Mary Ellen Pitney

Local Producer and Host of Morning Edition

Mary Ellen Pitney is the local producer and host of Morning Edition, airing 5am-9am weekdays on 90.5 FM WKAR.

Mary Ellen joined WKAR in June 2019.

Mary Ellen comes to WKAR after three years as Weekend Edition host at Northwest Public Broadcasting in Pullman, Washington. She is a graduate of Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

Ways to Connect

Isabel Garcia / Dreams By Bella Photography

Over the past year, WKAR has been making some changes to our newsroom. Our most recent team addition is Michelle Jokisch Polo. Michelle comes to us from WGVU in Grand Rapids and has been reporting for the Michigan Public Radio Network. She joined Morning Edition Host and Producer Mary Ellen Pitney to talk about her personal experience, her philosophy on public radio and to have a laugh.


copyright 2019 Thomas R. Gennara.

Researchers at Michigan State University are studying the brain body connection in animals like the octopus, and that research could be used to help develop better prosthetic technology.

Dr Galit Pelled is the director of the Neuroengineering Division at MSU’s Institute for Quantitative Health Sciences and Engineering and spoke with WKAR's Mary Ellen Pitney about her research.


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As Michigan begins to reopen parts of the state in response to the coronavirus, the pandemic is still upending business as usual. One place expecting to see back logs of cases due to the pandemic is Michigan’s parole board. There’s also concerns about recidivism and access to resources. To learn more WKAR Morning Edition Host Mary Ellen Pitney spoke with Chris Gautz, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Corrections. 


National Institutes of Health

Sparrow Health System recently launched a drive-through coronavirus testing program at the former Sears site in Lansing's Frandor Shopping Center. People can get tested for either the virus, or for COVID-19 antibodies. People with coronavirus antibodies have been looked at as a source for plasma, which may be used to help fight the disease.

To learn more, WKAR’s Mary Ellen Pitney spoke with Dr. Jim Richard, Medical Director at Sparrow Laboratories.


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The coronavirus pandemic has tanked national and local economies. Many families are struggling to keep their heads above water. The financial fallout of this global health crisis will likely be felt for months and years to come

WKAR's Mary Ellen Pitney spoke with Denise Keiser of Balance, a financial wellness organization in Lansing, to discuss what people can do to keep themselves financial healthy during this time.


Courtesy / MSU Extension

There are shortages of personal protective equipment across the country as healthcare workers everywhere try to combat the coronavirus, and Michigan is no exception. Cases have surged in the state.

The N95 mask is the CDC recommended mask to protect against the coronavirus, but they are in short supply. Michigan State University is exploring ways to make these masks reusable. Morning Edition Host Mary Ellen Pitney spoke with Dr. Jeff Dwyer from MSU Extension about the project.


Mary Ellen Pitney interviews Elisabeth Anderson from the Center for Research on Ingredient Safety at Michigan State University about how to keep clean and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Elizabeth Anderson is the Director of Science Communication for the Center for Research on Ingredient Safety at Michigan State University. She joined Mary Ellen Pitney to discuss what products to use to help prevent the spred of the coronavirus. She also shares how to safely use bleach solutions and talks about what misconceptions are swirling around about coronavirus prevention.

Pi, Salia and Ginsberg, Poetry Out Loud, and "The Journey of Harriet Tubman". Join Mary Ellen Pitney and Jamie Paisley as they showcase events happening in Michigan. 


Julius Cesar, Metal Madness, ARTpath, and the Mason Symphony and Philharmonic. Join Jaime Paisley and Kevin Lavery as they talk about events coming up this week in Michigan.


Amanda Pinckney / WKAR-MSU

The sixth season of the Emmy Award winning WKAR-TV kid’s science show Curious Crew premieres Monday. The program explores ways of making science fun by taking a hands on approach to investigating principles of science, technology, engineering, and math also known as STEM. WKAR's Mary Ellen Pitney spoke with the show’s host Dr. Rob Stephenson, as well as senior producer Carol Yancho, and crew member Genesis.

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