Meredith “Mamie” Shepherd is the full-time programming manager for Seacrest Studios at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. She runs the studio, music selection and programming and comes up with quirky questions for patients to ask celebrities.
College and major:
I studied Digital and Broadcast Journalism at the esteemed Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. GO DAWGS!
Favorite music genre, artist:
Some of my favorite music is the music I hear our patients create! Those songs are always so sincere— music of the heart.
How did you get the nickname “Mamie?”
I actually got this nickname quite by accident as a child. My real name is Meredith. I was trying to say Meredith and “me” at the same time and Mamie is how it rolled out. It’s quirky for sure, but I like it!
How did you become interested in journalism/broadcast music?
I love to tell stories, and I love to write. I always wanted to pursue a career in broadcasting. When I was little, I used to pretend to give the weather report on family vacations.
You started your career with Seacrest Studios as an intern for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta—what led you to that position?
The Ryan Seacrest Foundation made a presentation at the University of Georgia and that is how I first got involved. Seacrest Studios married all of the things I was interested in—TV, radio and the chance to work with children in the hospital. My brother spent time in a children’s hospital when he was young, so there has always been a special place in my heart for this environment. Love abides here.
What about working in Seacrest Studios made you want to do it as a full-time career after college?
I was able to see broadcasting, the power of our words and entertainment contribute to the healing process in Seacrest Studios. We all want our lives to count for something bigger than we are, and I am constantly humbled and amazed in this position.
Why are Seacrest Studios important for children in the hospital?
Sometimes, we cannot find the voice inside of us. It can get lost behind an illness we are battling, a diagnosis we have been given or an injury we are struggling with. Seacrest Studios allows children to find their voice again—the one that sings openly with joy. That is something that is indescribable.
What’s your favorite part about working in the studio with patients?
I am really lucky because, in this job, the rewards take place before my very eyes. When a child has a great moment in Seacrest Studios, the reaction is immediate. To see that, or to have a parent stop me and tell me that this studio has encouraged their child—that is my favorite part, hands down.
What kind of activities/events will the studio have for patients?
The possibilities are endless for this studio. Zoo visits, pet therapy dog shows, virtual field trips, science shows, live music performances, story time, bingo, game shows, celebrity visits, visits from athletes and beauty queens, and Lip Sync Battles. The list goes on and on! Stay tuned—the fun is just beginning!
Who are some of the celebrities who have visited the studios you’ve worked in?
There have been so many generous souls in the entertainment business who have volunteered their time at Seacrest Studios. Everyone from Usher, Michael Buble, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Dustin Lynch, Jerrod Niemann, Sheryl Crow, Nick Jonas, Andy Grammer, Rachel Platten, Kellie Pickler, John Legend, Ryan Lochte—and who could forget our opening day in Nashville with Taylor Swift?!
Do you have hobbies outside the studio?
Yes! I can never get enough live music, time with my family, or football games with my beloved Dawgs during football season! Oh, and I love to shop!