Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Lara Hamdan

St. Louis on the Air Producer

Lara Hamdan joined St. Louis Public Radio as the news intern in 2017. A year later, she became a producer for “St. Louis on the Air.” A St. Louis native, Lara graduated with a degree in journalism from Webster University. She is a cat-mom to Sali and Sami, a lover of traveling, fluent in English and Arabic – and in eating falafel sandwiches and veggie burgers. She enjoys discovering new people and gems in the city throughout her work at St. Louis Public Radio.

Ways to Connect

Missouri Historical Society’s president and CEO, Frances Levine (right), and managing director of education and visitor experience, Nick Hoffman (left) talked about the organization's rebranding efforts.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

In Nov. 2015, the Missouri History Museum acquired the Soldiers Memorial downtown and embarked on a massive renovation project. As the project nears completion, the organization has rebranded itself as the Missouri Historical Society, operating the Missouri History Museum, the Library & Research Center and the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, set to reopen in Nov. 3, 2018.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with leaders of the Missouri Historical Society (MHS) about recent changes at the institution, including the rebranding initiative and expansion efforts.

U.S. Rep Ann Wagner, a Republican from Ballwin, raised $804,000 from Jan. 1 to March 31.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s “Behind the Headlines” on St. Louis on the Air, we took an in-depth look at a bill on sex trafficking that has passed overwhelmingly in the U.S. House of Representatives and will be moving on to the Senate.

Documentary filmmaker Carl Gierstorfer and science journalist Jon Cohen talk about their work on HIV, AIDS and Ebola.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, producer Alex Heuer talked with science journalist Jon Cohen, a staff writer for Science Magazine, and documentary filmmaker Carl Gierstorfer about their work on HIV, AIDS and Ebola.

Both have received support from the Pulitzer Center for their reporting projects. Their work takes a look at the causes of diseases, the factors that allow them to spread and the stories of those impacted.

Thomas Easterly | Missouri Historical Society Collections.

After experiencing a cholera outbreak and the Great Fire, 1849 was a difficult year for St. Louis. In addition, the city struggled to keep up with population growth. The U.S. Census shows the population of St. Louis nearly tripled between 1840 and 1850 from 35,979 to 104,978 residents.

(L-R) Paul Crane, Irene Augustin and Cynthia Duffe talked about the issue of homelessness in St. Louis and the new local film "Living in Tents" portrayal of it.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Filmmaker Paul Crane didn’t know much about homelessness until he happened across a tent city while walking around taking pictures in downtown St. Louis.

The blue tarps set up along the Mississippi riverfront sparked Crane’s curiosity and eventually led him to direct the documentary, "Living in Tents.”

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about the new documentary film, which features the stories of homeless people in St. Louis and more broadly, the issue of homelessness in St. Louis.

Missouri Statehouse
File photo | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the potential impact of House Bill 2179. It would prohibit Missouri from entering into contracts over $10,000 with companies that engage in the boycott of, divestment from and sanctioning of Israel, an ally of the United States.

(L-R) Nicole Roach, Catrina Salama and Kenneth Pruitt talked about recognizing unconscious bias, how to manage it and how that can help further understanding and inclusion.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Workplaces and institutions are implementing un-bias trainings to promote inclusivity. According to Kenneth Pruitt, director of diversity training at Diversity Awareness Partnership (DAP), training without follow-ups or contextualization can backfire.

Nurses for Newborns chief executive officer Melinda Ohlemiller talked about the organization's continued efforts to provide perinatal services to at-risk families.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

For more than two decades, Nurses for Newborns have stepped in to help more than 100,000 families lacking in resources to care for their newborn babies.

On Friday's St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about services provided by Nurses for Newborns to provide a safety net and improve the outcomes of at-risk infants. Joining him for the discussion was Nurses for Newborns chief executive officer Melinda Ohlemiller.

Listen to the full discussion about the organization’s mission and services:

Alderwoman-elect Rice and Vivian Eveloff, director of the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life at the University of Missouri-St. Louis discussed the increase in the number of women in elected offices.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the special election to replace the St. Louis 8th ward alderman. Joining him for the discussion were St. Louis Public Radio reporters Rachel Lippmann and Jason Rosenbaum.

via Saint Raphael the Archangel Catholic Church

The mother of a south St. Louis woman believed to have shot her infant, her husband and herself earlier this month says that her daughter suffered from postpartum depression.

“There’s no doubt about it,” Polly Fick told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Thursday when asked if her daughter had postpartum depression. “But because of her background and working as a social worker, I think she was of the opinion that she could handle things.”

(L-R) Brian Elsesser, Bob Lawrence and Robert "Tuffy" Brandon talked about a show at the Link Auditorium highlighting blues music in St. Louis.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about a St. Louis themed variety show featuring blues music, comedy and discussions about life in a divided city.

Joining the discussion were:

Cynthia Prost, Quinton Ward and Antionette Carroll talked about how elements of design can address societal issues.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Encouraging young people and addressing racial equity are the tenets of Creative Reaction Lab’s (CRL) mission to create youth leaders that impact and shape their community’s future and design.

Amanda Clark (left) and Elizabeth Eikmann talked about Renegade STL's event highlighting notable stories of love and loss in St. Louis history.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis has a history that involves grand stories of love – and loss. Renegade STL will “celebrate” those stories at an upcoming event at the Novel Neighbor on Feb. 14.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed interesting and obscure love and breakup stories that happened in St. Louis with Renegade STL. Joining the discussion were the organization’s founder Amanda Clark and business partner Elizabeth Eikmann.

Shrimp from Peppe’s Apt. 2 restaurant.
Carmen Troesser | Sauce Magazine

In our monthly Sound Bites segment in partnership with Sauce Magazine, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed tips for where to dine on Valentine's Day as well as what home cooks can do. Joining him for the discussion were Sauce Magazine’s managing editor Heather Hughes and art director Meera Nagarajan.

Scaffolding borders large interpretive floor art that traces the paths explorers and pioneers took westward from St. Louis.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Monday talked about renovations taking place at the Gateway Arch in advance of a planned reopening date of July 3.

Joining the discussion was Ryan McClure, director of communications and activation at the Gateway Arch Park Foundation. St. Louis on the Air producer Alex Heuer also joined the conversation.

Tenor Scott Kennebeck auditions at Powell Hall for the chance to perform the national anthem at a St. Louis Blues game.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

Scott Kennebeck’s career as a singer is inextricably linked to his faith. The tenor is executive director of St. Louis Cathedral Concerts and he is the cantor at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with Kennebeck about his multi-faceted career and the various audiences he’s performed for – ranging from Pope John Paul II’s St. Louis visit, a papal mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome to a St. Louis Blues game.

Philip Barnes (left) and Francis Pott (right) talked about the St. Louis Chamber Chorus' concert highlighting the theme of love.
Mary Edwards | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Chamber Chorus' will explore the human condition at a performance commemorating Valentine’s Day. The concert is highlighted by the world premiere of "Ardor Amis," a work the chorus commissioned from British composer Francis Pott.

Pott joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh alongside Philip Barnes, artistic director of the St. Louis Chamber Chorus, for Friday’s segment to talk about the concert.

Listen to the full discussion:

The Illinois State Capitol in Springfield.
File photo | Seth Perlman | Associated Press

The state of Illinois’ general primary elections are set to take place on March 20, 2018.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh went Behind the Headlines to discuss the Illinois governor’s race and other political issues in the state. Joining him for the discussion was WWTW “Chicago Tonight” correspondent Amanda Vinciky to talk about campaign specifics.

KSDK news anchor Rene Knott is in South Korea covering the 2018 Winter Olympics.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, producer Alex Heuer talked with Knott about the highlights of his trip thus far. The biggest thing that stuck out to Knott was his visit to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), a 2.5 mile wide border across the peninsula that separates North and South Korea.

The Olympic Games are historic festivals that showcase a wide variety of athletic talent – but they also go beyond sports entertainment.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, producer Alex Heuer talked to UMSL professor Susan Brownell, who is attending the Olympics in South Korea and plans to study them from an anthropological point of view.

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