Flock Talk podcast art

Parent and Family Programs is pleased to present Flock Talk, a podcast for parents and families of new Ducks. A partnership with Student Orientation Programs, Flock Talk shares practical information about your student's transition to college. From housing and roommates, to financial aid and scholarships, to changing roles and relationships, our episodes will keep you engaged in all aspects of your student's journey. We'll highlight timely higher education topics, and discuss themes directly related to supporting first-year students at the UO.

Subscribe to Flock Talk

The best way to listen to Flock Talk is by subscribing in your podcast app of choice. We're listed in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. You can also stream or download each episode right here on our website by using the built-in player. However, we recommend getting a podcast app and using one of the buttons below to subscribe.

January 15, 2020

Episode 23: The A Game

Today we visit with Ken Sufka, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Mississippi, and author of The A Game. Though the University mailed a copy to each first-year student last August, it’s not uncommon for students to need to revisit successful strategies after their first term. We discuss some of the most important pieces of the book and ways students can inventory their own habits.

December 18, 2019

Episode 22: Research Perspective – Understanding Student Transition



Our guests today are Jennifer Pfeifer, Professor of Psychology, and Arian Mobasser, Doctoral Student in Psychology. We discuss their research into adolescent development and decision making and how it’s applied to first-year college students. We also discuss the “Freshman Project” research they’re conducting and how it’s evolved over time.

December 11, 2019

Episode 21: Student Perspectives – Reflecting on Their First Term

Tiffany chats with two first-year students about their college experience so far. Pashmin Patil and Braeden Dieker discuss what they're involved in, what they’ve love, challenges, and what they’re looking forward to for the rest of the year.

December 04, 2019

Episode 20: Preparing for Reentry – Continuing Crucial Conversations



Cora and Tiffany sit down and discuss ways parents and families can prepare for their student’s return home for winter break. We encourage you make a plan, be flexible, and continue crucial conversations with your student.

November 27, 2019

Episode 19: Sportsball!


For some students, fall can feel ‘sports heavy’. In this brief episode, learn about some the resources, events, and programs we use to engage all students.

November 19, 2019

Episode 18: Presidential Perspectives


Today we’re joined by University of Oregon President Michael Schill. Hear more about UO governance, his vision for the university, and the changes he’s most excited about!

November 13, 2019

Episode 17: Keeping Up with iGen


A new generation of students is off to college and it’s critical faculty and staff at the UO know them! We sit down with Alex Mataish, Residence Service Manager, University Housing, and Hannah White, Coordinator of Leadership and Community Engagement, Holden Center for Leadership and Community Engagement to discuss iGen, also known as GenZ.

November 06, 2019

Episode 16: A Look at Things to Come


We sit down with one of our podcast producers to chat a bit about the ways we communicate with students and preview some of the things coming to the podcast in future episodes.

October 30, 2019

Episode 15: Catching Up on Conversations




Tiffany and Cora discuss week 5 conversations families should have with their Ducks, transition issues, and some of the many questions we’re getting from parents and family members. We also preview some of the things students need to be thinking about at this critical point in their first term.

October 23, 2019

Episode 14: Common Reading – A Shared Experience


Julie Voelker-Morris joins the podcast today to discuss the Common Reading Program at the UO. Julie is the Director of the Common Reading Program within the Division of Undergraduate Education and Student Success, as well as the Career Services Director at the School of Planning, Public Policy, and Management. Learn about the selection of the Common Reading, why it’s an important part of student transition, as well as events and programs for this year’s selection, Under the Feet of Jesus by Helena Maria Viramontes.

October 16, 2019

Episode 13: Midterms! Teaching and Learning in the Quarter System



In today’s episode we’ll discuss the benefits and challenges of teaching and learning in the quarter system, and more specifically, the timing of midterms. For first-year students, the pace of learning and testing at the UO, can be among the bigger adjustment challenges. Josh Snodgrass, Professor of Anthropology and Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Research and Distinguished Scholarships, shares his insights into how faculty design their courses to help students develop the right skills for college learning, and the resources available to faculty to be great teachers.

October 09, 2019

Episode 12: All About Academic Advising



A student’s relationship with academic advising is critical to their progress toward degree and timely graduation. Meet Paige Jackson, Assistant Director of Academic Advising. You’ll hear about all of the different academic advising opportunities for students, our innovative approach to academic and career advising, and the myriad of ways academic advisors help your students beyond selecting classes each term. Paige will also help families understand the ways they can be helpful throughout the year on this front.

October 02, 2019

Episode 11: Chit Chat with the Chief – All about Campus Safety



Today we (re)introduce you to University of Oregon Police Chief Matt Carmichael. We discuss the unique nature of policing on a college campus, safety services for students, as well as some other tips to stay informed about what’s happening on campus. You’ll hear about UOPD’s partnership with Eugene Police and all of the unique ways our officers are working to help ensure your students can focus on their degree.

September 25, 2019

Episode 10: What Happens When (Non-Academic) Things Don’t Go as Planned?



Our episode today focuses in on the people and resources available to students experiencing crisis or trauma, or who need additional support to navigate the barriers keeping them from being successful. You’ll meet Kris Winter, Associate Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students, as well as Shelly Kerr, Director of the University Counseling Center. Together they lead a team of campus partners from across the university who work toward caring for individual students, families, or communities within the university whenever needed.

September 18, 2019

Episode 9: Embarking on the College Journey

We encourage you to listen to today’s episode with your new Duck! Tiffany Fritz, Director of Parent and Family Programs, sat down with some of our current students to talk about their transition to the UO, including their excitements, fears, and transition issues.

We hope the topics we cover today will inspire a conversation in your own family about the upcoming transition and all that that means!

September 11, 2019

Episode 8: University Health Center


If you’re wondering who will take care of your student if they get sick or injured, learn more from Deb Beck, Executive Director of the University Health Center. Deb will share information about the UHC’s primary and specialty care, pharmacy, dentistry, physical therapy, stress reduction programs, and much more. We also discuss insurance coverage options for your student and why it’s important to think about that now!

September 04, 2019

Episode 7: Counseling Center


On the podcast today, Mariko Lin, PhD, joins us. Mariko is the Associate Director and Education and Prevention Outreach Director at the University Counseling Center. We discuss common transitional issues for UO students that can be disruptive to educational progress, and the way families can help from afar. She’ll also share more about the plethora of resources offered by the University Counseling Center.

August 29, 2019

Episode 6: Prevention and Response



Today’s guests are Jimmy Howard, Assistant Dean of Students for Prevention and Response, and Kerry Frazee, Director of Prevention Service. Both work in the Office of the Dean of Students and their work centers around several aspects of safety and wellness that are critical to student success and persistence. Jimmy and Kerry discuss the work they do on:

  • Sexual violence prevention
  • Response and care in cases where students are harmed
  • Substance use and misuse

Learn how Jimmy, Kerry, and a network of colleagues throughout campus are working with students to create and maintain a safe, healthy campus community.

August 21, 2019

Episode 5: Undergraduate Research and Living-Learning Experiences



In today’s episode we discuss first-year experiences like Academic Residential Communities, and the opportunities for students to enrich both their residential and academic experiences from the start. We’ll also explore the ways students can expand their academic exploration by being involved in our many undergraduate research opportunities.

Today’s guests are Kevin Hatfield, Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Research, and Director of Academic Residential and Research Initiatives; and Lanch McCormick, Director of Student Engagement, Division of Undergraduate Education and Student Success.

August 14, 2019

Episode 4: University Dining



Want to how your student’s meal plan works, what kind of options they have for food, and where that food comes from? You’ll learn how our locally sourced, campus-made food options help keep your student healthy and nourished.

Today’s guest is Tom Driscoll, Associate Director of Housing and Director of Food Service. Tom manages all of the dining halls within the residence halls, as well as the contracts for venues all over campus.

August 07, 2019

Episode 3: Unpack the Quack



Are you getting your student prepped for move-in? What about you, are you ready? We’re here to make the residence hall move-in process as easy as possible for your whole family. Learn about what to prepare to for the experience during move-in and how to support your student over the next several weeks, from communication with students to what to bring and how to make the day pain free.

Today’s guests include Anna Schmidt-McKenzie, Director of Residence Life and Educational Initiatives, University Housing, and Heather Kropf, Associate Director of Residence Life, University Housing.

July 31, 2019

Episode 2: IntroDUCKtion is over. Now what?

IntroDUCKtion is over, some of your student’s friends are off to semester universities and the UO doesn’t have move-in until…WHEN!? In today’s episode we discuss all that the university is doing to keep your students engaged and excited, and hopefully making some new friends, in this critical period between the high of IntroDUCKtion and the excitement of move-in and Week of Welcome. We’ll also spend some time discussing Week of Welcome events for parents and families, and, if you haven’t already spent some time talking about it, how long you should stay after you’ve helped your student move in to their residence hall.

Today’s guests include Tiffany Fritz, Director of Parent Family Programs; Keith Frazee, Assistant Director of Student Orientation Programs; and Michael Luna, Interim Coordinator of Welcome and Transition Experience.

July 24, 2019

Episode 1: Parent and Family Programs

Flock Talk


On today’s episode we’ll (re)introduce you to Tiffany Fritz, Director of Parent and Family Programs (https://families.uoregon.edu/about) here at the UO. We’ll discuss the University of Oregon’s efforts to maintain a great partnership with those back home who are supporting Ducks from afar.

You’ll learn about the Parent and Family Association, parent reps, Parents’ Day Off, Fall Family Weekend, and more. We’ll also discuss navigating the University’s student privacy policies (FERPA) as well as conversations we recommend having with your student prior to move-in.


Cora BennettCora BennettDirector, Student Orientation Programs

Cora Bennett is the director of Student Orientation Programs and manages the student ambassador program and orientation events. Since joining the division she has grown the office to meet the ever-growing interest in the UO from prospective students and visitors. The programs she manages employ 80 students as ambassadors who present the UO experience to new Ducks as well as to more than 30,000 visitors each year. “I love the UO because it’s unlike any other place I’ve ever lived. People are warm and friendly, the campus environment is everything a university should be, and the pride and spirit the community has for the university is unmatched.”


Tiffany FritzTiffany FritzDirector, Parent and Family Programs

Tiffany Fritz is the director of Parent and Family Programs. She joined the team in January of 2018. In her previous role, she worked extensively to support students and their families through the first-year experience. She has a comprehensive background in academic advising, career exploration, student success, and residence life. She views parents and family members as crucial partners in promoting student success and looks forward to supporting you through this exciting time. Tiffany has earned a BA in liberal studies from California State University, Chico (2004) and a MEd in college student services administration from Oregon State University (2008).