Graduate student uses radio to promote public health

David Roston’s voice is calm and collected as he welcomes listeners to his radio show. The program, ‘NOLA Matters - The Public Health Radio Hour’, airs weekly on the community radio station 102.3 WHIV-FM in New Orleans.

Roston, a first-year graduate student in the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, is interested in using media to promote social justice within the field of public health.

Roston inherited the Friday edition of NOLA Matters from Dr. MarkAlain Dery, an assistant professor at the Tulane School of Medicine. Roston said he is guided by Dery’s words: “We are not a radio station with a mission, we are a mission with a radio station.”

“Storytelling is a timeless tool to shape and change our perceptions of the world.”

David Roston

Continuing what Dery began, Roston focuses his show on health initiatives and research regarding such topics as homelessness, food access and chronic diseases. However, the freedom of artistic expression is what provides his inspiration.

“Storytelling is a timeless tool to shape and change our perceptions of the world,” said Roston. “Whether through radio, cinema, art, music or theater, we must continue to express ourselves and chronicle the achievements of individuals and communities.”

In a recent episode, Roston interviewed Megan Thiel-Mack and Sarah Kelsey, mental health professionals who led the Women’s March in New Orleans. His program often features various Tulane researchers, professors and students.

The show broadcasts live on Fridays from 5-6 pm on 102.3 FM and can be streamed online at

Claire Davenport is a junior at Tulane University majoring in English and Political Science.

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