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Roadtrip Nation

ROADTRIP NATION follows a group of roadtrippers as they traverse the United States and meet fascinating leaders who share stories of following their passions and realizing their dreams.

Roadtrip Nation  
  • Breaking Out of the Comfort Zone
    Monday, November 12
    6:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    Joined by the common desire to get out of their comfort zones, a new team of Roadtrippers embarks on a cross-country journey to interview innovative Leaders who can provide insight on building a fulfilling life. Roadtripper Jackie has just earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry at the University of Texas, and left her home in Mexico to do so. With her family's high hopes hinging on her success, she seeks to find a balance between her academic demands and outside interests. Recent-grad Megan has always wanted to become a teacher, but feels she must break out of her insulated surroundings to determine whether that dream is still right for her. Zachariah, an animated student at Ohio State, seeks to channel his many interests into one concrete path. After meeting each other (and their 36-foot home-on-wheels), the crew hits the beach to interview Dr. Graeme Rae, the Chief Scientist for Surfline.com, who discusses leaving the world of academia to help surfers score waves.
  • Embracing Change
    Monday, November 19
    6:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    After settling into life on the Road (which includes dumping septic tanks and sleeping 3 feet away from each other), the team heads towards Hollywood. There, they meet Dr. Valerie Weiss, a film director who went through the trouble of getting a Ph.D in Biophysics so she could determine whether she really wanted to pursue science or filmmaking. Valerie's decision to set aside her Ph.D shows the Roadtrippers that it's never too late to alter your course. Later, the team heads to Facebook headquarters to meet with Delfina Eberly, the Director of Data Operations, who, as a confident Hispanic woman overseeing a mostly-male staff, inspires Jackie. Later, the team takes a zip-line adventure through Redwoods guided by Suzy Clark, the Director of the Mount Hermon Outdoor Science School. Suzy recounts the many jobs she's had, and allays the team's quarter-life anxiety by telling them that they don't need to know exactly where they're going in life.
  • Thursday, November 22
    11:30 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    Meet Antoine, Hannah, and Nika of team Crazy, Babbling, Sunshine. Antoine has never left Southern California, but feels that he's ready to get out and explore. Hannah left her job as a weather broadcaster in South Korea to move back to the U.S. to figure out what she really wants to do with her life; while Nika grapples with whether she should transfer to a performing arts school or do what is expected of her. After the Roadtrippers meet for the first time in Southern California, they head to their first interview in the Green RV with LiNK (Liberty in North Korea) president Hannah Song who tells them to "tap into their inner passions." After their conversation, the team is inspired and ready to take on their next interview in Los Angeles.
  • The Power of Serendipity
    Monday, November 26
    6:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    Outside of San Francisco, the team arrives at the Jelly Belly factory to meet with Elise Benstein, a food scientist who develops new Jelly Belly flavors. Elise encourages the Roadtrippers to be open to unplanned opportunity; after all, she never would have thought her job would consist of making Root Beer-flavored candy, but she loves it. From California, the crew winds east to Arizona, where they meet with Deon Clark, a nuclear engineer. Deon joined the navy as a teenager to escape the drugs and violence of his neighborhood, and stresses the importance of rejecting peer pressure. Moving onto New Mexico, the team meets two-time Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist Paul Salopek, whose non-linear life experiences teach the Roadtrippers to embrace serendipity.
  • Thursday, November 29
    11:30 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    In Los Angeles, Calif., the Roadtrippers make their way to Amoeba Music, one of the largest indie record stores in the U.S., to meet co-owner Karen Pearson. Next, the team speaks with Joe Rogan, a stand-up comedian, who tells them to do what you do because you love it, not for money. Just as the Roadtrippers are leaving their interview, they snag an impromptu and unexpectedly musical interview with actor Craig Robinson. Playing the piano and in a sing-songy voice, the actor of the The Office empowers Nika to not be afraid to pursue her dream as a performing artist.
  • Don't Feel Trapped
    Monday, December 3
    6:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    In Texas, the Roadtrippers head to the Texas Instruments headquarters to meet Process Integration Engineer Byron Williams. Byron shares his struggle with self-doubt that almost stopped him from pursuing a career in science, and encourages the Roadtrippers to re-frame challenge as a motivator. Later, the crew heads to the ATT Foundry to speak with Senior Marketing Manager Tracy Parrish. Tracy discusses her switch from engineering to teaching, and helps Megan overcome her anxiety about teaching STEM subjects. The team ends the week at the National Space Biomedical Research Facility in Houston. There, Deputy Chief Scientist Dorit Donoviel discusses the courage it took to leave a comfortable job and try a new field. She encourages the team to never be afraid of venturing in new directions if they start to feel stagnant.
  • Thursday, December 6
    11:30 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    After arriving in Las Vegas, Nev., the Roadtrippers meet up with Rex Doty, a toy maker that creates toys for children in need, who inspires the team through his passion for giving. Next, the team heads to the restaurant Rick Moonen's rm Seafood to speak with none other than its charismatic chef and owner, Rick Moonen. Afterward, the team gets back on the road where-after taking in the picturesque scenery at the Grand Canyon-they head to Phoenix, Ariz., to speak with Larry Colbert, a blind motivational speaker and author. The Roadtrippers hear Larry's moving story of overcoming obstacles to do what made him happy, despite others not believing in him.
  • No More What If's
    Monday, December 10
    6:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    Leaving Houston, the team takes a brief hiatus from interviews with a 2-day drive to Chicago that allows them to reflect on the experience thus far. Once in the Windy City, they find themselves speaking with Zach Kaplan, the CEO and Co-founder of Inventables, a company that connects product developers with novel materials. Zach recounts the many rejections he's been dealt over the years, emphasizing perseverance in the face of challenge. Next, the team heads to Chicagoland Skydive to meet with skydiving instructor Ward Hessig. Once a policeman on track to becoming a lawyer, Ward discusses the fortuitous turn of events that led to his shift in paths. After their chat, the Roadtrippers nervously prepare for a skydive, but are ultimately able to let go of trepidation by following Ward's advice to "push through fear and embrace the reward."
  • Thursday, December 13
    11:30 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    The Roadtrippers start out in Tempe, Ariz., where they speak with Todd McFarlane, the creator of the best-selling comic book series Spawn, and Antoine's personal hero. The team is given encouraging advice by Todd to move away from the idea that they "need to have everything now." Next, the team heads to Albuquerque, N.M., where they meet with lobbyist and co-founder of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Tom Rutherford. Afterward, as they head back on the Road, an unfortunate event happens-an unexpected mechanical issue leads the Green RV to catch fire. The Roadtrippers pull over and no one is seriously injured; but emotions are high as the stark realization sets in as to whether they'll be able to continue their journey.
  • Uncertainty Is Opportunity
    Monday, December 17
    6:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    As they enter the 5th week of their 7-week Roadtrip, the team reflects on how comfortable they've become with the unpredictable eccentricities of the Road. Megan, who is naturally wired to adhere to routine, is learning to embrace uncertainly, and this helps her cope with an influx of job rejections. In New York, the team's interview with Radiolab radio host Jad Abumrad serves to reinforce Megan's newfound acceptance of the unknown. Jad describes his unsuccessful attempts at other careers, noting that although he never thought he would get into radio, he has found it to be a surprisingly satisfying assimilation of his interests. His ability to adapt to changing circumstance teaches the Roadtrippers although they might not end up where they planned in life, their ultimate trajectory might be even better than what they expected.
  • Thursday, December 20
    11:30 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    The Roadtrippers are in Albuquerque, N.M., salvaging what they can from their burnt Green RV-the aftermath of a mechanical fire that caused the vehicle to burn down. After they decide that they want to continue their Roadtrip, a few of the Roadtrip Nation staff arrive and they're given a new Green RV named "Norm." Moving onward to Atlanta, Ga., they speak with notable portrait artist Ross R. Rossin. Next, in Chicago, Ill., they meet with entrepreneur and famed business executive Alana Ward Robinson. The Roadtrippers hear her story of struggle as an African-American female trying to make it in the burgeoning (and mainly white male) tech industry.
  • Be Well-Rounded
    Monday, December 24
    6:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    In New York City, the team meets with Mariette DiChristina, Editor-in-Chief of Scientific American, who was able to combine her interests in writing, science, and art into a meaningful career. Mariette urges the Roadtrippers to incorporate their passions into their work-even if they face criticism from others. Moving north, the Roadtrippers arrange a visit with Vicki Smith, a game designer at Vicarious Visions. Vicki shares her circuitous route to game design, explaining that she initially abandoned her own dreams in favor of following her parents' expectations. In offering advice to the Roadtrippers, she stresses the importance of being well-rounded, and educating oneself in a wide range of disciplines-even if they don't particularly interest you. That way, you have an arsenal of knowledge to inform the work you do.
  • Thursday, December 27
    11:30 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    While in Chicago, the team encounters a roadblock-the Green RV's transmission breaks. After leaving the RV at a mechanic, the Roadtrippers meet up with Food Network host and chef Gale Gand who greets them with home-baked muffins. Gale tells the team about her life of traveling, working in France, and meeting Julia Child. Afterward, the Roadtrippers meet with Alex Ross, a comic book artist who tells them about his incredible luck in his career, but stresses that anyone can do anything they want-they just have to put in the effort. Afterward, the team hears bad news: the RV won't be fixed in time for their next interviews. So, they decide to book flights to their next stop in Washington, D.C...despite that Antoine has never been on a plane before.
  • It Doesn't End Here
    Monday, December 31
    6:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    After traveling over 5,000 miles in 45 days, the Roadtrippers reach Massachusetts for the final week of their journey. There, they meet with Jeremy England, an MIT biophysicist, and Juan Enriquez, the CEO of Biotechnonomy LLC. Change is the topic of discussion with Juan, who tells the Roadtrippers to 'scare the hell' out of themselves sometimes because stagnancy is the enemy of personal growth. Moving onto the last interview of the trip, the Roadtrippers meet with Lydia Villa-Komaroff, an internationally-acclaimed molecular biologist and Chief Scientific Officer at CytonomeST. Lydia discusses the challenges of being a Mexican-American woman in a male-dominated field, and credits her passion for helping her to overcome obstacles. Afterwards, the team heads to the airport where they reflect on their personal growth and future paths before sharing one last group hug.
  • Thursday, January 3
    11:30 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    While in Washington, D.C., the Roadtrippers head over to the International Child Art Foundation's headquarters to meet with its founder, Dr. Ashfaq Ishaq. He tells them about the importance of nurturing creativity in young minds. Then the team moves on to the popular D.C.-based restaurant Busboys and Poets to speak with its owner, Andy Shallal. The Roadtrippers hear about learning from failures, and they leave feeling uplifted. From there, they fly back to Chicago to pick up the Green RV from the mechanic to hit the road to New York. In New York City, they meet with dance legend Judith Jamison and catch a performance at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Central Park.
  • Thursday, January 10
    11:30 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    It's the last week of the team's six-week Roadtrip-and also Hannah and Antoine's first time in New York City. While there, they meet up with MMA (Mixed Marital Arts) reporter Ariel Helwani who talks about his beginnings as a shy kid to becoming one of the most notable MMA sports reporters in the world. At the end of their conversation, he stresses to the team, "don't give up on your dreams." Antoine, Hannah, and Nika then move on to their last interview at the CNN headquarters where they meet with anchor Soledad O'Brien who talks about the hard work it takes to follow a dream. Afterward, the team reflects on the events of the trip and the people they met before signing the Green RV and saying their goodbyes.
  • Thursday, January 17
    11:30 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    Meet team Here, There, Everywhere-Denise, Carolyn, and Sarah-and follow their six-week cross-country journey as they search to learn more about themselves and their futures. Denise, a hair stylist, wants to break out and explore what the world has to offer. Carolyn left her steady job at an advertising agency to find out how she can use her skills for more humanitarian causes, while Sarah, who wants to do something creative, is still learning to not let fear hold her back from trying new things. Traveling to San Francisco, Calif., the team meets Jesse Jacobs, owner of Samovar Tea Lounge, and then hears powerful words from poets at Youth Speaks who encourage them to listen to their hearts.
  • Thursday, January 24
    11:30 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    While in Seattle, Wash., the team connects with Miss Indigo Blue, a renowned burlesque instructor and performer, and discovers why she decided to take up the bold art form. Her story particularly intrigues Carolyn who finds Miss Indigo Blue's confidence and fearlessness desirable. In Santa Fe, N.M., the Roadtrippers link up with Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons, co-founders of Bioneers, an organization that brings scientific innovators together to promote social and environmental change. Their story of risk-taking resonates with Sarah who realizes that maybe she "doesn't have to play it so safe."
  • Thursday, January 31
    11:30 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    At the University of Oklahoma, the team meets Mike Biggerstaff, a professor of meteorology, where they learn what it is about weather that lights him up. Moving on to Houston, Texas, they visit Jennifer Arnold, a 3-foot, 2-inch-tall doctor and star of the reality series, The Little Couple, where they hear her story of overcoming personal obstacles to realize her dreams. Finally, in New Orleans, La., the team talks with Charline Gipson, a corporate lawyer, and discovers what 'success' means to her and the steps she took to achieve it. Charline's story of taking her own path despite others' disapproval inspires Denise who realizes she can do the same in life.

 

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  • Build The Future
    Thursday, October 18
    11:30 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    The road-trippers end their journey in San Francisco, where they meet Debbie Sterling and hear about the experiences that sparked her company, GoldieBlox, which makes engineering toys for girls. Last up, MythBusters' Kari Byron talks about experimentation, curiosity, being brave, and doing things you didn't think you could do; but her most important work is being a role model for young girls.
  • Many Paths
    Thursday, October 11
    11:30 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    As the road-trippers head south, they visit NASA's largest rocket engine test facility and meet two women who are launching America into space and proving that there isn't just one path to success. Then, with former MIT Media Lab professor Leah Buechley, the team sees how merging your interests can create something amazing, and inspire more girls to pursue STEM and create amazing things, too.
  • Monday, October 8
    6:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    At the University of Oklahoma, the team meets Mike Biggerstaff, a professor of meteorology, where they learn what it is about weather that lights him up. Moving on to Houston, Texas, they visit Jennifer Arnold, a 3-foot, 2-inch-tall doctor and star of the reality series, The Little Couple, where they hear her story of overcoming personal obstacles to realize her dreams. Finally, in New Orleans, La., the team talks with Charline Gipson, a corporate lawyer, and discovers what 'success' means to her and the steps she took to achieve it. Charline's story of taking her own path despite others' disapproval inspires Denise who realizes she can do the same in life.
  • Get Out There
    Thursday, October 4
    11:30 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    In NYC, the road-trippers meet the mechanical engineer who's pushing touch technology into the future. Katherine Kuchenbecker is working on haptic technologies that will shape medicine, commerce, and more. Next up, artist and activist Zaria Forman talks about the transformative power of travel, and entrepreneur Jewel Burks tells her gutsy story of building a company from the ground up.
  • Monday, October 1
    6:01 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    While in Seattle, Wash., the team connects with Miss Indigo Blue, a renowned burlesque instructor and performer, and discovers why she decided to take up the bold art form. Her story particularly intrigues Carolyn who finds Miss Indigo Blue's confidence and fearlessness desirable. In Santa Fe, N.M., the Roadtrippers link up with Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons, co-founders of Bioneers, an organization that brings scientific innovators together to promote social and environmental change. Their story of risk-taking resonates with Sarah who realizes that maybe she "doesn't have to play it so safe."
  • Find Your Voice
    Thursday, September 27
    11:30 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    A new road trip begins! Road-trippers Ariel, Elicia, and Regina set off in the green RV to meet inspiring women in STEM who've forged their own paths. In Boston, they hear why Harvard professor Evelynn Hammonds went from physics to the history of science, and artist Janet Echelman, whose awe-inspiring sculptures sway above cities across the world, shares the importance of finding your own voice.
  • Monday, September 24
    6:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    Meet team Here, There, Everywhere-Denise, Carolyn, and Sarah-and follow their six-week cross-country journey as they search to learn more about themselves and their futures. Denise, a hair stylist, wants to break out and explore what the world has to offer. Carolyn left her steady job at an advertising agency to find out how she can use her skills for more humanitarian causes, while Sarah, who wants to do something creative, is still learning to not let fear hold her back from trying new things. Traveling to San Francisco, Calif., the team meets Jesse Jacobs, owner of Samovar Tea Lounge, and then hears powerful words from poets at Youth Speaks who encourage them to listen to their hearts.
  • The Door's Wide Open
    Thursday, September 20
    11:30 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    The final week of the trip begins in New York, where the team sits down with the co-founders of New York on Tech, an organization providing tech-based training to low-income students in Brooklyn. The last leg of the journey takes the Green RV to Boston, Natalie's hometown. After conducting their final interview at MIT, the team reflects on the friendships and lessons they'll take home with them.
  • Monday, September 17
    6:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    It's the last week of the team's six-week Roadtrip-and also Hannah and Antoine's first time in New York City. While there, they meet up with MMA (Mixed Marital Arts) reporter Ariel Helwani who talks about his beginnings as a shy kid to becoming one of the most notable MMA sports reporters in the world. At the end of their conversation, he stresses to the team, "don't give up on your dreams." Antoine, Hannah, and Nika then move on to their last interview at the CNN headquarters where they meet with anchor Soledad O'Brien who talks about the hard work it takes to follow a dream. Afterward, the team reflects on the events of the trip and the people they met before signing the Green RV and saying their goodbyes.
  • Get The Ball Rolling
    Thursday, September 13
    11:30 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    The road-trippers take a much-needed meditative break in Yosemite National Park before continuing on to DEF CON, a Las Vegas conference that dispels some of their misconceptions about "hackers." Then it's off to Denver, where the team lets loose at Sphero, a robotics company that puts an emphasis on fun. In Chicago, 3D printer Dima Elissa encourages the team to embrace their unique identities.
  • Monday, September 10
    6:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    While in Washington, D.C., the Roadtrippers head over to the International Child Art Foundation's headquarters to meet with its founder, Dr. Ashfaq Ishaq. He tells them about the importance of nurturing creativity in young minds. Then the team moves on to the popular D.C.-based restaurant Busboys and Poets to speak with its owner, Andy Shallal. The Roadtrippers hear about learning from failures, and they leave feeling uplifted. From there, they fly back to Chicago to pick up the Green RV from the mechanic to hit the road to New York. In New York City, they meet with dance legend Judith Jamison and catch a performance at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Central Park.
  • Breaking Down Barriers
    Thursday, September 6
    11:30 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    The team starts to bond as they drive the Green RV into the heart of Silicon Valley, a major hub for innovation in technology. While there, they talk to Phillip Loya of CODE2040 and Laura Gomez of Atipica about using computer science to advance each of their respective communities. They also visit Netflix HQ, where Sabry Tozin, a first-generation Congolese immigrant, tells them, "Don't fit in."
  • Monday, September 3
    6:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    While in Chicago, the team encounters a roadblock-the Green RV's transmission breaks. After leaving the RV at a mechanic, the Roadtrippers meet up with Food Network host and chef Gale Gand who greets them with home-baked muffins. Gale tells the team about her life of traveling, working in France, and meeting Julia Child. Afterward, the Roadtrippers meet with Alex Ross, a comic book artist who tells them about his incredible luck in his career, but stresses that anyone can do anything they want-they just have to put in the effort. Afterward, the team hears bad news: the RV won't be fixed in time for their next interviews. So, they decide to book flights to their next stop in Washington, D.C...despite that Antoine has never been on a plane before.