Student Spotlight: June 2021
In this issue, we're pleased to spotlight an amazing group of students -- our pandemic cohort of seniors graduating from our Notation in Science Communication program. Read below to learn more about these dedicated students who finished up their NSC work remotely during Spring 2021.
Margot Bellon is graduating with a BS in Biology and a Minor in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Next year, she will be remaining at Stanford, co-terming in Epidemiology. In her reflections on her Notation experience, she in particular singles out her work with Dr. Jennifer Stonaker and her experience in PWR 91JS "The Stanford Science Podcast": "Jennifer Stonaker was truly an amazing mentor to me throughout the NSC program. I took three classes with her throughout the Notation, and I think she had such a beautiful way of mentoring closely while also allowing space for independent thought and creativity. My most memorable moment during the Notation program was creating a podcast with a fellow NSC student, Nomi, during our Science Podcasting course. We had very distinct interests to start with--- mine were more focused on women's health, and his on microbiology. But, we were paired together and ended up crafting a really interesting and entertaining science podcast about how the vaginal microbiome influences preterm birth, specifically in African American women. We got the opportunity to interview an expert microbiologist, as well as a women who had previously experienced preterm birth, and, as a result, we created a podcast that appealed to both the audience's emotions and intellect. There were countless other projects like this one that I produced throughout the NSC program, and I am so grateful for the science communication, multi-media creation, and critical thinking skills the program has taught me throughout the years. I would highly recommend the NSC to other students, regardless of what particular science interests they have!" Margot earned a Notation in Science Communication with Distinction.
Alan Brantley is graduating with a BS in Engineering with a focus on Product Design. He'll spend next year earning an MS in Product Innovation at USC's Iovine and Young Academy.
Wajih R. Chaudry is graduating this year with a BA in History. Next year, he plans to work on his family farm -- and to put time and energy into his start up. He's also hoping to find a research job ("fingers crossed," he writes). Wajih had this to say about his time in NSC: "I learned a lot from neuroscience discussions with [former PWR lecturer] Dr. Carpenter! Also, when I talk to scientists who have not taken part in NSC, I am really surprised by the communication difference. NSC makes a difference!"
Osanna Vivian Drake graduated in winter 2021 with an MS and BS with Honors in Earth Systems, as well as a minor in Spanish and an additional notation in Public Service. She currently is an Illegal Fishing and Transparency Fellow with Oceana.
Jordan Ferré is graduating with a BS in Earth Systems, Biosphere Track. This summer, she'll be moving to New York City to start teaching middle school science with Success Academies. She writes about his experience with NSC: "The Notation in Science Communication has been such a wonderful program to be a part of throughout my time at Stanford. The professors are all really wonderful and truly want to help us become better communicators in every way. The classes are all amazing and the students that the Notation brings together are such an inspiring group."
Kate LeBlanc is graduating with a BS in Biology and an MS in Bioengineering. Next year, she'll be attending the MD/PhD Program at the University of Washington. In reflecting on her work with the Notation, Kate said, "I appreciated the the program allowed me to synthesize a lot of the science communication work I was already doing and built in space for deliberate reflection and improvement." Kate earned a Notation in Science Communication with Distinction.
Ilham Osman is graduating this year with a BS in Human Biology. Next year, she anticipates applying to medical school while also performing research in the Microbiology Department at Stanford School of Medicine. She writes about her time with NSC: "I have truly enjoyed being a part of the NSC program. The program allowed me to grow as a communicator in ways that will be applicable for the rest of my life. Dr. Stonaker has truly been an amazing advisor and I am honored to have had the opportunity to learn from her."
Nomi Ringach is graduating with a BS in Mathematics; he is part of Stanford's co-term program and will be working toward his MS in Computer Science next year, which he anticipates receiving in June 2022. In reflecting on his experience with the Notation, he writes, "The last place I ever expected to find myself on campus was the secret professional recording studio in Lathrop tech hub, but that's where I spent several hours for the science podcasting class. I got the opportunity, resources, and mentorship to try thing I never would've expected myself to do. In addition, Megan Formato and Jennifer Stonaker made the entire experience enjoyable, exciting, and one of my best learning experiences at Stanford." Nomi earned a Notation in Science Communication with Distinction.