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Penn State Student Strives To Spark Conversations Through Podcasting

Although 2020 has been rather dull, many folks have used newfound downtime and quarantines at home to rekindle old hobbies or discover new passions. Whether it’s baking bread, crabbing, or even rug-making, everyone seems to have picked up a new side hustle this year.

Ronan Bell, a Penn State sophomore studying accounting and entrepreneurship, took advantage of this downtime by launching his own podcast, The Ronan Bell Show, just a few months ago.

Like many college students, Bell felt unfulfilled with the daily routine of waking up, going to class, studying, and doing it all over again the next day. He believed there was far more to learn outside of the lecture hall.

“You can’t learn wisdom from a textbook, but there is so much you can learn from someone else just through conversation,” Bell said. “I started listening to podcasts, and boom, I was like, ‘What if I did this?'”

From there, The Ronan Bell Show was born.

The main concept of the podcast is wisdom and gaining new perspectives by hearing other peoples’ experiences.

“The goal of having these conversations is that if someone is going
through a similar kind of experience these conversations can help them out,” Bell said. “I just want more people to understand that we are all human at the end of the day, and you can learn something from everyone.”

Since launching the podcast in September, Bell has brought on guests from all walks of life. From close friends and family members to Penn State professors and athletes, Bell delves into conversation with regular people about their experiences.

“My favorite episode so far would have to be with my Booze And Culture [ANTH 140] professor, Dr. Kirk French,” Bell said. “He has experienced so much from traveling all over the world. The people he met and the stories he told were amazing.”

In that episode, Bell talks to French about his educational background, his mini-series on the Discovery Channel, his world travels, and how these experiences ultimately led to teaching a “Booze And Culture” class at Penn State.

In addition to being a podcast host and student, Bell is also a Penn State cheerleader. Finding a balance can be difficult, but keeping busy is a small price to pay for Bell to follow his passion.

Courtesy of Ronan Bell

As for the future of The Ronan Bell Show, Bell just wants to keep putting out content for people to enjoy.

“My mom always tells me to take it one day at a time,” Bell said. “You can’t control the future.”

Season 2 of The Ronan Bell Show is out now with new episodes posted weekly. You can follow The Ronan Bell Show on Instagram to stay up to date with the podcast.

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About the Author

Grace Cunningham

Grace is a junior advertising major and one of Onward State’s social media editors. She is also a co-host of our podcast, Podward State. Grace hails from Chatham, New Jersey—no, she doesn’t know Snooki, and yes, she will fight you if you tell her that Pennsylvania bagels are good. Grace loves buffalo chicken, the Yankees, and watching Cake Boss. Follow her on Twitter @gecunningham7 or email her at [email protected] if you can get her an internship.


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