Arts & CultureCampus Life

Podcast Aims to Spark Conversation and Plug Students into Campus

by Lydia Gard

Elizabeth Mattia loves being the voice behind Grace’s very first podcast, “The Spark Plug.” She is a second-year student at Grace majoring in Communication and works for Dr. Patrick Loebs in Grace’s Language, Literature, and Communication department.

“The Spark Plug” earned its name from Mattia’s belief that “Ideas are sparked by thoughts, and this is a cycle… Everything is sparked by something.” Mattia hopes to cultivate this cycle on Grace’s campus.

Elizabeth Mattia loves interacting with people and their ideas as part of “The Spark Plug,” Grace’s first podcast.

Mattia recently interviewed resident director John Sloat, and the podcast “A Sit-Down with Sloat” is available to listen to right now on SoundCloud. Mattia also interviewed Ben Eagle, one of the five actors from the London stage who was here for Shakespeare at Grace and will release this podcast soon.

Mattia’s favorite part of producing this podcast is “asking people questions they’ve always wanted to be asked.” She also loves the “amazing, focused and uninterrupted” conversations she has with those she interacts with as part of the podcast.

“The Spark Plug” is an “underground project,” according to Mattia, as not many students are aware of it.  The podcast is officially part of the Communication department, but Mattia has taken charge of it. Mattia’s desire is to grow “a vocal community under the big community of Grace that connects everyone under the radar,”  a place for students to be able to say and act on the statement, “Let’s talk about this more in depth.”

Mattia aims to use Grace’s “small, intimate” environment to create an avenue for conversation, especially conversations that could be difficult to have without an outside source bringing them to light. She wants the  conversations in “The Spark Plug” to be powerful, and she doesn’t want every opinion “to be from the same basket… The fun of this podcast is you can do whatever you want.”

Last year, Loebs came into the office where Mattia was working and told her he wanted to start a podcast. Mattia responded by saying she’d never done that before, but she was eager to learn. Now Mattia continues to grow the podcast, and she and Loebs both desire for more students to be involved in its production. Mattia said she envisions the future of “The Spark Plug” as “being a tool that way more students use” and as having a bigger studio with soundproof walls and other necessary equipment.

You can listen to “The Spark Plug” podcasts by searching for it on SoundCloud. Mattia always has ideas for future podcasts, so stay on the lookout for those!