Local teacher chosen as new TV correspondent


Submitted photo.

Katie Paukst

One of Kent State’s very own has been selected for a spot in a local television show.

David Perusek, associate professor of Anthropology at Kent State’s Ashtabula campus, has been selected as a culture mark contributor at PBS’ “NEOtropolis.”

“NEOtropolis” is a weekly half-hour program airing on the Western Reserve Public Media stations. The show, in its third season, focuses on helping Northeast Ohioans make sense of the forces of change that impact their lives. The stations cover the Akron, Canton and Youngstown markets.

Diane Steinert, communications coordinator for Western Reserve Public Media, said the decision to select Perusek was a simple one.

“We invited Dr. Perusek to contribute to the program because we were familiar with his work in cultural anthropology,” Steinert said. “We knew that he would have interesting insight into how, amidst forces of change, Northeast Ohioans work, learn, live and play.”

Perusek said he was excited when was contacted for the contributor spot.

“Producers of the show realized early on that input from a cultural anthropologist might be useful given the scope and aims of the program,” Perusek said.

Perusek said he met with one of the shows producers and host, Luke Frazier, said they had great chemistry.

“As we talked, Luke decided he would like me to be a regular contributor appearing from time-to-time,” Perusek said.

Frazier could not be reached for an interview.

Perusek said he hopes to bring some breadth and depth of insight, approaching human matters from the perspective of an anthropologist.

“Anthropology helps us to see and think about problematic things that may otherwise simply appear as natural, inevitable, universal or unremarkable,” Perusek said.

Perusek said understanding cultures, conceptually, as a powerful and complex world phenomenon is the center of his academic expertise.

“For the show and for viewers of the show, I hope all of that translates into a thoughtful and maybe thought provoking contribution,” Perusek said.

Perusek said he has already done a few shows and they have gone very well.

“It was the first installment of the show on live television to introduce the show’s format, a sample of its substance, its charismatic host, a few of the show’s recurrent characters, a sample of its substance,” Perusek said. “ I think that hinted strongly at the shows potential.”

Steinert said the show has been very pleased with Perusek’s contributions.

“So far its been fun. For me, it is a special pleasure to be able to share social-scientific and personal insights in a way that may provide viewers with useful food for thought about life in the here and now,” Perusek said. “The show is a work in progress and getting stronger all the time. As everyone involved grows more comfortable, the show’s identity comes increasingly together and its audience grows, it becomes even more fun.”

“NEOtropolis” is shown Tuesdays at 9 p.m. and is repeated twice during the week; also, the show is live-streamed at NEOtropolis.org. For more information, visit NEOtropolis.org.

Contact Katie Paukst at [email protected].