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Student Spotlight: June 2020

NSC students and instructors in zoom boxes during graduation celebration

In this quarter's issue, we're pleased to celebrate the accomplishments of the seniors graduating from our Notation in Science Communication program.  Read below to learn more about these amazing students and their plans for the future.

Rachel Anders is graduating with a BS in Biology; she earned a Notation in Science Communication with Distinction.

Laura Anderson is graduating with a BS in Biology in the Marine Biology track. Next year, she is staying at Stanford to finish a coterminal MA in Earth Systems, Environmental Communication. She’s hoping to keep building connections between ocean science and communication through environmental policy work. Laura writes about her experience with the NSC program: "The Notation program pushed me to consider broader aspects of ocean science and was a catalyst for expanding my interests toward interdisciplinary problem solving and environmental policy. A special thank you to my PWR advisor Dr. Carpenter, who encouraged me to think critically about what I learned during my science communication journey in college."  She earned a Notation in Science Communication with Distinction.

Léa Bourgade is graduating with a BA in Human Biology.  She earned a Notation in Science Communication with Distinction.

Mikaela Brewer is graduating with a BS in Human Biology and a Minor in Creative Writing. She is excited to share her future plans, which include “neuroscience research, editing my novel, working on mental health related projects that I've been meaning to do, and training for professional basketball in the hopefully not so distant future.” Mikaela wanted to share her gratitude for all those who helped her with earning her Notation: "I absolutely love this program, and am excited to see where it will take me. Huge thank you's go out to everyone involved in this process, specifically for allowing and helping me to be a part of the program while being an athlete."

Jordan Brinn is graduating with a BS in Environmental Systems Engineering. Next year, she will be enrolled in a coterm program and working towards her MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering concentrating in Sustainable Design and Construction. In reflecting on her NSC experience, she wanted to share the following: "Through artifacts I created in the NSC program, I discovered that my passion for sustainability extended beyond engineered solutions to policy and advocacy. I learned so much about unintended consequences and equity in sustainable urban development, and artifacts that I created during this learning process aided my acceptance in a fellowship program where I was able to gain further experience with these topics and communication skills in the professional realm."

Alexandre Bucquet is graduating with a BS in Mathematical and Computational Science. He’ll stay on next year for his Coterm in Statistics. Alexandre recognizes his NSC advisors’ mentorship as a key element of his NSC experience: "I would like to thank Professor Wright for being my NSC advisor and for peaking my interest in data visualizations in her class, and Professor Cirillo-McCarthy for getting me very excited about communication in my PWR 2 class. Both of them motivated me to join the NSC program! My favorite moment of NSC was choosing a story arc for my ePortfolio and reflecting on all the artifacts that I had made during my time at Stanford. It was very rewarding to see all I had accomplished in four years, and was a great way to close my undergraduate work."  He earned a Notation in Science Communication with Distinction.

Niza Contreras is graduating with a BS in Earth Systems; she earned a Notation in Science Communication with Distinction.

Robel Daniel is graduating with a BS in Computer Science and BA in Political Science. After graduation, he will be working as a software engineer. Robel has this to say about his experience with the NSC program: “I'm really thankful for the NSC providing me with a creative outlet for my science communication; I wasn't expecting the opportunity to explore so many genres and learn so much about media creation.”

Audrey Elliott is graduating with a BA in Human Biology. Audrey really enjoys the NSC cohort experience, saying that: "One of my favorite parts about the notation was seeing the awesome work that my peers in the program were doing, especially in [PWR] 99B.  It was cool to see the role that science communication plays within different majors and disciplines."  She earned a Notation in Science Communication with Distinction.

Soraya Fereydooni is graduating with a BS in Biology. Next year, she is starting medical school at the Yale School of Medicine. 

Redeat Gebeyehu is graduating with a BA in Human Biology and Minor in African Studies. Next year, she is doing a Masters Program at Stanford. She has this to say about her NSC experience: "The notation allowed me to explore and reflect on my interest in public health in sub-Saharan Africa in a very profound way!"

Rebecca Nelson will be graduating with a BS in Biology with Honors (Ecology and Evolution track) and a Minor in Creative Writing. Next year, she is starting a PhD in ecology at University of California Davis. Rebecca has this to say about her NSC advisor: “Emily Polk is a really amazing NSC advisor! She exudes an aura of enthusiasm and warmth. Every conversation I've had with her has been incredibly meaningful, and I've felt so inspired by her.”  She earned a Notation in Science Communication with Distinction.

Mailo Numazu is graduating with a BS with Honors in Human Biology. She doesn’t have set post-graduation plans yet, but she intends to apply for data analytics and communications positions with the State of California, preferably in the public health department. She has this to say about her NSC experience: "My NSC advisor, Shay Brawn, was absolutely amazing and I can't fully express how grateful I am for the academic and emotional support she gave me since I entered the NSC, and especially when finalizing my portfolio. She was just awesome and so helpful in helping me realize exactly where I wanted to go with my scientific communication pieces. It was a wonderful process that I wouldn't want to go through with anyone else. I also met one of my closest friends, Alex Bucquet, through the NSC and I'm incredibly thankful for that. The NSC has a lot of wonderful people in it and I'm grateful I got to see all the great work they've done."  She earned a Notation in Science Communication with Distinction.

Nana Peterson is graduating with a BS in Biology. Next year, she is matriculating into the Stanford Biology masters coterminal program. Upon completion, she hopes to head to graduate/ medical school to pursue an MD/PhD. She is also working on revising a children's chapterbook on malaria that she was inspired to write as a student of the NSC program, in the hopes of publishing it. She has this to say about her NSC experience: "Perhaps the most memorable lesson I have learnt as a student of the NSC program is that even if it takes brainstorming session upon brainstorming session, and revision upon revision, I can also be a science storyteller. I am very grateful to all who have helped me to realize my science communication capabilities, especially Dr. Jennifer Stonaker and Dr. Megan Formato; thank you for your encouragement, your feedback, your faith in me, and the amazing ideas you helped me to discover and develop. Thank you for guiding me to create an eportfolio I love because it tells my story as a science communicator in the past and now, but also speaks to my future as a scientist and science communicator, without leaving out my identity as a Ghanaian and West African. Most of all, thank you for teaching me to believe in myself as a science storyteller. I hope to continue developing and putting to good use, the effective science communication skills I have learnt from you"  She earned a Notation in Science Communication with Distinction.

Amelia Traylor is graduating with a BS in Mechanical Engineering.  Next year, she will be finishing her coterminal master's degree at Stanford before beginning her PhD work at Johns Hopkins in a biomechanical device laboratory.  She earned a Notation in Science Communication with Distinction.

Jenny M. Vo-Phamhi is graduating with a BAH in Classics and a BS in Computer Science. Next year, she is taking a postgraduate year to continue her research applying technology to address challenges affecting human health, human rights, and cultural heritage. She had this to say about her experience in the NSC: "I will always be grateful to the fantastic teachers I have had as a student in the NSC. Dr. Russ Carpenter mentored and encouraged me to as I developed the human trafficking awareness identification materials for healthcare workers and patients. These materials are now making their way into healthcare clinics and this is one of my proudest accomplishments at Stanford. This would not have happened without him and his teaching. Dr. Kim Savelson guided and supported me through one of my most meaningful experiences at Stanford -- researching and developing a long-form story that has caused me to reflect not only on what drives my audience, but also what drives me. In my final quarter at Stanford, amidst the turmoil of the pandemic, I actively looked forward to coming to class to have profound conversations about stories and how to tell them in an impactful way. Dr. Meg Formato is the best NSC advisor I could have ever asked for -- pushing me . I am grateful for the privilege of taking not one but two classes with her -- PWR 99A and 99B. With her teaching, I have learned so much about how to present the work I do to the world. My classmates and I really benefited from Met's guidance in reflecting on what has motivated us to do the work we've done. Jenae Cohn made it possible for me to represent my work in a way that felt really meaningful to me. Because of her, I knew the only limits on my ability to build a portfolio were my own energy and creativity -- not my ability to use the technology! I'll always remember how she always had our backs no matter the time of day or day of the week! I have been so proud to be in the NSC program. When people tell me I am a good speaker or present well, I always proudly tell them I am in the NSC program. I even began including "Notation in Science Communication" in my email signature as a differentiating characteristic for me. Sorry this is all so long, but this all really means a lot to me. I hope it will be possible for these individuals to see what I have included here in some way! Thank you so much!"

Zheng Yan is graduating with a BS in Computer Science. Next year, he will be finishing his coterminal master's degree in computer science at Stanford. He has this to say about his NSC experience: "For my final project in a class I took for the notation (Intro to science communication), I made a video where I explained how people were using AI to help them design websites. From the class, I learned that effective storytelling, authenticity, and strategic distillation of material were all super important components to making good science communication videos for the public. So, I took on the persona of this sassy llama and made my style casual but information-dense. This was really enjoyable to do, and I ended up starting my own Youtube channel -- and started videos on everything from Stanford tips for freshmen to guides to cool CS concepts. My most recent video was on Zoom's biggest scandal, and it actually took off quite a bit in the cybersecurity community :) I'm really appreciative of the notation for giving me the skills to not only be more successful in all different aspects my career, but for introducing me to a new and meaningful hobby as well!"

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