Jackie Orchard | WAMC

Jackie Orchard

Host, News Reporter, Producer

Jackie is host of the national radio show 51% which focuses on women's rights and female empowerment. She is also a reporter in the newsroom at WAMC and produces Vox Pop, a daily, live call-in talk show. Jackie is a former Active Duty U.S. Army Officer, she was a Company Commander and Platoon Leader in Alaska before becoming a journalist.

Jackie Orchard walked at graduation May 2021, receiving her bachelor's in journalism from UAlbany.
Matthew Burton

On today’s 51%, for graduation season, we celebrate non-traditional students who returned for their degree later in life. And we’ll hear a first-hand experience of walking across the graduation stage: mine.

Fallan Jacobs (left) and Wakerakatste AKA "Mama Bear."
Jackie Orchard

On today’s 51%, we visit the Akwesasne Nation near the U.S. – Canada border to learn about indigenous women leaders.

Film archivist Audrey Kupferberg says a black line can be seen at the edge of film, this is the audio.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

On today’s 51%, we explore the world of film with archivist Audrey Kupferberg.

Kelly Diane Galloway after walking 607 miles from Virginia to Albany, NY.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

For almost two months, one woman walked 902 miles to raise awareness about human trafficking. She stopped in Albany last week before finishing the trek June 19th.

Common Councilmember Richard Conti moments after Mayor Kathy Sheehan announced the annual event will now be named the “Richard Conti Pride Flag Raising Day.”
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

June kicked off with the annual Pride Flag Raising event at Albany City Hall today – and a longtime local leader was honored as part of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month.

Melissa Bromley is the Development Director at The Sanctuary for Independent Media. She gave Jackie Orchard a tour of Collard City Garden in Troy, New York in May 2021.
Jackie Orchard

On today’s 51%, we explore the role of community gardens in urban areas. And we’ll meet some of the scientists who are purifying the soils the gardens grow in.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Police Chief Eric Hawkins speak with reporters May 25, 2021 at City Hall.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Albany’s mayor and police chief are urging an end to a recent uptick in gun violence in the city. Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Police Chief Eric Hawkins spoke with reporters Tuesday morning after police said a 15-year-old girl shot Monday night on Wilbur Street had died.

On today’s 51%, we speak with Miss New York USA about how beauty pageants can lift up young women. And we’ll hear from Miss Wisconsin Earth about how she’s representing plus size women on the stage in a time of changing attitudes about pageants.

31-year-old Sheriff Deputy Nikki Voegler and her K-9 Neeka.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

On today’s 51%, I ride along on-shift with a County Sheriff’s Deputy and her K-9. And we’ll speak with a female FBI agent who tells us what not to believe on TV.



A Sheriff k-9 is tracking me.

Specifically, a 2-year-old German shepherd named Neeka who, although allowing me to throw her toy over and over, could rip me apart in seconds.

Alyssa Arcaya, acting chief of Drinking Water and Municipal in the infrastructure branch of the EPA.
Screenshot by Jackie Orchard / WAMC

The Rockland County legislature and a representative of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency held a virtual panel Wednesday amid concerns over the level of PFAS contamination in the county’s drinking water.

Terrence Cheng
Screenshot by Jackie Orchard / WAMC

The Connecticut State Colleges and University system has picked Terrence Cheng as its next president. The state Board of Regents for Higher Education on Friday unanimously approved Cheng for the post at an annual salary of $360,000.

Joann Hopkins, a registered nurse in the in-patient psychiatric unit at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, setting up a tea party for her patients.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

On today’s 51%, I visit a psychiatric ward in Cleveland to learn how one nurse reaches her patients with tea parties. And we’ll hear from one physician assistant who is trying to educate other healthcare professionals about racial and gender equity.

Attorney Gloria Allred showing a photo of NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo kissing Sherry Vill without her permission.
Screenshot of press conference by Jackie Orchard / WAMC

On today’s 51%, I speak with long-time women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred about the allegations of sexual misconduct against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and pick her brain about what it means to be a feminist. And we’ll hear from New York State Senator Alessandra Biaggi about her own experiences with the governor.

Center for Law and Justice Executive Director Dr. Alice Green
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Civil rights leaders in Albany are calling for changes following the forced removal of protestors outside a city police station last week. 

Father Bob Longobucco of St. Kateri’s Catholic Church in Niskayuna gives communion to masked parishioners during a socially distanced service.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed an unprecedented challenge for religious leaders, forcing most services to go remote and fragmenting once tight-knit communities. The logistics may have been a challenge, but their faith is stronger than ever.

Environmental activist Joe Ritchie was born and raised in what he calls “the shadow of the Norlite plant” in the Saratoga Sites public housing neighborhood in Cohoes
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Capital Region residents are suing the Norlite facility in Cohoes and its parent company, alleging hazardous dust is settling in their neighborhoods.

Photos and collage by Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Like back in 2020, it’s anything but a normal St. Patrick’s Day this year. With Albany’s parade canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic for a second straight year, WAMC’s Jackie Orchard reports the holiday might serve as a way to reflect on the immigrant story and what it means to conquer hardship.

Tennis has boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Physical Activity Council, more than 21 million Americans picked up a racquet over the past year, up more than a fifth. As WAMC’s Jackie Orchard found out, some of those newcomers are military veterans, finding solace during a dark New York winter.

WAMC's Jackie Orchard speaking with Tom Merritt, creator of the MLB Trivia Challenge game, at Shamrock Tavern in Cornwall-On-Hudson, NY.
Matthew Burton

If you’ve ever played the MLB Trivia Challenge board game, you may have wondered, “Where did all of these statistical questions come from?” They were created long before Google, and the game itself is the result of one upstate New York man’s life’s work.

Tyson Davis is a 20-year-old Black composer
Photos provided by Tyson Davis / Composite image made my Jackie Orchard / WAMC

The classical music world often focuses on long dead masters, who tend to be white and European. But one composer who is not even old enough to legally drink alcohol is trying to change that. He started over the weekend with the Albany Symphony.

Kierra Allen visits Shanita Thomas’ vigil on Central Avenue in Albany, NY every day. She is pictured here with her son.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Albany Police continue to investigate a shooting last weekend that killed a pregnant woman and injured four others. 32-year-old Shanita Thomas was killed in the 200 block of Central Avenue in the latest gun homicide to rock the city. In recent days, a vigil has sprung up near the site of the shooting.

Speaking in front of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. statue in Albany’s Lincoln Park, Democrat Beroro Efekoro of the 7th district says he would not be allowed to hold public office if it weren’t for MLK.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Albany County officials marked Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a wreath-laying Monday morning.

(left) Bob Caprara, owner of Caprara’s Auto Body Shop in Troy, New York (right) Author Dennis Mahoney spoke outside his home in Troy
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

After Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol yesterday, resulting in four deaths and several injuries, Congress reconvened and cemented Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential race. WAMC took to the streets today to speak with residents across the Northeast about how the events unfolded.

The Bactrian Camel has the ability to close its nostrils completely, explaining why it isn't worried in the slightest about the COVID-19 virus.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

COVID-19 has taken a toll on businesses across the country. As WAMC’s Jackie Orchard found out, zoos are having a wild ride during the pandemic as well.

Zoom call interview with WAMC's Jackie Orchard, her brother in law Trong Nguyen, her sister Alexandra Nguyen, her nephew Fynn Thau Nguyen, and her grandparents in law Thau and Hai Nguyen.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

In many parts of the United States, multi-generational households are a thing of the past. As young professionals move out and move away, parents and grandparents are often left behind. In part seven of our special series on aging, WAMC’s Jackie Orchard learns about the importance of grandparents in one culture.

Many small businesses are hanging by a thread as they wait for another round of federal stimulus money, hoping to keep remaining employees on payroll and pivot to online sales amid further COVID-19 restrictions. But there are resources to help businesses stay afloat.

WAMC's Jackie Orchard interviewing Officer Devin Anderson on a Friday night ride-along.
Officer Steve Smith / APD

Following the May death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis Police custody – Albany experienced a slew of protests and riots, New York repealed a law that restricted access to police disciplinary records and a statewide mandate to reimagine policing was instituted. To learn how these events have impacted policing in New York’s capital city, I rode along with an Albany Police lieutenant and spoke with a local Black rights activist.

Albany County Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen
Albany County / via YouTube

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy has warned that the percentage of residents testing positive for COVID-19 over a seven-day average has surpassed 3 percent, nearing the threshold where New York state imposes tighter restrictions. WAMC’s Jackie Orchard spoke with Albany County Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen about Thanksgiving, which is expected to cause a large spike in cases.

75 foot tall Norway spruce tree before Rockefeller Center cut it down.
Courtesy of Daddy Al's General Store in Oneonta, NY

This year, a world famous holiday sight has its roots in Oneonta, New York.

NASA astronauts Victor Glover, front left, Mike Hopkins, front right, Shannon Walker, back left, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi, back right, wearing SpaceX spacesuits, are seen as they walk out of the Neil A. Armstr
Joel Kowsky / NASA

Four NASA astronauts are blasting off in the SPACEX Crew Dragon spacecraft tonight, if all things go according to plan.