Scott Willis

Host, Reporter, Producer

I’ve always been enamored with the intimacy of radio.  It’s so personal.  It forces you to listen…and listen only.  No visual distractions.  I grew up listening to mostly top 40 radio in Detroit, with no shortage of entertaining DJ’s.  As a teenager, I discovered the area’s all news station.  I loved knowing what was going on, and the intensity with which they told stories.  I often wondered what it would be like to be the first to know what was happening, and then tell others.  Maybe that’s why I pursued a career in news. 

I would go on to serve as an intern at that all-news station, and it was amazing and maybe a little overwhelming to see what it took to put out a constant stream of news.  But something was missing.  It wasn’t until after I graduated from college that I actually discovered Detroit’s public radio station at my alma mater.  What a difference!  You had time to write and tell engaging, meaningful stories, to be creative, all without the pressure to constantly crank out the news.  Quality over quantity.  That’s when I knew public radio was for me.  I was hooked.

I would hone my skills on and off for almost three years at WDET as an intern under the tutelage of a patient Assistant News Director. I produced daily stories for newscasts, but also was given the privilege of producing long-form features on topics that interested me, and that people knew very little about.  Now THAT was cool.  Right up my alley.  What budding reporter could ask for more?

I landed here in Syracuse in June 2001.  Today, I’ve come full circle, and now teach the craft to more than a dozen student reporters per week.  We work hard to choose informative stories, find the most engaging sound, and edit copy for clarity and accuracy. 

Outside of work, I spend time with my wife and little boy.  We like to take walks, travel, and read.  When I can, I’ll hop on my bike for a quick ride.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the honor and privilege of bringing WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners the news of the day during All Things Considered.  Thanks for listening.

Ways to Connect

Judgment in Housing Discrimination Case Raises Awareness of Ongoing Barriers

Apr 6, 2016
cnyfairhousing.org

Some Central New Yorkers with disabilities have been getting discriminated against when they look for a place to live.  Recently, a two year-old case was finalized when a judge sided with CNY Fair Housing.  A judge agreed that a caseworker was illegally asked by a rental property owner if her client had a disability. 

   Once the property owner found out the client was disabled, Executive Director Sally Santangelo says the case-worker was told the housing was no longer available.

Colleen Callander / WAER News

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright visited Syracuse University Tuesday to discuss her current role in international affairs and the challenges in foreign policy.  The recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom joined the dean of the Maxwell School to deliver the Tanner Lecture on Ethics, Citizenship, and Public Responsibility.  

prescription-drugaddiction.org

A new federal bill announced in Syracuse Monday could help limit the amount of opiate painkillers that get prescribed…and then get abused.  One local family knows all too well the pain of painkiller abuse.   The tragedy of the Socci family of Auburn started when their 29-year-old daughter broke up with a boyfriend over his addiction to painkillers.  

Hillary Clinton Brings Presidential Campaign to Syracuse

Apr 1, 2016
Scott Willis

   Former Secretary of State, U.S. Senator and First Lady Hillary Clinton made two stops in Syracuse as part of her campaign Friday. She met with local business owners Syracuse's Institute of Technology at Central High School first and then proceeded to a rally at the Regional Market. 

Arise's facebook page / ACRHealth.org

  Two of the community’s longest-serving leaders in the human services field are retiring Thursday.   Michael Crinnin has been executive director of ACR Health, formerly Aids Community Resources, for more than 26 years.  Before that, he served as founding executive director of Arise for 10 years starting in 1979.  Meanwhile, Tom McKeown has been executive director of Arise since 2002.  Both men have spent their careers in human services, and both have seen significant, perhaps monumental changes concerning those with disabilities and HIV/AIDs during their long careers.

Davis Hovey / WAER News

Recovering addicts.  

A parent who lost a child to substance abuse.  

Onondaga County’s health commissioner.  

Drug counselors.  

Federal prosecutors.

 

  All will be on hand Wednesday evening for a substance abuse forum organized by three east side school districts.  It could be the first of many discussions on a growing epidemic.

energyandsustainability.fs.cornell.edu

More than 200 people from across the state packed a sold-out conference room in Syracuse Friday to learn more about what could be the next significant development in solar energy.  

  Community…or shared solar could bring the renewable energy source to those who otherwise don’t have access.

Scott Willis / WAER News

St. Patrick's day in Syracuse is when nearly everyone tries to wear something green and becomes Irish at heart.  We caught up with a few genuine Irish folks at the annual ceremony at Stonethrower’s park on Tipperary Hill.

Many native Central New Yorkers trace their Irish heritage back many generations to the 1800's.  But some like Ellen Kriegenstack are first generation Irish-American.  She grew up in County Kerry, and came to Syracuse in 1967 on an American passport.  Her father served in the U.S. for 30 years. 

Scott Willis / WAER News

More than 250 veterans and active members of the military gathered in Onondga Community College's SRC Arena Wednesday in hopes of networking, learning, and growing as entrepreneurs and business owners.  

  It was part of the Small Business Administration’s 9th annual Operation: Start Up and Grow Conference.

Fayetteville-Manlius Central School Facebook / https://www.facebook.com/FMSchools/photos_stream?ref=page_internal

  School districts in Central New York and across the state are wondering just what state aid they’ll receive now that the assembly and senate have rolled out their one-house education budget proposals.  Doctor Rick Timbs says districts are hedging their bets.  He is executive director of the Statewide School Finance Consortium based in the Syracuse area.

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