawrence/KBIA

Today on Intersection, we're exploring some of the fascinating cultural events in Columbia this month. We hear about journalism meeting civil rights history and theater in The Green Duck Lounge, the major international photography competition POYi, and get some insider views on True/False films. 

 


Netflix

This week on Intersection, we bring you an episode of the True/False Podcast, which is a collaboration between the True/False Film Fest and KBIA. The podcast showcases in-depth conversations with documentary film directors, and today we hear from director Kitty Green. Her documentary, "Casting JonBenét," was shown at last year’s True/False Film Festival and is now streaming on Netflix.


photo of Junot Diaz
Nina Subin

This week on Intersection, we bring you excerpts from author Junot Díaz's Jan. 22 talk at MU.

Díaz won the 2008 Pulitzer prize for his first novel, "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.” He received a MacArthur 'Genius' Fellowship and co-founded the Voices of Our National Arts Foundation, which holds workshops for writers of color. He is a professor of writing at MIT.

Díaz immigrated from the Dominican Republic to the United State when he was six. In his literary work and activism, he tackles issues including immigration, assimilation and oppression.

 

His speech was part of the MU Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. event. During the talk, Díaz spoke about white supremacy, the role of artists and the lasting effects of slavery.

 


Today, we're talking with three mid-Missouri authors - Mary Collins Barile, David Crespy and Brian Katcher. They've written plays, books on local folklore and young adult novels.


This week on Intersection we bring you a special on homelessness from Missouri Health Talks. Health reporter Rebecca Smith spoke with Jennifer Carter Dochler, the Public Policy Director for the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and the Vice Chair of the Governor’s Committee to End Homelessness.

Smith was also joined by Teresa and Frankie Graham, the resident manager and a longtime volunteer at Harvest House – a local homeless shelter in Boonville.

They spoke about the state of homelessness in Missouri, how homelessness looks the same and different in rural and urban areas, what is being done to combat the problem and what individuals can do to help.

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

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”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listen here:


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

Listen here:


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:

Pages