Name: Stephany Lowe
Alma Mater: University of California, Riverside
STEM Career Path: Cultural Anthropology to Nuclear Technology to Science Communicator
Tell us a little bit about you and what inspired you to become interested in science.
SL: A few years ago, I was looking for a creative outlet. Over the years I had watched creative people find success on YouTube and I secretly wanted to do the same thing. I thought, this will give me an outlet to be creative and to geek out about science and share that excitement with people. I also wanted to change the narrative around science. I want science to be relatable to everyone. I want to take the elitism out of science and share more stories about women and people of color in science. I created a science themed lifestyle brand, The Dope Science Show. Currently I have a podcast and I share short videos about everyday life and science because I believe that we are all dope scientists.
Cultural anthropology coupled with dope science conversations. Tell us more about The Dope Scientist Podcast and how it is contributing to STEM.
SL: The constant learning curve. I love the challenge and the progression. Engaging people in conversation about science and seeing the wonder in their expressions when they talk about science. It reminds me of hope and possibility. It is really cool to hear people get excited about science. I have interviewed neuroscientists, rappers, film makers, students, climate scientists, comedians , writers, and we just talk about our lives and our passions. I just want people to find science accessible so that we can use better critical thinking skills in our daily lives. And it is a fun topic to talk about. So that is what I do, I help make science seem super accessible.
How do you enjoy your weekends?
SL: Hanging out with family and taking staycations. I try to be creative and or go to artsy events.
Can you recall the most interesting part of your career thus far?
SL: During my late twenties I stepped out of my comfort zone and started to take risks. At one point during the recession, I saw a flyer at the local employment office, that was recruiting for interns to work at the local nuclear plant. The San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station, in San Clemente, CA. The local community college, Mira Costa Community College was a part of prestigious program that trained people to work in the nuclear energy industry.
At that time, I had never passed a math class the first time around, nor did I have a strong interest in science. I still decided to compete for the scholarship and internship. I needed a change, I knew that I needed to develop new competitive job skills. I am pretty good at cramming, so I watched YouTube math tutorials, memorized cheat sheets and practiced for 3 weeks. Long story short, I passed all the tests, essays and the interview and I was accepted into the program.
Over the next two years I struggled through the program. I was working full time, with no car and
juggling mom duties. I led weekly study groups, paid classmates to record the classes that I could not attend in person, and for rides to class. I was exhausted but so happy and motivated by my progressive achievements. With the help of friends, family and teachers, I finished the program.
But just as I finished the program, the nuclear power plant shut down and I was devastated. During this journey I had fallen in love with science. Science inspires in me, big picture thinking, hope and possibility. So, I decided to share science with other people.
Now I host and produce a podcast, The Dope Science Show Podcast, my favorite experiences so so far have been attending parties and conducting on the spot interviews about hot science topics. Talking to scientists and geeking out about what they are passionate about. Sharing stories about interesting people from all walks of life. Connecting with other podcasters and the super cool scicomm community on social media. My most exciting experience so far was being invited to an all expense paid trip to Washington D.C. for the Science Writer’s Convention to speak on a panel with other science communicators. I had never been to DC and I love to travel so that was a really great experience.
I am excited about a new project that I am working on called; Black Hair Unwrapped. I want to share Black hair stories and discuss science and technology. I am looking for stories right now, here is a link: https://www.thedopescienceshow.com/black-hair-unwrapped
What has been the best Advice You Have Ever Received?
SL: Just get started and never wait for perfection. Life is long and it is full of cycles. Never lose sight of the big picture. It is not over until you quit. Be loving.
There's a need for the representation of Women of Color in STEM to be much more prevalent. In your own words, tell us what we can do to fulfill that need.
SL: I think the easiest way to do that, is to embrace STEM in our regular lives, read science articles, strike up interesting science themed conversations. We can create our own art and media. If we see ourselves we will persist and represent ourselves.