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STEMS and Leaves

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A show exploring intersectional stories in STEM and how our identities shape our work. Together we discover how queer, POC, and other identities shape the work we do in STEM - the challenges, the triumphs, and everything in between.
17 Episodes
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Columbus Ohio is all too typical of the physical imprint of racism on urban spaces. Redlining, urban highways, white flite, prohibitive zoning... All of these things and more have manifested in the economic and racial segregation that plagues Columbus. This episode shares some insight on Columbus' "urban problems" and offers several resources for planners and non-planners alike to learn more and do better. Discussed in this episode: Strong Women Strong Places, Tamika Butler, Dr. Destiny Thomas, The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein, Columbus Ohio Redlining Maps, Kirwan Institute Study on Infant Mortality,  500 Cities Health Data for Columbus, University of Toronto Study, Communication So White Reading ListThanks to:Donnie 'Rosy' Ross for theme 'Feeling Fool'Aaron Thomas Art for our album cover More @ STEMS AND LEAVES
Episode recorded May 2020. Public transit across the US and the world has been entirely disrupted by the COVID19 pandemic. Transit agencies have been forced to cancel service, adjust fare collections, and take aggressive measures to ensure the safety of drivers and passengers. The Central Ohio Transit Authority took early steps to curb the impact on regional transit. They eliminated fares, mandated new protocol for how many passengers can ride at one time, and altered how those riders may enter and exit buses. The impact on the agency has been significant and in this episode, Andrew, a service planner at COTA, joins me to discuss some of these disruptions and what we can expect of public transit post-pandemic. More episodes and content @ STEMS and leavesCredits: Album Art and Show Theme MusicListen Now @:iTunesSpotifyGoogle PodcastsStitcherBuzzSprout
Episode 14: Bridget

Episode 14: Bridget

2020-05-1147:17

This episode is weird. Life is strange these days and one of my favorite gals is here to chat about life in a pandemic. We get personal about what we lost and learned as we both have graduated from university and look towards the future. We also talk about Survivor season 40 and how many beans is too many beans. Enjoy the beautiful mess!Bridget's LinkedInMore episodes and content @ STEMS and leavesCredits: Album Art and Show Theme MusicListen Now @:iTunesSpotifyGoogle PodcastsStitcherBuzzSprout
In this episode, we discuss an article posted on Medium by Tomas Pueyo, 'Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance'. It's an overview of the current state of COVID-19 and a summary of what measures should be implemented now in order to provide the world with our best fighting change against the virus. Pueyo presents three strategies: Do Nothing, Mitigation, and Suppression. The author presents a compelling case for Suppression and recommends that readers that are moved to sign a petition to the White House that pressures our leaders to approach COVID-19 with a suppression strategy. More episodes and content @ STEMS and leavesCredits: Album Art and Show Theme Music
Episode 12: Jason Pyles

Episode 12: Jason Pyles

2020-02-2401:10:05

Planning in Appalachia, convincing a community that you're not taking their jobs, and the future of autonomous vehicles in rural places. My guest this week, Jason Pyles, and I discuss all this in more in one of my favorite interviews yet. As a kick off to our discussions centered around Geography and Geographic Information Science, I turn to Jason for his expertise.Jason works for the Buckeye Hills Regional Council as one of two GIS professionals supporting the agency's work. His position is unique in that he is sort of a one-man-GIS-show and does all the work entailed in GIS from top to bottom. He shared some great insights into what it means to serve his regional community through his role in technology.Credit for our theme song (Rosy Ross) and album art (Aaron Thomas Art) here: https://stemsandleaves.com/credits/For more episodes and updates head to STEMSANDLEAVES.COM
Back from hiatus with new updates to share about what's coming next. With the blessings of OSU's Geography department, we'll be sharing some GIS related episodes on topics ranging from disease tracking to cultural preservation.Also a new project launching soon is Buildings Have Names, a crowdsourced local history scavenger hunt. Stay tuned for details.As always, keep up to date on social media and at stemsandleaves.com
[10] Tobi Otulana

[10] Tobi Otulana

2019-10-0539:38

This episode my friend and colleague Tobi Otulana chats with me about the field of planning and her path to sustainable planning. Tobi and I have known each other since spring semester, when we took a sustainable transportation class together. I recognized that Tobi is a super talented and passionate individual and I've been hoping our paths would cross again to allow that. Lucky for me, after graduating her MCRP program, she stayed local and has been with the Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission for about half  year now. I was super curious about her opinion on Ohio State's MCRP program and how she expects her career trajectory to change.Disclaimer: All views and opinions expressed in this episode are strictly those of myself and my guest. We in no way represent any organizations or agencies which we are currently or have previously been associated with. Links:Tobi's Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tobiotulana/MORPC: http://www.morpc.orgCredits for Album Art and Theme Music: https://stemsandleaves.com/credits/
This episode we discuss the practice of urban foraging. That act of harvesting wild grown food is a practice as old as humanity. From society's earliest days, we have depended on the fruits, nuts, berries, and herbs we've found along the way to secure our food supply. Although, a recent surge in popularity of foraging in cities and a lasting legacy of racist and classist laws often prevent some groups from foraging in public spaces. This episode unpacks why and how we forage and recommends some interesting research papers that discuss an ideal future of foraging laws.
It's time again for a return to school and all the lovely obligations that come with student life. Thus, STEMS and leaves will be detouring from interviews for a bit and focus on sharing some snapshot stories about all sorts of things. This episode, we dig into some interesting research from Caroline Chen - a postdoc researcher at UC San Diego. Chen published 'Designing the Danceable City: How Residents in Beijing Cultivate Health and Community Ties Through Urban Dance'  that explores the phenomena of urban dance in China. Chen set out to learn why and where urban dance is happening and how this movement might be relevant to American planning. We unpack a few interesting points in this shorter episode, but of course recommend reviewing the paper for the fullest experience.This podcast is made possible by a few wonderful artists credited here. Join the conversation at STEMS and Leaves
Sujata Emani

Sujata Emani

2019-08-1649:15

Sujata Emani has done a lot of interesting things with her career - both willingly and as a result of the universe's greater workings. From research with NASA to working for a whiskey company, she's fearlessly faced incredible challenges both professionally and personally. In this episode, we spend a good amount of time discussing women of massive determination and how we work everyday to emulate their example. Sujata also shares some insight into her identity as a caregiver for her grandmother; an identity that was chosen for her and certainly changed the trajectory of her life in her mid-twenties. Discussed in this episode:Beltway Science Podcast American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)Department of EnergyNational LabsResearch Article: Designing the Danceable City For more episodes and cool stuff: STEMS and leaves websiteTheme 'Feeling Fool' by Rosy RossAlbum Art by Aaron Thomas Art
Coral Torres

Coral Torres

2019-08-0224:37

Coral Torres is without a doubt one of the coolest engineers I've ever met. She exudes confidence in herself and her work; all the while remaining truly humble. It was a pleasure to join her for an afternoon at the Surface Transportation Board offices and learn a bit about her niche in the industry. Coral's official title is 'Transportation Industry Analyst', which she explains in this episode. More broadly speaking, she analyzes data to interpret railroad performance in a regulator capacity (if that sounds a little out of your depth, Coral explains it much better than I do!). She also shares how her identity as a Hispanic woman has shaped her experiences in Engineering. The transition from undergraduate studies in Puerto Rico to a master's program in upstate New York was incredible and Coral describes some of the culture shock moments she experienced.Credits for this show's theme music and art work can be found @ stemsandleaves.com
Episode 5: Shauna

Episode 5: Shauna

2019-07-1940:28

Another interview out of DC this week, my guest Shauna has worked as a freelance programmer for 9 years. She left neuroscience after a long reckoning with the uncertainty. Shauna found herself challenged by a big question: How do we quantify and understand the vast potential of human behavior with hard tools? Maybe we can't. Or at least not in the ways we want to.Shauna and I discuss these interesting ideas from her work and how she's grown professionally. We also touch on the significance of queer identities in these spaces and handling mental health. I was curious to know how she keeps herself accountable and practices self-care in a sometimes isolating work space. Shauna tells me all her great tips and tricks as she continues her journey of growth and learning.More at STEMSandleaves.com
Christy Gerencher is a Senior Program Officer at the Transportation Research Board. She manages hundreds of volunteers across more than a dozen committees all working to advance research in Aviation and Environmental Science. She's been an aviation nerd since day 1 - or least since she was old enough to drive to the airport for piloting lessons. In our conversations, she shared with me what exactly the National Academies do and how their research propels government decisions. We also chatted about her experience as a woman working in aviation, an industry notorious for low participation of women and minorities. Throughout her career, she's had opportunities to work with some amazing people and she shared some advice to young professionals beginning their careers. More episodes and content @ STEMS and leavesCredits: Album Art and Show Theme Music
Jocelyn

Jocelyn

2019-06-2129:50

Jocelyn is one of the coolest people I've ever known and I cannot wait to see what her future holds. We met over a year ago at the opening banquet for the Global Leadership Initiative cohort (of which we were both new members). I immediately knew that she was someone with a lot of great stuff to say and when she sat down with me in the studio... we sure did get to it.Between gripes about generational trauma and loving guidance from valued mentors, this episode steps outside of STEM to shed some light on mixed race identities and how we navigate the world. More about Jocelyn can be found on her linked in page here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jocelynrobertsonn/Credit for our theme song and album art here: https://stemsandleaves.com/credits/For more episodes and updates head to STEMSANDLEAVES.COM
This episode features Dr Amber Woodburn McNair of the Ohio State University. She serves as an assistant professor in the Knowlton School as well as the Center for Aviation Studies (both within OSU's College of Engineering. We sat down to discuss Dr Woodburn's research and experiences in academia and how her identity and presentation as a woman has affected her journey. She also shared some wonderful advice about navigating the murky waters that await after graduation and the importance of keeping the hustle strong. For more episodes and cool stuff: STEMS and leaves websiteTheme 'Feeling Fool' by Rosy RossAlbum Art by Aaron Thomas Art
(my dear friend) Donna

(my dear friend) Donna

2019-05-1619:39

Episode 1: DonnaMy guest this episode is my dear friend Donna. She works as a consultant with ODOT and has years of experience in technology. Her path has not been conventional and she shared a few great stories about what she has learned along the way. For more episodes and cool stuff: STEMS and leaves websiteTheme 'Feeling Fool' by Rosy RossAlbum Art by Aaron Thomas Art
In this episode, I wanted to share a great book by Laura VanDernoot Lipsky and Connie Burk, 'Trauma Stewardship: A guide to caring for self while caring for others'. The founders of the Trauma Stewardship Institute walk the reader through identifying trauma responses and offer helpful, introspective prompts to get you thinking about the work you do and how it affects you throughout the process. For folks involved in trauma work or just people that want to bolster their emotional resilience, this is a great read that I cannot recommend highly enough!Other mentions in this episode: Thrivance Group, Back to School chat with Michelle Storms Thanks to:Donnie ‘Rosy’ Ross for theme ‘Feeling Fool’Aaron Thomas Art for our album coverListen Now @Apple PodcastsSpotify Google PodcastsStitcherBuzzSprout
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