Utah Tech University has an abundance of resources for its students to pursue passions, hobbies and talents.
Latham Chandler, a junior finance major from Evanston, Wyoming, started his podcast “In The Dirt” with the equipment in the podcast studio of the Jennings Communications Building.
Chandler initially started his podcast with a friend in April 2022; however, it took a few months until production was consistent.
“The podcast idea was born from just friends sitting in a living room at 2 a.m. hashing out crazy ideas, then we somehow took the idea seriously and made it happen,” Chandler said.
Starting the podcast was easy once Chandler learned about the recording studios on campus and the assistance he could get from staff and faculty.
“I had heard about the recording booths and walked past a few times listening to the music on the radio,” Chandler said. “Then one day, I just walked through the door, talked to a few people and the podcast started to happen.”
Chandler started the podcast to have fun and do something he would enjoy.
On the podcast, Chandler shares his experiences, life stories and opinions. He also interviews other university students and community members about their jobs, passions and life lessons. The most recent guest on the podcast was Ed Tracey, president and CEO of Washington Chambers of Commerce, who shared behind the scenes of his job and new comedy club.
“I love all my guests, but the most recent one, Ed Tracey, was a blast,” Chandler said. “Another memorable episode was No. 25 with my buddies: Donald, Eric and Kevin.”
Eric Mendoza-Beltran, a sophomore marketing major from Rigby, Idaho, met Chandler his first year at Utah Tech when they were roommates. Donald Kapustka, a junior history major from Colorado Springs, Colorado, met Chandler through Mendoza-Beltran and other mutual friends.
“We went in the studio a few times, not to record, just to listen,” Kapustka said. “One night we decided ‘all-right this time we are actually going to record.'”
Mendoza-Beltran joined in on the podcast after being convinced by his friends it would be a fun experience. This was the first time for all of the guests in this particular episode to be on a podcast.
“I was nervous for the first five minutes of recording; I was mumbling and felt awkward,” Kapustka said. “Then we got in the groove and had a very fun hour and a half.”
Both Mendoza-Beltran and Kapustka agreed it was Chandler who made the experience of being on a podcast a good memory.
“He [Chandler] engages with you a lot and makes everything pretty broad and comfortable in the studio,” Mendoza-Beltran said.
Mendoza-Beltran had such a great experience recording with his old roommate and friends that he is going to try and help Chandler outreach his podcast to help him accomplish goals related to his podcasting passion.
While Mendoza-Beltran and Kapustka came on the podcast to have a good time and the connection to get on was easy, as they are friends with Chandler, they shared that Chandler is not limited on who he has on the podcast.
“He doesn’t just talk to one certain type of person,” Kapustka said. “He reaches out to a lot of different people to be on the podcast.”
Chandler enjoys having fun and including a wide variety of guests on his podcast he can learn from and help share more diverse stories.
“I just ask people that I find interesting to come on and talk about their life and passions,” Chandler said. “I try to get guests with cool experiences to share.”
Utah Tech is a place to start new hobbies and passions as they have so many resources to offer. Thanks to Utah Tech taking action in providing ways to help students live its motto “Active Learning. Active Life.” Chandler was able to find a new passion that even others, like Mendoza-Beltran and Kapustka, can see within him.
Kapustka said: “Latham is super passionate about the podcast. He is always talking about it, and I think it is awesome that the school has a recording booth on campus for their students to pursue hobbies and passions like this.”
Chandler’s advice to any person wanting to start a podcast is to “get fun people and get in the studio.” He started his podcast off on a fun whim, but has found a passion within this outlet. He is planning for the podcast to continue to grow in listeners and to start bringing on professors and graduates to talk about their fields and niches.