Reclaiming STEM was founded to address the need for science communication and science policy training spaces for people who identify as minoritized groups: BIPOC, first-generation, disabled, LGBTQIA+, undocumented, etc.
We organize training for diverse scientists to learn how to communicate their science at the intersection of research and social justice.
The increasing diversity of scientists requires training that accounts for the challenges minoritized groups face.
Our programming seeks and invites only scientists from diverse backgrounds to present interactive and innovative workshops centering their stories.
Our mission is for attendees to not only gain skills but also be able to identify with and envision themselves in science communication and science policy spaces.
We are extremely excited about our Virtual Workshop!Read 2021 Code of Conduct
2021 Virtual Workshop Agenda
Note: agenda updated as speakers confirmed!
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM PST
Aug. 14, 2021
Angelina F. Gómez, MA
Intuitive Self-Care: Tapping into Your Intuition to Meet Your Deepest Needs
Main session: Introduction to Scicomm, Scipol, and AdvocacyDane Samilo, PhD Ana Maria Porras, PhD Alyssa Paparella
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM PST
Aug. 21, 2021
Creating & Maintaining Joy
Keynote SpeakerSamantha Yammine, PhD
Sophie Okolo, MPH
Scientists as Storytellers:
Bringing Your Voice To Life
Ans Irfan, MD, EdD, MPH
Transcending the Status Quo:
Reimagining Science Policy through Critical Inquiry
Curating Your Narrative:
Navigating Mindful Storytelling Within and Beyond Academic Spaces
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM PST
Aug. 28, 2021
Compassion for Self and Community
Tiktalking about Science
Policy is personal:
Engaging in your local community
Adys Mendizabal, MD, MA
Belonging, Purpose, & Joy
Meet Your Speakers
Angelina F. Gómez
she/herInstagram: angelinafrancesgomez Twitter: @angelinaf_gomez Day One
Angelina F. Gómez, MA is a holistic clinical scientist & abolitionist who specializes in compassion-based psychotherapeutic and community interventions for attachment & intergenerational trauma. While completing her PhD in clinical psychology, Angelina leads allyship workshops at the Racial Trauma Center at Genesee Valley Psychology (@RTC_GVP). Using a self-directed combination of modern and indigenous healing methods, Angelina has learned how to thrive with severe mental illness and trauma. She aims to share and research her found healing path, in order to help others find their own paths to fulfillment and health. In her free time, Angelina loves to read, crochet, journal, color, dance, listen to music, play with animals/humans, and be in nature.
she/her/ellaTwitter: @wardofplants Day One
Evelyn (she/ella) is a fifth year, formerly undocumented, PhD candidate, Ford Foundation Predoctoral and Switzer Foundation Fellow studying the effects of drought on plants and soil microbes. Her final dissertation chapters aim to study marginalized scientists and their use of science communication and policy for social justice. She was named one of 2020's Grist 50 Fixers and a 2018 UCS Science Defender, voted best of Story Collider 2018 in LA, awarded UCI's Dynamic Womxn's Award for Outstanding Social Justice Activist and the Svetlana Bershadsky Graduate Community Award for her advocacy for undocumented scientists. She co-founded and is the Executive Director for ReclaimingSTEM: the first workshop to address the need for science communication and policy training spaces for marginalized groups. ReclaimingSTEM has been hosted four times since 2018 and reached over 500 attendees internationally. She was a 2020 AAAS Mass Media Fellow and awarded the 2020 Ecological Society of America Science Communication in Practice Award.
Robert N. Ulrich
they/heTwitter: @RobertNUlrich Day One
Rob Ulrich (they/he) is a Biogeochemistry Ph.D. student at UCLA who researches how living things make their hard parts. More specifically, they are interested in developing and using novel geochemical tracers (e.g., trace elements, “clumped” isotopes) to interrogate the strategies used by organisms to make their biominerals. Beyond graduate school, Rob is also the Associate Director of the Reclaiming STEM Institute, Co-Founder of Queer & Trans in STEM (fka Queers in STEM), a writing consultant, and a writer. Their book (The Hard Parts of Life) about biominerals and their applications is currently up for pre-sale and is going to be published in the Spring. In 2019, Rob received the UCLA Curtis Shepard LGBT Leadership award for their leadership and outreach to the LGBTQ+ community at UCLA and abroad, and under their leadership, Queer & Trans in STEM won the UCLA Organization of the Year award. For their research and advocacy, Rob currently holds fellowships with the National Science Foundation and the Center for Diverse Leadership in Science, and they have been invited to speak on the popular podcasts, including Ologies, Talk Nerdy, ExoLore, and at meetings for the American Geophysical Union, the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society, the Geologic Society of America, the California Academy of Sciences, and the New York Academy of Sciences. To avoid answering the question “What do you want to do after your Ph.D.?”, they hide in their apartment and cook and bake, or outside by hiking and going to the beach.
Dane Samilo, PhD
any pronounsTwitter: @danesamilo Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/danesamilo/ Day One
Dane Samilo, PhD is a current second-year AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow placed at the Department of Defense in the Laboratories and Personnel Office where he works on policy and oversight for the Department of Defense laboratories as well as the STEM education and outreach efforts. He received his BS in biology from UC San Diego and his PhD in immunology & microbial pathogenesis from Weill Cornell Medicine. His policy interests lie primarily in STEM literacy and workforce development; diversity, equity, and inclusion; health policy; and data collection, evaluation, and assessment of programs and initiatives related to those topics.
Ana Maria Porras, PhD
she/hers/ellaTwitter: @AnaMaPorras Day One
Dr. Ana Maria Porras is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida. Originally from Colombia, Dr. Porras arrived in the U.S. 15 years ago to pursue a BS in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. Immediately after, she completed a Masters and Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she also obtained a Certificate in Teaching and Learning with an emphasis on inclusive pedagogy. That passion for diversity and inclusion drives most of her work; most recently, she co-founded the Latinx in BME community and was selected as one of 125 AAAS IF/THEN Ambassadors for girls and women in STEM. Dr. Ana is also a science artist and bilingual communicator. Every week she teaches microbiology in English and Spanish on social media using crocheted microbes designed by herself. Outside of all that, Ana loves to travel, bake, swim, dance, read, and above all, eat ice cream.
she/herTwitter: @DisabledSTEMand @AlyssaPaparella Day One
Alyssa Paparella (she/her) is a first-year graduate student at Baylor College of Medicine and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRFP) recipient. Alyssa graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2019 and then completed a NIH-PREP (Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program) year at University of California, Davis. Alyssa also serves on the Advisory Council for Disability:IN’s NextGen Program. During the start of the pandemic, Alyssa was inspired to create a movement called DisabledInSTEM (check out @DisabledSTEM on Twitter) to make conversations of diversity in STEM include those with disabilities. Through this initiative, Alyssa has created a mentorship program and conducted interviews with people at various stages of their careers to highlight the diversity within the DisabledInSTEM community. Using her platform, Alyssa hopes to make STEM more inclusive for all.
Reyhaneh Maktoufi, PhD
she/herTwitter: @TheCosmicRey Day One
Reyhaneh (Rey) Maktoufi is a DC-based, Iranian researcher and science communicator. She is the co-producer, host and illustrator of PBS|NOVA's digital series Sciencing Out, a mini-series on women in history who have used different strategies to communicate their science. Rey successfully defended her Ph.D. in Media, Technology, and Society at Northwestern University. She is a Rita Allen Foundation Civic Science Fellow in Misinformation at GBH|NOVA. As a researcher and producer, her main fields of interest are science communication, misinformation, curiosity, public engagement with scientists, and science communication in media. She was a visiting researcher at the Adler Planetarium, where she studied science communication and facilitated workshops on communication skills and she's also a producer at The Story Collider podcast. Before starting a Ph.D., Rey has been working as a health communication facilitator and cancer preventive/palliative care campaign manager in Tehran, Iran. Rey currently enjoys working with different nonprofits such as the Communicating Science Conference (ComSciCon). She also engages in science outreach through writing blog-posts and making science comics and has been interviewed on outlets such as the Smithsonian Magazine and the SETI Institute's podcast Big Picture Science.
Celina Valencia, PhD
Celina I. Valencia, DrPH, is an incoming Assistant Professor in Family and Community Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Trained as a social epidemiologist, Dr. Valencia is a health equity scientist focused on developing novel methods for measuring multi-dimensional stress to estimate breast cancer risk and mortality utilizing data science analytical techniques. The long-term aim of Dr. Valencia’s research is to inform structural policy interventions to improve patterns of breast cancer disparities experienced by women of color in the United States. Celina is a first-generation college student, Indigenous (Pascua Yaqui) Latina raised in a rural Arizona/Mexico border community. Celina’s lived experiences shape her research interests in the intersectionality of social inequality and for using policy as the fundamental tool for building health equity.
Samia El Joueidi, MPH
she/herTwitter: @JoueidiSamia Instagram: samia.joueidi LinkedIn: samiajoueidi Day One
I was born in Lebanon, raised in Saudi Arabia, and now in Canada. I currently work with the Mobile Health Research Group at UBC Canada as the COVID-19 & East Africa Project Coordinator. I completed my BSc in Nutrition & Dietetics from AUB, Beirut and then pursued my MPH from UBC, Vancouver. My research and community health experience revolve around nutrition, refugee, maternal & child health, and infectious diseases. I hope to combine academia and direct service public health to provide sustainable care to marginalized populations and to empower youth leadership. When I am not conducting research, I enjoy the outdoors, volunteering, and meeting new people.
she/herTwitter: @emilygwynnyay Day Two
Emily trained to teach yoga at a classic Hatha school in 2014. As a clinical research assistant in psychiatry, she studies evidence based treatments for serious mental illness and global mental health. In January, Emily is moving to Iceland!
Samantha Yammine, PhD
she/her/ellaTwitter: @heysciencesam Facebook: @heysciencesam Instagram: @science.sam TikTok: @science.sam Day Two
Samantha Yammine is a Neuroscientist and popular Science Communicator better known as Science Sam. She earned her PhD
from the University of Toronto studying how stem cells build and maintain the brain, and then went on to found Science
Sam Media, a science-based digital production agency.
She is passionate about empowering people to explore science by making it more familiar, accessible, and inclusive. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she's been sharing the science behind the headlines as @science.sam on Instagram and Tik Tok, garnering millions of views every month to better help people assess risk, spot misinformation, and have informed discussions with their friends and family.
She has been a guest Science Correspondent for a variety of TV & Radio shows and sits on the Board of Trustees for RCIScience, Advisory Board for the anti-misinformation organization ScienceUpFirst, and the Editorial Board of the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers.
Sophie Okolo, MPHTwitter: @sophieokolo Day Two
Sophie Okolo is a Columbia University Journalism fellow and founder of Global Health Aging, a creative consultancy and
award-nominated website featuring a broad range of news stories, diverse opinions, and research regarding living and
aging well in a changing world. She also has an ongoing interview series featuring personal conversations with
international visionaries in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math).
As a Forbes contributor, she focuses on the intersection of technology and healthcare. Her writing has also appeared in Salon, MarketWatch, and Inverse, among others. She is a TEDMED 2020 Research Scholar and one of seven featured female science communicators in Diversity in Action magazine. Early in her career, Sophie performed biomedical research in academia and healthcare. She has an MPH in Gerontology and Healthcare Research, a BS in Bioinformatics with Research Honors, and has been elected to the New York Academy of Medicine and Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society.
Ans Irfan, MD, EdD, MPH
he/him; they/themTwitter: @PHScientist LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/ansirfan Day Two
Ans Irfan, MD, EdD, MPH is a multidisciplinary global public health expert with over a decade of experience in advancing global health equity, both domestically and globally. He currently serves as a faculty member, principal investigator, and the Founding Director of the Climate & Health Equity Practice Fellowship at George Washington University. He is also a fellow with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholars program. He also serves in various roles with major national and international organizations, including the American Public Health Association, Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science, and the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth. Some of his recent roles include serving on the advisory board with the American Public Health Association’s Center for Climate, Health, & Equity; Policy Director with the DrPH Coalition, Inc; and the Founding Director of Center for Social Impact & Leadership with the DC Public Health Association. He has also been a part of prestigious national fellowships including the Christine Mirzayan Science Policy Fellowship at the National Academy of Sciences; and the Agents of Change in Environmental Justice Fellowship.
they/them/theirs/elleTwitter: @seesmallthings website: robinaguilar.com Day Two
Robin Aguilar is a Gilliam Fellow and NSF GRFP Fellow in the Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington where they develop technology to study and visualize satellite DNA in human genomes. While navigating their experiences as a trans, first-gen, Latinx person from rural communities in Yucatán, Michoacán, and Jamundí in the diaspora, Robin is passionate about making STEM more accessible for historically excluded individuals. Their community building includes the co-foundation of the Genome Sciences Association for the Inclusion of Marginalized Students (GSAIMS) that provides peer support and mentorship to aid individuals as they transition and navigate through their careers in STEM. Further, Robin also uses their platform to develop workshops, curricula, and art centered on story-telling within and beyond STEM. They are currently writing their memoir and graphic novel based on their lived experiences and educational aspirations.
he/theyTwitter: @manijadegarcia website: manigarcia.com Day Three
Mani-Jade Garcia (he/they) is an abolitionist, science communicator, and certified holistic yoga teacher exploring the relationship between indigenous healing practices and mental health. Mani-Jade works as an educator for the Racial Trauma Center at Genesee Valley Psychology) and as a community-based researcher/evaluator with Social Insights Research). Mani-Jade is currently completing his doctorate in Clinical Psychology. His dissertation project describes how Black, Indigenous, & Latinx young men and women living in the poorest areas of NYC are using the practice of parkour to promote community, leadership, and health. Mani also researches the effects of language-based exclusion on deaf mental health. Mani is co-founder of Black In Mental Health (Twitter: @BlackInMH), Black In Data (Twitter: @BlkInData), and founder/director of Refuge Workgroup (Twitter: @RefugeWorkgroup) a movement dedicated to bringing safety, accountability, and healing to academic and professional spaces.
she/her/hersInstagram: chaoticallyscience TikTok: chaoticallyscience Twitter: @drpepperis100 Day Three
Hello! My name is Hailey Levi and I am a first-year PhD student in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I just graduated from the University of California, Riverside with my B.S in Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology Spring of 2020. I also make Tiktok videos about science, grad school, and life in general. In addition, I am one of the cofounders of BlackinCMDBio.
he/him/hisTwitter: @Chwistofu and @ESAL_us Instagram: @esal_usa Day Three
Chris is a PhD candidate in Chemistry at UC Berkeley, where his research focuses on the design of nanomaterial tools for biological systems. He serves as the Workshops Director for Engineers & Scientists Acting Locally, leading efforts to develop training programs for scientists and engineers to engage effectively in local policy. He has also held volunteer and leadership positions with the Journal of Science Policy & Governance, the National Science Policy Network, the Science Policy Group at Berkeley, and the Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative. Chris frequently writes and advocates for public policy related to science, energy, climate, immigration, and equity.
Adys Mendizabal, MD, MA
she/her/hers/ellaTwitter: @mendizabal_md Day Three
Adys Mendizabal, MD, MA is a second-year movement disorders fellow in the department of neurology at UCLA. She completed her neurology residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and graduated medical school from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia. While in medical school she also completed a Masters in Urban Bioethics, a program that focused on addressing the impact of social determinants of health in Black and Latino communities. Her research has focused on health outcomes in neurological disease. She is a recipient of the Berman Topper Career Development Award, a three-year award through the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA). The title of her project is "Huntington’s Disease Epidemiology, Healthcare Utilization, and Outcomes in Racially and Ethnically Diverse Populations in the United States" and she will be studying the prevalence of Huntington’s Disease in these communities as well as their access to care.
Thanks for the Support
Sponsored By FSPH Office of EDI
Hosted For UCLA's Fielding School of Public Health
And a huge thank you to our Patreons and donors on Paypal for making this year's workshop possible.
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