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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Health students create podcasts to share information about health

Texas+State+public+health+pre-med+freshman+Zack+Caviness+%28left%29+and+nursing+freshman+Shay+Tran+record+their+podcast%2C+Hot+Health%21%2C+Thursday%2C+Oct.+13%2C+2022%2C+in+the+Alkek+One+Youstar+Studio+recording+room.

Texas State public health pre-med freshman Zack Caviness (left) and nursing freshman Shay Tran record their podcast, Hot Health!, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, in the Alkek One Youstar Studio recording room.

In a small dimly lit recording room in the first floor of Alkek Library, two freshman pre-med students record their discussion about medical science topics. Zach Caviness and Shay Tran started a podcast called Hot Health! with the idea of sharing information that students should know about health and health care.
Hot Health! started on Sept. 19 and is produced by Caviness, a public health pre-med freshman, and Tran, a nursing freshman, using the recording equipment available in the Alkek Library creation lab. The podcast is published on a weekly basis on Spotify and Apple Music.
The idea for the podcast started with the hope to get information out about health topics Caviness and Tran regularly discuss, hear in the news and learn in their medical science classes, as well as questions asked by classmates or sent to the podcast email.
“Our first start [in our audience] is college students because first off, we are college students,” Caviness said. “So we know how college students think and we know how they act … we really do want to see a change in health care within college students, not even just their health care, just kind of [how they think about] their health in general.”
The duo plans and posts their episodes on a weekly basis around Central Texas health concerns. They cover a range of topics, from a casual conversation about the factors that affect college student health, to a more analytical discussion about hypertension, to the opioid crisis in Texas and the U.S.
Caviness and tran hope to expand to a larger audience and have already attracted listeners from outside of Texas in cities such as Detroit and Miami. They also have listeners in other countries such as the Dominican Republic, Germany and England. The vast majority of listeners are concentrated in the Austin and Central Texas area.
“I think the information we present is applicable to everyone because it is just health,” Tran said. “But I guess since we are at Texas State, and we are college students, it’s easier to have our audience be closer to us.”
Caviness and Tran have shared their interest in health topics and information surrounding medical anomalies and complexities since high school. They have only grown more enamored with the topic since enrolling into their prospective majors at Texas State.
Their enthusiasm and experience have only grown as Caviness recently acquired an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) license and Tran a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). The two were inspired by their high school health science teachers, Milly Doughty and Bill Parsons, to pursue health care.
“We’ve kind of always kind of loved health care and just kind of helping other people providing information to other people that kind of, you know, change their lives, really,” Caviness said. “Just a couple of people changing small things you can do, and in healthcare everyone wants to change other people’s health and lives.”
The two met in seventh grade and since their time in public school they have become enamored with both the academic aspects and ethics of medical science.
Neveah McLemore, a childhood friend and psychology freshman, said that as long as she has known the duo, they have been dedicated to helping others which combined with their enthusiasm for medical science.
“I know as people these forms of kindness have not stopped and have only grown in fashion,” McLemore said. “Zack is a highly driven individual with a passion for health science … Shay has always had a gift specifically with helping people … I believe that through their combined knowledge and desire to help and educate others they will definitely achieve more than the world could ever ask for.”
Caviness has previous recording experience from being a part of his church audio video department team. The recording equipment available to all students in the Youstar Studio on the first floor of Alkek makes recording an episode or two weekly a breeze.
Planning before recording is also an easy process for the duo. Their topic selection is easily settled between times Caviness and Tran study together for their classes or in short brainstorming sessions shared in a Google Doc. They often discuss potential topics on Thursday before recording on Friday.
“We choose things that interest us as well and interest others,” tran said. “If it’s interesting to us, I feel like we would have a better, bigger passion for what we’re talking about it. It’s just genuinely interesting if we’re interested in what we’re talking about.”
The team plans to continue Hot Health! well past graduating from Texas State while working in the medical field. For now, they encourage students to send them emails and requests for topics Bobcats would like to hear about.
“We’re always available in our email,” Caviness said. “We’re checking it multiple times a day trying to get feedback from students on what they liked with the podcast, things they want, ideas they have. If they have a personal experience themselves that they would like to kind of share with the world. Please, reach out to us. We would love to kind of contribute with you and kind of bring your idea to the podcast.”
For more information on Hot Health! visit https://linktr.ee/hothealth or email Caviness and Tran at [email protected].
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story misspelled Shay Tran’s name. This mistake has been corrected. 

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