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Buffalo State student earns a top-10 finish in NPR Student Podcast Challenge


Combining interests in podcasts and transit systems, Buffalo State student Bennett Cook used his phone to create "Subway Symphony." The effort produced an entry worthy of being named a finalist in NPR's Student Podcast Challenge.

"I can hear music that certain subways make," Cook said. He used that talent as the content background for his podcast. Among the connections, comparing the Etta James classic "At Last" with a train from the Boston transit system.

"I'm a neurodiverse student, meaning I that have processing issues as my learning disability," Cook explained.

For Cook, "transit is very familiar to me, you know, it runs in my blood."

That passion includes using LEGO's to build trains and drawing transit maps by hand.

Though he hopes to produce more podcasts, his first production was entered into the NPR contest. He didn't win.

"I'm happy that I made it to the top ten," Cook said. "That's a win for me."

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Jay joined Buffalo Toronto Public Media in 2008 and has been local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" ever since. In June, 2022, he was named one of the co-hosts of WBFO's "Buffalo, What's Next."

A graduate of St. Mary's of the Lake School, St. Francis High School and Buffalo State College, Jay has worked most of his professional career in Buffalo. Outside of public media, he continues in longstanding roles as the public address announcer for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League and as play-by-play voice of Canisius College basketball.