Taylor Gantt

Radio Producer & Back-Up Host

Taylor graduated from Georgia State University in 2015 with bachelor's in journalism and a concentration in telecommunications. He interned with "On Second Thought" during his senior spring semester and immediately fell in love with the team and the GPB working environment (but mostly the T-shirts).

Taylor also worked as a freelance sports reporter for the Forsyth County News and a sports contributor for the growing southern magazine "The Kitchen Drawer." When he's not listening to Rush or groaning at the local teams, he can be found petting his cat "Mr. Jorge" or watching Netflix.

Ways to Connect

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Author Gail Lumet Buckley visited Atlanta in February to give a lecture at the Margaret Mitchell House about her book, "The Black Calhouns: From Civil War to Civil Rights With One African American Family." The book traces Buckley’s family lineage through six generations and frames many of America’s pivotal moments through the viewpoint of her influential family.

We talk to Buckley about the book, her famous mother, Lena Horne, and what she learned about the highest branches of her family tree

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Recently, several high profile on-campus crimes in Georgia have created a stir amongst the state’s biggest schools. For example, Georgia State University students have endured a number of disturbing crimes over the past months, including two robberies at gunpoint inside the school’s library. With Governor Deal currently deciding whether to pass new campus-carry legislation, is crime on the rise for Georgia colleges?

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The Georgia Guidestones are a mysterious set of massive rocks that were commissioned as a structure in the early 1980’s by a mystery benefactor in Elberton, GA. The monument lists ten essential steps to re-creating the world after the apocalypse and has remained one of the more enigmatic attractions in the country.

We spoke with travel writer Shannon Dell, who visited the stones to file a report for BBC Travel, about the lore and uncertainty surrounding the granite structure. 

jasonikeemrodgers.com

We add another pair of songs to our essential Georgia Playlist. Jason Rodgers, conductor of the all-black group ‘Orchestra Noir," joins the show to share two of his favorite Georgia tunes from Ray Charles and James Brown. 

Enjoy this live version of Ray Charles' "Unchain My Heart"

Also, check out James Brown performing "Please, Please, Please" live on the TAMI show

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President Obama is spearheading new legislation that could provide millions of Americans with access to overtime pay. The change could have major consequences for jobs in the future, but what is the history of overtime pay and the minimum wage? In our explainer series, we “break-it-down” and learn about the history of the 40-hour work week.    

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The Breakroom gang is back in the saddle to dissect and debate the week’s news. We talk about cultural appropriation of hairstyles, moving the NBA All-Star Game from Charlotte to Atlanta, and the difference between diversity and discrimination in the casting of Broadway’s “Hamilton.” 

After the break, the crew returns to chop up more of the week’s notable moments. We talk about the idea of a ‘gap year’ break for high school students, the new menu option known as the Burgerizza at Turner Field, and the idea that beautiful people don’t get substantial roles in Hollywood. 

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The National Basketball Association has traditionally been dominated by men on and off the court. But over the years, efforts to promote inclusion have made headway in the form of female referees, front office staff, and even coaching. Here in Georgia, Nzinga Shaw hopes to further promote progress alongside the Atlanta Hawks as the NBA’s first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer.

We talk to Shaw about her time on the job and hear what she thinks has improved and what is left to be accomplished.

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Governor Nathan Deal recently rejected controversial ‘religious liberties’ legislation that created a nationwide uproar. Alongside outcry from social activists who say the bill legalized discrimination against LGBT people, production companies for TV and film vowed to end their association with Georgia if the bill became law. Many feel that Hollywood’s billions ultimately defeated the fledgling bill, but did social activism play an equal or greater role?

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The 2016 election season has already altered the way we look at politics, much in part to the meteoric rise of GOP front runner Donald Trump. But for some minority voters, the chaos of the current political scene leaves them feeling disconnected with the political parties they’ve always known.  Demetrius Minor, a long-time black Republican, grew frustrated with his party and decided to renounce his affiliation last month.

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When Michael Sam became the first openly gay athlete to be drafted into the NFL back in 2014, important barriers to equality were broken. But not much has changed when it comes to tolerance in the NFL and other professional sports. Most recently, the Atlanta Falcons were ostracized for questioning the sexuality of a potential draft pick by asking him if he liked men during an interview. 

Former NFL player and current advocate Wade Davis joins us to discuss the lack of tolerance in pro sports. Writer and editor Erick Fernandez of Cycle also weighs in on the controversial issue. 

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 The National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit is currently underway in Atlanta. President Obama and a host of politicians, scientists, and medical professionals aim to address the problem of prescription drug abuse. Currently, misuse of prescription meds is responsible for an estimated 72 deaths a day, a number that has pushed the medical community to classify this problem as an epidemic. 

We are joined by Dr. Patrice Harris of the American Medical Association to discuss the problem of prescription drug abuse and what can be done to curb the problem.

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Most major cities around the country cultivate a certain cultural tone over time. Portland is known as a hub of nostalgia and alternative lifestyles; Miami boasts a blend of Latin culture mixed in with a constant party vibe. But how is Atlanta defined culturally and how has that definition changed over the years?

 

 

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A group of faculty and student researchers at Kennesaw State University have recently discovered a new method for delivering vital proteins into human cells. This new method of cell penetration could have a number of important applications down the road, ranging from improvements to cosmetics all the way to aiding the fight against cancer.

We talk to KSU’s associate vice president of research Jonathan McMurry and graduate student Verra Ngwa about the science behind their team’s discovery. 

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For high school students from low-income households, the road to graduation can be filled with obstacles – and where they live is one of them.  The Brookings Institute has found a new link between states with high income inequality and dropout rates among low-income youths. According to the report, the perceived lack of social mobility is a big issue for low income students in states like Georgia.

Taylor Gantt

Healthy food options are often limited for low-income residents. The commute to the closest grocery store can take hours if you don't own a car. So, corner stores are often the place where people in these neighborhoods buy their food. But many of these stores don't offer fresh fruits and vegetables, and that can have deadly health consequences for those who depend on them. We speak with Rodney Lyn, who serves as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor in Georgia State University’s School of Public Health, about a project that aims to change that. 

atlantasciencefestival.org

The week-long Atlanta Science Festival is currently in full swing, offering interactive events and educational experiences for all ages. One event for adults, entitled 'The Science of Sin,'  uses the Seven Deadly Sins to present the latest scientific research associated with each sin. Seven researchers and scientists will present their findings and hold discussions with attendees.

We talk to Emory University’s Larry Young about the seduction of Lust and Sarah Brosnan of Georgia State University about the allure of Envy.

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Thankfully, its Friday once again! That means it's time for our Breakroom gang to reassemble and talk about all the noteworthy items of the past week. This week, we talk about the huge number of sexist/racist social media posts by the citizens of Atlanta, insurance policies designed to protect companies from crazy celebrity endorsers, and the budding 'bromance' between Chris Christie and Donald Trump.

This week, our Breakroom panel is:

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A church deacon and scout leader in Gainesville, GA has admitted to several counts of sexual abuse against minors during his time in the Boy Scouts.

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Professional Bull Riding is a growing action sport, but many people have yet to experience an event in person. More than a thousand cowboys are members of the Professional Bull Riders organization, known as the PBR, which has doled out upwards of $140 million to winners in its more than 20 year existence.

 

We take a listen to an audio postcard from a PBR event in Duluth and hear from Shane Proctor and Derek Kolbaba , two daredevil riders who tangle with two-ton bulls for a career. 

VIDEO: Watch the event kick-off with pyrotechnics and fireworks:

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In Georgia, state legislatures are conducted on a part time basis. Most legislators are also involved in major secular fields, including medicine, law, and real estate. A recent Atlanta Journal Constitution article cites that many of these legislators are bringing bills to the floor that will directly benefit their personal career field.

We talk to AJC reporter Aaron Gould Sheinin about the potential for conflicts of interest when part-time lawmakers deal with policies that can affect their own bottom line.

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Being a teacher is not an easy job. Growing levels of career dissatisfaction, uncompetitive salaries, stress, low levels of teacher retention and many other factors make teaching a serious challenge. Ryan Neumann, a Cobb County teacher and host of the blog Neumannic Times, feels the weight of being a teacher and wrote a commentary based on the challenges voiced by many of his peers.

We take a listen to an excerpt of Ryan’s commentary and hear how he really feels about the his complicated career

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Although the average American life expectancy continues to improve, one demographic group has been dealing with substantial problems over the past few decades. Research from Princeton University discovered that older white Americans from ages 45-54 are experiencing sharp increases in health failure, poisoning from drugs and alcohol, and suicide.

    

jasonikeemrodgers.com

A conductor in Clarkston, GA is looking to add some much-needed diversity into the world of classical music. Jason Rodgers has founded Atlanta’s first all-black orchestra, which will be known as Orchestra Noir. The group will debut later in the year and hopes to encourage other classical music programs to further the cause of diversity.

We speak to conductor Jason Rodgers and Director of Community & Learning Caen Thomason-Redus for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra about the current status of diversity in classical music. 

Youtube.com/Quarterlife*(webseries)

Most people recognize the power of a midlife crisis, but two Atlanta performers are hoping to showcase  the funny foibles of life in your mid-20s. Celia Quillian and Shelli Delgado raised $10,000 through crowd funding in order to create their own Web series called "Quarter Life*."

We sit down with the two co-writers and producers of the show to talk about how we should really look at life during our mid-twenties. 

More info on Quarter Life*

Save The Bats, Save The Agriculture

Mar 9, 2016
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Bats may give us some of us the creeps, but their usefulness in the field of agriculture is undeniable. Bats can save farmers billions by merely eating their fill of crop insects. But the dangerous fungus known as "white-nose syndrome" continues to infect caves and kill bats, with some estimates saying that nearly 95 percent of the population is in danger.

We talk to Georgia State University microbiologist Chris Cornelison and wildlife pathologist Heather Fenton about the severity of the fungus and what’s being done to combat it.

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