Catalyst Hosts
Catalyst Hosts Shannon Halverson-Gorajia and Taryn Stroop


» Catalyst: A Creative Industries Podcast

CatalystFrom Chapman University in Orange County California, Catalyst gives listeners a chance to learn about the Creative Industries through conversations with individuals from a wide array of backgrounds who are working in CI all over the globe. Hear how CI is influencing the public and private sector alike, and how local influences shape a region’s creative landscape. Hosts and CI ‘s biggest fans, Taryn Stroop and Shannon Halverson-Gorajia explore CI in the 21st century highlighting the people, policies and practices that are shaping today’s creative economy.


+ - Episode 010: Catalyst and Writer's Block chat with SCIENCE MIKE!!!!!

Science MikeMike McHargue AKA Science Mike is an author, podcaster, general advice giver, and a hug in the form of a human. His bestselling debut book, Finding God in the Waves, has helped thousands understand faith in the 21st century. His podcasts include Ask Science Mike, where he leads a forum of thousands of listeners through inquires covering topics that range from  terraforming, micro-biomes,  and masculinity in the 21st century, to miracles, prayer, and purity culture, with countless topics in-between. He also co-hosts The Liturgists Podcast with his friend Michael Gungor, which with over a million downloads per month, The Liturgists Podcast is reshaping how the spiritually homeless and frustrated relate to God.

Host Taryn Stroop and producer Mike Gravagno grab a beer at Chapman Crafted and pepper Science Mike with questions about introversion and extroversion, his writing process, his podcasting history, and why it’s smart to stay away from mind-altering substances until you’re 26.

+ - Episode 009: Arts are Essential with Amy McBride

Judson FelderAre you sick of relatives teasing you when you go home for the holidays with questions of “What the heck are you going to do with that degree?!” while you expound upon your French Fine Arts & Philosophy double major? Do they say things like, “The only good poet is a dead poet” when you share you started a new monthly reading series in a haunted basement? If these taunts sounds familiar, you might want to send them to speak with Amy McBride, the Arts Administrator for the office of Arts and Cultural Vitality, Tacoma, WA. Amy is an excellent example of how a liberal arts background can provide the skills necessary in cultivating a career combining various passions and interests. In Amy’s case, that just so happens to be a long and well-respected position with city government.

Catalyst hosts Taryn Stroop and Shannon Halverson-Gorajia speak with the no-nonsense Amy McBride about her path to government, and the need to hear the voices of the arts, humanities and social sciences when considering policy and initiatives that affect community.

Photo credit: Judson Felder and

+ - Episode 008: Writer’s Block & Catalyst Cross-Over Madness

Mike GravagnoDid you know that “audioblogging” was launched in the 1980’s and was re-coined podcasting in the early 2000’s with the creation of the iPod?  If you are like us, or one of the other 40 million Americans who listen to podcasts weekly, then your download que is jam-packed with everything from Chris Hardwick’s The Nerdist to On Being with Krista Tippet, to WTF with Marc Maron.  But what is it like to go from a podcast fan to podcast host?

This special episode of Blossom, errr I mean Catalyst, is a CROSSOVER episode with our very own “Producer Mike” who is the host of Writer’s Block. Listen in as hosts Taryn Stroop and Shannon Halverson-Gorajia  and veteran podcaster Mike Gravagno discuss what its like to be newbies along with what makes us nervous, what mistakes make us cringe, and how we are evolving in the medium.


+ - Episode 007: Keep Portland ...Dark? With MyKala Stinson of Beerquest Walking Tours

Kala StinsonDark roast, Dark brews, Dark...tourism. Portland, the largest city in Oregon, has a long and complicated past. Seated in the shadow of Mt. Hood, the region was originally home to the indigenous Chinook peoples, and saw large populations of pioneer settlers entering the area in the 1830s. The city that developed came to be known as a gritty logging and port hub, and was once dubbed “the most filthy city in the Northern States" by its own hometown paper. Today Portland is more known for its infestation of microbreweries, award-winning coffee, and quirky personae, but its history still creeps throughout the dark corners--if you know where to look.

Hosts Taryn Stroop and Shannon Halverson-Gorajia get chatty with Portland’s own Beerquest Walking Tours expert guide, MyKala Stinson, to explore how one company has combined local history and commerce with tourism to offer a unique Portland experience, and how the ghosts of yesteryear, can sometimes expose today’s specters.  


+ - Episode 006: On Becoming 222 Market Part Two - Artisans and Lifestyle Branding

Oly SocialIn Part two of Episode 002: On Becoming 222, hosts Shannon and Taryn speak with Aly Thompson, founder and owner of Olysocial the marketing design company hired by the 222 Market, and Carissa Dickson and Iana Franks co-owners of Fleurae floral design and boutique, one of 222’s founding artisans. All three ladies discuss the adventure of starting their own business and their experience working with Olympia’s premier artisan market.

*Episode Update: Aly has since sold Olysocial and is working on her next creative endeavor. Follow Aly Thompson on Instagram @imalyray.



Check out Fleurae at or follow on Instagram at @fleuraefloral.

Check out the 222 Market on Instagram @222marketolympia.

Photo credit: Poppi Photography. Follow on Instagram at @poppiphotography.



+ - Episode 005: On Becoming 222 Market Part One - The Developers

222 MarketOlympia, the state capital of Washington, in many ways still has the feel of a small town. In a time when so many of our communities, towns, and cities are experiencing the strain of modern day life, Olympia’s 222 Market is bringing together local artisans, restaurateurs, and entrepreneurs with the goal of creating a place for families and friends to connect around local culture and heritage. So how and why was the 222 Market created? What has made it successful? And who are the makers involved?

Hosts Taryn Stroop and Shannon Halverson-Gorajia talk to 222 Market developer and owners Gray & Joy Graham and on the makings of 222, and the regional influences that helped to guide everything from the selection of artisans to the design conversion of an old Parkard Car showroom.

Photo credit: Poppi Photography. Follow on Instagram at @poppiphotography.


+ - Episode 004: Spain’s OFNI Jazz Trio Talks Music and Game of Thrones

OFINIt is a rare and wonderful day when you get to have a conversation with three talented and remarkable humans that speak to you in Spanish, English and drum beats. Such a day was afforded to us on September 19th, when a cultural connection with the Embassy of Spain resulted in a performance at Chapman by the critically acclaimed O.F.N.I. Jazz Trio.

Listen along as hosts Taryn Stoop and Shannon Halverson-Gorajia sit down to a wild and free-flowing chat with the incredibly talented members of the O.F.N.I. Trio: double- bassist Pablo Caminero; pianist Moises Sanchez; and drummer Borja Barrueta. Fresh from the Monterey Jazz festival, the trio talk about the process of creating their music, what it’s like to transverse the music industry in multiple countries, and what we have all learned from the coming of Winter in Westeros.






+ - Episode 003: Creative Community Building with Kevin Staniec

Kevin StaniecHave you ever wanted to visit a book publisher where you can also check out an art gallery opening, and hear a live podcast taping all while enjoying a coffee that tastes like it mated with a cinnamon roll, called a dirty horchata? This question isn’t the result of a combined fever dream, we simply wanted to be able to say, Well, have we got the place for you!

Hosts Taryn Stroop and Shannon Halverson-Gorajia sit down with Kevin Staniec, the founder of the 1888 Center, a nonprofit cultural and literary arts center now located in the heart of Old Town Orange in Southern California, where Kevin shares his passion for publishing, podcasting, and people.



+ - Episode 002: The Wild West of Television with Lisa Joy and Noreen O’Toole

Lisa JoySometimes life calls for safe reasonable choices, and sometimes it calls for you to dive head first into something you love. When is the right time for either of these? Who knows? Your answer is tied to a hundred different little things that make up who you are. A podcast can’t give you the answer, but it can talk to two highly successful women in the film and television industry that have developed their careers from very different paths.

Hosts Taryn Stroop and Shannon Halverson-Gorajia talk with the Co-creator, Co-producer, Co-showrunner of HBO’s hit show “Westworld”, Lisa Joy, and multi-series producer Noreen O’Toole about their careers in the creative industries, how they got there and what drives them.





+ - Episode 001: What the $!@% is Creative and Cultural Industries? with Dr. Patrick Fuery

Patrick FueryFounded in 1861, Chapman University sits nestled among one of Orange, California’s iconic Craftsman and Victorian neighborhoods. A mere 30 miles from Los Angeles, and a stone’s throw from Santa Ana’s arts district and downtown Anaheim, Chapman University is a perfect incubator for an emerging Creative Industries program. But what is Creative Industries?

Hosts Taryn Stroop and Shannon Halverson-Gorajia kick off the Catalyst Podcast by talking with the Dean of the Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Chapman University, Dr. Patrick Fuery, to get the skinny on Creative & Cultural Industries. Dr. Fuery also answers the question of why the Liberal Arts is the perfect home for this program at the University.