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STEM Diversity Podcast

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Interviews with STEM and tech professionals from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. From Facebook, Braintree, IBM, Toyota, Stanford, UIUC, Johns Hopkins, the Gates Institute, and more.

Interviews with STEM and tech professionals from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. From Facebook, Braintree, IBM, Toyota, Stanford, UIUC, Johns Hopkins, the Gates Institute, and more.
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Interviews with STEM and tech professionals from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. From Facebook, Braintree, IBM, Toyota, Stanford, UIUC, Johns Hopkins, the Gates Institute, and more.




24: Communicating Care with Patients and Communicating Brain Science Online - Interview with Dr. Ginger Campbell, Palliative Medicine Physician at Birmingham VAMC and Host of Brain Science Podcast

Dr. Ginger Campbell is Palliative Medicine Physician at Birmingham VA Medical Center. She previously spent over 20 years as an emergency medicine physician. She also hosts the Brain Science Podcast, which has been running for over 10 years. Palliative care is the newest speciality in medicine. Palliative comes from a Greek word which means “to shield”. So the basic idea of palliative care is to protect patients and their families from suffering. It can be from pain, including...

Duration: 00:29:31

23: Launching Apps for Non-technical Entrepreneurs - Interview with Amanda Spann, App Founder and Marketer

Amanda started Happii, a startup studio that helps non-technical entrepreneurs create apps and scale them into companies, including product and technology development, marketing, and project management. Amanada acts as a co-founder of these companies as part of the arrangements. Two of these companies are Afridate and Tipoff. Afridate is a dating app that connects black singles. It allows you to search by nationality or ethnicity. Tipoff is a word guessing game customized to...

Duration: 00:27:06

22: Supporting Production Software Systems at Scale - Interview with Jeffrey Smith, Manager of Production Operations at Centro

Jeffrey Smith is Manager of Production Operations at Centro, a media services company that helps brands and ad agencies execute their digital advertising strategies. These companies have broad advertising campaigns, and they come to Centro to get help with the digital parts. Centro provides web-based tools with standardized workflows in an industry which has in the past been very disorganized and analog. Centro also has a demand side platform (DSP), allowing advertisers to bid on digital...

Duration: 00:32:21

21: From Building Dating Apps to Building Affordable Urban Homes - Interview with Brian Gerrard, Co-Founder at California Modular and Co-Founder at Bae Dating App

Brian Gerrard is Co-Founder at California Modular, an Oakland-based real estate development company, that addresses the rising housing costs in many US urban communities. He is also Co-Founder of Bae, a dating app for Black millennial singles. Brian is based out of Oakland. Brian says that in the Bay Area, the supply for affordable housing has stayed constant, but the demand has grown exponentially. Consequently, the cost of housing has risen by 75% in the past 5 years in Oakland. Family...

Duration: 00:32:02

20: Covering Technology and Business in Asia - Interview with Dr. Bernard Leong, Head of Post Office Network & Digital Services at Singapore Post and Host of Analyse Asia Podcast

Bernard started Analyse Asia podcast about three years ago, as a way to do long-form storytelling, in order to cover business and technology in Asia. The podcast is focused on companies who have at least received a Series B round of funding, and the movers and shakers in that world. Guests include executives of US companies based in Asia, executives of Asian companies, and industry watchers and journalists. Bernard is planning to grow the podcast into a broader media platform. Bernard is...

Duration: 00:31:10

19: Connecting Math and Science to Students with Black Panther and other Modern-day Relevant Experiences - Interview with Shareef Jackson, Founder of Math Looks Good and Co-host of Spawn on Me Podcast

Shareef Jackson is the founder of the math and physics tutoring service Math Looks Good and a co-host on the Spawn on Me podcast. He is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Shareef started the Math Looks Good tutoring service while working at a corporate job. He’s since left the corporate world and done this full time. He works with high school students. For some students, he has developed a custom curriculum for them. Shareef uses plain English and modern examples. He says he used a Black...

Duration: 00:26:26

18: Protecting Enterprise Security for Startups - Interview with Kathy Wang, Director of Security at GitLab

Kathy explains her role as Director of Security at the startup, GitLab. She’s responsible for securing the company, which involves setting guidelines on how to store customer data and other sensitive data within the company infrastructure. She works with other teams in the organization to ensure that the product that is rolled out is as secure as possible. Kathy says that security teams at companies often do security research while discovering vulnerabilities. Kathy advises companies...

Duration: 00:34:34

17: Interview with Dr. Ranjitha Kumar, Assistant Professor at University of Illinois Department of Computer Science

Ranjitha talks about a data-driven approach to digital design. She explains the research work her group does at the University of Illinois in the Department of Computer Science. The applications are very board, including mining user interactions in mobile apps and even the fashion vertical. Ranjitha talks about growing up in the Bay Area. Her parents encouraged her to have a broad education, influencing her to now have a interdisciplinary approach to her current work. Ranjitha previously...

Duration: 01:03:46

16: Interview with Dr. Mark Gabriel Little, Executive Director at Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise

Mark talks about Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, a business policy think tank in the business school of UNC Chapel Hill, where he serves as Executive Director. He shares how the institute, through its portfolio of centers, partners with businesses and local governments to work on projects benefting local communities in economic need. Mark also talks about Black Communities: A Conference for Collaboration. It is an upcoming conference connecting academic researchers an black...

Duration: 00:45:05

15: Interview with Dr. Angela Tran Kingyens, Partner at Version One Ventures

Angela, Partner at Version One Ventures, explains venture capital. She explains the business of unicorns and how it is a high risk high reward type of investment. Angela talks about growing up in Toronto in an immigrant family. She did biomedical engineering in undergrad, and applied those engineering skills to finance in her PhD. Angela co-founded Insight Data Science, a program that equips PhD graduates with real-world data science skills, and places them in top tech...

Duration: 00:33:01

14: Interview with Dr. Edmond Choi, Vice President of Model Development at BMO Capital Markets

Edmond talks about developing financial models using stochastic processes, similar to those used in physics. Does a lot of research and software implementation day to day. Edmond talks about growing up with math as a hobby, with a mathematician father. Following sports stats in baseball and basketball. Playing chess and card games like black jack and poker. Edmond always enjoyed applications of math, and chose a career in math finance. Edmond says it’s important for Asians to break free...

Duration: 00:23:19

13: Interview with Dr. Erin Macdonald, Space Technical Consultant and Public Educator

Erin talks about how speaking at Comic-Con and Dragon Con led her to create a YouTube series explaining science in science fiction. She explains the science behind the Heisenberg compensator in Star Trek. She talks about her career as a science consultant for the entertainment industry. Erin explains gravitational waves and the recently announced discoveries as well as some of the related postdoctoral research work she did in the area. Erin says representation matters, and she makes a...

Duration: 00:33:30

12: Interview with Sara Ramirez, Conservation Biologist

Sara talks about sea turtles in the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. She explains her research work in the sea turtles and the promotion work of protecting natural resources on the island through the St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network (SKSTMN). Sara recalls having a lot of opportunities connecting with nature while growing up, and advocates for all people to do the same, to truly understand how our day-to-day human decisions impact the greater ecological...

Duration: 00:56:14

11: Interview with Frankie Reed, Design Release Engineer at Toyota

Frankie talks about how his software skills, hardware skills, and project management knowledge come together in his role as Design Release Engineer. He shares about his time at the University of Michigan, where there were very few African American students, and even less in the engineering program. He talks about how it’s important for organizations like the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) to help build and maintain the pipeline of underrepresented folks in learning engineering...

Duration: 00:32:20

10: Interview with Gabriel Valdivia, Lead Product Designer at Facebook

Gabriel explains how basic design principles carry over in different modes of human computer interaction, even in the new field of VR design, and how thinking in 3D is important for VR. Gabriel talks growing up in Cuba and Costa Rica, and how his persistence led him through different roles in his career, bringing him to VR design now. Gabriel organized the design-focused Vectors Conference earlier this year, where the attendees learned about how your identity and personal experiences...

Duration: 00:55:19

9: Billimarie Lubiano Robinson, Front End Developer at Message Agency and Board Member at Coded by Kids

Billimarie talks about being a front end developer at Message Agency, a B Corp based in Philadelphia, serving nonprofits locally and nationally. She talks about how her early passion in art (she majored in creative writing and film in college) allowed her to explore digital tools, eventually becoming a professional web developer, and how that background still gives her a unique perspective in tech today. Billimarie is a teacher and board member at Coded by Kids, serving inner-city...

Duration: 00:46:24

8: Marie Sarmiento, recently Senior Product Manager at Grubhub

Marie talks about working on many of the pioneering technologies in the digital food ordering and delivery business, especially interfacing with restaurants before they were equipped with modern technologies. Marie talks about bringing her product skills to Willow Chicago, and how to motivate and mobilize volunteers in nonprofits. Grubhub Willow Chicago Chicago Product Management Association Meetup WomenHack WiSTEM Search and subscribe to STEM...

Duration: 01:03:50

7: Dr. Amy Tsui, Professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Amy provides a broad overview of the field of population science and reproductive health. She talks about her role and work as professor at Johns Hopkins, as former Director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute, and as President of the Population Association of America. She talks about projects impacting families all over the world, including places like Sub-Saharan Africa where there is still a great need for reproductive education and resources. She says that STEM by itself is not...

Duration: 00:49:06

6: Brittany Canty, Senior Product Manager at Braintree Payments

Brittany tells us about the complexities of consumer payment processing, and how her product management work at Braintree helps companies simplify that. Braintree is improving hiring by using Textio to create more inclusive job reqs (postings) and calling out the Imposter Syndrome. Brittany shares the difficulties she’s faced in the past, and tells us that the fight is hard. She says self-care is important. Don’t get burnt out. Braintree Payments Office...

Duration: 00:22:09

5: Dr. Debra Karhson, Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University School of Medicine

Debra shares her life as a grant-writing postdoc and her current path toward a research-focused faculty position. She explains how her cognitive neuroscience and bioengineering backgrounds prepared her for the autism research she does now at Stanford University. She tells us it’s important to be visible as a black female neuroscientist, why diversity is not enough, and that we need inclusion as well. She seamlessly blends her professional work with her life as a social justice...

Duration: 00:46:12

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