Pria Mahadevan

Producer, On Second Thought

Pria is a producer for GPB's program, On Second Thought.

Pria is passionate about using local journalism as a way to strengthen communities. She got her start in radio through KALW's Audio Academy program in San Francisco, but she has a diverse set of professional experiences outside of journalism. She studied cognitive neuroscience and Spanish at Washington University in St. Louis, and later worked as a financial consultant in Boston and taught English at a university in Brazil on a Fulbright scholarship.

After spending years exploring a variety of fields she finds interesting, Pria is thrilled to have found a career that lets her continue to explore new ideas every day. She has always loved storytelling, and she is excited that every day at GPB involves new ideas and challenges. She's eager to bring new voices to airwaves across Georgia. 

Ways to Connect

Hyosub Shin / AJC

On Mar. 11, 1985, Harold and Thelma Swain were shot in the vestibule of a Baptist church in rural southeast Georgia during evening Bible study. Witnesses from the black congregation described a white man with shoulder-length hair who fled the scene.

Despite years of investigation by both the local sheriff’s office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the case had gone cold by the end of the decade; even the leads generated by a 1988 episode of Unsolved Mysteries about the case proved false.

In 2003, Brunswick prosecutors convicted Dennis Perry of killing a couple in their church back in 1985 — while another suspect had admitted to the murder on tape. Renewed interest in the case from the Georgia Innocence Project and a true crime podcast spurred Joshua Sharpe, criminal justice reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, to revisit an early suspect’s alibi.


Sharpe's research unveiled new DNA evidence, and prompted the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to reopen the case. Sharpe joins On Second Thought to talk us through what he learned in his nearly year of reporting on the 35 year-old case.



Courtesy of I Run With Maud

The last 35 seconds of Ahmaud Arbery’s life have been viewed, studied, dissected and discussed all over the world. That’s because of a video that went viral, showing his final moments before he was shot on a shady street in Satilla Shores, Georgia on February 23.

And while his death has made international headlines, the people of his community remember Arbery for how he lived.



While segments of Georgia’s economy have reopened, last week Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton extended the judicial emergency for the state’s courts until June 12.

Some procedures have been held on Zoom, but criminal and jury trails – and the summoning or impaneling of new grand juries – have been suspended since shelter-in-place orders began in mid-March.

While segments of Georgia’s economy have re-opened, last week Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton extended the judicial emergency for the state’s courts until June 12. Some court procedures have been held on Zoom since shelter-in-place orders began in mid-March.

On Second Thought explored the impact of coronavirus on the courts — as well as the implications for the pending case on the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery.


In addition to changing many aspects of our waking lives, coronavirus has also shifted how we dream.

Institutions around the world have been collecting examples of dreams since the outset of the pandemic, and some researchers found a 35% increase in dream recall since lockdown.

On Second Thought sat down with Harvard University Assistant Professor Deirdre Barrett to learn more about the impact of COVID-19 on our dreaming minds. Barrett has analyzed dreams of World War II soldiers, 9/11 first responders, and Kuwaitis under Iraqi occupation. Since March, she’s collected details on more than 7,000 dreams to study how people are responding to coronavirus in their dreams.

Compared to the lockdowns and shuttered businesses in countries across the world, Sweden is an outlier. Swedish officials have advised citizens to work from home and avoid travel, but most schools and businesses have remained open. This relaxed approach aims to minimize impact on the economy, and slow the spread of the virus through what is known as “herd immunity.”

Now, as the U.S. weighs further spreading the disease against the impact of a tanked economy, some Americans — particularly conservatives — are looking toward Sweden’s model as an option. On Second Thought unpacks the merits, risks and strategy behind Sweden’s approach, and what has become a political talking point here in the U.S.

Some dream researchers have seen a 35% uptick in dream recall since the start of the pandemic. And when people process traumatic events — like a terrorist attack, or widespread health crisis — scientists have noticed that people's dreams start to follow similar themes and patterns. 

We want to know: How have your dreams changed since the start of the pandemic?

Call and leave us a voicemail at 404-500-9457 with your wildest, craziest COVID-19 dreams, and share your reflections on how dreaming as a whole may have shifted for you during the pandemic. 

Brandon Cruz González / El Vocero de Puerto Rico

For nearly 15 years, National Medal of the Arts award-winning poet and author Julia Alvarez has focused on writing picture books and novels for children. But earlier this year, she published her first novel for adults in more than a decade, called Afterlife.

The protagonist, Antonia Vega, is a woman in her late 60s reckoning with isolation and her new identity after her husband’s sudden death. In a world upended by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and wrestling with its own kind of communal grief, the themes of the novel resonate in ways that Alvarez never could have predicted.

Artists and arts organizations were quick to adapt to coronavirus. Museum tours, operas, Broadway shows, author talks, home concerts and classes for kids sprung up online shortly after closures were announced.

But as the dust begins to settle on our new normal, many worry about the long-term economic impact and outlook for the artists, performers and independent organizations essential to the cultural ecosystem.  Doug Shipman, president and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center, joined On Second Thought to talk about how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the arts world now – economically, culturally, and artistically – and how that might change as things open back up.

Self-isolation and quarantine have recalibrated our habits, routines, and what we present to the world. For many lucky enough to still have a job, getting dressed and made up is a vestige of normalcy in a world that feels upended. But for others, gray roots, shaggy beards and chipped nails are the last thing to worry about.

What has this unprecedented period behind closed doors revealed about the motivations behind our self-care? And what will happen to the beauty market when self-isolation is over — especially given that Gov. Brian Kemp recently gave the greenlight for barbershops and hair and nail salons to re-open?

For many lucky enough to still have a job, getting dressed and made-up is a vestige of normalcy in a world that feels upended. For others, gray roots, shaggy beards and chipped nails are the last thing to worry about. But what has this unprecedented period behind closed doors revealed about our self-care and priorities? And what will happen to the beauty market when it’s all over?

On Second Thought explores these questions, which are particularly pertinent now that Gov. Brian Kemp has given the green light for barbershops and hair and nail salons to re-open.

The closure of schools, restaurants and hotels has wreaked havoc on the nation’s food culture, from one end of the supply chain to the other. Jon Jackson, founder of Comfort Farms in Milledgeville, joined On Second Thought to share what they’re dealing with, as well as how he got into farming in the first place. We also learn about StagVets, of which he’s executive director, and how it helps veterans dealing with PTSD.

Blaire Johnson

Until she was in her 30s, Vivian Howard was ashamed of being from rural North Carolina, and the food she grew up eating felt embarrassing.

Thankfully, a number of influential cooks, critics and restaurants ushered in a revival of Southern food — and Howard is among them. She’s a chef, restaurateur, writer and Peabody award-winning television host. Her new series, Somewhere South, began last month on PBS. Each of the six episodes explores a single dish, and how those foods reflect the history, evolution and people of the region.

In medical situations, it weighs heavily on doctors and nurses when they are unable to save a life. So, what happens when the decision is not what treatment to give, but who gets treatment at all?


Associate Director of the Emory University Center for Ethics and Director of the Center's Program in Health Sciences and Ethics Kathy Kinlaw and Assistant Professor of Bioethics at New York University’s Langone Health Brendan Parent explain the ethical considerations of triage decisions — and the emotional impact they can have on medical staff.



In the last month, videos and stories of doctors in hospitals around the world flooded with COVID-19 patients have circulated across social media platforms. The grief and distress of having to decide who gets treatment with ventilators and other critical equipment in short supply is almost unimaginable.

While professionals on the front lines in Georgia have not yet had to face those wrenching decisions, recent models predict that infections will peak in the first week of May. Meanwhile, bioethicists are preparing healthcare professionals with guidance on making split-second triage decisions.

5 OST Stories To Listen To This Week

Apr 13, 2020
Pria Mahadevan/GPB

From chefs to authors to bird-watchers, the On Second Thought team pulled together another five favorite conversations from our archives to start your week right. 


As always, we want to hear from you about your favorite segments from our show's history. Leave us a comment on our Facebook group or on our Twitter page.

One of the ways that people are coping with coronavirus anxiety is by baking. That’s not a surprise to resident chef for NPR’s Here & Now Kathy Gunst, perhaps because she and former Food Network executive Katherine Alford wrote about the power of baking to process emotions in their new cookbook, Rage Baking: The Transformative Power of Flour, Fury and Women’s Voices. On Second Thought spoke with Gunst to talk about the resurgence of baking in a world that is now so dramatically different.

Alana Sane

Abby Wright is among the thousands of students disappointed when her school’s spring musical was canceled due to concerns about possible spread of coronavirus. Then, the junior at Southeast Whitfield High School in Dalton saw Broadway singer and actress Laura Benanti post on Twitter for students in the same situation.

“This may seem silly, but I know that a lot of high schools were going to have their musicals, and those musicals got canceled,” Benanti said in a video she uploaded to Twitter March 13. “So, if you would like to sing a song that you are not going to get to sing now, and tag me, I want to see you. I want to hear it.”  

Courtsey of Wahida Clark Publishing

When Wahida Clark went to federal prison in 1999, she knew she needed some way to support her teenage daughters from behind bars. She never thought it would be writing that sustained her.

The Atlanta-based author has come to be known as the “queen of street-lit.” She’s published 15 novels, including four New York Times bestsellers. Clark now runs a company helping other inmates find their voices and publish their own books.

Pria Mahadevan/GPB

While COVID-19 continues to dominate the news cycle, we thought our listeners would enjoy a break from coronavirus headlines.

Here’s the weekly roundup of some of our favorite segments that have nothing to do with the pandemic. As always, tell us what you think, and be sure to share your favorites! You can tag us on Twitter at @OSTTalk and join and comment in our Facebook group: “GPB Radio’s On Second Thought.”

Loop It Up Savannah

When the nonprofit arts and enrichment program Loop It Up Savannah realized that their regularly scheduled programming was going to fall apart for the foreseeable future, Executive Director Molly Lieberman realized they needed to shift gears — fast.

“We realized we weren’t going to have any of the special events we’ve planned,” Lieberman said. “So, what can we be doing to stay connected to our students and contribute in a positive way?” 

Leighton Rowell

With unemployment surging, hospitals nearing capacity, and shelter-in-place orders in effect in almost all states, our lives have shifted dramatically in the past month. And that uncertainty can be even more complex, or even dangerous, for victims and survivors of domestic abuse.

At a press conference Wednesday, Gov. Brian Kemp shared that one hospital in Atlanta recently reported a 15% increase in domestic violence-related cases. Experts working in the field warn that the stressors of the current lockdown have added additional complications and barriers to accessing help — and that even federal stimulus money could become leverage for abusers.

The uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus pandemic can be even more complex, or downright dangerous, for both victims and survivors of domestic abuse. We’ll learn about the specific challenges for this vulnerable population — and how these victims and survivors may even struggle to get their piece of the stimulus bill.

Georgia band Indigo Girls have built a diehard community of listeners through decades of songs that touch on the joys and pains of living in the world. They were among the first to stream a live concert when social distancing restrictions were first announced. On Second Thought checks in with this pair of Georgia music legends to hear about how they're experiencing this unprecedented moment.

Last week, the On Second Thought team pulled together a list of some of our favorite interviews from our archives.

And as COVID-19 headlines continue to top the news, we wanted to share another list of thoughtful, non-coronavirus conversations to take your mind off any fears and anxieties regarding the pandemic. Until the virus’ spread slows down, we’ll be dropping a list like this one at the start of every week.

Dani Andujo, Love Beyond Walls

As the coronavirus pandemic has hit Georgia, many nonprofits and community organizations have had to reevaluate how to best support vulnerable populations through the outbreak.

One such organization is Love Beyond Walls, which focuses on supporting the homeless population in metro Atlanta throughout the year. But with the growing threat of coronavirus, Terrence Lester, founder and executive director of the nonprofit, had to quickly pull together a plan to address new and critical needs in the communities they serve. 

While online scams are always a danger, malware attacks and phishing schemes have found a new opportunity with coronavirus. Millions of Americans are now working and learning from home, without the protections — or IT help — found in most offices and schools. And in some countries, the virus has upped the ante on government surveillance of online activity. Alfred Ng, senior reporter at CNET News, and Brendan Saltaformaggio, assistant professor at Georgia Tech, talk about the concerns around data privacy and security that have developed alongside the coronavirus pandemic. 



John Minchillo / AP Photo

While online scams are always a danger, malware and phishing attacks have skyrocketed in the past two weeks. Many of these schemes have found new opportunities through the growing fear and concern over coronavirus. And now, millions of Americans are working and learning from home to help halt the spread of the disease — and find themselves without the protections (or IT help) found in most offices and schools. 

And in some countries, the virus has upped the ante on government surveillance of online activity. 

COVID-19 headlines have dominated the news nationally, on GPB and conversations within On Second Thought. But, there’s a lot more that our show has to offer within its archives that may provide a break from the coronavirus outbreak.

Collage by Emilia Brock

Social distancing has become the new normal. With borders closing, shelter-in-place orders in California, lockdowns in Europe, and the Trump administration's guidelines to limit gatherings, millions of Americans are shuttering indoors — and spending a lot of time in front of a screen.

And the memes have flourished.

As the United States tries to slow the spread of coronavirus, social distancing has become the new normal. Millions of Americans are shuttering indoors and spending more time behind screens — and the memes have flourished. Tweets, TikToks, and more viral content have picked up on major themes of the coronavirus pandemic, like the importance of washing your hands, the scarcity of hand sanitizer and toilet paper, and how boring quarantine can be. Dr. Andre Brock, Associate Professor at Georgia Tech studying digital culture, and Emma Grey Ellis, staff writer at Wired magazine who specializes in internet culture and propaganda, joined On Second Thought to talk about what online meme culture reveals about how we're processing anxiety during this unprecedented pandemic.