Top of Mind with Julie Rose



Feel the power of thinking again about tough issues that so easily divide us. Hosted by award-winning journalist Julie Rose, these conversations will leave you feeling empathetic, empowered, and hopeful. Top of Mind is a production of BYUradio.

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1715 episodes

ARCHIVE BONUS: How to Navigate the Journey from Loved One to Caregiver

Caregiving for a loved one can be difficult and confusing. Julie and her siblings are among the more than 20 million Americans who currently care for an aging parent- so this week's pick from the Top of Mind live radio archive hits close to home. In 2020, Julie spoke with Zachary White and Donna Thomson who combine their personal and professional experience into a "how to" handbook for the rest of us called “The Unexpected Journey of Caring." Guests: Donna Thomson, author, caregiver, activist, author of "The Four Walls of My Freedom: Lessons I've Learned from a Life of Caregiving" Zachary White, professor of communication, Queens University of Charlotte, co-author (with Thomson) of "The Unexpected Journey of Caring: The Transformation from Loved One to Caregiver"

Aug 15
ARCHIVE BONUS: She Believed She Was White. At Age 27, She Learned the Truth About Her Race.

Sarah Valentine grew up believing she was the white daughter of her white parents. As an adult she learned her parents had been lying to her. She’s actually half Black. That truth completely unraveled Valentine’s sense of identity, which she writes about in her memoir “When I Was White.” Top of Mind host Julie Rose says she thinks often about this interview from our daily radio show archive because it really led her question her assumptions about race and racism. Top of Mind is a BYUradio podcast. Guest: Sarah Valentine, author of "When I Was White: A Memoir"

Aug 08
ARCHIVE BONUS: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: The Essentials of Cooking with Samin Nosrat

Netflix star Samin Nosrat shares the one amazing meal that inspired her to become a professional chef. Her cookbook “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” is a guide to the essential elements of successful cooking. In another of Julie’s favorite conversations from the Top of Mind live radio show archives, Nosrat explains how to make delicious food whether you’re a conscientious recipe-follower or a free-wheeling experimenter (like Julie). Top of Mind is a BYUradio podcast. Guest: Samin Nosrat, chef and author of "Salt, Fat, Acid Heat" (which is also a Netflix documentary series)

Aug 01
ARCHIVE BONUS: The Secret Power of Breathing and Yawning

This week, Julie shares a conversation from Top of Mind’s live radio show archive that changed her life. In 2017 she spoke with Dan Brule, who is one of the world’s leading experts on breathwork. He recommends taking time daily to practice breathing. The techniques he shared have become Julie’s best tool for coping with stress and anxiety. Guest: Dan Brule, author of “Just Breathe: Mastering Breathwork for Success in Life, Love, Business and Beyond"

Jul 25
Magic in Prisons, Chestnut Resurrection, Cold Tube

A professional magician teaches magic tricks to inmates, and it is changing their whole prison experience. The American Chestnut tree is nearly gone for good. These people are working hard to bring it back. A special type of wall creates a radiating cooling effect. Here's how it works.

Jul 25
S2 E20 Humanitarian Aid: How to Help Without Doing Harm

The humanitarian needs in the world right now are enormous. Helping out seems straightforward – you just send money or show up. But if you’re not careful, your time and money may do no good. Worse, it might end up hurting those you’re hoping to help. In this episode, we consider how best to respond in a humanitarian crisis, why doing a “service trip” to a distant village isn’t necessarily helpful and ways to boost the impact of your charitable gifts. Guests: Svitlana Miller, founder, Meg Sattler, director, Ground Truth Solutions Bocchit Edmond, Haiti’s Ambassador to the United States Pippa Biddle, author of “Ours to Explore: Privilege, Power and the Paradox of Voluntourism” Kat Rosqueta, founding executive director, Center for High Impact Philanthropy ( at the University of Pennsylvania

Jul 18
S2 E19 What is the Point of a College Education?

The question of going to college - and where - is on the minds of most American families and young adults. We want college to be a character-building, mind-expanding experience, but we also want it to help graduates get good jobs. In this episode, we explore the ways that our conflicting expectations of American higher education play out—and how to make the best decisions for your family. Guests: Alexis Ayala, Business Development Representative at Okta Anthony Carnevale, Director of the Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce Ron Lieber, New York Times Finance Columnist, Author of “The Price You Pay for College: An Entirely New Road Map for the Biggest Financial Decision Your Family Will Ever Make” Ken Rusk, Entrepreneur, Author of “Blue Collar Cash: Love Your Work, Secure Your Future, and Find Happiness for Life”

Jul 11
Beethoven Variations, pMRI, Allergy Desensitization

Clues to Beethoven's inner life are all throughout his music. Developing a less expensive portable MRI machine. Desensitization treatment works well for food allergies. Why do so many people still suffer?

Jul 06
S2 E18: Hope or Dread? Let’s Rethink Aging

Aging brings inevitable changes to our bodies, abilities and lifestyle. But it’s not all bad. Surveys show time and again that people in their 80s are happier than young adults and people in middle age. Yet we all dread the prospect of growing older. In today’s episode, we explore what aging is really like in America right now and how the experience might be better if we stopped fearing it. Guests: Katherine Esty, therapist and author of Eighty somethings: A Practical Guide to Letting Go, Aging Well, and Finding Unexpected Happiness Bill Rodgers, decorated marathon runner and Olympian Marc Agronin, geriatric psychiatrist at Miami Jewish Health and author of The End of Old Age: Living a Longer, More Purposeful Life Ashton Applewhite, activist and author of The Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism Donna Butts, Executive Director of Generations United

Jul 04
ARCHIVE BONUS: The Other Talk - Why White Families Need to Talk About Race

In this bonus episode from the Top of Mind archive: "The Other Talk." Most kids of color in America grow up talking about racism at home, but most white children don't. They should, though, says author Brendan Kiely. His new book is a guide for starting the conversation about race at home. Then, a short, inspiring chat with a doctor who collects flower arrangements and delivers them to patients in the hospital where she works.

Jun 27
Featuring: The Lisa Show

We're featuring another one of our great BYUradio podcasts on Top of Mind. The Lisa Show discusses how we can navigate life and parenting. And in this episode, host Lisa Valentine Clark seeks advice on how to be a good parent when the internet and technology are ever-changing.

1h 4m
Jun 20
S2 E17: Finding Family in Child Welfare

Once a child is placed in foster care, they’re reuniting with their parent or guardian less than half of the time. But many child welfare agencies say reuniting families is a top priority. Is it possible to have a system that both protects children and prioritizes families? Guests: Aby, a Mother who reunited with her child Dalton Shump, Permanency Case Worker, KVC Molly Tierney, Managing Director, North American Public Sector at Accenture, Former Director of the Baltimore City Department of Social Services Lynn Price, Founder, Camp to Belong

Jun 13
S2 E16: Where’s the Middle Ground on Affirmative Action?

The US Supreme Court has repeatedly held that some amount of race-based discrimination is okay in college admissions, if the goal is to create a more diverse campus. But, no one wants to be rejected because of something they can’t control – like their race, or their parents’ income. In this episode, we’ll explore the effects of affirmative action and consider other ways schools might create diversity if the Supreme Court bans race-based admissions decisions. Guests: Zachariah Chou, author of USA Today op-ed "My race may have played a factor in my college rejections, but I support affirmative action" Wenyuan Wu, Executive Director of Californians for Equal Rights Foundation Monica O'Neal, psychologist in Boston and faculty at Harvard Medical School Rick Sander, economist and law professor at UCLA Audrey Dow, Senior Vice President of The Campaign for College Opportunity

Jun 06
S2 E15: Making Room for Refugees

One out of every 95 people on Earth has fled their home because of conflict or persecution. What is the experience of leaving – when you’d rather stay – and resettling in a place where everything is foreign? In this episode, people who came to America as refugees share their stories of heartbreak, healing, and new friendships. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Guests: Warda Mohamed Abdullahi, Somalian refugee, author of "Warda: My Journey from the Horn of Africa to a College Education" Luma Mufleh, founder of Fugees Family, author of "Learning America: One Woman's Fight for Educational Justice for Refugee Children" Liz Jevtic-Somlai, Associate Director at Their Story is Our Story Aden Batar, Services Director at Catholic Community Services of Utah

May 30
S2 E14: What Happened to “Innocent Until Proven Guilty”?

18 years. That’s how long Anthony Graves spent in prison for a crime he never committed. Unfortunately, his story is not uncommon in this country. Can we stop wrongful convictions, or are they just the price we pay to keep communities safe? In this episode, we look at how such big mistakes are made in the American justice system and efforts to prevent wrongful convictions. Guests: Anthony Graves, exoneree, author “Infinite Hope: How Wrongful Conviction, Solitary Confinement, and 12 Years on Death Row Failed to Kill My Soul.” David Rudolf- author, “American Injustice: Inside Stories from the Underbelly of the Criminal Justice System” Emily Galvin-Almanza, co-founder of Partners for Justice Walter McNeil, sheriff of Leon County, Florida

May 23
ARCHIVE BONUS: The Organ Thieves - A History of Transplants in the Segregated South

Before we were a weekly podcast, Top of Mind was a daily radio show. We were on the air – live - for two hours every weekday. And we did that for seven years. This means there’s a ton of great material in our archive. So, today we’re giving you a taste of that archive. First, we take a deep dive into the history of organ transplant surgery – and its darker side. You’ll hear how the TV world of Star Trek has influenced real science. We’ll be back with a new episode of the podcast on Monday, May 23rd.

May 16
S2 E13: Finding Our Way Out of Toxic Polarization

Division is nothing new in America, but something about this moment feels different. Why are we so angry, fearful, and ever more deeply entrenched in our safe little bubbles of like-minded people? More importantly, how do we get out? In this episode, the root causes of toxic polarization in America today, practical advice on bridging our differences, and the story of one man trying to change the narrative one difficult conversation at a time. Guests: Dylan Marron, author, “Conversations with People Who Hate Me.” Amy Chua, Yale Law School professor, author, “Political Tribes,” and “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.” Peter Coleman, social psychologist, Columbia University, author, “The Way Out: How to Overcome Toxic Polarization.”

May 09
S2 E12: Thinking Differently About Mental Illness

The way we think about mental illness from a Western medicine perspective doesn’t fit everyone. More and more people are taking antidepressants, but rates of depression aren’t declining. Meanwhile, some unconventional methods, like indigenous practices and psychedelics, are helping people cope with symptoms. In today’s episode, we show the power of thinking differently about mental illness. Guests: Sam, mental health patient Terrie Moffitt, clinical psychologist, professor, Duke University Joseph Gone, cultural clinical psychologist, professor, Harvard University Reid Robison, chief medical officer, Novamind

May 02
S2 E11: What Makes a City Great?

Long Description – Millions of Americans move each year in search of a better house, neighborhood, job, or quality of life. Is leaving the only way to live some place better? What would it take for an imperfect place to become your perfect match? Today we crisscross the country and check in with Top of Mind listeners about what makes a city great. Guests: Majora Carter – Author of “Reclaiming your Community” Jim and Deb Fallows – Co-authors of “Our Town: A Journey into the Heart of America” Melody Warnick – Author of “This Is Where You Belong” and “If You Could Live Anywhere” Lynn Kreutz, Hayley Trotter, Reed Wolfley, Erika Layland, Jenny Van Stone, Kim Parati – Top of Mind Listeners

Apr 25
S2 E10: America's Obsession with Work

Whether we work in an office, a construction site, or even a radio station, we've all complained about being overworked. Americans spend more time working than people in other wealthy nations. Why do we feel the need to work so much? In this episode, we take a deep dive into American work culture and how working less could actually be good for employers and employees.

Apr 18
Featuring: Constant Wonder

Top of Mind is giving listeners a sneak peek at one of the other podcasts here at BYU Radio. Constant Wonder is all about exploring the hidden marvels of our world. In this episode, the amazing tale of how an orphaned baby orca found its way home.

Apr 11
S2 E9: Changing the Autism Conversation

Living with autism can be difficult, and in the past, the prevailing attitude was to find ways to fix or cure autism. But that idea is changing. “For too long, we have been forced to navigate a world where all the road signs are written in another language,” writes author and journalist Eric Garcia. Garcia has autism. In this episode, we talk with current autism advocates who argue that the way to make life better for autistic people is not to force them to fit into the world but to help the world fit them. Guests: Emily Grodin and Valerie Gilpeer, co-authors of “I Have Been Buried Under Years of Dust.” Eric Garcia, journalist, author of ‘We're Not Broken: Changing the Autism Conversation.” Monique Botha, community psychologist, and researcher at the University of Stirling Sarah and Larry Nannery, co-authors of “What to Say Next: Successful Communication in Work, Life and Love with Autism Spectrum Disorder.”

Apr 04
S2 E8: Ending Poverty: "It's Going to Take the Community"

People who experience poverty are constantly riding a rollercoaster of highs and lows as they struggle to better their situation. In desperation, they’re asking, “Is there any way out?” While a growing number of people agree that ending poverty is achievable, there’s plenty of debate on the specifics. Advocates leading the fight against poverty are finding that the answer will start with a change in perspective. We’re learning that poverty isn’t an individual’s problem—It’s a community problem. Guests: Alicia, Circles Participant Chris Robinson, Circles Participant Robert Rector, Senior Research Fellow, Heritage Foundation Dr. H. Luke Schaefer, Professor, University of Michigan, Co-author of “$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America." LaMont Hampton, Program Coordinator, Circles Davis County Paul Born, Founder, Tamarack Institute

Mar 28
S2 E7: Voting and Citizenship-A Complicated History

Citizenship is a prerequisite for voting in most of the world. But New York City plans on allowing non-citizens to vote in city elections. How does being given or denied the right to vote affect somebody’s sense of belonging in a community? In this episode, we look at the history of voting rights and restrictions in America and see how voting by non-citizens plays out in places where it is allowed. Guests: Woojung Diana Park, Immigrant Justice Organizer, Minkwon Center in New York City Chaewon Jessica Park, Immigrant Justice Organizer, Minkwon Center in New York City Howard Husock, Senior Fellow of Domestic Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute Ron Hayduk, Professor of Political Science, San Francisco State University Kate Stewart, Mayor of Takoma Park, Maryland

Mar 21
S2 E6 Harm Reduction-Saving Lives or Enabling Drug Use?

Maia Szalavitz was introduced to the concept of harm reduction while using illegal drugs in her 20s. A friendly woman advised her to clean the needles with bleach. She claims that kind gesture saved her life even though it was a few years before she kicked the drug habit. Harm reduction has evolved in the last 40 years. New York City just opened the first government-sanctioned supervised injection sites in the country. Can you accept somebody as they are without enabling their harmful behavior to continue? Are they mutually exclusive? Guests: Maia Szalavitz - author of Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction Dr. Leslie Suen - addiction medicine specialist, UCSF Darwin Fisher – Program Manager, Insite Keith Humphreys - addiction researcher, professor, Stanford University School of Medicine David Murray - co-director for the Center for Substance Abuse Policy Research, Hudson Institute Brendan Cox - Director of Policing Strategies, LEAD National Support Bureau

Mar 14
S2 E5: The Disconnect between Body Weight and Health

If you stood a thin person next to someone who is, well, not so thin, and were asked to pick who you thought was healthier, you’re more than likely going to choose the skinny person, right? We’ve been programmed to think that body weight is the best indicator of a person’s health and fitness. But this mindset isn’t always true. The disconnect between body weight and health is more common than you think, and we may be making ourselves more unhealthy by not believing it. Mirna Valerio, ultramarathoner, founder of Fat Girl Running Kathryn Hively, Founder of Just BE Parenting Glenn Gaesser, Professor of Exercise Physiology, Arizona State University Corinne Hannan, Psychologist and Assistant Clinical Professor, Brigham Young University

Mar 07
Gut Bacteria, Unique Spaces, Holocaust Survivor

Microbes in the digestive tract can affect your mental state. Artists can be a key to improving run-down and crime-ridden places. One thousand boys in a single camp survived the Holocaust; how?

Mar 02
Adoption in America, Turning Left, Cybersickness

For almost thirty years, mothers were entirely cut off from their children after they were adopted by another family - now the mothers and children are trying to find each other again. To make driving safer and use less fuel, UPS drivers avoid left turns. If you feel dizzy after staring at a screen or using VR, you may be experiencing cybersickness.

Mar 01
S2 E4: What is Race?

When we think of race, we might naturally think of one's skin color. But someone who is black can have white skin. So what is race? Two researchers say we are getting it all wrong and that biological race is a myth. But they say socially-defined race and racism are alive and continue to this day. Guests: Natalie Devora, Author of "Black Girl White Skin: A Life In Stories" Dr. Joseph L. Graves Jr, Professor of biological sciences at North Carolina A&T State University, co-author of “Racism, Not Race: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions” Dr. Alan Goodman, Professor of biological anthropology at Hampshire College, co-author of “Racism, Not Race” Terry and Michele Wright, Co-Founders, National Organization of African Americans with Cystic Fibrosis Lauren Michele, Black blogger with Cystic Fibrosis

Feb 28
IBS Therapy, Leader Longevity, TV & Shopping Stress

Using cognitive behavioral therapy, we can treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Then, why do national leaders live so long? Finally, watching TV seems to add to the pressure kids put on parents to buy things for them.

Feb 23