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WVUToday on the Radio 2020

Visiting WVU/Staying Connected radio spot
Dec. 18, 2020
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, mountaineers go first. Staying connected during the pandemic has not always been easy, but WVU's visitors centers have made sure that prospective students, their families and others interested in learning more about the university can do so with health and safety in mind. Terry Jackson is the director there. Terry, what are some of the things that you and your team have done?

Terry Jackson: We've got a few different options for folks who still want to explore WVU in the midst of the pandemic. We do have a self-guided tour option that allows guests to explore campus at their own pace. In addition to that, we do have a virtual tour. Finally, we do have a live stream tour series that takes place Mondays and Wednesdays at 3:30.

April Kaull: So looking ahead to this spring and the summer, what kinds of plans are you looking at?

Terry Jackson: We're constantly monitoring the situation and we do hope to return to in-person visits in the near future. We do encourage our guests to check out the website, for the update as far as campus visitation goes. We know that we have lots of perspective students and families who want to tour the Morgantown campus, and we are really looking forward to hosting them.

April Kaull: So what's the best way for people to connect with the visitors center if they want some more information, or maybe have some questions?

Terry Jackson: They can always check out our website, In addition, we do have our phone number (304) 293-3489. We can help facilitate some of these opportunities and also find the best fit that's right for you.

April Kaull: So let's go. Follow our story on

AGE-ADAR radio spot
Oct. 30, 2020
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University mountaineers go first. There is a new program on campus. It's called the Appalachian Gerontology Experiences-Advancing Diversity in Aging Research, AGE-ADAR program. And it's funded by the National Institute on Aging. The goal is to increase diversity of researchers in the field of aging and in Appalachia. Julie Patrick helps run the program at WVU. Julie, tell us more about this.

Julie Patrick: It's a program designed to work with underrepresented, and minority student in the M-STEM field medicine, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and really get them hooked on using their skills to solve the problems facing Appalachia. Persons who come from a diverse background really do bring a wealth of creativity and knowledge. And so we really do want to open up the door to invite lots of people to help solve some of these place-based health disparities. We'll start recruiting and accepting applications in the spring, and we'll get started in the summer.

April Kaull: What do you see as the biggest challenge in all of this?

Julie Patrick: Helping students see how important this is, even though they're an engineer or an exercise physiologist, that kind of additional knowledge will serve them and their community.

April Kaull: At the end of the day, why is WVU the best place for a program like AGE-ADAR?

Julie Patrick: WVU is known as the birthplace of lifespan development. And this is really where the study of aging began in earnest back in the 60s and 70s. So it's part of our legacy.

April Kaull: So let's go. Follow our story on

Flu vaccination radio spot
Oct. 30, 2020
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, mountaineers go first. Dr. Lisa Costello is a WVU medicine pediatrician and assistant professor at the School of Medicine. She's encouraging everyone to get a flu shot this season. Dr. Costello, why is it so important this year?

Dr. Lisa Costel: Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever during this year to protect yourself and the people around you from the flu. We also really want to help reduce the strain on healthcare systems while we're also battling a pandemic. It's really important that we're protecting against the diseases we have the ability to protect against. We want to help prevent a twindemic, a flu epidemic on top of the COVID-19 pandemic.

April Kaull: Help us understand. How does the flu vaccine work?

Dr. Lisa Costel: Most of the time, getting a shot in the arm, and that's where we're giving killed or inactivated virus so that your body is able to build immunity or antibodies against the actual flu virus.

April Kaull: Is there a best time to get a flu shot?

Dr. Lisa Costel: We recommend as soon as possible and certainly before we start seeing flu in our communities. It takes our bodies about two weeks to develop those antibodies or the ability to fight off the infection, if you would come in contact with the actual flu virus. But it's also important to get it even after that time, because we can see influenza into the spring, well into March or April.

April Kaull: So let's go. Follow our story on

WVU President Gordon Gee – State of the University
Oct. 12, 2020
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University mountaineers go first.

April Kaull: A global pandemic ongoing concerns about racial injustice and continued debate about the value and relevance of higher education in our daily lives set the virtual stage for president Gordon Gee's annual state of the university address on October 12th.

Gordon Gee: When I reflect on these past seven months. I'm both humbled and heartened. I'm humbled because our university has maneuvered through these very tumultuous times with courage and grace and tenacity. And I am heartened because, and I see the incredible work that we are doing at the university. I know that we will emerge stronger than ever before.

April Kaull: In fact, WVU just announced a 25 million dollar gift from Intuit executive, Brad Smith and his wife, Elise. The donation will provide initial funding for a remote worker program.

Gordon Gee: This groundbreaking initiative in partnership with the state aims to leverage West Virginia's outdoor assets to bring fresh talent to the mountain state and fuel the entrepreneurial thinking of West Virginia.

April Kaull: Gee also talked about the high April loop certification center. The project also announced last week creates an opportunity for WVU to lead a consortium of higher education institutions. Focusing on the future of transportation.

Gordon Gee: This will be a revolutionary advancement in transportation for our state and for our world.

April Kaull: And he called on the WVU community to embrace it's shared calling and fundamental mission.

Gordon Gee: Let's move forward together in kindness and shared purpose and in hope toward a better tomorrow.

April Kaull: So let's go follow our story on WVU

WVU Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Meshea L. Poore discusses Diversity Week 2020
Oct. 2, 2020
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, mountaineers go first. West Virginia University will once again celebrate diversity during its annual Diversity Week, beginning October 11th. Joining me is the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at WVU, Meshea Poore. And Meshea, you guys have a lot of really great things on tap. Give me some of the highlights. What are some of the can't-miss opportunities?

Meshea Poore:On Wednesday, we have W. Kamau Bell coming to talk about things that is going to make us excited about being mountaineers and what we can do to help and support one another. State of Diversity on Thursday where I will talk about where are we as West Virginia University when it comes to diversity? Then of course, we also have our student-led panels. So, there's a lot of different things that they'll be engaging in during the week.

April Kaull: And there are events happening on all of the campuses, right? This is really spread out across West Virginia University.

Meshea Poore:We are one university, and so at the end of the day, we are talking about diversity on all of our campuses, making certain that we are engaging and talking about things that matter to our staff, our faculty, and our students.

April Kaull: Well, if people want to get more information and find out which events they want to go to, be sure to check out So let's go. Follow our story on

Research funding for WVU hits all-time high at $195 million this past year
Sept. 24, 2020
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, Mountaineers go first.

April Kaull: West Virginia University has seen a big increase in research funding. I'm here with the Vice President for Research at WVU, Fred King. Fred, what do you attribute that big increase to, and how much money are we talking about?

Fred King: So we're talking a bit about $35 million over a previous high. It was an increase in success by a variety of investigators across the university, and the awards that they receive were all for a little bit more than we used to achieve. On the national scene we are becoming more and more competitive for these federal dollars.

April Kaull: Where does most of this funding come from?

Fred King: Like any university, most of our funding for research comes from the federal government. And the agencies that we do the best with would be the US Department of Energy, historically and fossil energy, but increasingly in other areas of energy production as well. NASA, National Science Foundation. And, it's not unusual for a university like ours, a public land grant university with a medical center, to do very well with the NIH.

April Kaull: $181 million is a lot of money for research. Where are you seeing the bulk of that work happening at the university?

Fred King: We see it growing across the university from the Davis College, all the way through health sciences.

April Kaull: What does that mean in terms of the impact West Virginia university and the researchers here can have on the quality of life and the outlook for the state, and beyond?

Fred King: Research at the university is very much focused on the purpose of serving the state. Whether we're talking about work with the Green Bank Observatory where we're looking at really the origins of the universe, or whether we're talking about the work that goes on at the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute aimed at dealing with addiction or Alzheimer's disease, you can see that there's always a relationship back to the state.

April Kaull: So let's go. Follow our story on

Dr. A.J. Monseau discusses about health and safety protocols for WVU student-athletes
Sept. 12, 2020
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, Mountaineers go first. Dr. AJ Monseau has been the head team physician and medical director for WVU Athletics since 2017. He's with me today to talk about the testing and protocols in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. What factors did you first consider in trying to get back on the field?

Dr. AJ Monseau: Trying to maintain principles of physical distancing is the first thing. So when you first start to think about strength and conditioning workout, that's pretty easily attainable. Our strength and conditioning staff really have gone the extra mile to do everything they can to let us try to get back on the field.

April Kaull: So in addition to those physical distancing guidelines, what are those other protocols that have been implemented?

Dr. AJ Monseau: We have been pushing masks since the beginning of our return, which happened in June. And that's truly what we're trying to do is cut down the risk as much as possible. Because obviously we take the virus seriously and we don't want to infect anyone here as much as we can.

April Kaull: And then obviously cleaning and hygiene measures. What about testing? I know WVU is following the Big 12 guidelines here. Explain how it works.

Dr. AJ Monseau: We divide the types of sports into three levels of contact for the highest risk. We are implementing a three times a week testing strategy. Two of those are PCR tests and one of them is an antigen test one day before competition. Our Big 12 group has been very fortunate is April to be working with the other Big 12 head team physicians and medical directors to try to work on a plan that we can implement at all 10 at the big 12 institutions.

April Kaull: So let's go. Follow our story on

Historic Trees on campus radio spot
March 12, 2020
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, mountaineers go first. Some trees on the Morgantown campus have to be removed for pedestrian and campus safety. Joining me today to talk a little bit about that is Dave Beaver from Auxiliary & Business Services, as well as Josh Pritts, our campus arborist and Traci Knabenshue from the Office of Sustainability. Dave, I want to start with you. Why remove these trees?

Dave Beaver: We take our trees very seriously here at West Virginia University. We have a in-house arborist. We also brought an outside consulting group called SavATree and really helped us come to the conclusion that while we would love to save every tree, there's some that we just have to remove for the safety of our students.

April Kaull: In all, we're talking about five trees on the Downtown campus. Now, Josh, we would love to save every tree, but that's just not possible. Is it? How do you know when a tree has reached the end of its life cycle?

Josh Pritts: So when I came down here and started actually looking at these trees, a lot of them have pretty severe decay. That led me to believe that we had some more serious issues. Fortunately, we were able to reach out to find someone to confirm those issues.

April Kaull: Dave, what kind of a timeline are we looking at?

Dave Beaver: The first two trees we're going to remove over spring break and the other trees will have those dates shortly.

April Kaull: And Tracy, I want to pull you in here for a minute because I know that your office has been really involved in this. Talk a little bit about the sustainability efforts.

Traci Knabenshu...:Yeah, so WVU has a tree campus committee. We're a certified tree campus, USA. We've done a tree inventory. We have over 2,300 trees. This effort is really about managing and taking care of those trees effectively. Last year, we removed 41 trees, but planted 51 trees on campus, including a few near some of these historic trees that will need to be removed.

April Kaull: And Josh quickly, as it relates to the trees that we're talking about specifically being removed, I know there are also efforts to see that they live on in some way as well.

Josh Pritts: We are going to try to find a way to reuse these trees so they continue to live on off the Downtown campus. So, we're going to utilize what wood we can that way they aren't forgotten.

April Kaull: So let's go. Follow our story on

Science Adventure School radio spot
February 20, 2020
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, Mountaineers go first. I'm here with Ali Jeney, the Director of the Science Adventure School at West Virginia University. There's a science adventure school? What's that? It sounds really neat.

Ali Jeney: Thanks for asking April. The Science Adventure School is a sixth grade program that West Virginia University is working on, in partnership with the Summit Bechtel Reserve. We operate during the school year. Sixth grade classrooms come to the Summit Bechtel Reserve down near Beckley, and they enjoy four days, and three nights, of camping, outdoor adventures, learning about science in the field and working with us on experiential education.

April Kaull: The Pilot Program began in 2018. What have you seen since then?

Ali Jeney: What really motivated us to keep this going and to grow it, are the results that we saw from 2018. Not only was it the survey, the numbers on paper that showed these students are walking away with confidence, or walking away with a science identity they didn't have before. When we talked to the parents, and we talked to the teachers, and they say things like "My student who didn't have very many friends now has sleepovers with their friends." Or "They used to hang out with just a small group. Now they've learned these confidence and leadership skills, and they've tried out for sports teams, and they're different in the classroom. They're asking questions. This idea of inquiry, it's reoccurring, and they not just ask more questions. They ask better questions."

Those are the types of things that let us know that what they're experiencing at Science Adventure School is making a real difference in their education and in their lives.

April Kaull: This has really grown lot since that Pilot Program?

Ali Jeney: It has. First year, the Pilot was one week of one day programs, and one week of an overnight program. This year, we ran with almost 500 students. Almost 40 teachers came to be with us at Science Adventure School. Next year, 2020, we're hoping to reach almost a thousand students.

April Kaull: Wow. So if someone wants to learn more about Science Adventure School, how can they learn more?

Ali Jeney: is the best way. You'll find my direct contact information or email address, videos, packing list. You can get the information you need and you have avenues to ask questions if you'd like to know more.

April Kaull: So let's go. Follow our story on

WVU Grant for Mobility Equipment radio spot
February 13, 2020
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University mountaineers go first. Kids like to move and they like to be as independent as possible. But children who have mobility impairments equipment needs can limit their ability to get out and go. The West Virginia University Center for Excellence in Disabilities is working to change that Jesse Wright's with me. How are you working to tackle this big challenge?

Jesse Wright: The funding sources just don't exist. West Virginia Medicaid does not pay for the type of equipment that is therapeutic or recreational. We have reached out to the Christopher and Diana Reeve Foundation that grant has allowed us to buy equipment. So it just opens up a whole world.

April Kaull: You're also focused on making sure that children who might need equipment as they change and grow are going to be served.

Jesse Wright: What this program's going to allow them to do is have a long term loan of these devices and they can borrow it until they grow out of it. And then we get it out to the next family in need.

April Kaull: So is all of the equipment brand new?

Jesse Wright: And that's where we came up with the Pay it Forward concept, looking at families who have equipment, who are no longer using it and asking them to donate that equipment.

April Kaull: Is there a target age group or are there specific children who will most be served by this program?

Jesse Wright: We are looking for kids who are between three and 12. That's the size equipment. We have ordered birth to three program in West Virginia fund us the equipment for kids who are up to three. Once they reach that three year old level, they have no funding source for this equipment. So that's the audience we have targeted, because we see the most need there. One of the resources that we are connecting with now that this program has become public is the Variety program. Variety is based out of Pennsylvania and they do give out free adaptive tricycles, adaptive strollers, and communication devices. But in West Virginia, they only serve a select group of counties. As we get requests, if Variety can serve them, we're going to send them there. This program is already starting to grow and impact people. So it's just super exciting on all the possibilities where this could go.

April Kaull: So let's go. Follow our story on

Flu vaccination radio spot
February 6, 2020
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University mountaineers go first. It is peak flu season in our region. And here to talk with me about that is Dr. Kathy Moffitt from WVU medicine and Dr. Moffitt, what are we seeing right now when it comes to influenza?

Dr. Kathy Moffi: We're seeing high fevers. We're seeing pneumonia. We're seeing people just feeling horrible with body aches, headaches, congestion, cough, fever, maybe not bad enough to be hospitalized, but bad enough to stay home from work or school.

April Kaull: If you're not feeling well, if you have those symptoms, if you've been diagnosed, don't go to school. Don't go to work, stay home and get better. Right?

Dr. Kathy Moffi: Right. Stay home. Don't infect other people because you're not helping yourself. You might get worse. And you're certainly not helping others by exposing them.

April Kaull: What are some other sort of best practices? What should people be doing to try and maybe reduce their chances of catching the flu?

Dr. Kathy Moffi: The first one is get a flu shot. It's not too late to get a flu shot. And we have circulating flu B right now. Even people who've had flu B, we might have happened what happened last year and we had two peaks. We had A, and then we had B. We hope we don't have a peak of A later in this season, but it's not too late to get a flu shot.

April Kaull: Also, I'm guessing, you're going to say wash your hands.

Dr. Kathy Moffi: Yep. Wash your hands. Touching things. Coughing, sneezing. People are near you. You go to eat lunch, wash your hands. Don't touch your hands and face. This is the way we get infections.

April Kaull: You mentioned A and B and there are multiple strains of the virus. And right now you said we're seeing more of strain B. Some people may have heard "Oh I got my flu shot back in the Fall or earlier this year." And it's not effective for the kind of flu that we're seeing right now. What advice do you have for those people?

Dr. Kathy Moffi: Some people still will get a mild case of the flu, but having had a flu vaccine will keep them hopefully from getting pneumonia and need to be hospitalized. So we can't be discouraged by that. We should be encouraged. I got the flu, but I got a milder case. So the vaccine did help it. Isn't perfect. Yeah, we need better flu vaccines, but the ones we have are safe and actually do prevent a lot of disease.

April Kaull: So let's go. Follow our story on

WVU Masters of Health Administration Program radio spot
January 30, 2020
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, Mountaineers go first.

April Kaull: Those who want to enter the growing healthcare field now have a new option to consider. Joining me today is Eric Carlton from the School of Public Health, along with WVU Health Systems, President and CEO, Albert Wright. Eric, let's start with you. Tell me a little bit more about the Masters of Health Administration program.

Eric Carlton: The Master of Health Administration is a 47 credit hour program. Full-time two years, but a lot of part-time options, and we have residential tracks for more traditional students or for the non-traditional student who likes that in class experience. Then we have a great new online track as well, more for the working professional, the executive.

April Kaull: Albert, you are on the front lines. Every day, you see firsthand the need for leadership in the healthcare industry. How does a program like this really help to address that challenge?

Albert Wright: We've grown tremendously over the last five years here on our flagship campus in Morgantown, also at our hospitals and care points all around the state. And as we grow clinicians, physicians, and different things, we've also recognized we need to grow new leaders and the MHA program is one that's going to be specialized and allow us to grow leaders from within. This curriculum will give folks a chance to learn the basics of healthcare administration and finance and working with regulatory bodies, and then we'll put them in that pipeline as we continue to grow around the state.

April Kaull: Eric, there's an internship opportunity as well?

Eric Carlton: For the traditional student or 350 hour internship, generally over the summer. For more of the clinical leader, the returning student, it's a 200 hour internship they can do in their place of business where they're working now.

April Kaull: And Albert, you really see this as a partnership between the School of Public Health and the West Virginia University health system?

Albert Wright: This is going to be a partnership where a lot of our leaders will be educators in the School of Public Health MHA program. I think a win-win for both the health system, the School of Public Health and the students that get involved in the program.

April Kaull: If you'd like to have some more information about the program, be sure to go to, or you can call 304-293-1376.

April Kaull: So let's go! Follow our story on

Maple Syrup Production radio spot
January 27, 2020
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University Mountaineers Go First. With more than 400 million maple trees, It's no wonder maple syrup is one of West Virginia's fastest growing industries. To help keep the momentum and overcome some challenges, Jamie Schuler, with the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design wants to educate landowner, foresters and loggers. So Jamie talk about what some of those barriers or challenges are.

Jamie Schuler: We're basically in a state that for a long period of time, has focused on the forest industry as a solid wood product, something that we're going to take to the sawmill to make into lumber. Historically, maple syrup has not been a major player in the natural resource in the forestry realm. Our idea is to start promoting that as an additional resource, as another opportunity for landowners that have forest that might want to do something other than harvest them.

April Kaull: Is West Virginia a good place for maple syrup production and why?

Jamie Schuler: And it just so happens that red maples specifically is our number one treat. And so sugar maple and red maple combined, we have more potential taps than states like Vermont as an example.

April Kaull: You've received a grant to help West Virginia become even more maple friendly. How is the grant going to work? What's the process going to be?

Jamie Schuler: This grant is through USDA Agriculture Marketing Service. And we're basically looking at developing a program to one, educate landowners, helping existing foresters learn a little bit more about how we might manage trees for syrup production, then finally the logging community. If we educate them on what they have, show them the techniques that are needed to make syrup, what we'll see is more and more producers that get into this industry. And even the ones that are currently in the industry, a lot of them have not even considered anything about forest management. And the two dovetailed together, can really increase the output that our producers are having for this state and elsewhere.

April Kaull: So let's go follow our story on

Evansdale Visitors Resource Center radio spot
January 10, 2020
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University mountaineers go first.

April Kaull: There are now more ways than ever to visit WVU. I'm here with Terry Jackson, the director of the visitors center at West Virginia University. Terry, there's always been a visitors center at 1 Waterfront Place in the Wharf district, but now a second visitor center tell us about it.

Terry Jackson: This semester. We're actually launching our second visitor center space in the Evansdale crossing building on the Evansdale area of campus. The center will actually help and host our Evansdale based major students. So those looking at majors that are based in that area of campus, in addition to our health science based students.

April Kaull: So what will the tours look like from the Evansdale visitor center?

Terry Jackson: So our Evansdale based tours are going to essentially be Evansdale centric. They'll still include all of the campus, including the downtown areas of campus, but they really aim towards providing students with a realistic interpretation of the buildings and areas of campus. They'll be interacting with the most during their time at WVU

April Kaull: There's still the visitors center at 1 Waterfront Place in the Wharf district. Talk a little bit about what people experience when they come to the original visitor center.

Terry Jackson: Students who are taking advantage of tours through our Waterfront Place visitors center are essentially those who are going to be downtown based students. They are still taking advantage of a full campus store. That includes the areas of Evansdale and downtown, but just as our Evansdale center is Evansdale centric, this tour will be downtown centric.

April Kaull: What sorts of things do both of the centers offer?

Terry Jackson: Both centers include a 30 minute admissions presentation for our weekday visitors. Then in addition to that, it is essentially a two hour driving and walking tour.

April Kaull: If someone is maybe in a place where they can't physically get to campus, you also have an option online for people who maybe still want to be able to experience the campus. Talk a little bit about that.

Terry Jackson: We've got a virtual tour that's available. Oaks can not only explore all of our academic buildings, but also residence halls. You can find bad information, including our virtual tour on our website,

April Kaull: So let's go follow our story on

New Years resolutions radio spot
January 1, 2020
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, Mountaineers go first. A new year means New Year's resolutions. I'm here with Stephanie McWilliams, a psychology professor at the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at WVU. A lot of people tend to gravitate towards similar kinds of resolutions. A lot of them deal with behavior modification. Going on a diet, exercising more, drinking less, quitting smoking. Why do people tend to gravitate toward these sorts of resolutions?

Stephanie McWil: They believe these things will make them happier. However, research tells us that our body image really isn't the key to happiness, the amount of money in our bank account is not the key to happiness. The other thing is, usually negative emotion is what leads us to make certain resolution agreements with ourselves. And again, research tells us that this usually leads to pretty shaky ground for making positive behavior change.

April Kaull: So, how can people set themselves up for success if they make a resolution that is really centered on changing their behavior?

Stephanie McWil: Plan for failure. Failure is going to happen. It's not a question of if, but a question of when and how. Small reinforcements matter. It can't be the big bang, it's got to be little steps throughout the way. And if they can appreciate each reinforcement as it comes, then they are more likely to stay on track.

April Kaull: You started by talking about happiness. How can people choose resolutions that are focused more on happiness instead of those pitfall topics that so many people tend to fall into?

Stephanie McWil: When we think about improving the relationships in our lives, improving the connections we have with people, we end up being happier people overall and we end up being more successful in making the changes that we want to make.

April Kaull: So, let's go. Follow our story on

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