Matthew F. Smith

Producer, Vermont Edition

Originally from Delaware, Matt moved to Alaska in 2010 for his first job in radio. He spent five years working as a radio and television reporter, as well as a radio producer, talk show host, and news director. His reporting received awards from the Alaska Press Club and the Alaska Broadcasters Association. Relocating to southwest Florida, he spent several months producing television news before joining WGCU as a producer for their daily radio show, Gulf Coast Live. He joined VPR in October 2017.

Matthew studied English and journalism at Villanova University in Villanova, Pa., where he wrote for the school newspaper and other school publications. He taught English as a Second Language for several years in China and the U.S. before pursuing a career in journalism.

Some Vermonters are vocal in their opposition to certain big box retailers, while others celebrate when when certain shops come to town. We're looking at attitudes toward big box retail in Vermont.
nycshooter / iStock

Live call-in discussion: Vermonters have a complicated relationship with big-box retail stores. Some inspire vocal opposition, while others are accepted, or even celebrated. We're talking about why Vermonters are big-box averse, except when they're not.

Tonewood Maple's mysterious maple cube. Can you grasp its mysteries?
Matthew Smith / VPR

Maple sugar products are pretty standard: there’s the ubiquitous syrup, as well as maple sugar and candy. But one producer has expanded their offerings that run from standard syrups to creams, granules, seasonings and even a mysterious maple cube.

National Book Award nominees from Vermont are Rebecca Makkai's novel "The Great Believers," left; M.T. Anderson's "The Assassination Of Brangwain Spurge," middle; and Colin Calloway's nonfiction book "The Indian World of George Washington."
Viking / Candlewick Press / Oxford University Press

The National Book Award is one the most prestigious literary prizes in the country, given every year since 1950 to celebrate the best writing in America. This year, three finalists for the award have links to Vermont.

In a state that's nearly 95 percent white, how do Vermont's colleges and universities attract a diverse student body?
smartboy10 / iStock

How do you create a diverse student body in a state like Vermont? For some schools, it's by recruiting students from out-of-state. We're looking at ways Vermont colleges and universities recruit for diversity and how they support students who make the move to Vermont.

Vermonters who don't speak English face barriers for things like getting healthcare and finding work, to challenges when it comes to safety, diet and education.
MrPliskin / iStock

Many of us take it for granted that when we visit the doctor's office, shop for groceries or otherwise go about life in Vermont we do so in English. But more than five percent of Vermonters don't speak English at home. We're talking about how Vermonters without English navigate schools, health care, work and other basic needs. 

As transgender and non-binary communities across the country see increased visibility, they also face ongoing challenges and risks. Above, a transgender flag pin amid rainbow LGBTQ pins and others signaling a person's preferred pronouns.
Matthew Smith / VPR

The experience of transgender and nonbinary Americans has changed significantly in recent decades. Alongside increased visibility is a new federal push to define how transgender people identify. 

But in Vermont these communities face daily questions, from bathrooms to health care to pronouns. We're talking about the transgender and nonbinary experience in Vermont.

The entrance to UVM's library in April 2016 prominently features the name of Guy Bailey. Last month the university's board of trustees approved a change dropping Bailey's name.
UVM Libraries

As the 13th president of the University of Vermont, Guy Bailey expanded the campus, constructed new buildings and led the school through the Great Depression. For decades his name adorned the university library, the Guy W. Bailey/David W. Howe Memorial Library, often called simply the Bailey/Howe Library.

But Bailey was also a proponent of eugenics. That legacy inspired students and faculty to push to drop his name from the library. Last month, the university’s board of trustees did just that, changing its name to the David W. Howe Memorial Library

About six percent of Americans may have seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, a distinct form of seasonal depression. Kelly Rohan with UVM says it can be effectively treated but requires professional help.
simonbradfield / iStock

The days are getting shorter, the hours of daylight are fewer and this time of year it's not uncommon to experience a bout of the winter blues. But a more serious form of depression afflicts nearly six percent of the population: Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. We're talking about the symptoms, misconceptions and treatments for this uniquely seasonal form of depression.

Hundreds of jack-o'-lanterns light up Winooski's Rotary Square during the 2017 Festival of Pumpkins. It's just one of many Vermont Halloween traditions.
Paul Sarne / City of Winooski, courtesy

From haunted places to aged cemeteries to long-whispered ghost stories, Vermont has what it takes for a spooky Halloween. But what unique traditions do you or your community have for Halloween? We're taking a tour of some places, history and stories that scream "Halloween." 

Shakespeare's tragedy "Coriolanus," originally set in ancient Rome, is brought into modern times at Dartmouth's Hopkins Center for the Arts. The play's modern-day staging is through a partnership with the Stratford Festival.
David Hou / Stratford Festival at Dartmouth

Language and politics are no strangers: look no further than finely-tuned political ads or carefully-calculated appeals in candidate speeches. And from Scottish kings to Roman rulers, few have explored how language shapes politics as much as William Shakespeare. We're looking at how the themes and characters of Shakespeare connect with the politics of 2018.

Little more than two weeks before the Nov. 6 election, a new VPR - Vermont PBS poll sheds light on where candidates stand with voters - and the issues on the minds of Vermonters. We're digging into the poll results and what they tell us about the upcoming election and what issues Vermonters will be focused on beyond November.

General George J. Stannard, left, Colonel Henry Whiting, center, and an unnamed soldier.
Vermont Historical Society, courtesy

Civil War General George Stannard called a Milton farmhouse home after the war, and efforts are now underway to restore that farmhouse and honor the military career of the Vermont general as part of larger strides toward a Vermont Civil War Heritage Trail. We're talking about Gen. Stannard and the role he played in the outcome of the Civil War.

Democrat Christine Hallquist seeks to unseat incumbent Republican Gov. Phil Scott in the Nov. 6 election.
Matthew Smith / VPR

Christine Hallquist is the former CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative and the Democratic candidate for governor. She's challenging incumbent Republican Gov. Phil Scott in the Nov. 6 election.

Candidate Hallquist joins Vermont Edition to discuss her platform and priorities should she become governor.

VPR listener Geri Knortz shared this image of Vermont foliage along Route17 and the Appalachian Gap near Buels Gore.
Geri Knortz

Autumn in the Green Mountain State is when tour buses and cars full of out-of-staters trek to Vermont to see that green turn to gold. Even if it's past peak in some regions, John Sinclair with the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forest says there's still great leaf peeping to be had. And VPR's own Ric Cengeri says a trip to see the foliage is a great excuse to see what Vermont's 251 towns and cities have to offer.

State Treasurer Beth Pearce.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Vermont State Treasurer Beth Pearce was appointed to the job in late 2010, and has been re-elected three times on the Democratic ticket. In all, she's spent more than 40 years working in government finance.

An incumbent Democrat, Pearce spoke with Vermont Edition about why she wants another two-year term. 

Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses a crowd of supporters at a Detroit rally in August 2018. Sanders is seeking a third term in the U.S. Senate in the Nov. 6 election, facing eight challengers on the ballot.
Carlos Osorio / AP

Incumbent Sen. Bernie Sanders is seeking a third term as Vermont's junior Senator, and he faces a crowded field of challengers—including one Republican and seven Independents—on the Nov. 6 ballot.

We're talking to candidate Bernie Sanders about the objectives he'd pursue if re-elected.

VPR broadcast engineer Kira Parker surveys the top of the Mount Mansfield transmitter site during a June maintenance visit.
Matthew Smith / VPR

Vermont Public Radio's broadcast signal — what listeners hear in the car, or on traditional radios at home or work — emanates from one of 18 transmitters across the state. VPR broadcast engineer Kira Parker travels the state for regular visits to ensure the transmitters are working and keeps the radio signal beaming. 

Retired lawyer James Dunn's book "Breach of Trust" looks at the scandal surrounding Chittenden County Assistant Judge Jane Wheel in the 1980s, tracing the growing controversy as it made its way up to the Vermont Supreme Court.
Onion River Press, courtesy

Lying under oath. Twisting court decisions for personal gain. Misuse of public money. And corruption in the judiciary that went all the way to Vermont’s highest court.

It may sound like the latest legal thriller, but it's the true story that rocked the state in the 1980s, ending with an investigation that saw the first-ever felony charges brought against a Vermont judge.

Cartoonist Jason Lutes, whose self portrait appears top left, spent more than 20 years writing and drawing the multi-volume historical epic "Berlin." The final volume was published in September.
Jason Lutes / Drawn & Quarterly

A grizzled journalist writing through his middle age. A young artist in her 20s fleeing an upper middle-class life traced out by her parents. The two meet on a train headed to Berlin in 1928, and their lives unfold, connect and diverge amid the backdrop of a changing Germany between the World Wars. They're among the characters in the graphic novel Berlin by cartoonist and Center for Cartoon Studies professor Jason Lutes.

Manchester real estate broker Lawrence Zupan is the Republican candidate for one of Vermont's seats in the U.S. Senate. He's challenging Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Nov. 6 election.
Zupan campaign, courtesy

Republican Lawrence Zupan is seeking Vermont's U.S. Senate seat in the Nov. 6 election. In his first bid for office, the Manchester real estate broker is looking to unseat incumbent Sen. Bernie Sanders. We're talking with Zupan about his platform and what policies he'll pursue if elected.