Off The Stage Podcast

Off The Stage Podcast

Off The Stage is a new podcast series produced by the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University. A hallmark of the Hauenstein Center is bringing experts from all over the country to our stage in Grand Rapids, Michigan to discuss the cultural, intellectual, and political challenges Americans face. This podcast series takes some of the brightest minds from various backgrounds and political ideologies off the stage to share the passion and curiosity behind their expertise and experiences, plus hear their answers to some fun questions asked by our listeners!

Off The Stage is produced and hosted by the Hauenstein Center's media specialist, Maddy Miller. If you have any questions or ideas, please reach out to her at [email protected].

Off The Stage Podcast is available on


Newest Episode

Episode #11: Shane Phillips

Housing Policy Expert & Author | March 2023

Shane Phillips is a housing policy expert and author of The Affordable City. After a couple questions from the famous BOQ, Shane shares with Maddy about his career path, including the story of how he didn’t graduate from high school, going to undergrad for biochemistry, and making the switch to urban planning and public administration. Shane also talks about being car-free for 15 years, his blog ⁠Better Institutions⁠ and about his ongoing podcast called ⁠UCLA Housing Voice⁠.

Episode #10: Brooke Oosterman

Director of Policy & Communications at Housing Next | March 2023

This podcast features Brooke Oosterman, the director of policy and communications at Housing Next, which is an organization that works to provide equitable housing right here in Grand Rapids, an area where rent is high and demand continues to outpace development. Maddy interviews Brooke about her time at Michigan State University, her incredible work experience and something she is most proud of. Brooke also shares why she thinks her work with Housing Next is important and her advice for women in business. All of this and more - listen today!

Episode #9: Kate Andersen Brower

Journalist & Author | February 2023

Kate Andersen Brower joins the Hauenstein Center for their Presidents' Day Celebration. Maddy interviews Kate about her childhood, choosing her major and her knowledge on the former presidents. The two also discuss Kate's most recent book, a biography of Elizabeth Taylor, the most famous movie star of the twentieth century. The episode ends with Kate discussing a challenge she faces in her career: being in a male-dominated field.

Episode #8: Dr. Dara Richardson-Heron

Fortune 100 Corporate Executive, Board Director, Physician, Public Speaker | January 2023

Dara Richardson-Heron, who explains herself as a "physician by trade and an advocate by choice", joins the podcast alongside host Maddy Miller. The two first discuss how early is acceptable to eat lunch and learning to play the piano. Then Maddy asks Dara questions about how she decided she wanted to be a physician, why she has degrees in medicine and leaderships, what working at Pfizer during the pandemic was like, and what Dara would've said to Maddy when she was unsure about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Episode #7: Dr. Mary Frances Berry

Historian, Writer, Lawyer, Professor and Activist | January 2023

Dr. Mary Frances Berry has done so much throughout her lifetime, winning many awards, writing several books and being an activists for civil rights, gender equality and social justice in our nation. On the podcast, Dr. Berry talks about her time working for the Jimmy Carter administration (including a funny story about a buffalo getting loose), her relationship with Coretta King, and her advice for people wanting to live a life of activism.

Episode #6: James Romoser

Editor of SCOTUSBlog | December 2022

James' twitter bio says "Briefly was a lawyer until I remembered I like journalism too much" and the two talk about his journey from law school back to journalism, along with the freedom of information in our country. James also shares about his other project Circuit Breaker and his most energizing court cases to talk about.

Episode #5: Adam Liptak

Supreme Court Correspondent for The New York Times | December 2022

The two start out with some questions for the famous BOQ. Then Maddy asks Adam about his first job as a copyboy at The Times, going to law school after getting a degree in English, and about bias and misinformation in his field of work. In the end, Adam shares about his relationship with Floyd Abrams and his best advice for someone wanting to go into a similar field of work.

Episode #4: Dennis Rasmussen

Author, Professor, Researcher | November 2022

Dennis shares about growing up in Michigan, switching majors in college, his bone to pick with Lin Manuel Miranda and his best advice for someone wanting to go into political theory. The two also discuss Michigan sports and the disappointment that comes along with being a fan.

Episode #3: Vice Admiral Sandra Stosz, USCG (ret.)

Retired Vice Admiral of the U.S. Coast Guard & Author | November 2022

Sandra is the author of Breaking Ice & Breaking Glass: Leading in Uncharted Waters, where she talks about her leadership journey through the Coast Guard and breaking down barriers, especially for women. In this episode, the two discuss Sandra's life and her accomplishments, like being the first woman to lead a United States service academy when she was chosen as the superintendent of the United States Coast Guard Academy. This episode is packed with great stories of Sandra's time in the Coast Guard and her sharing her life outside her career.

Episode #2: John Kowal & Wilfred Codrington III

Co-Authors of The People’s Constitution: 200 Years, 27 Amendments, and the Promise of a More Perfect Union | September 2022

Maddy asks them questions about their favorite places in New York, how they became interested in constitutional law, the process of writing a book together, and much more. The episode is ended with some great advice from John and Wilfred themselves - you won't want to miss this episode!

Episode #1: Hal Brands

Professor, Scholar, Historian, Author, Columnist | September 2022

Hal is asked questions about his perfect Saturday, what got him interested in foreign affairs and political science, his writing skills, how he stays positive despite having a somewhat gloomy professional expertise, his relationship with his dad, H. W. Brands and more.

Page last modified March 23, 2023