The Herdcon Popcast

The Herdcon Popcast


Heather Lauer

Michelle Alford

Meghan Sexton-Harness


Production Crew

Michelle Alford

Nate Harrah

Ernesto Zamudio

Theme Music

Crushed by Zues Zamudio


Special thanks to Dr. Ben Eng and Paige Leonard of the Marshall University College of Business iCenter for all their help getting us started and acquainted with the iCenter Studio.

And special thanks to all of our guests!

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HerdCon “Con”versations 2023- Episode 1

We recorded several conversation with HerdCon 2023 attendees last year and wanted to share some of those with everyone. This particular conversation was with BJ Fraily of the The Dressing Room, who happened to catch us on the Friday of HerdCon last year, and was going to be missing that Saturday to help with an amazing program that provided formal wear for area teens for prom.

Episode 21 – Upward Bound Student Interviews

In this episode we did an impromptu interview with two of our of Upward Bound students from last summer. Olivia and Louie were both a part of our summer work study program and were great to work with. Our last day, I was able to arrange a tour of the iCenter podcasting studio (at it’s previous Corbly Hall location), and Paige Leonard started recording while we chatted.


Episode 19 – Game Grove

In this episode, host Nate Harrah & Zues Zamudio, interview Louie DeGeorge of Game Grove, a gaming store located in Teays Valley WV. You can check out their website at or on Facebook

Episode 18 – Vex Robotics

In this episode we met with members of the Marshall University Vex Robotics Team to talk about their current projects and fundraising to take them team to competitions in the coming year. You can find out more about how to help them reach their goals on their GoFundMe here.

In this episode we interviewed three local authors that are working with local publisher, the Henlo Press. Stephen Bias, Amanda Hooser, and Caitlyn Pace (whom we’ve interviewed before) joined our host, Michelle Alford-Tyler, to discuss their recent and upcoming book releases.

We hope you enjoy the witty humor and banter from these three amazing people as much as we enjoyed interviewing them.

Stephen Bias is the author of Afterwords (available at local bookstores in Huntington WV, Barboursville WV, and Ashland KY, as well as through Amazon), will be releasing his second novel closer to Christmas called 304 Monsters.

Amanda Hooser is locally well known for her sticker art featuring local landmarks of years past which can be found at shops like the Red Caboose, but also has a series self published romance novels out. She recently released the first book in her Perth Paranormal Mystery young adult series through the Henlo Press titled, A Shade of Winter. You can find her YA titles under the name A. B. Hooser. This book is currently available in local bookstores as well as through Amazon.

Caitlyn Pace is a student at Marshall University and author of Mumblings (which we discussed in a previous episode) and is soon releasing Camp Meltaway. Camp Meltaway is the first is a series Caitlyn and her mom have been working on blending slasher movie horror with the ability to make decisions that will impact your story. This is slated to be out for October sometime, so be on the lookout!

Stephen and Caitlyn will be attending Scarefest in Lexington KY this month with the Henlo Press to discuss their books. Be sure to check them out if you happen to be there.

In this episode, guest host Meghan Sexton-Harness interviews Marshall University professor, Dr. Cody Lumpkin about Appalachian Literature, discussing Homer Hickman’s Rocket Boys in comparison to JD Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy along with other regional works. This episode will be kicking off a series of mini podcasts exploring Appalachian Literature with Dr. Lumpkin so be sure to keep an eye out for future updates!

In this episode we interviewed Travis Reynolds, organizer for the Charcon gaming convention in Charleston WV (July 14-16, 2023), and vice president for Queen Games. We talk about board gaming, tabletop RPGs, regional gaming conventions and more. Be sure to follow Charcon on their social media or stop by their website to get more information about this year’s convention coming up mid-July at the Clay Center in Charleston WV.

You can also check out Queen Games online to see some of the games we discuss during the podcast, including Escape: the Curse of the Temple and Marrakesh from the Stefan Feld City Collection.

In this episode we interviewed local zine creator and author, Elliot Stewart of Porch Beer Zine and Porch Beers Press.

Elliot is a native of WV, and has been writing and publishing Porch Beers Zine for several years, and has recently begun publishing zines for others. During this episode we talk a bit about the background and history of “zines” which are self published magazines, as well as themes common in Elliot’s writing as well as topics like Appalachian culture, wrestling, food (regional hot dogs in particular), and upcoming events like Loud & Proud and the WV Book Festival both of which Porch Beers Press will be present.

You can pick up copies of Porch Beers Zine locally in WV at the Red Caboose in Huntington, Booktenders in Barboursville, and Taylor Books in Charleston, or you can order them online through Elliot’s Etsy page.

In this episode we meet up with the team from the South Charleston Public Library’s Reel Opposites. Join us as we discuss movies, MiniCon (coming up May 6th), and libraries with Josh, Aaron and Tobey. Be sure to check out their podcast on all major podcasting platforms, or follow them on Facebook or YouTube.

Real Opposites’ Facebook: Real Opposites


In this episode we interviewed Marshall University student, and WV author, Caitlyn Pace about her book, Mumblings: Horror Stories from West Virginia. We discuss Caitlyn’s connection with WV and how her love of folklore inspired the stories in this collection, as well as her experience working with local publisher The Henlo Press. You can follow Caitlyn for updates on her next book, a choose your own adventure style slasher horror that should be out this fall.

Buy Mumblings: Mumblings: Horror Stories From West Virginia: Pace, Caitlyn, Haun, Chandler, Taylor, Kaitlyn, Phelps, C.W.: 9798986602714: Books

Caitlyn’s Instagram: Caitlyn Pace (@caitlyn_pace02) • Instagram photos and videos

Caitlyn’s TikTok: Caitlyn Pace (@caitlyn_pace) | TikTok

In this episode we interviewed Vienna WV Indy Author, Joshua EB Smith about his current book project, Necromancer’s Bullet, his charity work with C8Cosplay and the WV Ghostbusters, his hometown con-Classic Plastics Toy Expo, and of course his upcoming visit to HerdCon March 24th & 25th 2023.

Episode 10: Drag Kings with Richard Long and Aero Space Smith

In today’s episode we interviewed local drag kings, Richard Long and Aero Space Smith about how they got started in drag, neurodiversity, drag culture and acceptance in our local community, and the lower visibility of drag kings in the drag community. We also touch on our upcoming Song Along event for HerdCon 2023. Enjoy!

Got The Beat:

Richard Long: &

Aero Space Smith:

HerdCon Song Along:

Watch on YouTube Listen on Spotify

Episode 9: Lego Mania With Anna Hughes, New Health Science Librarian At Marshall University School Of Medicine

In episode 9 we met up with the new librarian for the Marshall University Health Sciences Library located at Cabell Huntington Hospital and Marshall Un. School of Medicine, Anna Hughes. Aside from her work as a librarian, Anna is also an avid fan of Legos and has a collection of pieces on display at her office in the Health Sciences Library.  So join us as we get to know our newest librarian, and we nerd out over Legos, research and cookies.

You can also check out close ups of the Lego set Anna brought in for this video on our website, or on our social media.

Watch on YouTube Listen on Spotify Lego Images


Episode 8: MU Libraries Spring 2023 Art Exhibition with Librarian Sabrina Thomas

In episode 8 we interview Sabrina Thomas of the Marshall University Libraries about the spring art exhibition in Drinko Library, Optimism in Appalachia.  This exhibition is open to all… students, faculty, staff, community members, and is done in partnership with the Marshall University School of Art and Design.  There is no submission fee, and artists must agree to leave the artwork on exhibit for the duration of the show which ends May 5th, 2023.  You can view and download the prospectus for this exhibit at the link below.

Submissions must be dropped off at the Drinko Library on the main Marshall University campus on December 8th & 9th between the hours of 8:30am-5pm.

We will have an opening reception on Feb. 2nd at 4pm that will be open to everyone.

If you have questions, please contact Sabrina Thomas at

Later in the episode we get into Thanksgiving cooking, videogames, Star Trek, pets and more.

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Episode 7: Cherry Blossom Cosplay interview with Alexis Belt & Aurora Porter

One today’s episode we interviewed Alexis Belt and Aurora Porter, the president and vice president of the Marshall University Cherry Blossom Cosplay Club. Join us as we discuss the club, upcoming plans for HerdCon, fandoms and pop culture in general.

Watch on YouTube

Episode 6: Associate Professor Hillary Brewster discussing The Hunger Games

On this episode of the HerdCon PopCast, we met with Associate Professor Hillary Brewster of the Marshall University English Department to talk about Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games books, as well as the film adaptations. We also touch a bit on topics of horror in film and literature later in the episode.

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Episode 5: Deacon Stone (Huntington WV RCBI) and Skyler Clagg (AmeriCorps Vista RCBI / Katherine Johnson NASA IV&V Education Resource Center)

In today’s episode, we are meeting with Deacon Stone of the Huntington WV RCBI (Robert C. Byrd Institute) and Skyler Clagg AmeriCorps Vista to RCBI and the Katherine Johnson NASA IV&V Education Resource Center. We will be discussing the upcoming Makers Festival being held by RCBI on the Marshall University Huntington Campus on Nov. 4th 2022, the Makers Vault here at the Huntington RCBI, and the NASA IV&V robotics programs here in WV and how you can get involved.

You can find the websites and videos discussed and viewed in this episode at:

And you can contact our guests at:

Deacon Stone
Office: 304-781-1659
Cell: 304-690-1197
Fax: 304-781-1623

Skyler Clagg
Cell: 681-203-6939

Watch on YouTube Listen on Spotify


Episode 4: Corey Clark of Blue Falcon Board Gaming

In this episode, we interviewed Marine Corp Veteran Corey Clark about his organization, Blue Falcon Board Gaming which aims to make board gaming accessible to more people in the community by hosting game nights throughout the region. Corey’s group also promotes the use of board gaming for mental wellness and their page includes information on mental health resources.

You can learn more about Blue Falcon Board Gaming on their website,
or check out their Facebook page for the latest board gaming interviews with Corey.

Watch on YouTube Listen on Spotify


Episode 3: Gilmore Girls with Marshall University Alum Hallie Knipp

Host Heather Lauer, with guest host Meghan Sexton-Harness, and guest Hallie Knipp (Marshall University Alum) are discussing the Gilmore Girl series.

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Episode 2: Her Hope Haven, a discussion with Prof. Tijah Bumgarner and actress Lauren Ould

For this episode we interviewed Professor Tijah Bumgarner from Marshall University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and Coordinator of the Video Production Program in the College of Fine Arts and Media, along with actress Lauren Ould about their work on the pilot episode for Her Hope Haven, a comedy drama about women in recovery here in Appalachia.

You can view the trailer of Her Hope Haven on their website, From their site you can also contact them about arranging for screenings, and learn more about the cast and crew, as well as future plans for the pilot and possible series.

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Episode 1: Dr. Ben Eng (Marshall University College of Business)

This episode we met with Dr. Ben Eng of the Marshall University College of Business in Huntington, WV.

Ben is a professor of marketing and has helped lead the way in developing the new iCenter Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation.

We will be discussing Ben’s work with the iCenter, particularly with their Content Creation Studio, podcasting and pop culture in the realm of business, as well as our personal theories on Season 4 of Stranger Things and Star Wars fan theories we’ve had in the past.

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