CESTEMER Speaker Spotlight: Becky DePodwin

What makes the CESTEMER community unique are all of the outstanding participants who boldly cross disciplinary lines in their work, while creating and sharing all of the fun that can be along the way. Here we highlight many of these individuals with the CESTEMER Speaker Spotlights Series, where we’ve asked presenters from CESTEMER 17 and CESTEMER 19 to answer a few questions about what excites them about our community and the intersection with their passions.

What drew you to become involved with CESTEMER?

Becky DePodwin

I had the opportunity to take part in an Improv Science course led by Raquell Holmes as part of a leadership academy. It was with a group of 40 relative strangers. A diverse set of scientists from different sectors in the weather industry. Within minutes of the activity beginning, people were laughing, talking, actively engaged, getting to know one another in an entirely unique way- through play. Meteorologists tend to be a pretty serious bunch. Our forecasts can mean life or death and that’s something that often weighs heavily on us. To be given the opportunity, the instruction to be silly, to do things that weren’t necessarily logical, to laugh hysterically, was an opportunity welcomed and embraced wholeheartedly by the cohort. It showed us a different side of our colleagues, a side not usually seen in most adults, much less a bunch of serious scientists who just met one another. When we are allowed to let go of decorum & expectations, we find ourselves opening up in unexpected ways, to not just others, but ourselves as well. When our minds are open, we are better able to foster an atmosphere of collaboration and curiosity through which ideas flow freely.

Since that experience, I have searched for ways to step outside the rigidity of daily tasks and connect with those around me in more playful manner.

What are you most excited about experiencing CESTEMER in June?

I am excited to be surrounded by a diverse group of people that I can learn from in a fun and unique way that forces me out of my comfort zone and into a space that is different from any space I’ve been in previously. I’m hoping to discover new ways of engaging in meaningful interactions that I can bring back to the committees I serve on and utilize at future events. I believe the CESTEMER conference, and the chance to connect with many people from across numerous disciplines will allow for a broadening of perspective regarding leadership, peer mentoring, and community engagement. I’m also very much interested in seeing different types & styles of presentations and hope to come away with lots of ideas on breaking away from the “death by power point” presentation style that is so often the norm at scientific conferences.

What are some ways people can get connected to you and your work?

I am very active on Twitter (@wx_becks) and use that as my main form of communication with the world, both professionally and personally. I discuss weather, emergency management, crisis and risk communication, and perhaps most importantly, I share an open dialogue about my mental health journey. This includes an open dialogue about my diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder, my struggle with Imposter Syndrome, how certain aspects of being a meteorologist can have a negative impact on one’s mental health, and what we can do as individuals to provide understanding, empathy, and support to others when needed. I also post a lot about nature and life with my husband and two tuxedo cats.

I have written a few blogs on Medium about my mental health and am currently co-authoring a paper on Imposter Syndrome in Meteorology. The links to the blog (and paper, once published), are available on my Twitter.

I am also part of several podcasts. I co-host In The Elements, a podcast that looks at weather events through the human lens, as well as tell the story of those willing to share their experience with shift work, forecasting deadly weather disasters, living through traumatic events, and how they cope. Ice Station Housman is a podcast of the silly kind. We discuss the weather and all its nuances in a mostly funny, curious way. Lastly, I am one of two meteorology experts on the Disaster Podcast, a podcast that discusses all things related to disasters, emergency management, and first responders.

CESTEMER Speaker Spotlight: Dr. Simone Hyater-Adams

What makes the CESTEMER community unique are all of the outstanding participants who boldly cross disciplinary lines in their work, while creating and sharing all of the fun that can be along the way. Here we highlight many of these individuals with the CESTEMER Speaker Spotlights Series, where we’ve asked presenters from CESTEMER 17 and CESTEMER 19 to answer a few questions about what excites them about our community and the intersection with their passions.

What drew you to become part of the CESTEMER community?

I was looking for a community of people interested in STEAM, and found CESTEMER! After attending in 2017 it was clear that this community was for me.

What are you most excited about experiencing with CESTEMER 2019?

I am excited to participate in the performing research workshop with Latrelle Bright!

What are some ways people can get connected to you and your work? (i.e. website, social media, etc.)

People can connect with me through email (simone.hyateradams@colorado.edu), and a quick google search of my name would bring up my work! I also have a website simoneha.com that will be up by mid July!

CESTEMER Speaker Spotlight: Alex Lancaster

What makes the CESTEMER community unique are all of the outstanding participants who boldly cross disciplinary lines in their work, while creating and sharing all of the fun that can be along the way. Here we highlight many of these individuals with the CESTEMER Speaker Spotlights Series, where we’ve asked presenters from CESTEMER 17 and CESTEMER 19 to answer a few questions about what excites them about our community and the intersection with their passions.

What drew you to become part of the CESTEMER community?

Alex Lancaster

I had seen Raquell Holmes perform the Living Improv Experiment at the Cambridge Science Festival, and as an occasional improv performer myself – I was immediately hooked on connecting improv and science – and that lead me to learn about CESTEMER.  One of the biggest challenges to moving science forward today are not a lack of tools, techniques, or data, but the lack of support for making science a truly inclusive, co-operative, playful and human enterprise. In short – how do we create environments for all individuals to contribute to science in whatever way works for them in the context of their entire lives, and move away from narrow narratives of professional success? CESTEMER is a fantastic place to figure that out. What other conferences to do you get to play with your fellow participants?

Words like collaboration and open-science are all the rage these days – and although they may lead to better science in the abstract – they will not automatically lead to better working conditions and opportunities for joyful flourishing of the individuals doing the science unless they are coupled with deep economic and cultural changes in our institutions. By bringing science, arts and humanities together, CESTEMER gets us all out of our specialist silos to see where we can collectively make systemic change.

If you can narrow down the experience of CESTEMER 2017 to one big takeaway, what would it be? What was most gratifying?

CESTEMER really gets you “out of your head”. To realize that sometimes the best idea in the room does not reside in just one person, but it’s the property of the whole – this helps us get away from the narrow zero-sum conception of success that sometimes bogs us down.

What is a piece of advice you would give to someone attending CESTEMER for the first time?

Get ready to have fun! People are really ready and open to new ideas – it’s all about generating new possibilities and relationships – not about defending a thesis to a skeptical audience. Don’t worry about “getting it right” – there is no right. The conference itself becomes a kind of performance of it’s own – let yourself be drawn in.

What are you most excited about experiencing with CESTEMER 2019?

Meeting all the new people in the community. Seeing the breadth of new presentations and performances. Being on Broadway!

What are some ways people can get connected to you and your work? (i.e. website, social media, etc.)

Twitter: @LancasterSci

Ronin Institute profile

Blog

Amber Biology

CESTEMER Speaker Spotlight: Wendy Mages

What makes the CESTEMER community unique are all of the outstanding participants who boldly cross disciplinary lines in their work, while creating and sharing all of the fun that can be along the way. Here we highlight many of these individuals with the CESTEMER Speaker Spotlights Series, where we’ve asked presenters from CESTEMER 17 and CESTEMER 19 to answer a few questions about what excites them about our community and the intersection with their passions.

What drew you to become involved with CESTEMER?

As an affiliated faculty member of the Mercy College Center for STEM Education, I am interested in ways the performing arts and arts-integrated STEM programming can enhance learning, communication, motivation, and persistence in STEM education.  I am also interested in ways performance and arts-integrated STEM initiatives may be able to attract and retain populations typically underrepresented in STEM to STEM and STEM education.

What are you most excited about experiencing CESTEMER in June?

I am excited about expanding my perspective on STEM and STEAM research and education, as well as on performance and communication in and across disciplines.

What are some ways people can get connected to you and your work?

People can connect with me and learn more about my research, teaching, and storytelling by visiting my Mercy College Web page Wendy Mages: Mercy College.

CESTEMER Speaker Spotlight: Jennifer Joy

What makes the CESTEMER community unique are all of the outstanding participants who boldly cross disciplinary lines in their work, while creating and sharing all of the fun that can be along the way. Here we highlight many of these individuals with the CESTEMER Speaker Spotlights Series, where we’ve asked presenters from CESTEMER 17 and CESTEMER 19 to answer a few questions about what excites them about our community and the intersection with their passions.

What drew you to become involved with CESTEMER?

I have long been a writer/performing artist that hangs out on the STEM playground. I love the swings of ecology and the slides of evolution. Especially fun are the teeter totters of quantum physics! I’ve written solo shows (“Physics of Love”, a comedy in which a woman uses the scientific history of the universe to try to find love and “The Chaos Theory of Now”, a dramedy that mashes up chaos and complexity theories with characters from today). I write short stories and plays about evolution in my podcast (https://jenniferjoyonline.com/podcasts). When I discovered Raquell Holmes and her work in STEM and improv, I had to meet her! She told me about CESTEMER, and I was excited to get involved with an organization that brings sciences and the humanities together.

What are you most excited about experiencing CESTEMER in June?

I am really looking forward to anything and everything improv!

What are some ways people can get connected to you and your work?

Twitter: @JenJoySciArt | Website: https://jenniferjoyonline.com (Check out the podcasts | comedy | SciArt6) | Facebook: Jennifer Joy SciArt Productions

CESTEMER Speaker Spotlight: Carolyn Sealfon

What makes the CESTEMER community unique are all of the outstanding participants who boldly cross disciplinary lines in their work, while creating and sharing all of the fun that can be along the way. Here we highlight many of these individuals with the CESTEMER Speaker Spotlights Series, where we’ve asked presenters from CESTEMER 17 and CESTEMER 19 to answer a few questions about what excites them about our community and the intersection with their passions.

What drew you to become part of the CESTEMER community?

Carolyn Sealfon

I had started a collaboration with Nancy Watt (https://nancywattcomm.com/improvPHYSation), and Nancy found out about ImprovScience and CESTEMER and I instantly wanted to participate.

If you can narrow down the experience of CESTEMER 2017 to one big takeaway, what would it be? What was most gratifying?

CESTEMER is the ultimate participant-centered conference: we were truly all engaged and learning with and from each other. I’ve worked to improve learning through evidence-validated learner-centered approaches in higher education, and it’s amazing to experience active learning implemented so well in a conference setting.

What is a piece of advice you would give to someone attending CESTEMER for the first time?

Ask questions and connect with as many people as you can. If you tend to listen more than you talk, talk more. If you tend to talk more than you listen, listen more.

What are you most excited about experiencing with CESTEMER 2019?

I’m excited to get to see my fellow CESTEMERians in person again (after keeping in touch via web-meetings for the past two years), and to welcome new people to CESTEMER and see what we co-create, discover and learn together.

What are some ways people can get connected to you and your work? (i.e. website, social media, etc.)

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/csealfon | Twitter: @CSealfon

CESTEMER Speaker Spotlight: Chelsea Collison

What makes the CESTEMER community unique are all of the outstanding participants who boldly cross disciplinary lines in their work, while creating and sharing all of the fun that can be along the way. Here we highlight many of these individuals with the CESTEMER Speaker Spotlights Series, where we’ve asked presenters from CESTEMER 17 and CESTEMER 19 to answer a few questions about what excites them about our community and the intersection with their passions.

What drew you to become involved with CESTEMER?

Chelsea Collison

To me, there is nothing better for communicating science than a solid collaboration combined with fun and curiosity!

What are you most excited about experiencing CESTEMER in June?

I’m most excited about making new connections with folks outside of my typical circle.

What are some ways people can get connected to you and your work?

Find me on Twitter: @curiochels

CESTEMER Speaker Spotlight: Emma Shockley

What makes the CESTEMER community unique are all of the outstanding participants who boldly cross disciplinary lines in their work, while creating and sharing all of the fun that can be along the way. Here we highlight many of these individuals with the CESTEMER Speaker Spotlights Series, where we’ve asked presenters from CESTEMER 17 and CESTEMER 19 to answer a few questions about what excites them about our community and the intersection with their passions.

What drew you to become part of the CESTEMER community?

Emma Shockley

I’ve always had seemingly opposite interests throughout my life – dance/movement and science. I was lucky enough after graduating from college to get a job that encompassed both of these fields, but it seemed like no one else in the world believed in the value of integrating disciplines. After reading about CESTEMER, it was clear that I had finally found a space where creative and rigorous interdisciplinary work was not only valued, but celebrated and elevated.

If you can narrow down the experience of CESTEMER 2017 to one big takeaway, what would it be? What was most gratifying?

My biggest takeaway from CESTEMER 2017 was that if I have the vision to accomplish something in previously unexplored territory, there’s no reason not to pursue it and work for it. The CESTEMER community is a vibrant one of individuals and organizations that have boldly pushed the edges of how interdisciplinary work can thrive in today’s world, and it was highly gratifying to come away with an understanding that my interdisciplinary visions can take root out there, too.

What is a piece of advice you would give to someone attending CESTEMER for the first time?

Talk to as many people as possible and give yourself permission to let loose and be silly when the conference calls for that.

What are you most excited about experiencing with CESTEMER 2019?

Being part of the Organizing Committee has given me a beautiful perspective of the conference growing in real time. Because of this, I’m most excited to see what the newest members of the community have to say about their work and ideas, which sound truly incredible.

What are some ways people can get connected to you and your work? (i.e. website, social media, etc.)

LinkedIn is probably the easiest: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emma-shockley-472481108/

CESTEMER Speaker Spotlight: Disan Davis

What makes the CESTEMER community unique are all of the outstanding participants who boldly cross disciplinary lines in their work, while creating and sharing all of the fun that can be along the way. Here we highlight many of these individuals with the CESTEMER Speaker Spotlights Series, where we’ve asked presenters from CESTEMER 17 and CESTEMER 19 to answer a few questions about what excites them about our community and the intersection with their passions.

What drew you to become involved with CESTEMER?

CESTEMER seems like a fun group of interdisciplinary participants, where I hope we can have great conversations to share our work and broaden my perspectives through others’ work as well

What are you most excited about experiencing CESTEMER in June?

I’m excited about everything!

What are some ways people can get connected to you and your work?

Check out our new RockEDU Online website: https://rockedu.rockefeller.edu, follow us on twitter/insta @rockedu_ or facebook @rockeduteam, and follow me on twitter/insta @disandavis.

CESTEMER Speaker Spotlight: Geoff Hunt

What makes the CESTEMER community unique are all of the outstanding participants who boldly cross disciplinary lines in their work, while creating and sharing all of the fun that can be along the way. Here we highlight many of these individuals with the CESTEMER Speaker Spotlights Series, where we’ve asked presenters from CESTEMER 17 and CESTEMER 19 to answer a few questions about what excites them about our community and the intersection with their passions.

What drew you to become involved with CESTEMER?

Geoff Hunt

I’ve known Raquell for a while, and she has been hounding me to attend CESTEMER. So I finally gave in!

What are you most excited about experiencing CESTEMER in June?

The opportunity to meet and interact with potential collaborators.

What are some ways people can get connected to you and your work?

Website: labx.org ;   Twitter: @LabXNAS, @TheGeoffHunt