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The Story Collider

Author: Erin Barker & Liz Neeley

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Whether we wear a lab coat or haven't seen a test tube since grade school, science is shaping all of our lives. And that means we all have science stories to tell. Every year, we host dozens of live shows all over the country, featuring all kinds of storytellers - researchers, doctors, and engineers of course, but also patients, poets, comedians, cops, and more. Some of our stories are heartbreaking, others are hilarious, but they're all true and all very personal. Welcome to The Story Collider!

408 Episodes
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This week we present stories about two people who had to navigate the complicated process of helping their family when they were needed most. Part 1: When his mother is diagnosed with breast cancer, Ian Anthony has to take care of her, even though she didn't always do the best job of taking care of him. Ian Anthony works as a public defender in Howard county, Maryland where he represents indigent defendants. With a background in theater and a passion for storytelling, he fights to make sure the truth of his clients’ stories gets told. Ian is a proud graduate of Columbia University (B.A.), Maryland Carey Law (J.D.), and the Trial Lawyer's College. Part 2: Determined to make it on her own, Yaihara Fortis Santiago leaves her home in Puerto Rico for grad school, but her father still wants to protect her. Yaihara Fortis Santiago grew up in the mountains of Puerto Rico where she felt in love with science. After completing her bachelors in Biology at the University of Puerto Rico, she moved to New England to pursue her PhD in Neuroscience at Brandeis University. Her time at Brandeis made her realized that she wanted to use her science training to have an impact on Higher Education. In 2012, as part of her AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship, she worked at the Nationals Science Foundation (NSF). Her work at the NSF gave her the foundation to launch a career training scientists at the intersection of policy, communication, diversity, inclusion and equity. Currently, she is the Associate Director for Postdoctoral Affairs and Trainee Diversity Initiatives at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Furthermore, in 2020 she was selected as a fellow for the Women inPower network. She loves big city living, but she is the happiest at her family’s farm, traveling with friends, telling stories and dancing salsa. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This week we present two stories from people who found adventure when on their own. Part 1: Shawn Hercules is a successful gospel radio deejay in Barbados, but he dreams of a different kind of life in science. Part 2: Emma Young feels ready for her first real job in science, surveying northern spotted owls, until she encounters some unexpected fears. Shawn Hercules is currently a Biology Ph.D. candidate at McMaster University. He investigates the epidemiology and genetics of an aggressive form of breast cancer disproportionately affecting women of African ancestry. After moving to Canada from the island of Barbados, Shawn quickly got involved with Let’s Talk Science and communicating science via social media (@shawnhercules) and most recently co-produced and participated in the first ever "Science is a Drag” show presenting science in drag! Emma Young is a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Washington, DC. She moonlights as a PhD candidate and science communicator at the University of Missouri - Saint Louis, where she studies avian malaria. She enjoys hoarding plants and shouting about how much she loves science, and she is the founder of Science Distilled, a bi-monthly science happy hour in St. Louis. She tweets @emyoung90. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This week we present two stories from Black people who were dealing with the ramifications of our racist systems. Part 1: As a science teacher, Mamoudou N'Diaye was supposed to have all the answers, but he struggles to explain being Black in the USA. Part 2: Rhonda Key fights to be taken seriously by her white co-workers and students when she gets a job at a middle school. Mamoudou N'Diaye is a Mauritanian American comic, writer, filmmaker, activist, DJ, and former teacher. N'Diaye has been a correspondent for digital media companies Mic and Seeker, a creative comedy consultant for social justice nonprofits Color of Change, Hip Hop Caucus, The Center for Cultural Power, and The Center for Media and Social Impact, and a winner of 2019's Yes And Laughter Lab for his pilot, Franklin. He has written and appeared in the Comedy Central Original They Follow, written for Refinery29's After After Party, and is in post-production for the webseries Bodegaverse with Karen Sepulveda. N'Diaye is developing By Us, For Us, a late-night sketch/talk show centering Black voices, for Color for Change and Flyovers, a half-hour dramedy about being Black in the rural Midwest. N’Diaye holds a degree in cognitive behavioral neuroscience from the College of Wooster. Rhonda M. Key has served as a teacher and administrator in suburban, rural, and urban school districts throughout her career. Currently, she serves as Assistant Superintendent of Jennings School District. Under her purview as the former Principal/Director of Secondary Education-Community Partnerships, Jennings Senior High School achieved 100% graduation and job placements for the past three years. In 2014, Dr. Key was named one of Five Women to Make a Difference in the Decatur/Macon County area of Illinois. In March 2019 she was named Principal of the Year by the St. Louis Association of Secondary School Principals. Dr. Key is also the co-owner and founder of Key/Ming Educational Design LLC, educational consultant and co-author of articles regarding Urban Education. Dr. Key earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Lincoln University, and she completed her educational specialist and doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This week we present two stories about people who sprung to action to help a dad. Part 1: To cheer up her ailing father, Victoria Ruiz decides to smuggle a turtle into his hospital room. Part 2: Stacey Bader Curry finally meets a nice guy -- the only catch is, he needs a liver. Dr. Victoria Ruiz is an Assistant Professor in Biology at St. Francis College and Adjunct Assistant Professor at NYU Langone medical center. She obtained her PhD in Pathobiology from Brown University, and she completed her postdoctoral work at New York University Langone Medical Center. Her primary research focuses on the effects of environmental perturbations of microbial communities on host immunity. In addition to research, she is passionate about increasing equity and inclusion in STEM and developing new and innovative pedagogical strategies to improve learning outcomes for undergraduate students interested in pursuing STEM fields. Stacey Bader Curry has a BA in art history and political science from Rutgers University. Naturally, she began her career by selling laboratory equipment at Weill Cornell Medical College. She now sells apartments but can still get you a good deal on a centrifuge. Stacey is also a writer and storyteller and has appeared on PBS’ Stories From the Stage, Yum’s the Word with Mo Rocca, and has won several Moth slams, including a Grand Slam. Stacey lives in Manhattan with her four children, husband, a dog named Pip, and cases of powder-free nitrile gloves. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This week we present two stories from people who lost loved ones and had to rebuild themselves. Part 1: Massih Moayedi survives cancer, but the recovery throws his life off track. Part 2: After his 20-year-old daughter dies suddenly, Paul Battista has to relearn what his role in life is. Neuroscientist Massih Moayedi studies pain, a job that raises eyebrows at parties and sometimes prompts the confused response: "What kind of paint?" His research actually focuses on understanding how pain is processed in healthy individuals, and where the differences lie for those with chronic pain. He is now an assistant professor at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Dentistry, and Co-Director of the Centre for Multimodal Sensorimotor and Pain Research, but his path to pain research was a personal one. Paul Battista holds Bachelor and Masters degrees from the University of Waterloo and leads the financial services practice for EY Canada. In the wake of the tragic loss of his daughter in 2017 as a result of a flawed diagnostic protocol, he founded the Leah Battista Foundation (leahbattista.org) dedicated to carrying out work that was destined to become Leah’s life legacy had she lived. To that end, her Foundation is dedicated to improving, enriching and empowering the lives of youth and the disadvantaged through health and education, the arts and social entrepreneurship. To learn more about Leah’s kind and generous spirit and to consider supporting the Foundation that has been created in order to continue to help carry on her work, please visit leahbattista.org and follow the Foundation on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/leahbattistafoundation/ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/leahbattistafoundation Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This week we present a story from our back-catalogue that speaks to this current moment in time. As a medical school student Roger Mitchell Jr. sees a patient that makes him reflect on violence and police in the Black community. Dr. Roger Mitchell Jr. is the Chief Medical Examiner of Washington, DC and is uniquely positioned to understand the social determinants that lead to the violence affecting our most vulnerable communities. He has a great interest in Violence as a public health issue. He is board certified in Anatomic and Forensic Pathology by the American Board of Pathology. Dr. Mitchell is also a licensed minister serving as a mentor in his local community. He often shares how drugs and violence have shaped his own life. He is a husband to his wife of 17 years and a father to his three children. Dr. Mitchell has pledged his professional career and personal time to the service of others. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This week we share two stories from people whose understanding of the use of memory was challenged. Part 1: Padraic Stanley gets a fresh start when his abusive father gets diagnosed with Alzheimer's dementia. Part 2: After meeting a man with a rare memory disorder, Paul Aflalo reconsiders his own memories. Padraic Stanley is a social worker living in Chicago, IL. He currently works as a program coordinator for health promotion programs in the Rush University Medical Center Department of Social Work & Community Health. He is also the chair of Rush’s Immigrant Health Working Group, which oversees Rush’s immigrant health and welcoming healthcare initiatives. Up until recently, Padraic was also a registry inpatient case manager at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center on the weekends. He is a graduate of the Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work, where he completed the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship and completed a clinical practicum at Heartland Human Care Services and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. Currently, he is on the associate board for Erie Neighborhood House, a member of the National Schweitzer Fellowship Alumni Leadership Committee, and is on the executive board of the International Association of Social Work with Groups. Paul Aflalo is a storyteller and documentary producer. He creates narrative-driven pieces for film, radio and podcasts. His work has been featured on CBC Radio, SiriusXM, and presented at film festivals around the world, including the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. Paul has shared stories across Canada, in Europe and the UK. Paul is the Artistic Director of Replay Storytelling, an all-true storytelling show in Canada, and is also the Creative Director of the Aphantasia Network. In 2020 in response to the global pandemic, he founded the world’s first 24-hour True Storytelling Festival, bringing people together from all corners of the globe, to share personal true stories from lived experience. His focus is to help others share the stories that need to be told. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This week we present two stories from people who used technology to understand their relationships. Part 1: Digital consultant Phong Tran navigates his relationship through various digital platforms. Part 2: Fed up with feeling lonely, Sufian Zhemukhov embarks on a data driven analysis of his own unlikability. Phong Tran is a Creative Technologist at a digital consultancy. He works on websites and applications in both roles as a designer and a developer. As someone with a preference to dabble and a short attention span, he works on art projects in various mediums. The projects tend to ask questions about our relationship to our digital selves, and overall how that changes how we see each other. Also, at other times it's just about food Phong ate. A collection of his design can be found at phonghtran.com, and a collection of other things will be at his Instagram account, @phonghtran. Sufian Zhemukhov is an award-winning author and performer. He received the 2020 J. J. Reneaux Emerging Artist Award, from the National Storytelling Network, "to a storyteller of major and unique performing talent." He is The 2019 Moth Champion and winner at the 2018 Story Slam at the National Storytelling Festival. Sufian’s recent solo show, Flirting Like an American, received critical acclaim in Washington, DC and Rochester, NY. Sufian's stories are based on his personal experience as a first-generation immigrant and professor of international affairs at George Washington University that might be much funnier than you would expect. His recent book, Mass Religious Ritual and Intergroup Tolerance, won the 2019 Best Book Award at the International Studies Association. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This week we present four of our favorite stories of all time. Part 1: Neuroscientist David Carmel tests his own understanding of the brain when his own father suffers a stroke. Part 2: Ralph Bouquet goes off script during a psychology research study with uncomfortable and revealing consequences. Part 3: Feeling isolated in her new job as a particle accelerator operator at Fermilab, Cindy Joe finds comfort in the friendship of her unconventional pet. Part 4: To discover why some survivors of trauma experience PTSD and some don't, scientist Rachel Yehuda must convince a community of Holocaust survivors to let her study them. David Carmel grew up reading Oliver Sacks and loving the weird stories of what goes wrong in people's brains, so he became a neuroscientist. He spends his days trying to figure out how the brain creates consciousness, and his nights trying to remember why he ever thought he could accomplish this. He is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology at Victoria University of Wellington. Ralph Bouquet is the Director of Education and Outreach for NOVA, the PBS science documentary series produced by WGBH in Boston. At NOVA, Ralph’s team supports science educators through the creation of free classroom resources and finds creative ways to engage new audiences for NOVA’s broadcast and digital productions through science communication events around the country. Before NOVA, Ralph taught high school biology and chemistry in Philadelphia and then spent some time in ed-tech at a Boston-based startup. Ralph received his B.A. from Harvard University, and studied secondary science methods and urban education while completing his M.Ed. at UPenn. Cindy Joe is an engineering physicist at Fermilab, America’s particle physics and accelerator laboratory. She got her bachelor’s degree in physics and became a licensed senior nuclear reactor operator at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. After starting at Fermilab, she worked as a particle accelerator operator for seven years before taking her current role with several experiments studying neutrinos, tiny particles that might hold the answers to some of the universe’s biggest mysteries. Cindy is a frequent and deeply passionate contributor to Fermilab’s educational outreach programs and has spoken to audiences from elementary school students to members of Congress. Rachel Yehuda is a professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Director of the Mental Health Patient Care Center at the James J. Peters Bronx Veterans Affairs hospital. Her research on PTSD has included both human populations and animal models, neuroendocrinology, neuronal stimulations studies with human stem cells, and genomic and molecular biological studies of trauma. She has recently established a Center for Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Trauma at Mount Sinai. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This week we present two stories from two women who struggled to adopt. Part 1: Inspired by her work as a parental behavior researcher, Bianca Jones Marlin and her husband decide to become foster parents. Part 2: Raised by white adoptive parents, Kim Evey seeks out motherhood as a way to connect with her Asian identity. Dr. Bianca Jones Marlin is a neuroscientist and postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Dr. Richard Axel, where she investigates transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, or how traumatic experiences in parents affect the brain structure of their offspring. She holds a PhD in neuroscience from New York University, and dual bachelor degrees from St. John’s University, in biology and adolescent education. As a graduate student, her research focused on the vital bond between parent and child, and studied the use of neurochemicals, such as the “love drug” oxytocin, as a treatment to strengthen fragile and broken parent-child relationships. Dr. Marlin’s research has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Scientific American, and Discover Magazine’s “100 Top Stories of 2015.” Dr. Marlin aims to utilize neurobiology and the science of learning to better inform both the scientific and educational community on how positive experiences dictate brain health, academic performance, and social well being. Kim Evey is a Los Angeles-based actress and stand up comedian who has been writing and performing comedy for over three decades. She began her comedy career in Seattle as a founding member of the critically acclaimed long-form improv group Kings' Elephant Theater and as a guest cast member on the Emmy-winning sketch comedy show "Almost Live." In LA, Kim has studied at The Groundlings and Improv Olympic and taught sketch comedy writing at ACME Comedy Theater. She has appeared in numerous commercials and TV shows, written for children's animation, created and starred in the Sony produced web series "Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show" and produced the trailblazing series "The Guild," a web show so successful that it was actually put on display in The Smithsonian American History Museum. She currently performs stand up at venues all over Los Angeles and her online clips have garnered over seven million views. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This week we present two stories from people who needed to decipher themselves. Part 1: After some unfortunate night-time incidents, Keith Mellnick realizes he needs to better understand his sleepwalking before it starts causing even more problems. Part 2: Avneet Johal is excited to start his first year at university, but strange thoughts and behaviors keep getting in the way. Keith Mellnick is a freelance photographer whose past work in the Middle East, Central Asia, and East Africa has been highlighted by National Geographic Books, the Atlantic, and his brother's refrigerator. Based in Washington, DC, he currently works primarily with organized labor and progressive causes throughout the US. In addition to photography and storytelling, he enjoys any opportunity to escape into the woods--far from politics, Photoshop, and oppressive DC heat indexes. Avneet Johal is an award-winning storyteller based in Vancouver, BC with expertise in communication and leadership. He previously managed housing programs for the Canadian Mental Health Association and has worked on a series of successful political campaigns. A Canadian representative at the United Nations, he follows global affairs and also enjoys sports, languages, and (good) rap music. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Los Altos Institute and is honoured to work with a team of talented undergraduate students at the University of British Columbia – a team which he thanks for encouraging him to share his stories with a wider audience. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This week we present two stories from people who used to be scientists. Part 1: Despite loving science, Ivan Decker's first exposure to field work doesn't go as planned. Part 2: Nathan Min tries to pursue a 'respectable' scientific career, but finds himself relating to the mice he studies. Originally from Vancouver, Ivan Decker is a stand-up comedian that now makes his home in Los Angeles California. He has been featured on CBC, CTV, TBS and many other media outlets as part of shows such as: The Debaters, Just for Laughs, CONAN and he has a half hour special on NETFLIX. In 2018, Ivan was also the first Canadian to win a JUNO award for comedy album of the year since the award was given to Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas for the soundtrack to the movie strange brew in 1984. Nathan Min is a TV writer, actor, and stand-up based in New York City. He recently wrote for Adult Swim’s “Joe Pera Talks with You.” Previously, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” He started performing stand up comedy as a freshman at Johns Hopkins University and went on to win the DC Improv’s Funniest College Stand Up competition at the end of his senior year. After college, he began studying at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York where he has since written for several house sketch teams. In 2014, he was selected as a finalist for the Andy Kaufman Award. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This week we present two stories from people who found themselves without the tools they needed. Part 1: When Jack Walsh finds out his first child will be born in just a few days, he panics. Part 2: After experiencing hearing loss, Jeannie Gaffigan receives the startling news that she has a brain tumor. Jack Walsh is an Emmy-winning television producer, a generally engaging storyteller, a halfway-decent writer, and the world’s worst guitar player. He has performed at the Moth, the Atlanta Science Festival, DragonCon, and, strangely, a Yom Kippur service. A native of Canton, NC, he now lives in Decatur, GA, with his wife and two daughters. Jeannie Gaffigan is a director, producer and comedy writer. She co-wrote seven comedy specials with her husband Jim Gaffigan, the last 5 of which received Grammy nominations. Jeannie was the head writer and executive producer of the critically acclaimed THE JIM GAFFIGAN SHOW, and collaborated with Jim on the two New York Times Bestsellers, DAD IS FAT and FOOD A LOVE STORY. Jeannie’s own book, WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU PEARS, debuted on the New York Times Bestsellers List. Jeannie, with the help of her two eldest children and some other crazy moms, created THE IMAGINE SOCIETY, INC., a not for profit organization that connects youth-led service groups. Most impressively, she grew a tumor on her brain stem roughly the size of pear. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This week we present two stories from people who learned something about their childhood later in life. Part 1: Growing up in the fifties and sixties, Jenice Matias senses there's more to her mother's occupation than she understands. Part 2: D.B. Firstman has always known their body is different, but at the age of thirty, they make a discovery that changes everything. Jenice Matias is a dancer, singer, actress, comedy writer, and storyteller. Her story on the Guys We Fucked podcast has been listened to over a quarter of a million times, and she performs storytelling all over New York City. She is currently revamping her solo show “Pussinomics: a comedy” a political satire on the selling and marketing of the female persona. You can learn more about Jenice Matias on her website Jenicematias.biz D.B. Firstman is a lifelong New Yorker born and raised in Queens. A career-long civil servant, they are a data analyst for the City of New York, crunching numbers in Excel and SPSS. A lifelong baseball fan, they have had their work published on ESPN.COM and BaseballProspectus.com, as well as in the SABR Baseball Research Journal. Their first book: “Hall of Name: Baseball’s Most Magnificent Monikers from ‘The Only Nolan’ to ‘Van Lingle Mungo’ and More” is available on Amazon and local indy bookstores. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This week we present two stories from people who deal with emergencies. Part 1: As a first-generation pre-med student with no financial aid, Brooke Dolecheck takes a job as a 911 operator to support herself. Part 2: Flight paramedic Marc Doll must transport a child to St. Louis for his last chance at a heart transplant. Brooke Dolecheck graduated from Boise State University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Multidisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Leadership and Human Relations. She's now an undergraduate academic advisor at Boise State University in the program which she graduated from. She works with students who, like herself, have found alternative pathways to pursuing a degree when the traditional route didn't work. She's an advocate for her students - creating unique degree plans that meet the needs of students' goals and the demands of the workforce. Marc Doll is the EMS Bureau Chief of the City of St. Charles Fire Department and a 26-year veteran of Emergency Medical Services. Marc has flown world wide to transport those in dire medical need from remote Russia to Carbondale, IL. He’s spent a total of 15 years in the high adrenaline atmosphere as a flight paramedic for both repatriation and children. For a change of pace, he has spent 22 years as a firefighter. While working two full time jobs, he finished his bachelor's degree in EMS Management from Missouri Southern State University with honors and is planning on continuing at Maryville University to acquire his nursing degree starting in the fall of 2020. His hobbies include beer making, practicing his banjo, and spending time with his wife, daughter (who is a nurse), two sons, and two dogs. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This week we present two stories from people who didn’t ask for help until it was too late. Part 1: Determined to fit in as a PhD student, Aparna Agarwal decides she'll never ask for help -- even if it means fitting in to much smaller gloves. Part 2: On a snorkeling trip of his dreams, Jesse Hildebrand doesn’t want to admit he has no idea what he’s doing. Aparna Agarwal is a graduate student in Dr. Deepa Agashe’s lab at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India, by day, and a random thoughts compiler whenever inspiration strikes her. Currently, she is trying to understand adaptation and the role of microbes in that process using the red flour beetle. She is, on an average day, clueless but curious and trying to find answers. In that quest, she loves to travel in person, as well as through the magic of books, articles, blogs, conversations and in general, stories. She enjoys using these stories to help her share and build her science. Jesse Hildebrand is the VP of Education for Exploring By The Seat of Your Pants, a digital education non-profit that connects scientists and explorers with kids (http://www.exploringbytheseat.com/). He's also the founder of Canada's Science Literacy Week (http://www.scienceliteracy.ca/) and a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (http://www.rcgs.org/). Jesse suffers from an excess of personality, watches too many Blue Jays games for his own good, and can enter into a spirited debate on the merits of the Marvel films. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This week we present two stories from people who were at the end of their rope. Part 1: After donating her kidney to a friend, Leah Waters struggles to get back to normal. Part 2: When the coral colonies of her childhood experience a bleaching event, Native Hawaiian coral biologist Narrissa Spies must face her greatest fear to protect them. Leah Waters is a multiplatform editor at The Dallas Morning News and also advises journalism programs at Frisco Heritage High School. Waters received her M.A. in Journalism from University of North Texas’ Mayborn School of Journalism in 2017. She also majored in journalism at Angelo State University in 2010, where she was the campus newspaper’s editor-in-chief. Waters currently serves as the Texas Association of Journalism Educators’ State Director and as a vice president of the Association of Texas Photography Instructors. She is a first amendment advocate and testified this session in support of a bill that would restore student press rights in Texas. Narrissa Spies is a Native Hawaiian scientist who was born and raised on the island of Hawaii. She received her bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and is in the process of completing her PhD this semester at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She has previously worked as a researcher, curriculum developer, and educator, and has a passion for marine conservation. In her current position she is on a team that manages ecological services on Oahu, Kauai, American Samoa, and Papahanaumokuakea. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This week we present two stories from the math classroom. Part 1: High school math whiz Tori Ball has always hoped a boy would fall in love with her mind, but when it finally happens, she's not sure how she feels. Part 2: High achieving, but superstitious college student Maryam Zaringhalam’s entire system collapses when she misses a calculus test. Tori Ball is a high school math teacher in Rockville, Maryland. She spends her days taking derivatives, graphing parabolas, and making young people giggle when she says the word "asymptote." Back when she was a high school student in Rockville, Maryland, Tori's antics on the morning announcements earned her the nickname "Tori with the Story" - a moniker that remains appropriate to this day. Tori has shared stories on stage in DC with Story District, the Moth, and Perfect Liar's Club - and is excited for her Story Collider debut! Maryam is a molecular biologist who traded in her pipettes for the world of science policy and advocacy. She comes to D.C. from the concrete jungles of New York, where she received her PhD from The Rockefeller University. She co-hosts the science policy podcast Science Soapbox, and her words have appeared in Slate, Scientific American, and Quartz. Her cat is named Tesla, after Nikola and not Elon Musk's car. For insights like this and more, follow her on Twitter @webmz_ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This week we present two stories from people who were faced with barriers to their education. Part 1: Eager to succeed in her Physical Chemistry class, Shaniece Mosley is thrown off by a professor's attempt at a compliment. Part 2: Lelemia Irvine struggles to get through his PhD program as he's constantly told that his identity as a Native Hawaiian is incompatible with academia. Shaniece Mosley has been a teacher for eight years, and currently teaches chemistry, AP Chemistry, and science research at Midwood High School in Brooklyn. After attending Northeastern University and SUNYAlbany, where she received a B.S. in Chemistry, she attended Pace University where she earned an M.S. in Secondary Science Education. A former New York City Teaching Fellow, Shaniece is now an MƒA Master Teacher. She enjoys spending free time with her husband Dan and their 2 year old son Greyson. Lelemia Irvine, PhD, EIT, is kupukaaina, a lineal descendant from the aboriginal families that sprouted out of the land of Waiʻanae, Oʻahu. Dr. Irvine is an Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Hawaiʻi at West Oʻahu. He is now at his dream job as a professor but the road to get there was not a breeze. Dr. Irvine is the first Kāne Kanaka ʻŌiwi (Native Hawaiian male) to earn a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in 2019. In his doctoral research, he studied the physics of stormwater within a bioswale using predictive and computational approaches. As far as we know, presently there are less than 10 Native Hawaiians with a PhD in any engineering discipline in the world. Dr. Irvine is a self-described Rain Farmer, a term he coined, when his father, who has dementia, ask him “boy, what you studying in school?”. As a rain farmer, he seeks to connect sky to aquifer thru the physics of fluids and indigenous engineering ways of knowing. Dr. Irvine shares his personal journey as an empowerment tool for others to co-navigate and constellate the village of higher education systems. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This week we share two stories from people who were confronted with their faith. Part 1: Feeling like a loser after he fails to graduate on time with his degree in materials science, Len Kruger accepts a dinner invitation from a cult. Part 2: After young Jehovah's Witness Emmanuel Garcia loses his faith, he finds a new purpose at a neuroscience conference. Len Kruger is a writer and storyteller. He recently retired from the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress, where he was a Specialist in Science and Technology Policy. Len has performed stories on stage with local storytelling groups such as Story District, the Moth, and Better Said Than Done. His short fiction has appeared in numerous publications including Zoetrope All-Story, The Barcelona Review, and Gargoyle. He has Bachelor of Applied Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. Emmanuel (Mani) Garcia is an Indigenous-Black-Latino psychological scientist-practitioner; passionate science communicator; sign language interpreter; group fitness instructor; certified holistic yoga teacher; statistics educator; filmmaker; artist; writer; musician; and cult survivor living in Queens NYC. While completing his PhD in Clinical Psychology at CUNY-John Jay, Mani is focused on developing his recently launched wellness capacity-building movement #Joy4L. His mission with #Joy4L is to increase joy in the lives of all minoritized people by increasing their access to high quality wellness resources. You can follow Mani at: manigarcia.com; Instagram: @bodyweightfun; Twitter: @manigarcianyc. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Comments (4)

Muhammad Ahmad

she said "Science" where's Science?

Oct 12th
Reply

Agil Wijaya

i feel bad. i want to hug both of you

Jun 11th
Reply

Derek William Miltimore

Shame that someone like this who is given a platform to spread the word about archaeology, a field that is misunderstood 9 times out of 10 and either thought to be dealing with dinosaurs or Indiana Jones, and she opens by stating that archaeology is Colonial racism... way to go..

May 16th
Reply

crispy

Wonderful episode. As someone whose family has dealt w/ misdiagnoses and close calls, hearing other people stand up for themselves and work through their fears got me choked up and inspired.

Oct 15th
Reply
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