Mary Engisch

Senior Producer/Announcer

Mary joined VPR in October 2011. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from St. Michael's College and has spent the last two decades on-air and as a producer at several stations up and down the Champlain Valley radio dial.

Mary operated a baking business called, "Good Girls," and in the summer months, parked her hand-built vendor cart at area farmers' markets to try and change minds and bellies toward more compassionate eating, one vegan cupcake at a time.

 

Umesh Acharya, a Bhutanese refugee now living in Shelburne, shared his photography and poetry in the "Visions Of The World" exhibit.
Stephen Mease / Stephen Mease Photography

Paintings, photographs, textiles and poems created by New Americans now living in Vermont make up the new Visions Of The World exhibit, a showcase of art from immigrants with refugee backgrounds now on display in Burlington's Amy E. Tarrant Gallery.

Dan Weintraub of Quechee is on day 999 of his self-imposed challenge to write a new song a day for 1,000 days in a row.
Dan Weintraub, courtesy

Sipping a cup of coffee. Floating down a river. Laundry detergent. Song lyrics can capture memories of relaxing mornings, summer adventures or even mundane daily duties. Writing lyrics like these are now very familiar to Dan Weintraub, a Quechee-based singer/songwriter, as he nears the end of a unique songwriting challenge: writing a song per day for 1,000 days

Jonathan Capehart standing outdoors.
Billy Graves

Because of the high interest in this year's mid-term elections, VPR will carry two short-run programs that delve into top-of-mind political topics. These new shows will run through the mid-term elections on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

"Skip To The End" is the latest graphic novel written by Middlebury author Jeremy Holt.
Insight Comics / Justion Holt courtesy Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Music has the power to transport listeners across time, evoking memories of the past and whisking the listener back to a different age and place.

In his new graphic novel Skip To The End, Middlebury author Jeremy Holt explores how the right piece of music can take a listener back to their youth, to what they were wearing, who they were in love with. And maybe to just moments before something went wrong. 

We're looking  at the debates around how much independence to allow to kids.
_jure / iStock

Are today's parents overprotecting their kids and setting them up for failure? Or just keeping them safe? We're talking about the tricky balancing act between independence and safety, and what it means for kids’ development. 

Vermont State Parks' Rebecca Roy gave VPR's Mary Engisch a night tour of Burton Island.
Mary Engisch / VPR

Since the 18th century, Burton has been used as pasture for sheep and cows, and as farmland growing beans and peas. Now, the park is home to more than a dozen campsites and twice as many lean-tos, in addition to cabins, a bistro and even a 100-slip marina.

The Berlin Mall is working on a revitalization project to better serve the community.
Kyle Martel / KSE Partners, LLP

The age of malls seems to have passed. But what do you do to enliven or rejuvenate malls that are still in place? They represent an incredible investment in real estate, usually in a prime location with excellent access. Berlin has one of Vermont's few malls and it is undertaking a plan called the HUB Project to make the mall relevant again and serve the community. 

David Rosane and The Zookeepers on their tour of Vermont libraries.
David Rosane, courtesy

Although libraries are often associated with tight-lipped librarians demanding quiet, a Vermont band with ties to France intends to pump up the volume with a summer library tour supporting local branches.

E-cigarettes like the Juul have caught on with teens in a big way, and schools have been struggling to keep up. We'll talk about vaping's new popularity, and the health issues involved.
Steven Senne / AP

The popularity of vaping among young people is sounding alarm bells for educators and health professionals, as trendy e-cigarettes like the Juul are becoming a more common sight in middle and high schools. We're talking about where the rise in this behavior is coming from, the health issues at stake and what schools and the state are doing in response.

"Vermont Edition" hears from agencies that prepare individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder for a career.
wildpixel / iStock

According to the CDC, about one child in 60 is identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. We'll discuss the unique challenges individuals with ASD face as they enter the workforce after graduating from high school and college.

Composer Keane Southard hiked the New England portion of the Appalachian Trail during the summer of 2016. Here, he is pictured in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains in New Hampshire.
Keane Southard, courtesy

Keane Southard spent many of his childhood weekends hiking and camping with his family in New Hampshire and Vermont. From that early age, he imagined one day he would hike the legendary Appalachian Trail.

Southard went on to study composition and theory, and all the while, the idea of hiking the trail and composing a piece about the experience percolated in his mind.

LGBTQ Vermonters can face unique challenges and needs in rural areas.
ukayacan / iStock

Vermont has been seen as a leader in equal rights for LGBTQ people, but queer Vermonters living in rural areas can face unique challenges, from accessing healthcare to aging well as a queer senior to finding support networks. We're talking about the needs and experiences of LGBTQ Vermonters in rural communities. 

Contra and other forms of country dance have a lasting appeal. We're talking about the history behind the tradition.
Sterling College / Flickr

It's a centuries-old tradition with a wild history and deep New England roots. We're talking about American country dancing, including contra dance. We'll hear from the author of a book that traces the story of this tradition, and we'll talk about how and why it still appeals to so many people today.

What details would you include in your obituary? A Brattleboro-area hospice is using the question to encourage thinking about living and aging well.
Matthew Smith / VPR

What do you want your obituary to say? What details beyond birth, death and the basics are essential to the story of your life? The Brattleboro Area Hospice is holding a workshop encouraging people to think about their life - and to to engage people about aging well, dying well and making plans now for how to spend one's final days.

Norwich University senior Joshua Sassi's research on the Western Fence Lizard earned him an invitation to a national event for undergraduate researchers.
Sean Markey / Norwich University

Joshua Sassi is a senior biology major at Norwich University whose thesis work explores how the malaria parasite affects the Western Fence Lizard. His findings could shed light on how the parasite spreads in humans, which earned him a spot at Posters on the Hill, a Washington, D.C. event where the nation's top undergraduate researchers share their findings with Congress.

A February 1798 political cartoon portraying Matthew Lyon (holding tongs) attacking Connecticut Congressman Roger Griswold. After Griswold called Lyon a scoundrel, Lyon spat on Griswold's face and their brawl ensued.
Library of Congress American Cartoon Prints Collection / Wikimedia Commons

Vermont history buffs may know the name Matthew Lyon, but a Burlington singer-songwriter hopes to make the rowdy Vermont statesman more of a household name by making him the focus of a full-length musical.

Conor Lastowka has written funny things about awful movies for the better part of a dozen years. He works for the comedy website, Rifftrax. Lastowka has just written his second comedy sci-fi novel.
Conor Lastowka

Burlington writer Conor Lastowka has just written his second comedy sci-fi novel, called The Pole Vault Championship of the Entire Universe. The book follows 15-year-old Kara, whose grandfather returns from the dead to recruit Kara to be a mascot for his Olympics team on a micro-nation founded through a series of devious acts. And there are alien garbagemen...

A Vermont storyteller, a new venue for a decades-old film fest, a call to young artists and more await your social calendar this weekend and beyond!

Author Olivia Hoblitzelle heard a phrase in her 40s that influenced the way she embraced her own aging and those around her. Now at age 80, her book collects her reflections and stories on how to age well.
Courtesy, Olivia Hoblitzelle

Olivia Hoblitzelle has spent her career as a teacher, a therapist and a writer. Her lifelong work brought together the practices of meditation, cognitive therapy and yoga into Western medicine's domain. And now Hoblitzelle's most recent book, Aging With Wisdom: Reflections, Stories & Teachings, gathers her writing into focused pieces on how to age well.

Art Hounds ®  with Mary Williams will be discontinued on March 30 as VPR incorporates more arts reporting into news coverage.
VPR File

We know our listeners tune into VPR not only for independent news and classical music, but also for expansive coverage of our local arts community. That’s why we’re pleased to announce some exciting changes you’ll be hearing in our arts reporting starting this month!  

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