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Women are Adapting to Remote Education

Stephanie Gottesman
Traci Henning-Kolberg, Deborah Bauer, and DeAnna Koons

We are back!  And we have sure missed you all! As many of you can relate, we were thrown for a loop when the stay at home orders for Indiana were put in place in March.  It’s taken a minute but we are up and running, and happy to bring host Stephanie Gottesman’s interviews with women speaking on the impact to education in response to COVID 19. 


Our first guest is Traci Henning-Kolberg, the co-founder of Monstrous Regiment Media and producer of Women Are: Fort Wayne. She shares the story of her fifteen year journey to earn her bachelor’s degree, the many challenges she faced and overcame, and how COVID took away her last semester on campus and graduation ceremony. She also spoke about the struggle of having to home school her highly energetic five year old son and be there for the emotional needs of her family, all while attempting to finish classes. We take this time to celebrate Traci’s graduation with her, and all the 2020 graduates who are missing out on experiencing some very big milestones. Our hearts are with you and we sincerely congratulate you. It is with great pride that we are able to announce in this episode Traci’s acceptance to the University of Glasgow in Scotland for their Master’s program in Museum Studies.

Traci’s suggestion for a good educational app for young children, Khan Academy Kids, because we all need a break sometimes and it’s ok for our children to have screens to save the sanity of the parents. We get it. No judgement from us. 


Dr. Deborah Bauer is our second guest and comes to the interview as an Assistant Professor of History at Purdue University Fort Wayne and the mother of two young sons. She shares a particularly relevant look at what the historical impact of this moment is and how, in so many ways, it reflects, but is also different from, what has happened when there have been global crises in the past. Deborah tells Stephanie of the struggles her students have faced because the PFWcampus was closed leaving them without many of the tools students need to succeed. Overseeing her students and checking in with them to see that they are ok is already a large part of Deborah’s daily responsibilities, but add full time motherhood to it and, even with help from her husband, life becomes intensely more complicated. During this time Deborah has had to set aside some of the pieces of her life that have fed who she is, but she finds solace in spending more time with her family and friends, near and far (via the internet, of course) and she feels hope from seeing the way Fort Wayne takes care of each other.

Deborah and Stephanie’s suggestion for a great way to find all the good eats in the Fort - Facebook group 2GoFW


Part Two

We are delighted to have 2019 Teacher of the Year at Carroll Middle School, DeAnna Koons, as our third guest. DeAnna is not only an award winning teacher, she is also a wife and mother to five children. She has used her compassion, creativity and determination to be there for her students as much as she can considering the restrictive circumstances, while at the same time figuring out how to help her five children manage the stresses caused by online learning for everyone. She has been present for her colleagues as the school system shifts in a way that none of them expected. DeAnna is a stellar example of how educators are working to support their student’s educational, and sometimes, emotional needs as well. 

Part Three

Credit Sarah Smith


Our featured song this episode is by Sarah Smith, also known as Sun Dog Sarah.  Sarah makes lo-fi electronic pop music and is currently holed up in downtown Fort Wayne.  Her song, “Close to Home” speaks to her journey in and out of love with a past partner. She shared with us, “I wrote these lyrics about an on-and-off relationship, and basically the struggle to find the balance of freedom and stability with a romantic partner, and finding comfort in a big unfamiliar world as we grow older.”


Sarah does not have any upcoming events at this time but some new musicwas recently shared on the YouTube channel "To Hear From There," a brainchild of C Ray Harvey in which Fort Wayne-based musicians make music during quarantine and post it there. She also collaborated with her friend Cloudmaker on another video shared on the same channel.  


You can follow Sarah on Instagram and find her music on Bandcamp and Soundcloud


Fort Wayne is truly an amazing city and one of the best things about it is how the people living here show up for each other. Artist Alicia Pyle has established a Facebook fundraiser to raise funds for local artists who are completely out of work due to the Covid-19. She writes on her about page, “Everyone knows that I have a passion for supporting local music & musicians, and this economic catastrophe is going to put some under who rely on live-performance to support their families.” The group is called Fort Wayne Freelance Musician Fundraiser SOS. We ask that if you have not been financially impaired by what has happened and you have the ability to give, that you choose to donate to this worthy fundraiser. Fort Wayne wouldn’t be the same without its artists and we truly appreciate Alicia’s effort to support her community. She will be on our livestream in the next couple weeks to discuss this passion project and how it’s helping those in need.  At this time $11,420 of the $15,000 goal has been donated. Thank you to all who have helped!  


Women Are: Fort Wayne is a production of Monstrous Regiment Media and distributed by WBOI in Fort Wayne. Our show is sponsored by the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne. This episode was written and produced by Stephanie Gottesman and Traci Henning-Kolberg, and edited by Adam Blackburn.


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