When asked about what keeps him up at night, President Thomas Bailey — who has led Teachers College through the challenges of the pandemic — offers an optimistic perspective. Continuing to tackle some of the biggest issues of our time, like COVID-19 safety and inequity in education, Bailey says that he and other higher education leaders have also been provided with opportunities to build a better future through digital learning, supportive student pathways and more.

“While I can stay awake at night worrying about some issues, I can also stay awake at night thinking about the opportunities that we have from [the pandemic],” says Bailey on the latest episode of the “EdUp Experience” podcast, co-founded and produced by TC alumnus Elvin R. Freytes (M.A. ’01). 

For the TC grad, having Bailey appear on the podcast is a milestone. “I’m a proud alum,” Freytes explains, “so being able to feature President Bailey is an honor because I wanted everyone to learn about TC and how it changed my life.” 

Freytes’ podcast, which launched in early 2020 and has amassed more than 80,000 downloads, focuses on a mostly unexplored genre of the popular medium: content for and by higher education professionals that delves into some of the most pressing issues of today. 

“We’re trying to make higher education more fun and entertaining, and help people learn at the same time,” explains Freytes, who launched EdUp as an extension of his passion for connecting with fellow higher education professionals. “The reason these conversations are so rewarding is because, for people who pursue higher education, we love what we do — that’s why you’re in higher ed. You want to help the students, and you understand that you’re changing lives.”

President Bailey sat down with Dr. Joe Sallustio, host of The EdUp Experience, for an interview at the end of August, as the College prepared to welcome students and the community back to campus for the first time since March 2020. 

In the episode, Bailey and Sallustio discuss the goals and ethos of Teachers College and a range of timely topics, including: the challenges and opportunities of leading during the pandemic; how President Bailey’s prior experience leading TC’s Community College Research Center has informed his leadership of TC; creating pathways to academic and career success for all students; the teaching profession; the role of education technology in the future of learning and more. Listen to the latest episode of the “EdUP Experience.” (“EdUp” is available wherever you listen to podcasts.)