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  • Writer's pictureJohn Lim

MF 190 : Dr. Lucille Burbank on Moving Forward with Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

Updated: Jun 17, 2022

Moving Forward is also available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Amazon Music.

Dr. Lucille Burbank is a best-selling author and educational media consultant who has worked with Sesame Street and Mister Rogers Neighborhood. On this special episode of Moving Forward, Dr. Burbank will share some great stories about Mister Rogers and how he continues to inspire us all to move forward.

Successes at a glance:

  1. Educational Media Consultant who has worked with NASA, Sesame Street and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

  2. Best-selling author:

  3. The Inside Secrets of Sesame Street

  4. Secrets from Sesame Street’s Pioneers

Lucille’s story:

Lucille started out studying early childhood education with the intent of becoming a teacher. Along the way, she was influenced by a professor who taught children’s literature and had Lucille read aloud, acting out stories as part of her assignments. It turned out, this professor was also the head of radio and television department at the college. She suggested that Lucille explore radio and TV where she got to play a variety of roles. This led Lucille to change directions to educational media where she did work for various organizations including NASA. Lucille eventually went back to school for her doctorate where another professor gave her a big “aha moment” when he suggested that she go work for Sesame Street. Lucille started with a summer internship, making the long daily commute from NJ to NYC. She wrote her dissertation, focusing on the three pivotal shows: Captain Kangaroo, Sesame Street, and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Lucille got to meet and interview all of the on-air talent and behind the scenes people who worked on the shows.

Biggest takeaway working with Sesame Street:

Lucille did her homework. Before approaching Sesame Street, she researched the program and found areas where they needed help behind the scenes such as keeping records and bibliographies. By the time she went to visit the show, she was able to present herself as someone who could help in those areas.

What was Mister Rogers really like:

“What you see on television is what you get.” Mister Rogers’ persona was as welcoming and warm in person as portrayed on TV. According to Lucille, he had a knack for gaining instant trust. This was especially true with interviews as anyone who interviewed Mister Rogers would experience his ability to get him or her to open. In that way, he was like everyone’s father and therapist. Truly, a remarkable individual.

How has the landscape changed for educational media consulting and children’s television:

Interestingly, Lucille notes a shift: whereas in past decades children’s television was a career destination for many young people studying media, today that has shifted more towards adult-oriented programming. Concurrently, graduate programs in media aren’t steering students towards careers in children’s television. Thus, Lucille is taking it upon herself to inspire students to see this as a fulfilling and rewarding career path.

Social media provides another tool for higher engagement to cultivate a love of learning in kids coming of age today.

Is Mister Rogers still relevant today?

  1. The Lessons You Learn When You’re Raised on Mister Rogers

  2. Why Mister Rogers Was More Than Just Puppets, Shoes, and Sweaters

Support the Podcast:

  1. The Corporate Cliches Adult Coloring Book: makes the perfect stocking stuffer or white elephant gift.

  2. Try out Audible (affiliate link).

  3. Try out Amazon Prime (affiliate link).


  1. Dr. Lucille Burbank’s books:

  2. The Inside Secrets of Sesame Street

  3. Secrets from Sesame Street’s Pioneers

  4. iBooks version

  5. Won’t You Be My Neighbor:

  6. Blu-ray

  7. DVD

  8. Digital

What’s next for Lucille:

Having fun! Spreading joy!

Parting wisdom:

“The reason why these shows were so successful is that everyone loves their work. They can’t wait to get to work and everything else … If you’re going to a job that you don’t like, that isn’t making you jump out of bed in the morning and isn’t fulfilling your soul, then please … persevere, change jobs because you owe it to yourself to have every day be the happiest day of your life and for you to feel fulfilled in what you’re doing.”

Connect with Lucille:

  1. Dr. Lucille Burbank

  2. Facebook

  3. Twitter

  4. LinkedIn

  5. Dr. Lucille Burbank’s books:

  6. The Inside Secrets of Sesame Street

  7. Secrets from Sesame Street’s Pioneers

  8. iBooks version

  9. Won’t You Be My Neighbor:

  10. Blu-ray

  11. DVD

  12. Digital

#movingforward #wwwdrlucilleburbankcom #MFPodcast #podcast #MisterRogers #DrLucilleBurbank #misterrogersneighborhood #sesamestreet

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