Take two longtime UC Santa Barbara staff members, both currently working in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education — and both with a history at the campus radio station — and what do you get?
In the case of Chryss Yost and George Yatchisin, you get “Schooled Radio,” airing Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. on KCSB 91.9 FM and kcsb.org. Also available as a podcast, the show has education at its heart, infinite topics on its to-do list and, as a target audience, “anyone who has ever wanted to learn anything,” said Yatchisin.
“I feel like the university is almost by definition an environment of curiosity and inquiry,” added Yost, “but it’s also easy for folks to live entirely within their own specializations. I hope ‘Schooled Radio’ helps people connect with others outside their own departments.”
And beyond. The show hosts plenty of non-UCSB affiliated guests, too.
“Our motto is ‘education is everywhere,’” Yatchisin said, “so while we might talk with a professor one week about her research in psychological assessment, the next week we might talk with folks behind the White Buffalo Land Trust, who explain what land stewardship means and how education is central to their mission.”
Yost and Yatchisin both have prior KCSB experience: She hosted “Writers’ Café” (2013-2014) and “Library Radio” (2012-2013); he co-hosted, with Frank Goad, the music show “Frank ’n’ George” (2010-2019). Together they launched “Schooled Radio” in the fall of 2020, prerecording interviews amidst a pandemic that precluded live sit-downs at the station.
“We were looking for a way to bring something different to the station, which we knew is always looking for more locally produced public affairs content,” Yatchisin said. Given their current mutual employment at Gevirtz — and their shared passion for lifelong learning — focusing on education was, well, a no-brainer.
Yost first came to UCSB as nontraditional transfer student from City College — “which is to say I was closer to my professors’ ages than most of my classmates’,” she said — and was part of the first cohort to graduate with a minor from the Writing Program. She eventually earned her Ph.D. in education. Her myriad staff roles on campus have included the Center for Black Studies Research, where she was managing editor of The Journal of Haitian Studies; an artist at UCSB Library; and positions with Student Affairs and in the Office of International Students & Scholars. For Gevirtz, she is helping to develop a community resource center at the Harding University Partnership School.
“I feel like the best communication work is closely linked to education: what do you want people to know? How do people find and understand important information?” said Yost, also a former Santa Barbara Poet Laureate and co-editor of the local publisher Gunpowder Press.
Working on campus since 1994, Yatchisin first came to UCSB to teach in the Writing Program, which he did for seven years. He then moved on to a multiyear writer/publicist role for UCSB Arts & Lectures before landing in GGSE, where he is director of communications — “a sort of dream job,” he said, “as it brought together both my teaching experience and my PR experience in one neat, giant ball of tasks.”
Education and communication are sturdy threads connecting their past and present experiences, interests and their new show. But there’s another tight bond here, too.
“We’ve been married for over ten years and we are both writers, so we find lots of opportunities for projects,” Yost said. “We’ve co-edited some poetry collections and help keep each other inspired. It’s an incredible gift to have a creative partner.”