Amy Tardif

Amy Tardif is WGCU’s FM Station Manager and News Director. She oversees a staff of 6 in news, production and the radio reading service.  Her program Lucia's Letter on human trafficking received a coveted Peabody Award, an Edward R. Murrow Award, a gold medal from the New York Festivals and 1st place for Best Documentary from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. She was the producer and host of Gulf Coast Live Arts Edition for 8 years and spent 14 years as WGCU’s local host of NPR's Morning Edition. Amy spent five years as producer and managing editor of WGCU-TV’s former monthly environmental documentary programs In Focus on the Environment and Earth Edition. She is the first woman in radio to Chair RTDNA, having previously served as Chair-Elect and the Region 13 representative on its Board of Directors for which she helped write an e-book on plagiarism and fabrication. She also serves on the FPBS Board of Directors and served on the PRNDI Board of Directors from 2007 -2012. And she served on the Editorial Integrity for Public Media Project helping to write the section on employee's activities beyond their public media work. Prior to joining WGCU Public Media in 1993, she was the spokesperson for the Fort Myers Police Department, spent 6 years reporting and anchoring for television stations in Fort Myers and Austin, Minnesota and reported for WUSF Public Radio in Tampa.  Amy also loves spending time with her two teenaged sons, performing in local theater and horseback riding.

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  This month’s Versed in Florida poet is 23-year-old Fort Myers, Florida native Shannon Riley. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in creative writing and theatre from Florida Gulf Coast University. She’s now earning her Master’s degree in English from FGCU while working as a creative writing and drama teacher at Gateway Charter High School. She’s an aspiring actress on the side. She tells WGCU’s Amy Tardif she started writing poetry when she was 8-years-old.

A USA Today analysis found at least 140 former members of Congress still have campaign accounts with nearly 50 million dollars in them. Nearly a third of those former lawmakers have been out of office at least five years. 

The Pine Manor Improvement Association’s annual teen culinary class recently graduated 8 students. The three week course teaches teens cooking basics and the importance of sustainable farming by using the community’s own garden.

Each student gets a cookbook and a set of cooking utensils to sharpen their new skills.

The Pine Manor Improvement Association’s culinary classes are the brainchild of Florida Gulf Coast University professor Chef James Fraser.

He founded ICARE – or The Institute for Culinary Awareness Research & Education. Fraser recognized a desperate need in Pine Manor, which is considered a food desert, an area with limited or no access to fresh, healthy and affordable foods.

The Transportation Security Administration or TSA displayed a collection of confiscated items Tuesday that people have packed in their carry-on luggage so far this year at Southwest Florida International and Punta Gorda Airport. That includes 17 firearms and a meat slicer among other things.



Skin. It’s the largest organ of the body. So, it’s not surprising that skin cancer, specifically melanoma, is in the top five of the most common cancers in the United States. The American Melanoma Foundation says one American dies of melanoma almost every hour. In the Sunshine State, melanoma is responsible for about 75 percent of all skin cancer deaths.

This month’s Versed in Florida is with Sara Comito. She graduated with an English degree from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and has been living in Fort Myers for the past 13 years. Comito works as communications editor for a local PR and Marketing agency. Her poetry has appeared in dozens of print and electronic journals and anthologies.

She and her stonemason husband are urban farmers and beekeepers in Fort Myers. She tells WGCU’s Amy Tardif the bees and their honey are now a muse for her poetry.

820 Floridians could die from melanoma this year. It’s the most lethal form of skin cancer. A recent study cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 6000 cases of melanoma are estimated to be related to indoor tanning in the U.S. each year. May is melanoma month. This story looks at one group of people who is seeing a dramatic rise in the number of these cases. They’re young women and teens. And they’re the same group also going to tanning salons more often.

For Memorial Day we meet two women who made the military their lives. Captain Nori Ann Reed of Sanibel was the first woman assigned onboard Navy ships, and later was the first woman to have the honor of being Captain of three Navy ships. She commanded Naval Logistics Command, US naval Forces, Central Command operating ships and aircraft over 2.5 million square miles of water, including the Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean and Red Sea in support of US military forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Captain Reed went to Cypress Lake High School in Fort Myers, FAU in Boca Raton and entered the Navy through Officer Candidate School. She’s now back on Sanibel.

This month’s Versed in Florida is with poet Sidney Wade. She teaches English at the University of Florida. Her poems and translations of foreign language poems have appeared in a wide variety of journals, including Poetry, The New Yorker, and The Paris Review. WADE's Turkish poetry translations will be published in October. She tells WGCU’s Amy Tardif she’s turned to birding, landscaping and the environment and that’s what this month’s poem is about.

A special committee of The Florida Gulf Coast University Board of Trustees decided not to remove any active degree programs from the university catalog Wednesday. Trustees will leave such decisions in the hands of administrators.

Sara Comito – Listing

Apr 28, 2015

This month’s Versed in Florida is with Sara Comito. She graduated with an English degree from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and has been living in Fort Myers for the past 13 years. Comito works as communications editor for a local PR and Marketing agency. Her poetry has appeared in dozens of print and electronic journals and anthologies. Undeterred by the small size of their square city lot, she and her stonemason husband are urban farmers and beekeepers which, she tells WGCU’s Amy Tardif, is a muse for her poetry.

Skin. It’s the largest organ of the body. So, it’s not surprising that skin cancer, specifically melanoma, is in the top five of the most common cancers in the United States. The American Melanoma Foundation says one American dies of melanoma almost every hour. In the Sunshine State, melanoma is responsible for about 75 percent of all skin cancer deaths.

Sidney Wade - Radish

Mar 24, 2015

This month’s Versed in Florida is with poet Sidney Wade. She teaches English at the University of Florida. Her poems and translations of foreign language poems have appeared in a wide variety of journals, including Poetry, The New Yorker, and The Paris Review. WADE's Turkish poetry translations will be published in October. She tells WGCU’s Amy Tardif though she came to poetry later in life, she’s now helping other poets as the editor of UF’s literary Journal “Subtropics”.

This month’s Versed in Florida is with Sara Comito. She graduated with an English degree from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and has been living in Fort Myers for the past 13 years. Comito works as communications editor for a local PR and Marketing agency. Her poetry has appeared in dozens of print and electronic journals and anthologies.

Undeterred by the small size of their square city lot, she and her stonemason husband have become urban farmers and beekeepers, eschewing the traditional front lawn for a jungle of fruits, veggies and flowering plants much of which, she tells WGCU’s Amy Tardif, has now become a muse for her poetry. 

A local theater company debuts a show this week at Florida Southwestern State College that is a first for Fort Myers. Theatre Conspiracy’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf” by Ntozake Shange features an all-black cast, director and stage manager. The company’s artistic director hopes this is the start of regular shows geared toward minority artists.


Sidney Wade

Jan 27, 2015

This month’s Versed in Florida is with poet Sidney Wade. She teaches English at the University of Florida. Her poems and translations of foreign language poems have appeared in a wide variety of journals, including Poetry, The New Yorker, Grand Street, and The Paris Review. WADE's sixth collection of poems, Straits & Narrows, was published in 2013. Her Turkish poetry translations will be published in October. Lately she’s only been writing poems about birds, including this one about Burrowing Owls, she explained to WGCU’s Amy Tardif.

A  Cape Coral man is the focus of an Independent Lens film airing on WGCU World (30.2/Cable 201) January 21 at 7:30pm.  Adam Winfield was a soldier in Afghanistan. He tried to blow the whistle on war crimes his troop was committing. The men were killing Afghani civilians and planting weapons on them to stage the incidents. Winfield’s life was threatened after he started telling his father Chris Winfield through Facebook chat sessions about what was going on. Then he says he was forced to become part of one the murders. He was arrested and tried.

Jay Hopler - The Light

Dec 23, 2014

This month’s Versed in Florida is with poet Jay Hopler, Associate Professor of English at the University of South Florida in Tampa. He’s written three books of poems and has been published in American Poetry Review, The New Republic, the New Yorker and SLATE. He tells WGCU’s Amy Tardif though he lives in Tampa, he visits southwest Florida quite often.

This month’s Versed in Florida is with University of South Florida senior Naomi Rosado. She’s studying English, Creative Writing and possibly music. She just transferred to Tampa from FGCU and is originally from the Miami area. In honor of Veterans Day this month’s poem is called Agent Orange. Rosado tells WGCU’s Amy Tardif about her writing technique.