Many Graham School of Business students might know Dr. Tamara Schwartz from the cybersecurity and leadership classes she teaches. What some students might not know is that Schwartz has her own podcast.
The podcast is called “Weapons of Mass Disruption,” or “WMD” for short. Don’t let the name throw you off; there is meaning behind the name, Schwartz said in a recent interview.
She explained that she chose the name because of the issue of manipulation of information and the issue of information warfare, which can be as disruptive as some of the common weapons we think of such as nuclear, chemical, and bioweapons.
Schwartz described the podcast like this: “We live in a VUCA world — volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous — where the only constant is change, complexity is growing, and all the ambiguity this creates is making us feel anxious and uncertain. The world is being disrupted over and over again, and the risks previously categorized as ‘unknown unknowns’ have become commonplace. Everywhere we turn, Mount VUCA is in various stages of volcanic eruption.”
That leaves Schwartz and her guests to explore the intersection of globalization, technology, business, ethics, and social change as we learn to live with the “Weapons of Mass Disruption.”
The podcast launched last summer with the idea to take a look at how our society is living through a time of tremendous disruption. Schwartz talked about how when teaching her classes, they were learning and discussing things that she felt needed to be shared to more than just the classroom. From this the idea, the podcast became the means to begin to share some of the things they were discovering in the classroom.
There is no one intended audience for this podcast. Schwartz explained that the intended audience “is for anybody who’s wants to get off this train of constant fighting. The way you get off the train of constant fighting is to understand how we as individuals, we as humans are targeted. How to begin to pay attention to what’s going on so that we can think past, we need to start thinking like almost an outside view of things so we can be able to step back and calm down.”
What makes this podcast so interesting and unique to York College are the special guests it has. The list ranges from York College professors and York College students to field experts. Some of the professors you might know are Dr. Renee Tacka, Dr. Mohammed Raja, and Jeffrey Schiffman among others from the York College staff.
Natilie McCallick, a cybersecurity management major here at York College, has had class with Schwartz and was on the podcast. Said McCallick: “As someone who has done podcasts with Tamara both last semester and as a freshman, I think it is a really great opportunity to be involved in the conversation beyond just the classroom. We’ve discussed both the effects of the Internet and even topics surrounding technology and the sex industry and much, much more. Not only does it widen the scope of awareness in technology generally, but it allows for students to develop communication skills in a more thorough format beyond just presenting to a class. I’d like to add that it also provides our community with another source of information that otherwise may not be available. One of the biggest stresses in my major is to constantly stay up to date with not only politics but also in the industry of technology and this podcast provides a more enjoyable and credible format that may otherwise be more difficult to locate in the information economy.”
Tacka, a Marketing professor at York College, has had the opportunity to be a guest speaker on the podcast. “The podcast is a reality of how disruption and innovation impact businesses and the industry,” she said. “I think the topics discussed in the episodes along with the different speakers give depth about these issues that many people might not know about.”
Overall, the WMD podcast is a great example of how our facility and students are interacting outside of the classroom. The WMD podcast is available on Apple podcasts and has 15 episodes out already.
Be sure to check the podcast out as new episodes will continue to be released. Schwartz had this to say before she signed off. “When you find yourself canoeing through the VUCA mountains, and someone complains that you are rocking the boat, get out, lace up your boots, and use your paddle as a walking stick.”
Check Weapons of Mass Disruption out at: https://podcasts.apple.com/dk/podcast/weapons-of-mass-disruption/id1572928802
Ulices Samaniego is a senior Integrated marketing Communications major at York college of Pennsylvania