The podcast for Women In STEM and Education.

Season 2

In this episode, we explore the role of mentors and FEMtors (aka female mentors) in one’s professional trajectory. It’s important to properly seek out these relationships and continue to nurture them. What’s the ideal number of mentors? What differing advice do you receive if a mentor is female vs. male, and does that actually matter? We discuss all this and more with Dr. Stephanie Ryan.

Dr. Stephanie Ryan, Ph.D. is a chemist, a boy mom, and a social media influencer who enjoys using her background to create superior educational products and content. Although an academic at heart, Dr. Stephanie is passionate about learning through play.. She is an active member of the chemistry education community and is currently a committee member of the International Activities Committee for the Division of Chemical Education. Dr. Stephanie earned her Ph.D. in the Learning Sciences and her M.S. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is also the author of Let’s Learn About Chemistry” and the CEO of Ryan Educational Consulting. You can connect to Dr. Ryan through all these socials: IG: @letslearnaboutscience TIKTOK: @letslearnaboutscience Twitter: @letslearnsci Facebook: Let’s Learn about Science LinkedIN: Use our special code “WISECAST” to get 50% off of Dr. Ryan’s book Let’s Learn About Chemistry from Dec 2nd-Dec 10th. This code cannot be used through Amazon.

Sound engineering for this episode is by Rachit Taneja (email: rachittaneja@gmail.com).

Also don’t forget to check out our newest offering – The Wisest Children on YouTube! These young scientists are making science accessible and fun for anyone to try at home through some “kitchen science” activities.

WISEcast is featured in the Top 45 Women in STEM Podcasts by Feedspot! Help support our mission by participating in our fundraiser at GoFundMe. We are becoming a nonprofit and increasing our reach to serve women and underprivileged populations in their STEM career journeys! Keep our momentum going by sponsoring us (send us an email at communityengagement@thewisestwomen.com) or donate to our cause using our PayPal.

In this episode, we have a vivacious conversation with WISEcast’s long time friend and supporter Carolina Little about how to overcome feelings of isolation in academic or workplace environments. When asked about how much responsibility the institution or organization has and how much the individual has, she gave us a very surprising answer. After 20 years in oil and gas working in refineries, labs, remote rig locations, and manufacturing plants, Carolina decided after her last layoff to work as a Job Search and Career Path Consultant coaching individuals to optimize their professional brands and career opportunities. She also matches top STEM talent with the right hiring teams working as a Freelance Technical Recruiter to several aviation, aerospace, and startup companies. Over her career, she has studied and practiced several techniques to learn how to navigate successfully through male-dominated professional waters and teach other professional women how to do the same.

Sound engineering for this episode is by Rachit Taneja (email: rachittaneja@gmail.com).

WISEcast is featured in the Top 45 Women in STEM Podcasts by Feedspot! Help support our mission by participating in our fundraiser at GoFundMe. We are becoming a nonprofit and increasing our reach to serve women and underprivileged populations in their STEM career journeys! Keep our momentum going by sponsoring us (send us an email at communityengagement@thewisestwomen.com) or donate to our cause using our PayPal.

We are excited to feature our blog contest winner Dr. Alaina Talboy in this episode. She speaks to us about what leadership involves and how it should not be conflated with people management. She promotes that you can be a leader in any seat that you have. Dr. Talboy gives great advice on how to improve your leadership skills and remain authentic to your ideology and priorities. Dr. Talboy is an award winning researcher and educator with expertise in reasoning, statistics, and judgment & decision making. You can often find her giving talks on equality in higher education, STEM, and technology, and working to create pathways for women to break into new fields. Her passion is all about helping people make informed decisions, with an emphasis on ethical research practices.

WISEcast is featured as the Top 45 Women in STEM Podcasts by Feedspot! Help keep our momentum going by sponsoring us (send us an email at communityengagement@thewisestwomen.com) or donate to our cause using our PayPal.

Sound engineering for this episode is by Rachit Taneja (email: rachittaneja@gmail.com).

In this episode, Dr. Julie Rennecker makes the argument to align our career goals with our strengths rather than focusing on our weaknesses.

Dr. Rennecker, the Founder & Chief Catalyst of Syzygy Teams, is a scholar-practitioner committed to using and teaching evidence-based methods for improving organization performance. Her research and consulting projects have taken her behind the scenes of companies ranging from startups to Fortune500 firms in diverse industries including healthcare, med tech, automotive, high-tech, and oil & gas. She earned her doctorate in Organizational Behavior from MIT’s Sloan School of Management where she studied teams and technology change. She then served on the Information Systems faculty at Case Western Reserve University where she taught in both the MBA and Executive Education programs. With more than 20 years’ experience conducting research and advising executives, Julie brings a unique synthesis of academic knowledge and field-tested methods to bear on the “soft” side of complex organizational challenges. She is Certified Practitioner of Appreciative Inquiry, Strengthscope™, and the Chief Reinvention Officer Method.

WISEcast is featured as the Top 45 Women in STEM Podcasts by Feedspot! Help keep our momentum going by sponsoring us (send us an email at communityengagement@thewisestwomen.com) or donate to our cause using our PayPal.

Sound engineering for this episode is by Rachit Taneja (email: rachittaneja@gmail.com).

In this negotiation masterclass, we discuss the importance of the “ask” in salary negotiations and address the fears many people have going into these conversations. Theresa offers tips and pointers on language, psychology, and how to react and respond in specific situations. Get your notepad out because you’ll want these nuggets of wisdom to help you increase your salary this year!

Theresa partners with C-level executives, managers, and women to be their own best advocates by helping them navigate performance reviews, salary negotiations, interviewing and career pivots. Theresa believes that everything in life is a negotiation. What makes her unique is she combines her sales and marketing background with her deep expertise in career coaching to help clients get the job they want and the salary they deserve. Her coaching strategies enabled clients to negotiate significant increases in their comp plans, sometimes doubling their salary. Connect with Theresa on LinkedIn. Check out her website to learn more about her coaching options.

WISEcast is featured as the Top 45 Women in STEM Podcasts by Feedspot! Help keep our momentum going by sponsoring us (send us an email at communityengagement@thewisestwomen.com) or donate to our cause using our PayPal.

Sound engineering for this episode is by Rachit Taneja (email: rachittaneja@gmail.com).

“I wish women would have the confidence of the white man…” – Ebun Ojekunle, Senior Associate Scientist at Pfizer

In this episode, we have a round table discussion with Ebun on what it takes to maintain and grow your ambition. You need to surround yourself with other high-achieving individuals, build your tribe with a mix of mentors that are men and women, and as always, keep persisting.

WISEcast is featured as the Top 45 Women in STEM Podcasts by Feedspot! Help keep our momentum going by sponsoring us (send us an email at communityengagement@thewisestwomen.com) or donate to our cause using our PayPal.

Sound engineering for this episode is by Rachit Taneja (email: rachittaneja@gmail.com).

In Girl, Interrupted, Richa Bansal, MBA, PMP, the founder of Pink Careers, speaks to us about using “Assertive Communication” and other communication strategies to overcome mansplaining and manterrupting. Definitely take notes! This episode was inspired by the VP debates of 2020 when VP Kamala Harris, to counter the repeated interruptions, said “Mr. Vice-President, I’m speaking” and Kim Goodwin’s viral tweet (linked) featuring a flow chart to determine if a man is mansplaining.

Sound engineering for this episode is by Rachit Taneja (email: rachittaneja@gmail.com).

Richa Bansal is a seasoned professional with a decade of experience in strategy, operations, engineering, supply chain, and management. As one of the only women in the room for most of her career in the Oil & Gas and the IT industry, she has seen first-hand the struggles of young professional women as they navigate the corporate ladder.
Richa founded www.Pinkcareers.com to give women access to career development and coaching through a learning format that is flexible, effective, and meets the needs of modern working women. Pinkcareers also partners with organizations to offer research-based experiential learning solutions so they can develop and retain exceptional female talent. Email: richa@pinkcareers.com

For information regarding sponsorship, send us an email at communityengagement@thewisestwomen.com or donate to our cause using our PayPal.


No woman in STEM should feel stuck or unhappy in their job with such lucrative and marketable STEM skills. In this episode, we discuss owning your identity as a scientist and executing a career pivot from academia to industry. Featured guests include Dr. Kate Stumpo, former tenured professor and mass spectrometrist, and our very own co-host Amber Miller, a flow cytometry specialist and former director of a STEM Success Center. Both of these emboldened women found the courage to leave the ivory tower for jobs in industry.

Sound engineering for this episode is by Rachit Taneja (email: rachittaneja@gmail.com). For information regarding sponsorship, send us an email at communityengagement@thewisestwomen.com or donate to our cause using our PayPal.

You can immediately change and level up your career after listening to this episode. We discuss
strategies to improve your ability to self-advocate. We are joined by Stephanie Slocum, PE (she/her), the founder of Engineers Rising LLC and author of the Amazon.com bestseller She Engineers. She also provides useful insight on how to handle situations where you have been wronged. These strategies will help any professional woman in STEM level up her career.

Sound engineering for this episode is by Rachit Taneja (email: rachittaneja@gmail.com). You can touch base with Stephanie Slocum by email at stephanie@engineersrising.com and check out her website. Stephanie can also be reached on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. For information regarding sponsorship, send us an email at communityengagement@thewisestwomen.com or donate to our cause using our PayPal.

In this episode, we host a panel debate spanning different demographics, generations, and perspectives. Is Chivalry a Sexist Ideology? Could chivalry be a form of microagression? When does chivalry cross the line at work? Maybe we need a new term to describe mutual respect and politeness. This panel includes Nikki Nguyen, graduate student at Columbia University from Episode 1; Michael Borders, Pipeline Safety & Compliance / Adjunct Professor; Sangeeta Bakshi, VP of HR and Administration at Brask, Inc; and Dr. Naama Barnea-Goraly, neuroscientist, adolescent psychiatrist, and founder of Girltelligence.

Sound engineering for this episode is by Rachit Taneja (email: rachittaneja@gmail.com). For information regarding sponsorship, send us an email at communityengagement@thewisestwomen.com or donate to our cause using our PayPal.

We premiere Season 2 with a deep dive into a discussion about the impact of casual and structural racism on inequities in STEM. We are joined by Nikki Nguyen, a graduate student working on her Masters in Public Health at Columbia University.

She shares her perspective coming from an immigrant family and
the challenges first generation students, immigrants and their children face in getting equal footing. She provides uplifting advice to anyone going through the first generation and/or immigrant experience about how to stay the course and come out successfully. WISEcast is also featured as the Top 45 Women in STEM Podcasts through Feedspot!

Sound engineering for this episode is by Rachit Taneja (email: rachittaneja@gmail.com).

Recognizing the importance of rest and a mini-sabbatical, we paused, reflected, and dug deep. We now realize that we have changed so much. We’re excited to return, energized, reinvigorated and motivated to dive deeper into the issues that women face in STEM careers and education. We were also recently featured as the Top 45 Women in STEM Podcasts through Feedspot!

In this trailer, Drs. Chandra and Miller reflect on the many biographies from Season 1 and the lessons they learned from meeting each of these women. They even muse who would be their favorite guest to go out with for a happy hour. In gearing up for Season 2, they set their sights on topics including the immigrant and first generation experience, racial hate crimes, self-advocacy, chivalry as a sexist ideology, the very real gender pay gap, career pivots, microaggressions and so much more.

Sound engineering for this episode is by Rachit Taneja (email: rachittaneja@gmail.com).

Season 1

In our final episode of Season 1 we feature a guest co-host, Liliana Hildebrand, a future civil engineer at Texas A&M University. We speak to Dr. Eva Lantsoght, a tenured professor and industrial engineer, who teaches and lives in Ecuador and Belgium! She speaks about the journey to getting a Ph.D., highlights the differences between the United States and elsewhere, and for kicks explains to us what load testing of bridges involves! Dr. Eva Lantsoght also co-hosts her own podcast, PhD Talk and blogs at her website. Sound engineering for this episode is by Rachit Taneja (email: rachittaneja@gmail.com).

In this episode, we speak with Jocelyn Nguyen, who was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal. She is the perfect combo of beauty and brains as a tech entrepreneur (founder of Vivefi, Inc.) and fashion model. She discusses how it shouldn’t matter how a woman in STEM dresses when she knows her stuff. Drs. Chandra and Miller share some belly laughs with Jocelyn about her description of the “tech-bro.” Sound engineering for this episode is by Rachit Taneja (email: rachittaneja@gmail.com).

In this episode, Barbara Hamilton, M.D. shares how she knew Interventional Radiology was the right field for the adrenaline junkie inside. She discusses many things with us including the benevolent sexism she encountered and how when there’s a leadership void, it’s time to step up. She shares how she felt that she educated herself out of the dating pool, but luckily found an empowered partner who is not intimidated by her success. Dr. Hamilton aka the Tired Superheroine blogs on her website, hosts her own podcast, and authored the book “Save Lives, Enjoy Your Own.” Sound engineering for this episode is by Rachit Taneja (email: rachittaneja@gmail.com).

Meet Isa Valdez, an influencer, an environmental scientist and Latina. She talks about the lack of preparation for the professional world after graduating college and the importance of developing “soft” skills like negotiation and networking to be successful in STEM careers. She founded the STEMgal Network and shares her advice on overcoming impostor syndrome and finding success following college. Sound engineering for this episode is by Rachit Taneja (email: rachittaneja@gmail.com).

We have an uplifting conversation with Dr. Saray Stancic, a board certified physician in internal medicine, infectious disease, and lifestyle medicine. She shares her journey to remission from multiple sclerosis. She celebrated 25 years since her initial diagnosis and is sharing her knowledge about the role of salutogenesis in defeating chronic illnesses. She is the author of What’s Missing in Medicine and produced the documentary Code Blue. You can follow her LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, and you can purchase her book and learn about her documentary at https://drstancic.com/.
Sound engineering for this episode is by Rachit Taneja (email: rachittaneja@gmail.com).

In Rags to Thesis, we revisit with Dr. Alicia Volmar, a structural biologist and genetic genealogist. She is a previous guest from Episodes 4 and 5 Knocked Up or Knocked Out. In this episode, she shares how she overcame a childhood of abuse, neglect, and homelessness. Through her persistence and love of science, she achieved a Ph.D. in structural biology and built her family. She advocates and brings insight into the obstacles too many children and young adults face. Composition of an interlude transition and sound engineering for this episode is by Rachit Taneja (email: rachittaneja@gmail.com).

Dr. Sweta Chakraborty, a behavioral scientist on climate & health, shares how she became a science policy advisor. She helped the Biden-Harris transition team prepare to enact evidence-based policies in their first 100 days. She also co-hosts the podcast Risky Behavior. Make sure to check out Dr. Sweta Chakraborty’s website and follow her on her social media channels. Sound engineering for this episode is by Rachit Taneja (email: rachittaneja@gmail.com).

Meet Janelle Wellons, an MIT graduate and rocket scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She worked on the Cassini Mission to Saturn and is now working on lunar and Earth based missions! She shares her story from a childhood love for rockets and math, to the bullying and racism she experienced from other kids, to getting into MIT and then NASA JPL. She is paying it forward with the outreach she is doing to empower girls in STEM to believe in themselves. Make sure to check out her website and follow Janelle on her social media channels. Sound engineering for this episode is by Rachit Taneja (email: rachittaneja@gmail.com).

We are about to jump into the New Year, and most people are thinking 2021 couldn’t get here fast enough! Meet Dr. Brittany Barreto, geneticist, serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist and the founder of @femtechfocus, a nonprofit supporting technology, services, and products that improve women’s health and wellness. There are some jaw dropping moments in this episode, and we find some inspiration for the next generation of #STEMentrepreneurs. Enjoy! Make sure to follow Dr. Brittany Barreto on social media. Check out the FemTech Focus to learn about all the exciting technology surrounding women’s health because “Women’s health is everyone’s health!” Production and sound engineering for this episode is by Rachit Taneja (email: rachittaneja@gmail.com).

This episode will give you a warm fuzzy feeling during this holiday season as you hear from a married couple who are both scientists and educators: Dr. Shivas Amin and Dr. Cassidy Johnson. Our conversation about their real life romcom contains humorous stories, a little nerdy scientific debate about impostor syndrome, and advice for anyone looking to make their relationship successful. Sound engineering for this episode is by Rachit Taneja (email: rachittaneja@gmail.com).

In Knocked Up or Knocked Out? Part 2, we continue our conversations with Dr. Alicia Volmar, Ms. Anamika Saxena, Dr. Rosie Rosell, and Dr. Lori Jean Reed as they share their stories and experiences about whether motherhood is a driver for inequities in STEM careers and how we can work to move the needle.

We have great conversations with Alicia Volmar, Dr. Rosie Rosell, Dr. LoriJean Reed and Anamika Saxena about gender, motherhood and equity in the STEM field. They share their ups and downs, successes and struggles in navigating the professional world while also navigating marriage, pregnancy and family obligations. Their stories are examples of strength, resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity.

In this episode, Dr. Richa Chandra and Dr. Amber Miller offer their “pearls” of wisdom in the form of 8 Thrival Strategies continuing the conversation of surviving and thriving in a COVID-19 world. They begin with having listeners of the podcast answer Dr. Miller’s question “What is your power outfit?” They speak on the power of mindfulness, making work your happy place, getting active and dropping the guilt. Enjoy these 8 Thrival Strategies… which couldn’t come at a better time!

COVID-19 definitely pushed women out of the workforce. In this episode, we continue to explore that idea with Sarah Blutt, Ph.D. a professor and researcher at Baylor College of Medicine and Sonia Weber, a second grade teacher with a degree in psychology and a Master’s in social work. We reflect on the insights they shared in our last episode but also go deeper with them and examine how we continue to sustain all aspects of out lives over an increasingly lengthening COVID-19 world.

Nearly 3 in 4 moms were in the workforce before the pandemic, but is that changing? Is COVID-19 pushing women out of the workforce? We explore that question as we sit down with two amazing women, Sarah Blutt, Ph.D. a professor and researcher at top tier medical institute and Sonia Weber, a second grade teacher with a degree in psychology and a Master’s in social work, who are both managing successful careers while also caring for family against the backdrop of the pandemic. They share insights into how they are thriving and/or surviving in this COVID-19 world.

We are two female STEM professors giving you a peek behind the curtain that is our daily lives. We’d like to say we run off passion and enthusiasm, but most days we are running on coffee and chaos! We are excited to share our thoughts and experiences as we dive into topics involving equity, the Lean In movement, challenges and victories, and the future landscape for women who are at different stages in their careers.

The COVID world reignited our motivations to empower and excite women in STEM and young women who are thinking about their future careers. Sometimes we need encouragement, sometimes we need to vent, but mostly we need to know that we are not alone.

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