Leighton Rowell

On Second Thought Producer

Leighton Rowell is a producer for On Second Thought.

Prior to joining GPB, Leighton lived in Brazil, teaching English through a Fulbright Award and eating far too much pão de queijo.

Leighton's previous reporting has appeared on TIME.com, The Trace and in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; she also interned for NBC Sports during the Rio 2016 Olympics. For her work on investigations at the AJC and WSB-TV, Leighton was honored with two Larry Peterson Memorial Awards in 2016.

An Atlanta native, Leighton attended the University of Georgia, where she was a Foundation Fellow and managing editor of The Red & Black student newspaper. She also began her public radio career in Athens as an intern for WUGA's classical music program Afternoon Concert.

Leighton graduated from UGA summa cum laude with bachelor's degrees in history and Romance languages. She speaks Portuguese and French. 

Leighton Rowell / GPB

Father's Day is this Sunday, so we handed the mic over to a dad whom we at On Second Thought know well: "Breakroom" regular Christian Zsilavetz. Zsilavetz, a queer-identified transman who co-founded Pride School Atlanta, has two daughters: Zoe and Emmalee. He and Zoe, who is exactly nine and a half years old, stopped by the studio to record a special father-daughter interview.

 


On Second Thought for Thursday, June 14, 2018

Jun 14, 2018
GPB

Flannery O’Connor is regarded by many as Georgia’s greatest fiction writer. Her books are written with dark humor, eccentric characters, and it’s all set in a devout Catholic faith. All of which made her a leading voice in southern gothic literature.

 

 


WikiCommons

The U.S. didn’t make the cut for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but Americans will still be represented when competition kicks off today in Russia — by a group of student journalists from Kennesaw State University. They’re in Moscow to report, podcast and live tweet the global spectacle, and yes, this plum assignment actually counts for college credit.

 

 

 

 


On Second Thought for Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Jun 13, 2018
GPB

According the United States Census Bureau, there are nearly 50,000 homeless veterans in America. In order to combat these issues with housing, popular TV shows like “Tiny House Hunters”are looking to create tiny homes as a solution.

  

The Chatham Savannah Authority for Homeless has organized the “Tiny Home Project” in order to fight this growing problem.

 


On Second Thought For Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Jun 12, 2018
GPB

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta says suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and according to a new report, the number of people who take their own lives has risen substantially since 1999. Per the report, nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older took their own lives in 2016. Georgia alone saw a 16 percent increase in suicides from 1999-2016. Emory University professor Nadine Kaslow and Doreen Marshall of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention say more needs to be done to prevent these tragedies.


Screenshot by GPB / nytimes.com

When fashion designer Kate Spade died last week of an apparent suicide, there was an outpouring of grief, from Twitter to the front page of the New York Times. "Buying a Kate Spade handbag was a coming-of-age ritual for a generation of American women," declared the Times.


On Second Thought For Monday, June 11, 2018

Jun 12, 2018
GPB

Every month approximately 374 girls are sexually exploited in Georgia. On average, they are 12-14 years old. Last month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Atlanta office collaborated with nearly 40 local law enforcement agencies to rescue 148 missing children who had become victims of human trafficking. Some were as young as three years old.To learn more about Operation Safe Summer, we spoke with FBI agent Nathan Whiteman, who spearheaded the operation.


On Second Thought For Friday, June 8, 2018

Jun 8, 2018
GPB

Thirty-seven million Americans live in poverty today. According to the National Women's Law Center, more than half of them are women. Race, health and gender discrimination contribute to this disparity, but to learn about the economic history that led us to where we are today, we spoke with Diana Pearce and George Robb.


Ilmicrofono Oggiono / Flickr

In the majority of Georgia families, mothers are the sole, primary or co-breadwinners, according to the Center for American Progress. But that doesn't mean they have the wages to adequately support themselves and their loved ones — particularly when it comes to minimum wage workers in Georgia, of whom 6 in 10 are women. And beyond the wage and wealth gap, women lack access to other things that Shilpa Phadke says are critical for their economic security: affordable child care, harassment-free work environments and quality health care. 


On Second Thought For Thursday, June 7, 2018

Jun 7, 2018
GPB

Jason Reynolds didn't get through a whole book until he was 17. He's now a bestselling author, and he's trying to change the way young people feel about reading. Inspired by hip-hop, Reynolds now writes books to get young people to excited about reading. He has various awards to his name, including an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for Youth/Teen and a National Book Award finalist designation for his book "Ghost."

Courtesy Penguin Random House

Lauren Groff never thought she would become a Floridian, but then again she also never anticipated that her novel "Fates and Furies" would become President Obama's favorite book of the year in 2015. The bestselling author moved to Gainesville in 2006 for her husband's business. Twelve years later, she's written a collection of short stories set in the state where she says she now realizes she belongs. It's called "Florida." 


On Second Thought For Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Jun 6, 2018
GPB

The Georgia 2018 legislative session recently legalized the use of cannabis oil for treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD affects about 31 million people in the United States. The disorder is often associated with veterans, but another group of heroes — first responders — also struggle with the disorder. According to one survey, one in 15 paramedics and EMTs has attempted suicide. Heather Harp, a paramedic in Atlanta, says she and her colleagues need more support in their battle against PTSD. 

On Second Thought For Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Jun 5, 2018
GPB

Graduation Achievement Charter High School was founded in 2012 to help at-risk students earn their diplomas. But after six years of poor performance, Georgia’s first virtual charter high school — and only “alternative”  school within the state charter system — is shutting down. The last senior class graduates later this month. To learn more about the future of virtual and alternative charter schools in Georgia, we spoke with Atlanta Journal-Constitution education reporter Vanessa McCray.

Still from GACHS advertisement on YouTube

Graduation Achievement Charter High School was founded in 2012 to help at-risk students earn their diplomas. But after six years of poor performance, Georgia’s first virtual charter high school — and only “alternative”  school within the state charter system — is shutting down. The last senior class graduates later this month.

On Second Thought For Monday, June 4, 2018

Jun 4, 2018
GPB

The 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education made segregation of America’s public schools illegal. But decades before Thurgood Marshall argued for Linda Brown's right to attend the all-white school closest to her house in Topeka, Kansas, lawsuits brought by little girls and young women chipped away at the foundations of segregated education. New research finds their grassroots efforts paved the way for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's (NAACP) legal battle to integrate schools nationally.


Image from the website of the Norman Rockwell Museum

The 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education made segregation of America’s public schools illegal. But decades before Thurgood Marshall argued for Linda Brown's right to attend the all-white school closest to her house in Topeka, Kansas, lawsuits brought by little girls and young women chipped away at the foundations of segregated education. New research finds their grassroots efforts paved the way for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's (NAACP) legal battle to integrate schools nationally. 

 


On Second Thought for Friday, June 1, 2018

Jun 1, 2018
GPB

“The Predator” is slashing its way back into theaters this fall. Arnold Schwarzenegger won’t be making a special appearance, but Shane Black, a supporting character from the 1987 movie is now the director. 

We sat down with the man under "The Predator" mask, Georgia-native Brian Prince.


On Second Thought For Thursday, May 31, 2018

May 31, 2018
GPB

In a bid to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Alabama and six other states recently filed a lawsuit against it. The Obama-era program protects about 700,000 young immigrants from deportation. In Georgia, there are roughly 24,000 DREAMers, a term that describes undocumented immigrants whose family brought them to the United States as children, and who have grown up in the U.S. 

On Second Thought For Wednesday, May 30, 2018

May 30, 2018
GPB

To many Georgians, barbecue is not just food. It's a lifestyle. Over the years, barbecue has evolved in the Atlanta area. Southern folks still grill out, but in recent years the cuisine has re-emerged as an integrated bond of multiple different cultures and communities. Over the next few months, we'll explore Georgia’s greatest barbecue joints and step into their kitchens to see what makes their food different. To start off our the series, we sat down with John T. Edge. He’s the director of the Southern Foodways Alliance and author of "The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South."

Leighton Rowell / GPB

"Barbecue Nation," a new exhibit at the Atlanta History Center, takes a deep dive into the history and culture of the South's most-loved food. But barbecue, like the South and the rest of the United States, is increasingly global. So "On Second Thought" is setting out on a series of roadtrips to see how different cultures and countries represented right here in Georgia do barbecue.

We started off with a visit to Chama Gaúcha, a Brazilian restaurant in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta. Nelcir Muller, the general manager, took us inside the kitchen to show us how people in Brazil — South America's largest country — make their barbecue. In Portugeuse it's called "churrasco." 

On Second Thought For Tuesday, May 29, 2018

May 29, 2018
GPB

Here’s something you add to your burn book. "Mean Girls" is now a Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical. The musical is up for 12 awards. (That’s so fetch!) The play features an all-star cast of mainstays and breakouts, including Grey Henson, who is nominated for the Tony for best featured actor in a musical. Henson grew up in Macon and plays Damian in the show. The actor talked with On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott about life on Broadway and what it’s like working with Tina Fey.

Virginia Prescott joined the On Second Thought team at Georgia Public Broadcasting earlier in May. Prescott, the new host of On Second Thought, comes to GPB from New Hampshire Public Radio, where she hosted "Word of Mouth" and the "Civics 101" podcast, which is used in classrooms throughout the United States. She spoke with Adam Ragusea about the move from New England to the South, and why she loves Georgia.

On Second Thought For Thursday, May 24, 2018

May 24, 2018

Last month, cast members from TV’s “A Different World” reunited at Home Depot’s Atlanta headquarters. They were there to award renovation grant money to nine Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports HBCUs have received less philanthropic support than most colleges and universities, particularly for infrastructure and campus renovation projects. The AJC has looked at the role of HBCU’s across the country and the financial health of these schools. We spoke with AJC reporter Ernie Suggs.

On Second Thought For Wednesday, May 23, 2018

May 23, 2018

After writing his New York Times op-ed, “Dear White America," George Yancy received hundreds of hateful messages. Yancy, an Emory University professor of philosophy, knew that his letter was controversial, but he says he never thought he would receive literal death threats. This past April, he released his newest book, "Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly About Racism in America." It addresses how people confronted him after the publication of his op-ed, and how to proceed from there. In his book, he asks white Americans to rise above their initial racial response and have empathy for the African-American community. George Yancy joined us in studio to talk about "Backlash."

On Second Thought For Tuesday, May 22, 2018

May 22, 2018

Some Georgia law schools want to appeal to more than their traditional law school students. In the fall, the University of Georgia begins offering a graduate degree program for non-lawyers. As schools broaden the appeal of the law, there is major concern about Georgia’s lawyer shortage, particularly in rural areas. We have seen a number of companies form that offer online legal services, but are these viable alternatives?

meltwater / Flickr

The United States Department of Justice estimates nearly two-thirds of all jail inmates have mental health problems.

 

In Georgia, a new investigation raises serious questions about the quality of care those inmates receive.

It's been 100 years since a Spanish influenza epidemic killed as many as 50 million people worldwide, including 675,000 Americans. A new book on the deadly pandemic is out this week. It's called “More Deadly Than War.” The author, Kenneth C. Davis, talked with us about how the Spanish flu affected the course of World War I.

Still from YouTube / GPB

Just as we do at the end of every week, this Friday we brought together a group of four smart people to help us break down the week's news. On Second Thought host Adam Ragusea sat down with our Breakroom panel — Soumaya Khalifa, Greg Williams, Natalie Pawelski and Nemr — to put a rest to the Laurel vs. Yanny debate, process the royal wedding drama and analyze the antics of Georgia's GOP candidates for governor

Still from YouTube / GPB

Comedian Paula Poundstone is concerned she will have to whisper her act at the Miller Theater in Augusta Friday.

"Because of the golf," she told us in a hushed voice. 

Such a quiet routine would be a departure from Poundstone's typically boisterous commentary on NPR's weekly news quiz "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!" She's been a panelist on the show more than 200 times, but told us she holds the "Wait Wait" record for losses. 

Colleges and universities across Georgia have wrapped up the semester, but one Morehouse College student has more work to do. Last year, Julien Turner took an extra credit biology assignment and turned it into a viral music video about the differences between mitosis and meiosis. The rising junior's video made it all the way to the people who work on "Sesame Street." Now, Julien and his brother are creating an educational music video for the show. Julien spoke with GPB's Leah Fleming about the project.

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