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For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media – comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Local media is still his beat and he’s bringing his interest, curiosity, contacts and unique style to Cincinnati Public Radio and 91.7 WVXU. Contact John at johnkiese@yahoo.com.

UC professor Kelly Shannon-Henderson competes on 'Jeopardy!' Tuesday

Kelly Shannon-Henderson with "Jeopardy!" host Ken Jennings when she taped an episode earlier this year.
Courtesy Jeopardy!
Kelly Shannon-Henderson with "Jeopardy!" host Ken Jennings when she taped an episode earlier this year.

Lifelong Jeopardy! fan Kelly Shannon-Henderson gets her shot at TV fame and fortune when she competes on the popular quiz show Tuesday (7:30 p.m., WXIX-TV).

“My mom would have it on when she was making dinner. I always loved it,” said Shannon-Henderson, an associate professor of classics at the University of Cincinnati.

Shannon-Henderson, who grew up in Charlottesville, Va., joined the Classics Department in UC’s College of Arts and Sciences last year. She had previously taught at the University of Alabama, the University of Virginia, Corpus Christi College at the University of Oxford in England, and at Universität Erfurt in Erfurt, Germany.

Kelly Shannon-Henderson
Courtesy Jeopardy!

She has a bachelor's degree in the classics from the University of Virginia, and a masters of studies in Greek and Latin languages and literature from the University of Oxford's Corpus Christi College. Her research at UC focuses on Latin and Greek prose literature of the Imperial period, particularly the 1st and 2nd centuries AD.

Jeopardy! prohibits contestants from saying how they did on the show before their episode airs. She told a UC publicist that she preferred science and history topics, and that pop culture and sports were "her worst subjects."

“A lot of science questions are secretly Greek and Latin questions because the vocabulary is derived from classical languages,” says a UC media release.

Shannon-Henderson will be watching with UC Classics Department coworkers Tuesday. Her husband will be watching at their Cincinnati home with their toddler.

Former Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings hosts the episode. He's hosting the nightly syndicated show through December. Mayim Bialkik will host Celebrity Jeopardy! on ABC this fall starting 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, and take over hosting the syndicated show in January.

Jeopardy! tapes in Los Angeles on the Alex Trebek stage, named after the beloved host for 37 years, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2020 at age 80. Shannon-Henderson was a big fan of Trebek, too.

“He had a lot of gravitas as host but also was clearly kind and humane as a person,” she said.

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.