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.

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Education
7:12 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Rep. Dan Maffei Hosts Discussion on Education

Rep. Dan Maffei hosting a roundtable discussion on education at Nottingham High School.
Credit Christian Bersani, WAER News

With the upcoming school year quickly approaching, Representative Dan Maffei returned to his alma mater of Nottingham High School Monday to hold a roundtable meeting on how to improve pre K-12 education in Central New York.

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CAMPUS SUSTAINABILITY
11:55 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Solar Panels Will Generate Heat and Hot Water at Some S.U. Apartments

Newly installed solar panels perched atop SUs South Campus apartments.
Credit WAERs Max Brady

Dozens of Syracuse University students living on south campus starting this fall will be getting their heat and hot water from the sun.  S-U has installed solar thermal panels on 20 buildings, which will serve 160 apartments.  


WAER's Max Brady talked with S-U Sustainability Division Project Analyst and Public Relations Coordinator Brooke Wears.

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NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT
11:40 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Westcott Merchants Say Construction is Keeping Patrons Away

Construction on Westcott Street.

Several Westcott Street business owners say construction on the latest Save the Rain project in their neighborhood has brought business to a halt.  Work began three weeks ago on the million dollar project, which will narrow the road, add curbs and landscaping, plus replace sidewalks…all while keeping stormwater from overwhelming the sewer system.   

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HEALTH CARE
6:14 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

New Course Aims to Break Down Language Barriers Between Patients and Doctors

Onondaga


Community College is partnering with a medical interpreting firm to offer a course aimed at more thoroughly training interpreters who help non-english speakers communicate with their doctors.  The need for interpreters has grown as  Central New York becomes home to more refugees who speak many different languages. 


Multi-cultural Association of Medical Interpreters  Executive Director Cornelia Brown says the 135-hour course gives future interpreters the extensive training they need to ensure doctors and nurses understand the needs of the patient.

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MOSQUITO BORNE DISEASE
5:10 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Onondaga County is Prepared to Fight Mosquitoes

A group of Onondaga County lawmakers today got an update on the health department’s mosquito control program.  We reported on Wednesday that there are likely to be more mosquitoes as a result of the wet weather, but not necessarily more disease.  Still, Health Commissioner Doctor Cynthia Morrow says West Nile virus and Triple-E are a part of the region’s ecology, and they’re trying to control it.


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