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Double Shelix
Women in STEM, the grad school grind, inclusive science, passionate people - a podcast!
Category: Natural Sciences
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Conversations and real talk on women in STEM, the grad school grind, and inclusive science.
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April 17, 2018 12:11 AM PDT

Many students arrive in college under-prepared for success, and professors have the responsibility - and opportunity - to help them gain skills to enable their success and find belonging in STEM. However, few professors are trained to help students develop these skills, so our guest, Sherri Messersmith, incorporates them into her series of developmental math textbooks! On this episode, Sherri shares her journey in math, from besting elementary school bullies on every math test, to high school math teacher, to college math professor, and now author of 15 college math textbooks. We discuss how staying true to your passions outside your main focus area - like writing, cooking, and travel, for Sherri - can make you better at your job, and even open the door to new opportunities - like textbook authorship! Sherri tells us what departments can do to engage with students in introductory courses and how to build students' confidence in difficult material. As Sherri says, life is not linear, so follow your passions, work hard, and be ready if fortune strikes with an amazing opportunity! Sherri is an experienced educator and speaker on the topic of enabling student success, and we are honored to have her on Double Shelix!!

Also on this episode, we hear from a listener who was told by professors that they didn't belong in their grad program because they went to a small liberal arts college, not a big research institution - what?! We discuss how students take these kinds of comments from faculty really harshly, and how faculty can do better. Also, the importance of peer support in making it through trying times when you're singled out or are the "only one."

Resources:
*Road Trip Nation, the book that inspired Sherri's career leap to textbook authorship: www.roadtripnation.com
*Sherri's textbooks: https://amzn.to/2JRcHct
*Follow Sally and Kayla on Twitter @sallywinkler and @Kayla_J_Wolf
*Follow us on Twitter @doubleshelixpod

Upcoming #YouDoBelongInScience episodes will feature your stories! Fill out the form on our website, or call our voicemail, 415-895-0850, to share your story of (dis)belonging in STEM. We're hoping to share a diverse set of experiences from our listeners, but we need your help to make that happen!

Get your Double Shelix and You Do Belong in Science stickers - DoubleShelix.com/stickers

Check out our upcoming guests - DoubleShelix.com/flyer

If you liked this episode, you will love our episode all about imposter syndrome and improving your writing - Episode 3, "Battling Imposter Syndrome // Writing is Part of Science." It's a few episodes back in this feed.

Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on iTunes! And please, tell your friends about Double Shelix!

April 10, 2018 10:51 PM PDT

The real value of STEM outreach is the positive youth development and mentorship that students receive. Being inspired to pursue a STEM career? That's just a welcome bonus, says our guest, math graduate student and data scientist Noni Williams. Noni joins Kayla and Sally to discuss effective strategies for STEM and professional development outreach to kids and teens and her extensive experience leading initiatives from robotics and digital art festivals to AP Computer Science and slam poetry. Also, our allyship correspondent Jon Muncie checks in to chat about how we can all work to distribute the burden of emotional labor equitably in our workplaces and beyond.

We also discuss Noni's experiences being the only woman and/or student from an underrepresented background in her graduate mathematics courses and balancing work as a data scientist at United Way of the Midlands with graduate school. Noni gives advice for others in similar situations. Some of Noni's keys to success including tracking gratitude, finding peer mentors, and defining clear boundaries around her time. Noni brings her *extensive* experience leading STEM outreach initiatives for kids and teens to this episode, and we are honored to speak with her!

Upcoming #YouDoBelongInScience episodes will feature your stories! Fill out the form on our website, doubleshelix.com, or call our voice mail, 415-895-0850, to share your story of (dis)belonging in STEM. We're hoping to share a diverse set of experiences from our listeners, but we you to help make that happen!

Get your Double Shelix and You Do Belong in Science stickers here - bit.ly/2Hppv99 - and tag us on social media #YouDoBelongInScience

Resources
*The nonprofit No More Empty Pots - visit their coffee shop No More Empty Cups near 10th and William in Omaha, www.nmepomaha.org
*United Way of the Midlands Omaha, where Noni is Manager of Solutions and Continuous Improvement, www.unitedwaymidlands.org
*Follow Noni on Instagram @nonihasknees
*Follow Jon on Twitter @jmmuncie
*Follow Sally and Kayla on Twitter @sallywinkler and @Kayla_J_Wolf
*Follow @BetterMaleAllies on Twitter - more excellent allyship tips!
*Follow us on Twitter @doubleshelixpod

Check out our upcoming guests - DoubleShelix.com/flyer

If you liked this episode, listen to our episode with mentorship expert Julea Vlassakis - "Next Level Mentorship for Mentees and Mentors." Check out it out, a few episodes back in this feed.

Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on iTunes! And please, tell your friends about this podcast!

April 02, 2018 10:22 PM PDT

We kick off our You do Belong in Science series with Dr. Tamara Alliston, PhD, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at UCSF. Tamara discusses her journey into science and academia, and how she found belonging through peer mentorship, despite imposter syndrome. As a mentor, Tamara works to help mentees "stay connected to what gives them joy," and we also discuss what brings Tamara joy - musculoskeletal biology and surfing with her family! Tamara stresses the importance of STEM outreach to adult audiences, and shares her practical tips for "making this life work." Finally, we dispel myths about the Pipeline Problem, and Tamara shares some data about funding disparities in orthopedic surgery. We encourage everyone to dig into the data to learn about funding demographics in their own field; for most of us, there's still a long way to go. Bonus: Tamara's qualifying exam advice!

Resources
* Alliston Lab at UCSF - allistonlab.ucsf.edu
* Musculskeletal Biology Gordon Research Conference - https://bit.ly/2H5wPqx
* The importance of peer mentorship in graduate school - https://bit.ly/2InhBwj

You do Belong in Science
* Submit your story of belonging or ask a question - email us doubleshelixpodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail 415-895-0850!
* Get your Double Shelix and You Do Belong in Science stickers - email us!
* Stay tuned for our next episode, out April 10
* Sign up for our mailing list - https://goo.gl/forms/hQm1Tl0UgPLx9rKi1
* Check out our *newly redesigned* website - doubleshelix.com
* Follow us on Twitter @doubleshelixpod. Join the conversation with #YouDoBelongInScience and #YDBIS
* Recommended episode - Teaching for Active Learning with LeAnn Dourte (Double Shelix Episode 8)

Many thanks to...
* University of Pennsylvania, Department of Bioengineering
* Berkeley Student Tech Fund
* Gustavo Villarreal, @wikirascals on Twitter, for our amazing logo
* Kaz Lewis, for our official portraits on our website - follow him on Instagram @kazlewis
* You, our listeners, for telling your friends about our podcast and our #YouDoBelongInScience campaign

March 11, 2018 10:16 PM PDT

Going in, graduate students expect they'll have to work hard, but most students are unprepared for the mental anguish that grad school can induce - especially when experiments aren't going well, or when we compare to themselves to others' successes. Penn Bioengineering PhD students Meagan Ita and Michael Magaraci join Sally and Kayla to discuss wellness in graduate school. Meagan and Mike discuss the importance of taking charge of your own wellness, and what departments can do to support student wellness. Things also get real with discussions of the value therapy and/or medicine to address depression or anxiety, and we sound off on the harm caused by toxic mentor/mentee relationships. If you've struggled with being well, want to stay well, or want to support others on their journey to wellness, check this out!

Resources:
*Professor Arjun Raj's blog - truly, a font of knowledge - goo.gl/h2Wwi2
*UC Berkeley graduate student wellbeing survey results​ - goo.gl/kcby7w
*FixYourRun.com
*PhillySurgeRunning.com
*Meagan's Lab, the Spine Pain Research Lab - goo.gl/Zq2nbK
*Mike's Lab, the Chow Lab - https://goo.gl/BnYWtg
*7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey - goo.gl/SXgECv
*Headspace, a meditation app - Headspace.com
*The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle - goo.gl/Jh5SLu
*The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson - goo.gl/z4mmWq

Follow us on Twitter @doubleshelixpod
Feedback? We love it - doubleshelixpodcast@gmail.com
Thanks to the University of Pennsylvania Department of Bioengineering for supporting our podcast and this episode!! We love their Twitter @pennbioeng and their blog - beblog.seas.upenn.edu

March 04, 2018 07:20 PM PST

Zoe Leavitt, senior consumer product and retail analyst at CB Insights, joins Sally and Kayla to discuss what's hot at the intersection of tech and retail. She truly has her finger on the pulse of the latest trends - and the data to back that up! We also talk about her experiences working for Bank of China in Shanghai, and communicating technical content to lay audiences - like on Good Morning America! We also calls BS on VCs being "afraid to meet solo with women founders" in the post-#MeToo era and conclude that the future of futurism is female. Zoe's a master communicator, and shares some awesome tech communication tips. You'll love Zoe's insights!!!

Resources:
- Follow Zoe on Twitter @zoe_leavitt and on LinkedIn: https://goo.gl/Fkm24w
- Find some of Zoe's analysis, including her work on coffee, Amazon drone warehouses, and more: https://goo.gl/D5xX3D
- Zoe on Good Morning America: https://goo.gl/wB7Fqi
- Subscribe to Zoe's newsletter to follow all the hottest trends in consumer goods! https://goo.gl/oQaHGq
- CB insights blog - cbinsights.com/research

February 25, 2018 11:57 PM PST

Dr. Kathleen Norton, obstetrician/gynecologist extraordinaire, joins Kayla and Sally to tell us what grad students need to know about women's health! She dispels contraceptive myths and gets real about HPV vaccines, Pap smears, and mammograms. Dr. Norton (Sally's mom, y'all) also discusses her work in hospitals in Kenya, early-career struggles, timing family and career, and dealing with difficult people in the workplace. There's something for everyone in this episode, even (especially?) if you don't have a vagina!

The fun never ends on Twitter @doubleshelixpod.
Who should we interview next? Other thoughts? doubleshelixpodcast@gmail.com

Thanks again to University of Pennsylvania Department of Bioengineering for supporting the production of this episode! https://www.seas.upenn.edu/be/

January 04, 2018 05:37 PM PST

Julea Vlassakis, mentorship expert and Bioengineering PhD Candidate, joins Kayla and Sally to talk mentoring in academia and beyond. Lean how to establish productive mentor/mentee relationships and cultivate the next generation of scientists - yourself included! Beginning mentees and seasoned mentors alike will learn something new from Julea's wisdom. Discover strategies for breaking out of the cycle of mediocre mentorship, how to deal with underperforming mentees, tips for cultivating a community of mentors within your field, and how to get a mentor to step up for your career goals. Stay tuned to the end for Julea's list of mentor and mentee responsibilities - supported by peer-reviewed literature, of course! Fam, this is next-level mentorship.

Spoiler alert: Mentor/Mentee Responsibility Number Zero is "Establish clear goals and expectations!"

Resources:
*Julea's work in the Herr Lab at UC Berkeley - herrlab.berkeley.edu/
*Profile of Julea's research in honor of her winning Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening graduate fellowship - https://goo.gl/ymPypB
*"Getting Mentored in Graduate School," recommended book by Johnson and Huwe - https://goo.gl/ptefFT

The fun never ends on Twitter @doubleshelixpod
Who should we interview next? Other thoughts? doubleshelixpodcast@gmail.com

Thanks again to University of Pennsylvania Department of Bioengineering for making this episode possible!

December 04, 2017 09:04 PM PST

Award-winning engineering lecturer Dr. LeAnn Dourte joins Kayla and Sally to discuss active learning in engineering classrooms. LeAnn is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania, and has pioneered their biomechanics curricula - students build robo-arms to move PlayDough? Yes please! She shares her tips for setting classroom expectations in undergraduate vs. graduate courses, and doing academic research about engineering education! We also discuss LeAnn's experiences as a new mom in a dual-career family, and her Better Talk Next Time moment - spoiler alert: don't bully your professors to get better grades...

This episode is a collaboration between Double Shelix and the University of Pennsylvania Department of Bioengineering! Thanks to UPenn BioE for funding this episode, and we are honored to share LeAnn's awesome work with you all! If there's someone else at UPenn BioE (or elsewhere!) that you think we should feature, give us a shout! Thanks for listening!!

Resources:
UPenn BioE Blog (featuring their famed This Week in BioE segments!): https://beblog.seas.upenn.edu/
Research findings from LeAnn's SAIL studies: goo.gl/vjPtAJ
LeAnn's biomechatronics students make robotic arms: goo.gl/rZYPPT
Penn Bioengineering on Twitter @pennbioeng
UPenn Center for Teaching and Learning: https://www.ctl.upenn.edu/

Follow us on Twitter @doubleshelixpod
Be sure to subscribe to Double Shelix on iTunes, and please leave us a review!
Who should we interview next? Let us know - doubleshelixpodcast@gmail.com

September 17, 2017 11:25 PM PDT

We're back for Season 2, and this episode is inspired by what our listeners want to hear! Kayla and Sally are huge fans of listener-recommended science crush, the late MIT Prof. Millie Dresselhaus: Queen of Carbon Science, tireless advocate for women in STEM, and winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Science in Engineering. A recent GE commercial asks, "What if we treated female scientists like they were stars? What if Millie Dresselhaus was as famous as any celebrity?" Kayla and Sally are 100% behind this mission, and plot meet-cutes with the sci-lebrities in their lives. Also, in the first-ever listener-submitted Better Talk Next Time stories, listeners tackle biased perceptions of women in engineering, how to deal when your significant other believes damaging STEM stereotypes, and other *fun* themes. Don't worry, listeners - you do belong in science!

Please rate us on the Apple Podcast app/iTunes store! Stay tuned to the end of the episode for overly detailed step-by-step instructions (methods section) about how to do this.

We're keeping it real on Twitter @doubleshelixpod Follow us to be reassured that you do belong in science.

Email us doubleshelixpodcast@gmail.com - Have you had a sci-lebrity encounter? An experience you hope to Better Talk Next Time? Any sug*guest*ions? We love our listeners, so reach out and say hi!

Millie's GE Commercial #goals - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQ6_fOX7ITQ

April 28, 2017 06:32 AM PDT

Megan interviews Molly Sheehan, a bioengineering post-doc who is running for US Congress in 2018. Molly grew up in Pennsylvania, studied biology at Haverford College, and received her PhD in biochemistry and molecular biophysics from the University of Pennsylvania. She is now a post-doc in bioengineering developing new molecular imaging techniques. Today, we talk about what is motivating her to run for Congress, the issues she is most passionate about, and how she is getting her campaign up and running.

Email us - doubleshelixpodcast@gmail.com
Twitter - @doubleshelixpod
Instagram - @doubleshelixpodcast
More: doubleshelix.com & betapleatedchic.com
Help spread the love - review us on iTunes!

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