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Confidence: Stories about finding your voice


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Podcast: The Story Collider
Episode: Confidence: Stories about finding your voice
Pub date: 2019-05-03


This week we present two stories about people finding strength in their own voice.

Part 1:  A parent-teacher conference leads Eugenia Duodu to question whether she can be a scientist.

Part 2: At 13 years old Misha Gajewski has to undergo a jaw surgery to fix a face she is just getting used to.

Eugenia Duodu is the Toronto-based CEO of Visions of Science, which  inspires kids from low-income and marginalized communities to pursue  careers in STEM. As a youth born and raised in a low-income community,  she strives to maintain a strong connection to her local and global  community by being a mentor and advocate. Her goal is to help make a  long-lasting positive impact in communities through STEM engagement and  in-turn allow youth to unlock their potential. Eugenia holds a PhD in  Chemistry from the University of Toronto. 

Misha is a freelance journalist whose work has been featured on Vice,  BBC and CTV News, among others. She is also a journalism Professor at  Seneca College and a scriptwriter for the popular Youtube channel  SciShow. Misha has a degree in business and psychology from Western  University and a Masters in science journalism from City University  London. She also has a cat named Satan and when she’s not writing in her  pyjamas she can be found exploring the world or repurposing old  furniture. She is @mishagajewski 

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Dream Deferred: Stories about hitting roadblocks


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Podcast: The Story Collider
Episode: Dream Deferred: Stories about hitting roadblocks
Episode pub date: 2019-07-26


This week we present two stories about people who had to accept a delay in their personal journeys.

Part 1: Veterinarian Rodrigo Solis thinks he’s found the perfect job — taking care of horses in the Mexican Army — until a new commander takes over.

Part 2: Weeks before an important performance, opera singer Laura Crocco notices there’s something wrong with her voice.
Rodrigo Solis received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in Mexico in 2006 and spent one semester abroad studying at the University of California-Davis. He then went on to earn a Master’s of Sustainable Development at the Technological Institute of Higher Studies Monterrey. He’s currently a 5th year PhD candidate in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University in Canada where he studies monarch butterfly conservation. Since 2018, he has been a fellow at the ReNewZoo graduate training program. He recently started a part-time position with eButterfly, an online citizen science platform that tracks butterflies across North America.

Laura Crocco is an Australian researcher in music performance and human movement science. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music (Voice Performance) and a Master of Applied Science (Health Science) from The University of Sydney and is now preparing to commence doctoral studies in 2020. The demanding nature of elite music training that she encountered during her undergraduate studies prompted her research interest in how the science of human motor learning may improve the way we train musicians. Laura aims to provide evidence-based professional development for music performance teachers in higher education so as to encourage student autonomy, improve performance and nurture the wellbeing of our future musicians. She is passionate about encouraging music teachers and students to recognise the current issues in one-to-one training, and showing them through her published works, presentations and masterclasses how more systematic and objective research may serve as an ally to the field. Laura often presses buttons on an accordion and hopes to one day convert an old upright piano into a mini-bar.

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Plan B: Stories about people needing a backup plan


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Podcast: The Story Collider
Episode: Plan B: Stories about people needing a backup plan
Episode pub date: 2019-05-31


This week we bring you two stories of people who had to reckon with the fact that their first choice wasn’t available.

Part 1: When the local science museum looks to hire performers, David Nett believes he’s the perfect man for the job.

Part 2: After finding out her uterus never developed, scientist Chivonne Battle searches for an alternative way to become a mother.

David Nett has spent over 20 years in Los Angeles writing, producing,  and acting in TV, film, and theater. Currently, he’s the writer for Geek  & Sundry’s “Starter Kit,” the VP of Entertainment Development for  ArcMedia, co-owner of Hero’s Journey Fitness with his wife, Christy, and  the Dungeon Master for two ongoing Dungeons & Dragons campaigns,  one that he’s been running since 1987. He wants to thank his parents,  who did not utter a single angry word (to his face) when he left his  academic scholarships behind to study acting. 

Chivonne Battle is a VT graduate student with a B.S. in Material Science  & Engineering (VT, ’05), ultimately in pursuit of a Planning,  Governance, & Globalization Ph.D. Her career is based in  engineering, however, growing up unexposed and embedded in the cyclic  behaviors resulting from poverty, lives in her heart. Chivonne’s life  changed when she connected her background to the social engineering  world, in hopes of tackling the physiological and psychological impact  of socio-economic despair. On this team, she seeks and unveils truth in  working with communities/local governments with infrastructural  concerns; while journeying on to reverse the effects of poverty. 

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The Joy of Cats: Stories about our feline friends


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Podcast: The Story Collider
Episode: The Joy of Cats: Stories about our feline friends
Episode pub date: 2019-04-26


This week, for National Pet Parents day, we bring you two stories of our relationships with our cats.

Part 1:  In a battle over her apartment’s air quality, cat foster mom Tracy Rowland discovers how to use her kitten’s parasite as a weapon. 

Part 2: Gianmarco Soresi learns more about cats than he ever wanted to when his girlfriend adopts five.

Tracy is a 3-time Moth StorySLAM champion who first appeared on the  Story Collider stage in 2011, with a tale that tangentially had to do  with monkeys. She’s also part of the producing and hosting team behind  The Liar Show, a long-running NYC institution.  Tracy works days as a  writer and video editor, where her promos and shorts have appeared on  NBC, Cartoon Network, and Al Jazeera America. She won a local Emmy in  2010, but her mom still thinks it was the regular kind.  Check out more at www.tracyrowland.com.

Gianmarco Soresi is a New York based stand up comic, storyteller and actor. He’s  headlined Carolines on Broadway, Stand Up NY, EastVille Comedy Club, DC Comedy Loft, and his work has been featured on Funny or Die, Fast Company, The Atlantic, York, SeeSo’s New York’s Funniest, George Takei Presents, and Netflix’s  upcoming global series Bonding. He recently acted opposite Tracy Morgan  on TBS’ The Last O.G., Tom Selleck on CBS’ Blue Bloods, ABC’s Deception,  TruTV, and Comedy Central. More at www.gianmarcosoresi.com.

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Mental Health: Stories about having crises of the mind – Part 2


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Podcast: The Story Collider
Episode: Mental Health: Stories about having crises of the mind – Part 2
Episode pub date: 2019-05-24


This week we present two more stories about people who need help to deal with mental health.

Part 1: Comedian Zack Stovall reevaluates his past battles with his mother in light of a new diagnosis.

Part 2: Audrey Kearns’ big opportunity to appear as a panelist at a “nerd-convention” turns disastrous when she has an unexpected reaction to a new antidepressant.

Zack Stovall is a writer, producer, cartoonist, and  comedian. He currently produces the Story Collider and has performed  stand-up and sketch comedy across the South, Midwest, and New York. Zack  has written for St. Louis Magazine and Vulture, and is the author of a  collection of cartoons, ‘Fancy Things.’ He currently lives in New York  City with his wife, Rebekah, and their goldendoodle, Newman. Zack tweets as @zstovall and lost most of his hair sometime in 2009.

Audrey Kearns is a writer, actor and producer. She majored in both  theatre and political science at the University of Florida. The  political science degree was to make her mother happy because her mother  thought that living as an actor would be god-awful. She was right.  Audrey is the founder and editor-in-chief of the influential pop culture  website, Geek Girl Authority. She hosts and produces the podcasts Geeky  Fun Time, Kneel Before Aud and 5 Truths and a Lie. She is a Los Angeles  producer and host of The Story Collider. She also wrote, produced and  performed in the successful one-person comedy Obsessively Okay which  somehow managed to combine her battles with Obsessive Compulsive  Disorder with her love for Star Trek cosplay. If that’s not nerdy enough  for you, then just ask her to show you the two separate inhalers she  carries with her at all times 

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Older and Wiser: Stories about growing up


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Podcast: The Story Collider
Episode: Older and Wiser: Stories about growing up
Episode pub date: 2019-04-19


This week we present two stories of the children we used to be and how they grew up.

Part 1: As a sixth grader, Anna Neu decides she’s going to fall in love at science camp.

Part 2: At age nine, Anicca Harriot plans to study both the heart and space, but as she gets older, that plan becomes more challenging than she expected.

Anna Neu has several interests including improv, sketch  comedy and voiceover work. She is a trained dancer and Michael Howard  Studio Conservatory taught actor. She performs at the Magnet Theater on  weekends in shows such as The Armando Diaz Experience and has been on  several house teams there. Her voice can be heard on a handful of  episodes of The Truth Podcast. Also a Moth Story Slam winner.  

Anicca Harriot is currently working on her PhD in  Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at the University of Maryland  School of Medicine. Her research focuses on mechanotransduction – the  science of how mechanical stresses and physical forces, like gravity,  affect cell signaling and function. Anicca plans to use her degree to  explore the effects of long duration space missions on the human body  and hopes to someday venture out into the final frontier for herself.  Anicca is also the Social Media Coordinator & LGBTQ+ Engagement  Specialist for #VanguardSTEM: Conversations for Women of Color in STEM, a  non-profit dedicated to lifting the voices of women and non-binary  people of color in STEM. In her free time Anicca volunteers with  #Popscope, “popping up” with a telescope around Baltimore to promote  public astronomy and encourage curiosity. 

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Adventures with Dads: Stories about chasing down our fathers


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Podcast: The Story Collider
Episode: Adventures with Dads: Stories about chasing down our fathers
Episode pub date: 2019-06-14


This week we share two stories from people who have go on wild goose chases to find their dads.

Part 1: In his last year of medical school in Colombia, Gabriel Duran Rehbein finds out his father has been kidnapped.

Part 2: After seeing her dad lose control of his mind, art student Minerva Contreras decides to study the brain, in hopes of understanding him.

Gabriel Duran Rehbein, MD describes himself as a huge nerd and a pathological optimist. He is currently making full use of both those characteristics as a Research Fellow in the Viviane Tabar Lab at MSKCC, where his work focuses on the development of a novel real-time drug screening platform for primary brain tumors using patient-derived three-dimensional explant cultures. He obtained his MD from Universidad de los Andes in his native city of Bogotá, Colombia. When he is not in the lab, Gabriel enjoys reading, attending concerts and spending time with friends. He is always on the lookout for places to go salsa dancing.” 

Minerva Contreras is a senior at Universidad Autonoma  de Queretaro, where she is majoring in Biotechnology Engineering with a  focus in Biomedical Sciences. Her undergrad research has lead her to  explore different areas within neurobiology such as the molecular  biology of glioblastoma at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, and  neurodegenerative diseases at UCSD Sanford Consortium for Regenerative  Medicine. Before discovering her passion for science, Minerva completed  an AA in Filmmaking; she believes this was an important contribution to  her appreciation for diversity and humanities. Her future goals include  pursuing a doctoral degree in Neurosciences, as well as creatively  communicating science to the general public, especially future  generations, in a relatable fashion. As of next fall, she will be a grad student in the Neurosciences PhD program at UCSD.  In her spare time, she enjoys going  on hikes with her dogs, strength training, and spending time with her  family and friends.   

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Moms of Science: Stories about being mothers and scientists


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Podcast: The Story Collider
Episode: Moms of Science: Stories about being mothers and scientists
Episode pub date: 2019-05-10


his week we present two stories of scientists becoming mothers.

Part 1: Heather Williams trades in her physicist labcoat for motherhood, and wonders if she can return.

Part 2: Mary Garcia-Cazarin discovers she’s pregnant just as she is offered a prestigious science policy fellowship, and worries about she can’t cope with both.

Heather Williams is a principal medical physicist at The Christie  hospital in Manchester, UK, where she oversees imaging and therapy in  the Nuclear Medicine Department and specialises in Positron Emission  Tomography. Heather is an advocate for science communication to  non-expert audiences and is passionate about supporting Women in STEM.  The latter lead her to set up ScienceGrrl back in 2012, a grassroots  national network with 10 local chapters throughout the UK that help  match scientists with speaking opportunities close to them. Williams is a  current member of the IOP’s Women in Physics group committee and  represents the Institute of Physics within the European Platform for  Women Scientists (EPWS). In 2017 she was awarded the IOP Phillips Award  for distinguished service to the IOP through the Women in Physics Group.  When she’s not working, Heather enjoys running, cycling, hiking and  spending time with her sons.   

Mary Garcia-Cazarin, Ph.D., M.S. is a Scientific Advisor for the Tobacco  Regulatory Science Program (TRSP) in the Office of Disease Prevention  at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where she helps to stimulate  and coordinate collaborative tobacco regulatory science research; and  implementation of initiatives related to disease prevention, tobacco and  public health. Previously, Dr. Garcia-Cazarin was an American  Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology  Policy Fellow in the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS). She is an  alumna of the Linton-Poodry SACNAS Leadership Institute (2011) and the  Advanced Leadership Institute (2017). Dr. Garcia-Cazarin is a former  SACNAS Board Member. She received her Bachelor of Science in  pharmaceutical chemistry from Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico, her  Master of Science in biology from James Madison University, in  Harrisonburg, Virginia, and her Ph.D. in pharmacology from the  University of Kentucky in Lexington. She is a passionate about training  and mentoring and an advocate of outreach programs to increase  participation of underrepresented groups in science-related fields. 

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