Feb 16, 2021
After studying Richard Rorty’s philosophies, John Zavodny shifted his career from university professor to president of the Maine Seacoast Mission. In this episode, John describes the work the mission does, how members of DownEast Maine communities are impacted and how you can help. John also talks about the importance of relationships to the work the Maine Seacoast mission does. From teaching quietism to community conversation, learn how to build meaningful relationships in your community in this episode.
2:38 – John talks about what the Maine Seacoast Mission does.
6:28 – Nancy and John talk about the relevance of the Sunbeam to the Maine Seacoast Mission’s brand.
8:58 – John describes his position at the mission and his work as a professor.
12:17 – John shares a story about his quietism class.
14:44 – John explains what drew him to DownEast Maine.
18:35 – John lists some of the islands the mission serves.
21:01 – John describes the health care services that are provided through the Sunbeam.
26:26 – John shares the aspect of his job that he loves the most.
31:39 – John explains how you can get involved with the Maine Seacoast Mission.
32:45 – John goes through what a day in his life is like.
35:19 – John shares some podcasts he enjoys listening to.
“Everywhere I go, if I'm wearing a Maine Seacoast mission logo, I budget extra time so that people can stop me and tell me their mission stories which I hear every day and it's so gratifying. You're right. The trust is where it all begins with the mission and we are grateful to be a trusted partner in the communities we work in.” - John Zavodny, president of the Maine Seacoast Mission
EdGE program: https://www.seacoastmission.org/what-we-do/edge/
Unity College: https://unity.edu/
Mano en Mano: https://www.manomaine.org/advocacy
Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/clear-vivid-with-alan-alda/id1400082430
Against Empathy by Paul Bloom: https://www.amazon.com/Against-Empathy-Case-Rational-Compassion/dp/0062339338
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About the guest:
After earning his PhD in philosophy at the University of Tennessee, John Zavodny spent the next twenty years in higher education. In 2019, he joined the Maine Seacoast Mission as president. John grew up in Cleveland Ohio, the youngest son of a sharecropper’s daughter from the deep South and a first-generation American from eastern Europe.
The son of a U.S. Navy sailor, Zavodny is proud to now be a small part of the Maine Seacoast Mission’s seagoing history. He is the first member of his family to complete college and understands first-hand the transformative role education can play. John’s conviction that investment in place, family, and community is key to long term individual wellness guides his leadership of the Mission.
Dr. Zavodny’s PhD work focused on the ironist pragmatism of American philosopher Richard Rorty, who famously encouraged philosophers to give up academic pursuits and apply their rigorous intellectual training to matters of social edification. In that spirit, Zavodny evolved from a college professor to a systems-thinking leader – first within higher education and now as president of the Maine Seacoast Mission.
John and his wife Anna live in Ellsworth, Maine. In their spare time, they enjoy gardening and home improvement projects; playing music; and hiking and cross-country skiing in beautiful Maine.
Looking to connect: