Gina Kaufmann | KBIA

Gina Kaufmann

Gina’s background combines print and broadcast journalism, live event hosting and production, creative nonfiction writing and involvement in the arts. Early in her career, she followed a cultural beat for The Pitch, where she served as an editor and art writer in the early 2000s.

She also worked as a contributing editor of Heeb magazine out of New York, assisting with the Heeb Storytelling series and ultimately starting her own live storytelling event series in Kansas City. Gina got her public radio chops working first as an intern for KC Currents with Sylvia Maria Gross, then as a co-host of The Walt Bodine Show.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia.

Reporting On Race

Mar 13, 2019

With racial tensions on the rise in recent years, what's it like to be a reporter of color tasked with witnessing events, mediating tricky conversations, and making those stories understandable? In this discussion, we visit with three journalists covering race and culture both locally and nationwide.

Segment 1: Why a Midwesterner is leading the charge to save manatees.

To a native Kansas Citian, a sea animal like the manatee might as well be something mythical like a unicorn or a chupacabra. In this conversation, we learn how a nature lover from Independence wound up leading an organization that helped take the beloved sea cow off the endangered list.

Segment 1: How your 20s are fertile ground for mental illness.

The American College Health Association reports that more than 60 percent of college students had experienced 'overwhelming anxiety' in 2018. But more of them are also seeking help. So what's changing-- the circumstances causing the anxiety, or the culture around asking for help?

Segment 1: The culinary connection between New Orleans and Kansas City.

Andrea Broomfield offers us a look at Cajun cuisine and its historical ties to Kansas City. Then, chef Israel England tells us the secret to rich and delicious gumbo.

Segment 1: Kansas women share stories of life on the range.

More women are running ranches in America, according to a recent New York Times article. So what does that phenomenon look like in Kansas? In this conversation, we hear stories out on the range from female ranchers in the heart of America.

Segment 1: Are you using your phone to read this? Us too.

A cell phone today is basically just as important as our wallet and keys; we do not want to leave the house without it. But is this reliance actually an addiction? We talk with parents and smartphone users about why phones are so addictive and how they are affecting our moods, motivations, and parenting.

Segment 1: If laughter is the best medicine, can a doctor write a prescription for a joke? 

In this conversation, we break down what makes a successful joke, and invite listeners to share a few wisecracks.

  • Dan Margolies, pun enthusiast, KCUR's health and legal affairs editor
  • Ameerah Sanders, stand-up comedian

Segment 2, beginning at 18:49: Books that tickle the funny bone.

Segment 1: More baby boomers are choosing to open up their own businesses. 

Retirement? Not for these people. Despite the trope of the young, millennial entrepreneur, research shows that people between 55 and 64 make up about a quarter of new entrepreneurs. In this conversation, we talk with an author who's reported on this trend and a 69-year-old businessowner who's living it. 

Segment 1: Teacher pay in Missouri comes in almost dead last compared to the other 50 states.

Missouri places 49th in a study ranking teacher pay state-by-state. In this conversation, we discuss why that is and look into how the issue affects local educators.

Segment 1: A Kansas City non-profit is advocating for people with rare diseases.

When you have a disease that's common, you can expect a swift diagnosis and a level of understanding from friends and family. But that might not be the case if your condition is rarely seen and little-understood, even by medical professionals. Hear about the obstacles facing patients with rare diseases and their families

Segment 1: A historic look at the conflict between faith and satire.

From court jesters of the medieval era to comedians of the modern day, humor and religion haven't exactly been the best of friends. In this conversation, a University of Kansas professor recounts a long history of standoffs between faith and wit.

Segment 1: What are local churches doing to prevent and report abuse?

Update: Feb. 25.

When Spike Lee's "BlacKkKlansman," a satire about race in America, won an Academy Award Sunday night for best adapted screenplay, one of the Oscars went to Kansas filmmaker Kevin Willmott, who co-write the film with Lee, Charlie Wachtel and David Rabinowitz.

Segment 1: Community newspaper check-in with Camp Magazine.

From a continent-wide softball competition, to a ‘rainbow wave’ in local government — there’s a lot of news in Kansas City’s LGBTQ community. We visit with the editor of Camp Magazine, to take a look at recent headlines. 

Segment 2, beginning at 13:20: A local icon hangs up his cape.

Segment 1: What's going on with unions in Missouri?

Last year, union membership in Missouri went up, bucking a national trend of declining numbers. But the bigger picture is much more complicated. In this conversation, we take a close look at the current climate of local unions.

Segment 1: The plaza's historic look may see big changes in the future. 

New tenants on the Plaza could change the look of the historic Seville-inspired shopping district. As people wrestle with impending change, balancing nostalgia and aesthetics against commercial hope, we step back and talk about what the Plaza aesthetic is, and whether it's something we as Kansas Citians are attached to. 

Segment 1: Emily Kate’s and gluten-free cuisine

Producer Coy Dugger takes us behind the scenes at Emily Kate’s bakery, which specializes in gluten-free baking. We also hear from Janet Smith who offers tips and tricks for the at-home baker interested in creating gluten-free delights.

Segment 1: MU professor finds that eye behavior can provide mental health analysis.

They say eyes are a window to your soul. But according to a University of Missouri researcher, they're also a window to your stress level.

Segment 2, beginning at 12:44: Local mom shares her story about changing her mind on a controversial issue: vaccines.

Segment 1: The dark side of gambling.

Gambling often conjures up images of casinos, slot machines, and sports betting. But as our guests point out, gambling isn't all fun and games — it can also turn into addiction. One that can have an even greater impact on communities of color.

Seg. 1 Gym Class. Seg. 2: Bob Stewart

Feb 6, 2019

Segment 1: A recent piece from The Atlantic sparks debate over the merits of gym class.

Gym class in school is supposed to be fun. But according to a new study, it may have a negative impact on students. In today's conversation, we explore the merits of gym and how a new crop of physical education teachers is trying to make P.E. enjoyable for every kid.

Segment 1: Research shows white-sounding names curry favor in academic settings.

Xian Zhao's name means something to him. It means something to his parents. That's why he won't adopt what he calls an "anglo name." But his own research suggests he might be missing opportunities because of that.

  • Xian Zhao, researcher, University of Toronto

Segment 2 (beginning at 14:45): Why violence against queer-identifying people of color gets swept under the rug.

Segment 1: The crossroads of Super Bowl ads and social commentary.

After a year of socially-minded commercials from corporations like Nike and Gillette, this year's Super Bowl ads were comparatively tame. In this conversation, we look at how tensions around politics and identity played a role (or didn't) in the biggest marketing event of the year.

Segment 1: What does this week's extreme cold mean for people without a home?

In the frigid cold Wednesday night, The Greater Kansas City Coalition to End Homelessness conducted their annual "point-in-time" survey with the goal of estimating the number of people experiencing homelessness in Kansas City. In this conversation, we hear first impressions on the survey results as well as perspective from a woman currently experiencing homelessness.

Segment 1: Decline in history majors raises question: what's the future of our past? 

New data shows a drop in the number of history majors at colleges in the United States. So what does it mean for the future of our history, if there are fewer people studying it?

Segment 1: Local concert celebrates women composers throughout history.

A concert by the Bach Aria Soloists looks to celebrate women composers of both contemporary and historical notoriety. We learn the stories behind a few of these composers and the roles women have played throughout music history.

Segment 1: Indigenous women's leadership in the Heartland.

With the election of the first two indigenous women in Congress, including Kansas' 3rd District representative Sharice Davids, we look at what leadership means for indigenous women in our area and how that leadership develops within our community.

Segment 1: An expert panel on slang today.

"Extra." "Mood." "We live in a society." "Fell off." Or, per one recent high-profile Twitter feud, "dog-walk" (verb, transitive). These are phrases you either get or you don't. But some of them aren't even new. We define them while also discussing where they come from, why we call them slang (and not just language) and how they spread to eventually become part of standard English. 

Segment 1: Meet the new mayor of Leavenworth, Kansas.

Earlier this month, Jermaine Wilson was appointed the new mayor of Leavenworth, Kansas. We speak with Mayor Wilson about his work in local politics, his foundation Unity in the Community, and the two prison sentences he served earlier in life.

Segment 1: Fight the winter blues with adorable baby animals.

The Kansas City Zoo welcomed a baby king penguin named Blizzard. We hear about how Blizzard and other new babies are doing, along with the ways animals are "encouraged" to mate.

  • Sean Putney, Senior Director of Zoological Operations, Kansas City Zoo

Segment 2, beginning at 16:30: Kansas City filmmaker's latest work selected for Sundance Film Festival.

In the 1950s, SuEllen Fried got a call asking if she'd like to teach the cha-cha to psychiatric patients at the Osawatomie State Hospital.

She'd danced in St. Louis's Muny Opera as a teen and she'd made plans to move to New York to pursue a career in dance on Broadway. But at the last minute, she fell in love, moved to Kansas City, got married and started a family instead.

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