Welcome Podcaster, Dr. Kelly Jones

Hi Everyone, Nan here. Today our special guest is Dr. Kelly L. Jones, who has just started a brand-new delightful podcast called Southern Fried Scholar. She's a woman after my own heart because she's smart, funny, kind, and devoted to lifelong learning. Dr. Kelly L. Jones is a learning and development consultant with 15 years of experience in instructional design, curriculum development, new media, and learning technologies. She holds a B.S. in Communication & Information Technology, an M.Ed. in Educational Technology, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction. Previously, Kelly was a faculty member and director of learning technologies at Mercer University. In 2011, she was named a Governor's Teaching Fellow at the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia. She is an advocate for new literacies, lifelong learning, open educational resources, and public libraries. Take it away, Dr. Jones . . .
I fell in love with podcasts way back in 2007. For the last ten years, I’ve listened to, recommended, supported, studied, and written about podcasts. I really wanted to start my own show, but three mental roadblocks stood in the way: I hate the sound of my own voice, struggle almost daily with “imposter syndrome,” and doubted that anyone would want to listen to me talk about all the geeky subjects that are near and dear to my heart. So, I waited, and dreamed, and thought about it a lot, but never quite worked up the nerve to launch a podcast.

Then, I found three antidotes for the roadblocks: inspiration, intention, and invitations.

Inspiration came in the form of two amazing audiobooks: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, and Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. (They each have amazing TED Talks, by the way: My Year of Saying Yes to Everything and Your Elusive Creative Genius). These women shared their stories, philosophies, and strategies with authenticity, grace, and humor. Their courage and creativity inspired me to start saying YES to the creative work that fuels my soul.

I recommended those two books to everyone, and thoroughly enjoyed discussing them with friends. Over coffee, we’d talk about the inspiration and insight we gleamed from the books, and these conversations naturally turned to our own creative goals. I told my friends about my podcast dream, and after putting that intention into the universe, two amazing invitations arrived in my life like gifts from the Muses.

First, my friend Julia introduced me to Jeff Stevens, host of the Creative Stickup podcast. Jeff invited me to be a guest on his show, and patiently coached me through two weeks of anxiety and self-doubt. Recording that episode with him was a blast, and it helped me see that producing a podcast really was possible. Sharing our creative processes is one of the best gifts that people can give each other, and Jeff shared that gift with me.

Then, the brilliant Lani Diane Rich generously shared her podcasting wisdom with me, and invited me to be a guest on Jed Bartlet is My President, her podcast about The West Wing. Recoding the podcast with Lani was so much fun that I forgot to be nervous and self-conscious. She gave me encouragement, guidance, and a deadline . . . in order to promote my new podcast, the first episode had to be ready by the time the JBIMP episode aired.

So, after a decade of dreaming, the Southern Fried Scholar was born (I’m an academic from Georgia, and my brain was pretty much fried in grad school, so this seemed like a fitting title). It’s a podcast devoted to lifelong learning, storytelling, popular culture, and intellectual badassery.

The goal is to combine my academic research side and geeky fandom side, and share ideas that will entertain, inspire, and empower people on their journeys as lifelong learners. The podcast community has been incredibly supportive, and I’m grateful beyond the telling for their kind words and positive comments. The episodes are far from perfect, but I’m working hard to improve and to bring value to the awesome folks who tune in to the show.

I hope you’ll check out the Southern Fried Scholar podcast on iTunesGoogle Play Store, Stitcher, or my website at southernfriedscholar.com. You can find me on Twitter @FriedScholar, or reach me at Kelly@southernfriedscholar.com. Thanks, ya’ll!

Thank you so much, Nan, for inviting me to be part of the Word Wranglers blog!


About Imposter Syndrome:

Elizabeth Gilbert TED Talk:

Lani Diane Rich: http://chipperish.com


  1. I love "Southern Fried Scholar"--it's a perfect title! Welcome to the Wranglers.

    1. Thank you, Liz! It's great to be here with the Word Wranglers.

  2. So glad to have you with us today, Kelly! I'm enjoying SFS so much and your JBIMP with Lani was delightful! You go, sweets!

  3. Thanks, Nan and Liz! It's great to be with the Word Wranglers today!


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