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NPR Music Taps Tri-C Department Head Lauren Onkey

Hugo Rojo

The dean of Cuyahoga County Community College’s Department of Humanities is beginning a new job this month as head of NPR Music.

Lauren Onkey, the dean of Cuyahoga Community College’s Department of Humanities, is taking over as head of NPR Music this month. She will oversee the division’s on-air and online programming.

Before coming to Tri-C in 2015, Onkey was vice president of education and public programs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for seven years.

“Throughout my career, I’ve been very interested in how (to) create and sustain spaces for public dialogue around the arts, especially music and literature. So I’ve done that in a lot of different venues. And to be able to do that for NPR is really the pinnacle in many ways.”

Onkey said she’s excited for the challenge of heading a major music network and wants to continue to build on the success of segments like First Listen and the Tiny Desk Concert series.

“How do we create those spaces where people can really let loose their passion for music and share a lot of what they know with others and probably learn a little bit along the way?”

Accepting her new position means moving from Northeast Ohio to Washington D.C.

Onkey says she’ll miss the area’s musical vibrancy and the collaboration between the arts, education and philanthropy.

This story has been updated with the full interview with Lauren Onkey.

Correction:  This story originally said Onkey would oversee the network's on-air and online programming.

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Mark has been a host, reporter and producer at several NPR member stations in Delaware, Alaska, Washington and Kansas. His reporting has taken him everywhere from remote islands in the Bering Sea to the tops of skyscrapers overlooking Puget Sound. He is a diehard college basketball fan who enjoys taking walks with his dog, Otis.