JAMS 112

Electronic Media Practices


Host Melanie Johnson and her husband and co-producer Vern Johnson share the story of their oldest son’s adoption.

The Fostering Engagement podcast was an assignment in JAMS 112, Electronic Media Practices. Students learn the basics of recording, editing and producing a podcast by creating one. The assignment required creating six episodes, each at least 10 minutes long to demonstrate what they were learning.

The first part of the assignment was pitching a project idea in class with a target audience in mind. The assignment required planning for guests on the show, drafting interview questions, and recording and editing raw audio. Other elements were adding intro and outro music, as well as “teasers” to encourage listeners to come back for the next episode. Other parts of the project were adding sound effects, writing and recording script for voiceovers, putting it all together and publishing it online. Students played a clip of each episode in class to get feedback from classmates and the instructor. I enjoyed the class so much, I took it again as an elective and published four more episodes.

The Fostering Engagement Podcast


This is the pilot episode of Fostering Engagement, a podcast bringing encouragement and inspiration to foster and adoptive families and educating caring community members about practical ways they can support children from hard places and those who care for them. This installment features an interview with Dennis Nice, author of Exploring the Spirit of Adoption: Healing the Heart of the Fatherless.


Danita shares her experience –and unexpected feelings–when her younger adopted sister reconnected with members of her first family.


Laurie entered fostercare at the age of two and was placed in her adoptive home several years later. In this episode, she talks about her experience of reconnecting with the family she left behind.


Sonja grew up with two brothers but always dreamed of having a sister. And as it happened, her dream found her.


Several episodes ago, Vern and Melanie Johnson shared with listeners that their oldest son recently told them he would like to search for his birth mom. This is the beginning of their family’s journey to do just that.


Nicole Myrstol Russell shares about CASA, a nationwide program that trains and enables community volunteers to “be a voice” for a foster child or sibling group in court.


An interview with Shirley Turner, who left the corporate world mid-career to found REACH Northwest, an Oregon nonprofit partnering with community members to serve children and families impacted by child welfare.


Shirley Turner joins us again to talk about Royal Family Kids’ nationwide program that, with the help of many volunteers, provides a fun summer camping experience for children in foster care.


Donning masks during the Covid-19 pandemic, Rusty St. Cyr, Associate Campus Pastor for Christian Community Development at George Fox University, and Josie Roedell, Mentoring Partnership Intern, talk about Foster Parents’ Night Out, an event organized and led by students that provides activities for children while their parents enjoy a night out.

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