Brian Hardzinski

KGOU Digital News Editor/Morning Edition Host

Brian Hardzinski grew up in Flower Mound, Texas but came to the University of Oklahoma for college. He began his career at KGOU as an unpaid student intern assisting with various production and operations tasks, before spending two years producing and hosting Assignment: Radio and occasionally filling in during All Things Considered.

Brian joined KGOU full time in 2009 as the station's Operations and Public Service Announcement Director. He began regularly hosting Morning Edition in 2014, and became the station's first Digital News Editor in 2015. Brian’s work with KGOU has been honored by Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters, and local and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Brian graduated from OU in 2008 with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and History. A Norman resident, Brian enjoys competing in triathlons, distance running, playing tennis, and entertaining his rambunctious Boston Terrier named Bucky.

Ways to Connect

Next week, British voters will decide whether or not to withdraw from the European Union, and Suzette Grillot talks about this so-called “Brexit” with Mitchell Smith, the director of the University of Oklahoma’s EU Center.

But first, Suzette and Rebecca Cruise discuss political developments in Italy regarding the Roman mayoral election, and conflict and corruption surrounding precious gem trade in Afghanistan.

A Pro-Brexit campaigner hands out leaflets at Liverpool Street station in London, Wednesday, March 23, 2016.
Frank Augstein / AP

Six days from now British voters head to the polls for a referendum on whether or not to leave the European Union. The June 23 vote may be the first step toward concluding Britain’s more than 40-year awkward relationship with the rest of continental Europe.

President Lyndon Johnson, left, shakes civil rights leader the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s hand immediately after signing the Voting Rights Act, August 6, 1965.
Yoichi Okamoto / LBJ Library Photo (Public Domain)

Next week marks the third anniversary of an incredibly consequential U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down key provisions of landmark civil rights legislation. The high court’s 5-4 ruling in Shelby County vs. Holder meant that Alabama and many other southern states no longer had to seek federal approval to change their election laws under the Voting Rights Act.

But what happened, and how we got there, is so much more complicated. To really understand the narrative arc of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, you have to go back 100 years to the end of the Civil War and the three so-called “Reconstruction Amendments” to the U.S. Constitution. The 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments outlawed slavery, established citizenship for blacks, and gave them the right to vote.

Provided / ahmed-ahmed.com

Editor's Note: This interview originally aired March 22, 2013.

Audiences most likely know Egyptian-American stand-up comedian Ahmed Ahmed as a member of the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour.

“Comedians have become, most recently, cultural ambassadors of the world,” Ahmed said. “Whether you're in Africa, or America, or Russia, or Asia, laughter is the common language of the world.”

University of players celebrate after defeating Auburn 2-1 in the deciding game of the championship series of the NCAA softball College World Series, Wednesday, June 8, 2016, in Oklahoma City.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

The University of Oklahoma's softball team captured its third national championship Wednesday night after defeating Auburn University 2-1.

Auburn's Emily Carosone, the star of Tuesday's comeback win with a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning, couldn't follow it up.

In the bottom of the first, she committed an error on a grounder by Shay Knighten, and Caleigh Clifton scored for the Sooners when Carosone lost control of a throw to first. Knighten then scored on a slow-bouncing infield single to make it 2-0.

Devon Energy Corp. headquarters at 333 W. Sheridan Ave. in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Devon Energy announced nearly $1 billion in sales Monday. The Oklahoma City-based oil and gas giant is selling wells, land leases, and mineral royalties in Texas and Oklahoma in three separate deals for about $974 million, The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports:

University of Oklahoma President George Lynn Cross With Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, 1948
Western History Collections / University of Oklahoma

Seventy years ago, a 21-year-old woman named Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher walked into the University of Oklahoma’s admissions office to apply for law school. She was immediately turned down because of the color of her skin.  He didn’t agree with the decision, but OU president George Lynn Cross had no choice but to deny the request, since state law mandated the segregation of public educational institutions.

State Rep. Ken Walker, R-Tulsa, right.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

There's a lot of work that needs to be done before a bill intended to reduce the number of uninsured drivers can go into effect.

The House gave final approval May 27 to Senate Bill 359, which would allow law enforcement to use cameras and automated license plate readers to enforce the state's compulsory insurance law. It's currently on Gov. Mary Fallin's desk awaiting her signature.

Oklahoma House Minority Leader Rep. Scott Inman, D-Del City, gestures on the House floor on the final day of the Legislative session, in Oklahoma City, Friday, May 27, 2016.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

A report commissioned by the Tulsa Regional Chamber estimates the final two weeks of the 2016 legislative session was worth $50.9 million of bad publicity.

The Tulsa World’s Randy Krehbiel reports that's based on what's known as the advertising value equivalency of news coverage of a transgender bathroom bill, public education funding, and the state budget crisis:

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise discuss the time they spent in Italy over the past several weeks, and what they've learned and observed about the European migrant crisis.

Then Suzette talks with Purdue University historian Jennifer Foray about the Dutch history of decolonization, and memorialiaztion, commemoration, and responses to war and trauma in the Netherlands.

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