Guest: Eileen Mershart, Executive Director (Retired), YWCA of Madison

Eileen Mershart retired this week after 13 years as Executive Director of the YWCA Madison. On her busy “to-do” list during her final weeks leading the effort to Eliminate Racism and Empower Women, Eileen included a visit to the All About Living studio to reflect on those YWCA programs that she initiated and are near and dear to her heart. The YWCA commitments to women begin with safe and affordable housing and emergency shelter but then have expanded to racial and restorative justice, education and training for women and people of color, and enrichment programs for girls to grow healthy, strong and confident lives.
While these endeavors sound ambitious, progress is being made. Eileen Mershart shares the specifics on this All About Living program.

For more information, go to ywcamadison.org or call (608) 257-1436.


Guest: Dorothy Carskadon, Team Leader, Madison Vet Center – Captain, Army Reserves

Army Captain Dorothy Carskadon arrived at Fort Hood, Texas on November 4, 2009. This was her last stop on her way to Afghanistan. She had just completed a month’s combat training in California, and on Saturday, November 5, 2009 was sitting in a crowded processing center at Fort Hood to begin her check out review to make sure she was physically, mentally, and spiritually ready to be deployed. Suddenly there was a voice shouting in Arabic, and a loud command for everyone to get down. Within the next harrowing few minutes, 13 people were killed and 32 others wounded. Dorrie was among the wounded. “When I woke up after a 15-hour surgery, the first people I remember seeing were George and Laura Bush standing next to my bed,” recalls Dorrie. That was only the beginning of her recovery.

Before her deployment in 2009, Dorothy Carskadon was the Team Leader at the Madison Vet Center, 706 Williamson St. After her hospitalization, she returned to this position and granted this exclusive interview on All About Living to honor those that died and were injured at this worst shooting ever to take place on an American military base. She shares the story of the tragedy at Fort Hood in this program.

For more information on the many resources available to veterans, go to www.vetcenter.va.gov or call 1-877-WAR-VETS


Guests: Shannon Barry, Executive Director, DAIS – Domestic Abuse Intervention Services
Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney

The statistics get our attention. Here are just some: 1 in 4 women will be a victim of domestic violence at some point in her lifetime; women make up over 84% of victims of abuse between spouses, and 86% of victims of violence between boyfriends and girlfriends; children exposed to domestic violence suffer low self esteem, depression, sleep difficulties, PTSD, and are at higher risk for problems in school, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual acting out, running away, fear and suicide. And incidences of domestic violence keep our law enforcement officials busy. Approximately 1/3 of all arrests in Dane County are domestic violence-related.

Shannon Barry and Sheriff Dave Mahoney are forthright in their description of what domestic abuse looks like in our community, the growing willingness for victims to come forward, and the support victims receive from the services of DAIS and law enforcement officials. On this program, they highlight the sometimes subtle danger sign of domestic abuse and give specific tips and tools that they use to prevent and confront domestic abuse.

Help and support are available: Go to abuseintervention.org or call DAIS at 608-251-4445 or 1-800-747-4045. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.

If you are concerned about the safety of your pet, contact the Dane County Humane Society, giveshelter.org, or call 608-838-0413.


Guest: Jeremi Suri, Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Global Leadership, History, and Public Policy at the University of Texas at Austin; former E. Gordon Fox Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Nation-building is in America’s DNA.” states Jeremi Suri in his latest book, Liberty’s Surest Guardian: AMERICAN NATION-BUILDING FROM THE FOUNDERS TO OBAMA. On this program, Professor Suri explains nation-building as not conquering other countries but helping local citizens build stable, self-governed societies that they “own” and do not feel are forced upon them. He then walks us through specific successes and failures that have marked America’s history. From the examples that Jeremi Suri describes, key people emerge who had the experience and skills to take George Washington’s revolutionary vision of a Union of politically-empowered citizens and apply it to Reconstruction after the Civil War, the Philippines, and Western Europe. Our subsequent failure in Vietnam is an equally strong lesson in what doesn’t work.

We now have an opportunity to have a dramatic impact on international stability in the Middle East says Jeremi Suri. He asserts that the lessons from history can provide guidance for America’s leaders as we define our role in helping to build stable, representative societies in an increasingly complex world. Named one of Smithsonian magazine’s “Top Young Innovators,” Jeremi Suri blogs on global affairs at globalbrief.ca. His professional webpage is: jeremisuri.net.


Guests: Russell Panczenko, Director, Chazen Museum of Art
Petie Rudy, Docent, Chazen Museum of Art

In 2005, Simona and Jerome A. Chazen stepped forward with a visionary gift of $25 million toward the expansion of the Chazen Museum of Art. More than 140 additional donors, all private sources, then completed the $43 million needed to make the vision a reality. Groundbreaking for the expansion began in 2009, and the new building, considered a work of art in its own right, provides much-needed space to showcase the growing permanent collection, dedicated galleries for temporary exhibitions, an auditorium for film and lectures, and a grand lobby. Tours, talks and other educational programs will also be standard fare.

Russell Panczenko and Petie Rudy walk us through the complex process of turning a vision into a reality and what the public can expect to see when the Chazen Museum of Art celebrates the grand opening of its expansion on Saturday and Sunday, October 22 and 23. The Chazen is an educational resource, part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s mission of education, research and public service, and it is a community treasure – free and open to the public to enjoy.

For more information about the Chazen Museum of Art and the Grand Opening Celebration, go to www.chazen.wisc.edu.