Unpacking the Many Benefits of Yale Summer Session

The group speaks with Eli Westerman, Communications Manager at Yale Summer Session (YSS). As a past participant of YSS and current administrator of the program, Eli offers a unique perspective on this robust summer program. Eli touches on the academic, cultural, and professional benefits of the program, while reflecting on the short and long-term benefits he encountered through his own experience.

The Science of Trauma & Resilience with Bianca Jones Marlin and Kerry Ressler

The ongoing stress and trauma of the last year deeply affects us as individuals and as a society, impacting our daily lives. For many, these challenges extend far beyond the last year. Two pioneering scientists, Dr. Bianca Jones Marlin and Dr. Kerry Ressler, join for a timely discussion of life experiences and stresses that are passed to future generations through our biology. Along the way, we’ll hear surprising parallels in our guests’ life journeys, talk about resilience, and consider ways we can thrive amidst our ongoing challenges.

Merging the Personal with the Professional: A Conversation with Mark Bradford

On this episode of the Heartwood Podcast, Dr. Easley sits down with Professor Mark Bradford, a fellow scholar at the Yale School of the Environment. Mark discusses how he, as a white male from Britain specializing in soil and ecosystem sciences, is able to bring issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion into the classroom. Join us as Mark dives deep into his career trajectory and teaching philosophy which merges his lived experiences with his academic profession.

YJBM Preventative Medicine Issue: Interview with Dr. Emma Pierson

To kick off our content following YJBM’s March 2021 Issue on Preventative Medicine, Wes interviews Dr. Emma Pierson. Dr. Pierson is a computationalist and multidisciplinary scientist pairing novel methodologies with equally novel datasets to understand human health disparity and racial and economic inequality. Dr. Pierson is also a repeat contributor to science in the news, writing for outlets such as The New York Times, FiveThirtyEight, The Atlantic, and The Washington Post, among others. Alongside these contributions, Dr. Pierson frequently posts to her personal blog (linked below) and has been recognized in Forbes’ 30 under 30 in Science. While seeking to understand the trajectory and aims of Dr. Pierson’s science and various contributions, our conversation moves across a number of topics. Highlights include a discussion on transitions between research fields, Dr. Pierson’s personal and familial inspirations for studying human health, traits of good scientific mentors, and cross pollination between academia and industry. Although some of her work is described here in brief, its impact can be seen more clearly in the journal articles themselves and the many associated pieces she has written for a general audience. To those who’ve kept up with empirical research on racial inequality in America over the past year, the Open Policing dataset that Dr. Pierson published will undoubtedly ring a bell. For others, it’s a great place to start. Her research has also included social policy recommendations in response to COVID-19 and a large-scale analysis in the historically overlooked area of Women’s health across temporal cycles of varied length. This expansive work fosters a discussion on the immense challenges and successes of data science, as applied to preventative medicine.

Sources and Related Material:

Pierson, E., Simoiu, C., Overgoor, J. et al. A large-scale analysis of racial disparities in police stops across the United States. Nat Hum Behav 4, 736–745 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-020-0858-1
On the Web: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1B58Os2Hb2v__YQ8whdWRULY9mgxxsHoO/view

Dr. Emma Pierson:
Personal Website
Twitter: @2plus2make5

Wes Lewis (Host):
Twitter: @ai_weslewis

New Fronts in the Battle for Voting Rights

While we often consider questions of who is eligible to vote and how votes are counted, the question of where votes are counted is just as important. In this episode, Professor Nicholas Stephanopoulos joins us to discuss the impact a race-blind baseline would have in racial vote-dilution case. Next, Alaa Chaker and Justin Farmer speak to us about prison malapportionment and their involvement in a federal court case challenging this practice, NAACP v. Merrill.

To learn more about this topic, take a look at The Race-Blind Future of Voting Rights, by Professors Jowei Chen and Nicholas Stephanopoulos, and Prison Malapportionment: Forging a New Path for State Courts, by Alaa Chaker – both recently published in the Yale Law Journal.

Bonus Episode: Climate Stories

In this special episode, Casey guides us through the stories of our conservative and progressive guests who are advocating for climate action. We’ll hear about the power of science, family, and faith to change hearts and minds. Featuring former congressman Bob Inglis (RepublicEN.org), Keira O’Brien (Young Conservatives for Carbon Dividends), former Congressman Carlos Curbelo, Jerry Taylor (Niskanen Center), Saya Ameli Hajebi (Sunrise Movement), and Keya Chatterjee (US Climate Action Network). Read more at pricingnature.substack.com.

Dealing with Decisions

With decision day approaching, Hannah and Mark share advice for understanding and processing each type of decision: denied, admitted, and placed on the wait list. They discuss what each decision means (and doesn’t mean) about an individual, the applicant pool, and what comes next. They share the wisdom of former Dean of Admissions Jeff Brenzel: “Almost nothing depends on exactly which college admits you. Everything depends on what you decide to do once you get to college.”

Bringing the Farm to the Classroom: A Conversation with Tessa Desmond

This week on the Heartwood Podcast, Dr. Thomas RaShad Easley engages in an enriching conversation with Tessa Desmond, an Associate Research Scholar with Princeton University’s Program in American Studies. Join us as Dr. Desmond charts out her path through academia, and explains how her life experiences, such as growing up in a single-parent household in small town America and working land with her hands as a farmer influence her teaching practices and outlook on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Likely Letters

Admissions officer Ashleigh joins Hannah and Mark to talk about likely letters – a recruiting tool the admissions office uses with a small group of applicants each year. In this mini-episode, the office’s director of recruitment explains why some regular decision applicants receive a likely letter and addresses some common misconceptions.