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The Story Collider

Storytelling Podcasts

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!


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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!






Initiations: Stories about proving oneself

Whether it’s a new school or new job, there’s often some sort of “try out” to see if you cut the mustard. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers share stories about their own inductions. Part 1: When Colleen McDermott signs up to be a forestry conservationist for the summer, they soon notice that none of their colleagues look like them. Part 2: On Pete McCorvey’s first deployment in the United States Navy, he is dreading the part of training where he gets pepper sprayed. Colleen McDermott, originally from Philadelphia, is a current undergraduate at Washington University in St. Louis. Studying environmental analysis and writing, Colleen loves both conservation and communications. In their spare time, they enjoy hiking, reading, and playing whatever percussion instrument is nearby. A native of Moss Point, MS, Pete McCorvey has travel around the world as both a comedian and as a U.S. Navy Sailor. He has met many people and experience many things that has shaped and challenged his outlook on the world we live in. In his spare time, Pete enjoys reading, writing, podcasting and discovering new and historical locales in his immediate area. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Learning: Stories from our workshops

In this week’s episode, we are highlighting two storytellers from The Story Collider's Education Program and the stories they crafted as a result of the lessons they learned throughout their workshops. Part 1: As a teenager growing up in Iran Yasamin Jodat hears about a robotics competition at the local boys' school, and she is determined to do whatever it takes to be part of it. Part 2: A third cancer diagnosis threatens to ruin JulieAnn Villa's love of running. Yasamin Jodat is currently a Senior Automation Engineer at Ginkgo Bioworks where she designs robotic systems that can run biological laboratory operations at high scales. JulieAnn Villa is a health and science communicator. She honed her skills over 20-years as a public high school teacher. Her first Story Collider workshop in 2017, sparked a new, unknown artistic side, and she has been hooked ever since. She is a Chicago Moth Story slam regular and uses her storytelling skills for good in health care, giving voice to patient experience. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Motherhood: Stories about becoming a mom

In honor of Mother’s Day, this week we’re sharing stories about the journey to becoming a mom. Part 1: Discouraged by the medical approach to pregnancy, Julia Whitehouse decides to have a home birth. Part 2: When Nessa Goldman splits with her husband, her dream of having children by age 35 is in jeopardy. Julia Whitehouse is a writer and comedian and mother and daughter. She has written for New Yorker Daily Shouts, McSweeney’s, Splitsider, Mutha Magazine, and POPSUGAR. She hosts Manhattan’s longest running weekly storytelling open mic at The Duplex every Monday at 7 pm. She enjoys figuring out how to build things without looking up tutorials but will always look up a recipe before deciding whether or not to follow it. Nessa Goldman is a middle school math and science teacher in Sequim, Washington. She grew up in Toronto, Canada, but prefers small towns closer to the ocean and mountains. She relocated to the Pacific Northwest as soon as she graduated college and now lives at the doorstep of the Olympic National Park. The wilderness is her church and she often spends the weekends hiking and surfing. When the sun goes down, she is the host of a bi-monthly local storytelling event, the Out Loud Story Slam. Her stories have been shared on the Risk! Podcast and Story Night. You can find her online at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Expertise: Stories about knowledge

Experts are a dime a dozen, but true expertise is hard to come by. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers – who shared their stories at our annual Proton Prom fundraiser this week – struggle with finding the knowledge they seek. We’re especially grateful to the Burroughs Wellcome Fund for supporting the event and making this all possible. Part 1: When Zach Weinersmith agrees to create a trivia game, he doesn’t realize how hard it is to come up with facts that are both interesting and actually true. Part 2: Concerned about his eyesight, comedian Josh Johnson desperately searches for a good doctor. Zach Weinersmith is a cartoonist, best known for making the comic strip SMBC. He co-authored the NYT bestselling pop science book Soonish, illustrated the NYT bestselling Open Borders. His work has been featured in too many places and society is the worse for it. Josh Johnson is a stand-up, Emmy-nominated writer, performer, and NAACP award-winner from Louisiana by way of Chicago. He is currently a writer on The Daily Show, and is a former writer and performer on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where he made his late-night debut. Johnson is Comedy Central’s ‘most watched comedian ever’ with 40M+ views to date across their platforms. As a stand-up, Johnson performs at clubs, colleges, and festivals around the world. Johnson was named Comedy Central’s “Comic to Watch” in 2015, a “New Face” at the Just for Laughs comedy festival in 2016, and “New York's Funniest” in 2018. Comedy Central released Johnson’s first hour-long special #(Hashtag) in June 2021, and he taped his second hour-long special at The Bourbon Room in Los Angeles in May 2022, which is set to debut early 2023. Johnson’s self-released comedy and music mixtape album Elusive, was described by Vanyaland as “live stand-up observational humor with musical compositions. Both elements wade in and out of political and social waters between the two “arcs” of the multi-genre epic". Johnson also co-hosts two podcasts, The Josh Johnson Show (with fellow stand-up Logan Nielsen) and Hold Up (with The Daily Show colleague Dulcé Sloan). Johnson’s other credits include, CONAN (TBS), @Midnight, Kevin Hart's Hart of The City, The New Negroes, and This Week at The Comedy Cellar on Comedy Central. Johnson lives in New York and can be seen performing regularly at The Comedy Cellar. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Skin Deep: Stories about racial disparities

In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers share stories about the problems of finding representation of diverse skin tones in science and medicine. Part 1: While preparing for a lecture, Stacy Vasquez finds a racist term on a skin slide. Part 2: While learning about Lyme disease in medical school, LaShyra Nolen isn’t satisfied when the professor can’t tell her what the rash would look like on dark skin. As a first-generation Chicano in STEM, Stacy Vasquez recognizes the importance of addressing the STEM achievement gap and creating an inclusive space that will inspire students from marginalized groups. His dissertation researched and examined the impacts of a multicultural curriculum in a traditional microbiology course. With an academic background in microbiology, he was always interested in learning how the discrete, scientific information was related to issues impacting society. Traditional microbiology courses often place heavy emphasis on rote memorization of discrete facts and focus very little on how the content relates to societal issues. The multicultural curriculum aimed to teach students about various social issues while still managing to teach the objective, scientific content. The relevant topics were intended to spark student interest in efforts to strengthen their academic performance. He has continued implementing culturally responsive teaching practices in my other sciences courses, such as Human Anatomy & Physiology. Born and raised in Southern California, LaShyra “Lash” Nolen is a writer, activist, and third-year MD/MPP dual-degree student at Harvard Medical School and Kennedy School of Government, where she is serving as student council president of her medical school class, the first black woman documented to hold this leadership position. Her work has been featured in the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, and Teen Vogue, among others. She is the Founding Executive Director of “We Got Us,” a grassroots community empowerment project with the goal of bringing vaccine education and access to marginalized communities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. She is a co-host of the Clinical Problem Solvers Anti-Racism in Medicine Podcast. Her work has earned her the honor of being named a Boston Celtics “Hero Among Us” and named on the Forbes “30 Under 30” in healthcare list. She is a fervent advocate for social justice and enjoys storytelling through spoken word poetry, rap, and writing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Against the Odds: Stories from CZI's Rare As One Project

In this week’s episode, both of our stories are from CZI's Rare As One Project. CZI’s Rare As One Project brings together rare disease patients and advocates in their quest for cures. Both of this week’s stories are from Rare As One grantees who are sharing their stories and experiences navigating diagnosis and organizing their communities to accelerate research, identify treatments, and change the course of their diseases. Part 1: After ending up in the ER for the third time, Rachel Alvarez struggles to understand what’s going on with her health. Part 2: As a young adult with muscular dystrophy, Monkol Lek refuses to give up on his ambitions. Rachel Alvarez was diagnosed at birth with an unspecified neuromuscular condition, finally confirmed in 2009 as congenital muscular dystrophy. After graduating from California Polytechnic University, she spent her early career working in healthcare finance and operations. She joined Cure CMD as a volunteer when it was founded in 2008, and then as its first employee in 2012. Rachel continues to work for and on behalf of families living with congenital muscular dystrophy, to not only support their current needs, but to help ensure treatments in the foreseeable future for this group of ultra-rare conditions. Monkol Lek is an Assistant Professor at Yale University and runs a research lab that is dedicated to the genetics of muscle diseases. He grew up in Sydney and in his 20s received a diagnosis of muscular dystrophy, which motivated him to re-train and receive a PhD at the University of Sydney. He then migrated to Boston to train in human genetics and genomic technologies before starting his own lab at Yale. During his free time he likes to randomly complain on twitter, play computer games and hang out with his three rescue dogs! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Fear in the Lab: Stories about confronting danger

You can tell a lot about a person by how they react in the face of danger. In this week’s classic episode, both of our storytellers must find the courage to brave the perils of life and the lab. Part 1: Neuroscientist Rebecca Brachman is working late one night alone in the lab when she accidentally sticks herself with a needle full of deadly toxin. This story originally aired on December 16, 2016 in an episode titled “Deadly Mistake.” Part 2: Ali Mustafa finds that the scars of war stay with him even at his new job in the lab. This story originally aired on February 1, 2019 in an episode titled “Danger: Stories about life-threatening situations”. Rebecca Brachman is a neuroscientist, playwright, and screenwriter. She obtained her PhD at Columbia University, where she recently discovered the first drug that might prevent psychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Prior to that, she was a fellow at the National Institutes of Health, where she did pioneering work on how the immune system influences cognition by showing that white blood cells can act as antidepressants. She has also served as the director of NeuWrite, a national network of science-writing groups that fosters ongoing collaboration between scientists, writers, and artists. Ali Mustafa is an undergrad student for a second degree at Boise State University, in the Material Science and Engineering program, expected graduation is spring 2020. He had earned honors from the dean in Materials Science & Engineering program for the spring 2018 semester. Ali’s first bachelor degree was in chemical engineering with emphasis in chemical industries from the technological university – Baghdad, Iraq. Ali has joined the magnetic shape memory alloys research team at Boise State University, in February 2018, and he had been assigned for the crystal growth research team using Bridgman method to grow Ni Mn Ga single crystal. Ali worked in technical business development, sales, management and engineering professional with 10+ years of experience with multinational companies like HITACHI heavy machinery, and he worked in the technical engineering support office for BASF chemicals in Dubai - UAE. Ali is also a volunteer at Community Trust Partnership Program - Boise Police Department, Boise, ID (2017). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Observations: Stories about noticing the details

Making insightful observations is a key component of being a good scientist, or journalist, or filmmaker. Come to think of it, many careers rely on the ability to notice the details. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers are keen observers of human and animal nature. Part 1: Documentary filmmaker Caitlin Starowicz is so focused on making her movie about endangered Mountain Gorillas a success that she fails to see what’s in front of her. Part 2: For a story on escape rooms, journalist Danny Wicentowski studies the trials, triumphs, and strategies of the players. Caitlin Starowicz is a director/producer for film and television. Her work focuses on the climate crisis, animal rights, women in STEM, and intersectional feminism. Her films have twice nominated for Best Documentary in Canada at the Canadian Screen Awards, and once for Best Documentary Director in Canada. Danny Wicentowski is a journalist and storyteller in St. Louis. Now a producer at St. Louis Public Radio, Danny worked for more than eight years as a staff writer and investigative reporter for St. Louis’ alt-weekly the Riverfront Times. In 2020, he co-produced and hosted the podcast American Skyjacker, chronicling the life and crimes of plane hijacker Martin McNally. Danny lives in Bevo Mill with a black cat and many notebooks. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Mariah Wilson: Anything To See A Forest Elephant

In this week’s episode, we get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to film a wildlife conservation documentary. Part 1: Documentary producer Mariah Wilson is days into making her film about the endangered Forest Elephant and still hasn’t seen one. Part 2: Science Journalist Katherine J. Wu interviews Mariah Wilson to learn more about the stars of her documentary Silent Forests. Mariah Wilson is a documentary producer and director with a focus on wildlife conservation whose work has taken her to six continents. She has worked on series for PBS, Amazon, Netflix, National Geographic, Vice, A&E, Al Jazeera, History, Mongabay, Discovery, Animal Planet, and more. Her 2019 feature documentary SILENT FORESTS is about the fight to save forest elephants from ivory trafficking in Africa’s Congo Basin. It screened at Santa Barbara, Big Sky (Finalist – Feature Competition), Brooklyn Film Festival (Spirit Award), Jackson Wild WWD (Winner – Stories of Hope) and is a One World Media Award Winner. Mariah’s other producing credits include MADINA’S DREAM (SXSW, Telluride Mountainfilm), MARY JANES (Woodstock, Mill Valley), END OF THE LINE (DOC NYC), and most recently the Amazon Studios film WILDCAT (Sundance Doc Fund, Telluride, AFI, IDFA, National Board of Review Top 5 Documentaries of 2022) Mariah is passionate about illuminating the myriad intersections between humans and animals, and celebrating those dedicated to protecting wildlife. She is a proud Jackson Wild Summit Fellow (2021) and Explorer’s Club Fellow. More at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Road Not Taken: Stories about what could have been

In science it’s completely normal to wonder what would happen if you altered one variable or another – that’s what you do when you test a hypothesis – but when it comes to the choices we make in our lives, there will always be unanswered questions. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers share stories about their lives' fork-in-the-road moments. Part 1: As a child who loves biology and has Caribbean immigrant parents, Calvin Cato feels pressure to become a doctor. Part 2: Shane Hanlon can’t help but compare his life choices to those of his hometown best friend. Calvin S. Cato got his comedic start with the Wesleyan University stand-up comedy troupe Punchline and then transferred his unique brand of humor to New York City in 2006. He has performed all across the United States and has even crossed the border into Canada. His television appearances include the Game Show Network, Oxygen’s My Crazy Love, National Geographic’s Brain Games, and an unaired pilot for Vice Media called Emergency Black Meeting. In 2017, Calvin was named one of Time Out New York’s Queer Comics of Color to Watch Out For. His comedy has been featured in numerous festivals including San Francisco Sketchfest, Austin’s Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, Brooklyn Pride, Gotham Storytelling Festival, FlameCon, and the Women in Comedy Festival. In addition, you may have heard him overshare on popular podcasts including Keith and The Girl, The Beige Philip Show, RISK!, Guys We F*cked, Las Culturistas, Tinder Tales or the video game themed podcast he co-produced called the Playable Characters Podcast (featured in AV Club and Splitsider). Most recently, Calvin was published in Kweendom, an anthology of essays by queer comedians and entertainers. Published in early 2021, the book is available on Amazon and other online book retailers. Shane M Hanlon, PhD, Executive Producer and co-host of the American Geophysical Union’s podcast Third Pod from the Sun. A conservation biologist turned science communicator, he is also Manager of AGU’s Sharing Science program where he teaches fellow scientists how to communicate effectively. He is also a Senior Producer with the The Story Collider. He is also a Senior Producer with the science storytelling organization The Story Collider and instructor at the University of Pittsburgh’s Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology and he takes a few weeks each summer to get back out in the field and catch frogs. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Lies: Stories about playing along

There’s a ton of reasons to lie, but experts have found that lies are most beneficial when they’re not selfish. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers do their best to play along for the sake of others. Part 1: While working as a camp counsellor at a camp for children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses, Gabe Mollica is determined to keep his promise to one of the campers. Part 2: Collette Micks finds herself going along with her mom’s absurd plan to act like her father isn’t dying of cancer. Gabe Mollica is a comedian and writer living in Astoria, Queens. He’s performed his critically acclaimed hour “Solo,” a show about friendship, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, Manhattan’s prestigious 59east59th street theatre, and cities across the globe including New York, Dallas, and Dublin, Ireland. His Off-Broadway show "Solo: a show about friendship" reopens for a 3rd extension on March 23rd at 9pm at the Soho Playhouse. He has appeared on The Moth Radio Hour on NPR, BBC Radio 4, and wrote for the 2020 and 2019 New York Video Game Awards with the writers of the Daily Show with Trevor Noah. He performs nightly in New York City. Collette Micks is an actor, storyteller and corporate trainer. She studied theatre in Paris at Ecole Jacques Lecog and performed in theatre, film and television (Naturally Sadie, The Kennedy's, Murdoch Mysteries). Collette has been offering an extremely successful Storytelling Course at The Second City Training Center in Toronto for several years. Collette continues to tell True Stories Live on stage for several Storytelling Shows in Toronto such as The Story Collider, Confabulation, But That's Another Story and Raw Storytelling among others. Check out her storytelling blog Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Community: Stories about finding a place to belong

Finding community within science can be a challenge. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers struggle with feeling out of place in science. Part 1: After his mentor and chemistry teacher uncle is murdered, André Isaacs feels adrift. Part 2: Engineer Joey Jefferson doesn’t feel like he belongs in science as a black bisexual man. A native of Jamaica, André Isaacs moved to the US to attend the College of the Holy Cross where he received his B.A. in Chemistry in 2005. He received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 2011 and then worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2012, Andre accepted a tenure-track position at the College of the Holy Cross. In 2018, Andre was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure. In addition to teaching courses in Organic Chemistry, Andre conducts research utilizing copper-mediated organic transformations. He is one of the members of Outfront - the college's LGBTQ faculty and staff alliance and serves as faculty advisor to a number of campus student groups. Joey Jefferson is a flight systems engineer at JPL operating the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) and NEOWISE spacecrafts. Prior to his current position, he worked with NASA and foreign space agencies conceptualizing, negotiating, implementing and monitoring their antenna strategies over the Deep Space Network. An international award winning pianist, as well as singer and clarinetist, music will always be near and dear to his heart. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Dogs: Stories about our furry friends

In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers share tales of man’s best friend, more scientifically known as canines. Part 1: Dog trainer Chris Brown needs to up his skills when he adopts a former bait dog named Terror. Part 2: David Crabb has to make some tough decisions when his dog, Charlie, starts having seizures. Chris Brown was born and raised in Detroit, MI. He's always had an affinity for animals, but especially for dogs. Chris spent most of his early childhood sneaking into neighbors' yard to play with their dogs, and gravitated toward the dogs that all the adults and other children were afraid of. In turn, those same dogs became Chris' protectors. Chris' grandfather nurtured the growing passion and began teaching him how to groom desired behaviors even in tiny puppies, and Chris' uncle introduced him to his first protection dog, a Rottweiler/Dobermann mix that showed just how well trained a dog could be. It was invigorating. Dog training became a hobby that persisted into adulthood, and eventually grew into a successful business. Chris' dog training business is now based in Dallas, and he has partnered with a local rescue where he educates both fosters and adopters. Chris and his wife Kay share their home with three lively (former) street dogs, Ellie, Rogue, and Terror. David Crabb is a writer, actor and storyteller in Los Angeles. He’s a member of The Groundlings Sunday Company and author of the memoir Bad Kid, based on his New York Times Critics’ Pick solo show of the same name. David is a host of The Moth and RISK! LA. He's a professor of autobiographical storytelling at Occidental College and has directed & taught storytelling in the US, Australia, Ireland and Canada. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Katie Moriarty: The Mystical Wolverine

In this week’s episode, we learn all about the largest land-dwelling species of the family Mustelidae, the wolverine, and why they’re so special. Part 1: During her first research project in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Katie Moriarty thinks she might have spotted the impossible: a wolverine. Part 2: Science Journalist Katherine J. Wu interviews wildlife ecologist Katie Moriarty to find out more about these mystical wolverines. Dr. Katie Moriarty is a forest wildlife ecologist. Throughout her career, Katie has studied elusive, forest dependent species such as pollinators, mammals, and birds. She is considered a leading expert on the Pacific marten, a small mammal in the weasel family. She currently works as a senior research scientist with the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc. (NCASI) where her research focuses on balancing the needs of sensitive wildlife species and biodiversity, with the goal of conservation within managed forest landscapes. Moriarty received Associate degrees from Sierra Community College, a bachelors from Humboldt State University, and her master’s and PhD from Oregon State University. Dr. Moriarty is active within The Wildlife Society, International Martes Working Group, and the IUCN Small Carnivore Group, working towards small carnivore conservation. Katie currently resides in Corvallis, Oregon with her family. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Discovery: Stories about uncovering something new

In this week’s classic Story Collider episode, both our stories are about the thrill of exploration and discovering something new. Part 1: Ecologist Cylita Guy finds unexpected adventure when she studies bats in the field. Part 2: Maija Niemisto is a director of education on the Clearwater, America’s environmental flagship. But when a stranger comes to the side of the ship, it heralds a discovery about her city and herself. Cylita Guy is a PhD candidate and ACM SIGHPC/Intel Computational and Data Science Fellow in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto. Broadly interested in zoonotic diseases and their wildlife reservoirs, Cylita’s research focuses on bats and their pathogens. Using both field surveys and computational methods she is investigating why bats seem to be good at carrying viruses that they sometimes share with humans, but rarely get sick from themselves. When not in the field catching bats or at her computer analyzing data, Cylita looks to help others foster their own sense of curiosity and discovery about the natural world. In conjunction with the High Park Nature Centre Cylita has started a Junior Bat Biologist program to engage young, future scientists. She also works as a Host at the Ontario Science Centre, educating the public about diverse scientific topics. Finally, Cylita’s hilarious field exploits are featured in a general audience book titled Fieldwork Fail: The Messy Side of Science! In her down time, you can find your friendly neighborhood batgirl chasing her next big outdoor adventure. Cylita's story originally aired on The Story Collider's podcast on November 24, 2017, in an episode titled "The Bats and the Bees: Stories about winged wildlife." Maija was born to a family of musicians in the heartland, far from the sea. Minnesota was her first hailing port. School, university and adventures took her to Finland, Wisconsin and Lebanon. After receiving her B.A. in International Relations and Environmental studies, she followed the smell of sweet salt air and ran away to see the sea aboard her 28-foot sloop. In 2008, the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater appeared on the horizon and she jumped at the chance to combine her interests in music, sailing, teaching, science, water ecology, environmental advocacy and pumping the bilge. Maija's story originally aired on The Story Collider's podcast on January 29, 2012, in an episode titled "A Step Off the Boat." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


In the Name of Love: Stories about the romantic side of science

While it might not have been until the 1940s that social scientists came up with tools to measure love, it is a lot more scientific than you might think. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers look at their relationships through a scientific lens. Part 1: Lauren Silverman finds herself drawing parallels between her relationship and steelhead trout. Part 2: During the pandemic, Grant Bowen is torn between his ailing grandmother and his immunocompromised girlfriend. Lauren Silverman is Head of Programming at Gimlet Media. She’s helped manage teams and run shows such as StartUp, Conviction and How to Save a Planet. Before joining Gimlet, Lauren covered health, science and technology for NPR, Marketplace, and KERA in Dallas. You can find her writing in outlets such as The Atlantic, The Cut and National Geographic. You can see her art, including a painting of steelhead trout, at As a storyteller, Grant has been seen at The Moth, Nights of Our Lives, The Adam Wade from NH Show, Happy Hour Story Hour, Gems (Cluster Ring Edition), Comedy Hub Live, and How Was It? He co-produces Awkward Teenage Years, an award-winning monthly storytelling show focused on stories from middle school and high school years. His solo show, A Public Private Prayer, has played in multiple theatre festivals across NYC and is seeking opportunities nationwide. Select acting credits include Angelina Ballerina (Vital Theatre Company, NY); Godspell (Infinity Theatre Company, MD); Yearning for Peace (Articulate Theatre Company); Miss Nelson is Missing! (Two Beans/Theatreworks USA); & Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Snow Camp Outdoor Theatre, NC). Grant has also written a full-length play, Late Night Odyssey, which received a staged reading at the 2018 Broadway Bound Theatre Festival. His one act play, Lay Down My Sword and Shield, received a full production from Articulate Theatre Company. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Extra Mile: Stories about going over and above

If you've thought that you've ever gone above what is expected in your life, you haven't heard this week's stories. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers give new meaning to going the extra mile. Part 1: Jack Walsh exaggerates the severity of his brain tumor to get out of buying a timeshare. Part 2: Laura Fukumoto goes above and beyond trying to make a special mushroom dish from her grandmother’s childhood. Jack Walsh is an award-winning educational television producer as well as a writer, performer, storyteller, and synthesizer mess-around-with-er. He lives in Decatur, GA, with his wife, two daughters, and his pandemic puppy, Trish. Laura Fukumoto graduated with a BFA from the University of British Columbia and has worked in so-called Vancouver for more than a decade, wearing many hats to survive. More recent hats include fabric wizard, poet, costume designer, playwright, and graduate of Simon Fraser University’s Writer’s Studio. Recent poetry performances include Diasporic Dynasty, Queer Arts Festival, and Powell Street Festival, as well as a small tour of her co-written play “Mending Circle”. She writes about her Japanese-Canadian heritage, queer joy, and hopes to more fully explore her love of mycology. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Volunteered: Stories about unwanted jobs

In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers share times where they got stuck with jobs they never signed up for. Part 1: Ted Olds finds himself an unwilling participant in his son’s school assignment to look after an electronic baby doll. Part 2: Cadré Francis is less than thrilled when finds out he’s been volunteered to do demonstrations at a STEM camp. Ted Olds is a mechanical engineer and patent lawyer. He has worked on protecting technologies as wide ranging as Pratt and Whitney's geared aircraft engine to the Rainbow Loom. He also tells stories around the country. He has appeared on Story Collider and its podcast before. Ted has won the Moth Story Slams 20 across eight cities. Cadré Francis is a Ph.D. student in Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) at Boise State University. He has earned degrees in the biological and chemical sciences and enjoys studying MSE due to its interdisciplinary nature. Outside of work, he enjoys learning about history and playing sports. He hopes to pursue a career in research and development where he can contribute to more sustainable science while driving innovation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Evolution: Stories about our changing relationship with science

In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers explore their ever changing relationships with science over the course of their lives. Part 1: All throughout his life, Chris Wade has a love-hate relationship with science, with very little love. Part 2: After Caroline Hu’s parents make her choose between art and science at age 17, she struggles with her choice. Chris Wade is a native Washingtonian and a retired police officer. He is married to his best friend and adores his children. Chris enjoys storytelling, laughter, traveling and good food. He is a Johns Hopkins University graduate and currently works in community outreach. One of his favorite quotes is, "Tell me the facts and I'll learn. Tell me the truth and I'll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in heart forever." Caroline Hu studied the evolution of animal behavior at Harvard University. She has lived in the Midwest, California, and China, but like the salmon, is now back in the Boston area where she was born. She also draws comics inspired by other living things–from pitcher plants to those toads that carry their eggs in their back. Her dream project is to create a graphic novel inspired by her scientific training. A copy of its first chapter, which she self-published, is in the Library of Congress. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Misinterpretation: Stories about misreading the situation

To err is human, even if you’re a scientist. In this week’s episode, both storytellers share moments about a time when they got things a bit wrong. Part 1: As a newly minted postdoc, Eric Jankowski has the perfect solution for helping his mentees. Part 2: Science journalist Eric Boodman gets in a little too deep on an assignment about a senior care home. Eric Jankowski is an associate professor in the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering at Boise State University, where he helps students use computers to engineer new materials. He loves bicycles and hates leaf blowers. Eric Boodman is a reporter for STAT whose work has also appeared in The Atlantic, Undark, and The New York Times Magazine. He's written about entomologists who specialize in fictional infestations, unscientific infant death investigations, and mysterious appearances of exotic arachnids in a Nazi air-raid shelter, and his features have won a number of awards, including the Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award for young science journalists, the American Society of Magazine Editors "Next" Award for journalists under 30, and the New America Award for public service coverage of immigrant communities. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit