WPSU Board Member Spotlight: Kate Bennett Truitt

The WPSU Board of Representatives is an advisory board of community members that gather on a regular basis to advise the station on programming and other activities. In this blog post series, WPSU Board Member Spotlight, we sit down with these individuals and discuss their love of public broadcasting and its impact in the communities throughout the viewing area.

Kate Bennett Truitt was born in Del Rio, Texas, but has had two hometowns in her life — State College, Pennsylvania, and Austin, Texas. She spent her professional career in the media production world, with areas of specialty in educational products and platform development. She has a husband, a son, and two daughters. Her nine-year-old Treeing Walker Coonhound, Lucy, is the light of her life. Kate’s happy place is digging in the dirt: planting, weeding, and talking to her plants.

How long have you been a board member with WPSU? 

I became a board member about a year after I arrived back in State College, in 2019. Before that, I was a devoted KUT/KLRU sustaining member. I switched my car radio from 90.5 to 91.5 when I pulled into town, and it’s been there ever since!

What inspired you to begin volunteering at WPSU?

I love media production. I love radio, how much you can do to tell a story with sounds. I was grateful for the opportunity to be of service to this truly amazing organization.

What WPSU programming do you connect with the most? 

I’m a news hound, so I certainly listen to Morning Edition and All Things Considered. I also love science, so Nova has been with me for decades. Hidden Brain, This American Life, and The Moth Radio Hour tickle my need for stories that help me understand others and myself.

I am also constantly amazed at how much production is done locally, about local businesses, people, and history. Check out wpsu.org and you will find hundreds of interesting pieces. A standout was the interview with the man who excavates old privies! As for Sesame Street — Grover is my favorite, hands down. What an amazing gift to the world that program has been.

How do you see WPSU positively impacting the communities throughout Central Pennsylvania?

The amount of educational programming that’s available was allowed to shine during the pandemic. I watched the WPSU organization reorient 100% of their daytime programming to meet the needs of pre-K, elementary, middle school, and junior high students and teachers within days of the shutdown. 

As a WPSU board member, what would you like to share about why the public should support WPSU? 

The business model for WPSU is not based on ad sales or streaming services that require a monthly fee. Their charge is to provide a public service to everyone in the viewing and listening area. WPSU’s area comprises 24 counties and 1.3 million Pennsylvanians. The majority of funding comes from individuals like you and me. We value the service so much that we support it for everyone who listens. What sets WPSU — and all public broadcasting — apart from the balance of media choices is that their mission is to be of service to their community, not to make a profit. Their journalistic standards are consistently rated in the ‘100% fact-based, primarily non-partisan’ category. I like getting facts, hearing analysis, and being allowed to make my own judgments and conclusions.

What do you wish people knew about WPSU?

Only 10% of people who either listen to public radio or watch public television — no matter where in the country they live — make contributions. I encourage people who already understand the value that public media brings to their home to think about what it would be like to have that service vanish. Please become engaged and valued members. It truly isn’t the amount, but the participation itself, that makes the big difference.