Previous Storytime With a Scientist Guests

Storytime With a Scientist Program > Previous Storytime With a Scientist Guests

Below is a list of past Storytime with a Scientist guests. For each guest, a speaker bio, link to the webinar, and accompanying resources are provided. Select a guest below to watch a recording and explore the list of resources for an engaging at-home learning experience. 


Narida Dickerson, Program Manager for the Republic of Korea and Japan international sustainment programs for Raytheon Intelligence & Space

Date: Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Webinar Link: To watch a recording of this event, click here. View Ms. Dickerson's PowerPoint here

Story Book of Choice: 

 

Ms. Dickerson read
"Going Places"
by Paul A. Reynolds (Author), Peter H. Reynolds (Author, Illustrator)

   



Narida Dickerson's
 Bio
:

Narida Dickerson serves as a Program Manager for the Republic of Korea and Japan international sustainment programs for Raytheon Intelligence & Space in El Segundo, CA. In this role, she is responsible for planning and executing logistics services for customers and their sensor systems on the Global Hawk platform. Robertson's engineering career began in 1993 and has nearly spanned three decades. She is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering and a graduate of Loyola Marymount University with a Master’s Degree in Engineering & Production Management with a project management emphasis. Narida is committed to being a mentor and role model for aspiring and current STEM professionals from underrepresented populations. In 2019, she was named one of 50 Phenomenal Women in STEM by the Los Angeles Council of Black Engineers, received the MLK Jr. Keeper Of The Dream award from the Raytheon Black Employees Network, and was named a Technology All-Star by the Women of Color STEM professional conference.  Her personal interests include serving her community, old house restoration, cooking, gardening, and traveling to explore interesting food and cultures.


Znala Williams, Ph.D. student at UCLA in the Molecular Biology program

Date: Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Webinar Link: To watch a recording of this event, click here

Story Book of Choice: 

 

 

Ms. Williams read
"The Secret Code Inside You: all about your DNA"
by Rajani LaRocca (Author), Steven Salerno (Illustrator)

    




Znala William's
 Bio
:

 
Znala Williams is a Ph.D. student at UCLA in the Molecular Biology program researching Gene Regulation (understanding what turns genes on and off at the right time to function properly).  She is a member of the Kurdistani Lab. She received her undergraduate degree at the University of California Santa Cruz. She will read The Secret Code Inside of You. 

 

 

 

   



Kay Yang; Mechanical Engineer, Inventor, and Founder of Tinker the Robot

Date: Wednesday, March 2, 2022
Webinar Link: To watch a recording of the webinar, please click here.

Story Book of Choice: 

 

Ms. Yang read
"The Most Magnificent Thing"
by Ashley Spires

   


Kay Yang's
 Bio
:

 
Kay Yang loves three things - tinkering, robots, and dinosaurs! So, she combined them all to create Tinker the Robot where kids learn hands-on science and engineering! She’s a professional engineer turned educator. Before founding Tinker the Robot, she worked in several industries from biotechnology, defense, consumer products (making toys for Mattel), and cleantech. In her spare time, she enjoys eating, sleeping, and hanging out with her toddler.  

 







Dr. Gabriela Noriega, Manager of the Office of Experimental and Career Advancement for the Southern California Earthquake Center

Date: Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Webinar Link: To watch a recording of the webinar, please click here

Story Book of Choice: 

 

Dr. Quiñones-Soto read
"Earthquakes"
by Ellen J. Prager

 



Dr. Gabriela Noriega's Bio:

Dr. Gaby Noriega is a first-generation college graduate and the first in her family to earn an advanced degree. Dr. Noriega earned her bachelor’s degree in Geology from CSU Los Angeles and her Master's and Doctorate from the University of California, Irvine with an emphasis in Environmental Analysis and Design where she studied social vulnerability to earthquake hazards.

She manages the Office of Experiential and Career Advancement for the Southern California Earthquake Center at USC. In her role, she aims to encourage and sustain careers in STEM by providing valuable research experiences for students and by providing early-career scientists with resources across key career transitions. She is also the liaison to the Southern California Earthquake Country Alliance where she supports the coordination of public-private partnerships that work together to improve earthquake preparedness, mitigation, and resiliency.

 


  

Yvonne Manjarrez, chemistry graduate student at the University of Southern California

Date: Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Webinar Link: To watch a recording of this webinar, please click here.

Story Book of Choice: 

 

 

Dr. Quiñones-Soto read
"What a Waste: Trash, Recycling, and Protecting our Planet"
by Jess French

 

 

Yvonne Manjarrez's Bio:



Yvonne Manjarrez is a chemistry graduate student in Professor Megan Fieser's lab at the University of Southern California. Her research focuses on synthesis of rare earth metal catalysts in an effort to develop sustainable plastics.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Dr. Semarhy Quiñones-Soto, Biology Lecturer at California State University, Sacramento

Date: Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Webinar Link: To watch a recording of this webinar, please click here

Story Book of Choice: 

 

Dr. Quiñones-Soto read
"Types of Scientists: A Coloring Book for All Ages"
by Semarhy Quiñones-Soto
 



 

 

Dr. Semarhy Quiñones-Soto's Bio:

Dr. Semarhy Quiñones-Soto is a bacterial geneticist and artist. She was born and raised in Puerto Rico, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao. She obtained her Ph.D. degree in Microbiology from the University of California, Davis, where she studied the origin of mutations under stressful conditions. Currently, Dr. Quiñones-Soto works as a full-time biology lecturer at California State University, Sacramento. She also works as coordinator and advisor for the CSU-LSAMP & RISE Programs to help increase the number of students entering graduate programs. In addition to teaching, she is passionate about increasing the visibility of women in the sciences. She works her passion to develop a diverse pool of scientists by coordinating, advising, and mentoring science students, and through community outreach and her artwork. View an article about Dr. Quiñones-Soto work on integrating STEM into a coloring book, here

 
 
 

 

Yujuan Chen, Ph.D., USC School of Architecture & Senior Manager of Urban Forestry Policy, TreePeople

Date: Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Webinar Link: To watch a recording of this webinar, please click here

Story Book of Choice: 

 

Dr. Chen read
"A Forest in the City"
by Andrea Curtis

 


 

Yujuan Chen's Bio:

Dr. Yujuan Chen has a long-standing interest in human-natural systems including forests, soils, water, and their interactions with human decisions and activities. She is working to explore the impacts of human decisions and activities on urban ecosystems, develop effective approaches to mitigate those impacts, and ultimately sustain and/or provide healthy land, clean water, and equitable urban green spaces for all. Currently, Dr. Chen is a lecturer at USC School of Architecture where she teaches Advanced Topics in Urban Ecology. She is also the Senior Manager of Urban Forestry Policy at TreePeople. Dr. Chen is a co-author of the 1st global Guidelines on Urban and Peri-urban Forestry which aims to optimize the contribution of forests and trees to sustainable urban development on a wide range of topics including food, energy, water, land and soils, green economy, biodiversity, human health and well-being.

 



Camila Grases, USC student studying Archaeology and Creative Writing  

Date: Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Webinar Link: To watch a recording of this webinar, please click here

Story Book of Choice: 




Ms. 
Grases read 
"The Street Beneath My Feet"
by Charlotte Guillain

 

 

Camila Grases' Bio:

 

Camila is a senior at USC studying Archaeology and Creating Writing. She has enjoyed her experience working with artifacts from all around the world in USC's Archaeology Lab on campus and works closely with professors to learn about the different cultures and techniques use in studying other cultures. 

 

 

 


  

Darin Gray, K-12 STEM Center, USC Viterbi School of Engineering 

Date: Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Webinar Link: To watch a recording of this webinar, click here.

Story Book of Choice: 

 

Mr. Gray read
"Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions"
by Christ Barton

  




Darin Gray's Bio:

Dr. Darin Gray is the Co-Director of the USC Viterbi School K-12 STEM Center. He oversees Center operations and partnerships with local schools and school districts, forges new partnerships with STEM organizations within and outside of the University, writes proposals for STEM grants, and develops, implements, and oversees the Center’s data analysis. Darin earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, from USC. He also has a Master’s degree in teaching with an emphasis in mathematics from USC, and a Doctorate in Education Technology from Boise State University. He is currently a Master’s student in Cyber Security at Cal State San Marcos. He taught high school math and has provided STEM education for elementary, middle, and high school students, as well as for teachers, for 25 years. He teaches an introduction to engineering course, Discover Engineering, for the USC Summer Programs office. Darin is also a sergeant in the California State Guard where he serves as a Cyber Security trainer.   


 

Melody Aleman, Ph.D. student in Marine Environmental Biology and Secretary for SACNAS 

Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Webinar Link: To watch a recording of this webinar, click here.

Story Book of Choice: 

 

Ms. Aleman read
"Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes"
by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Emily Sutton

  




Melody Aleman's Bio:

Melody Aleman is a first-generation (Ecuadorian/Puerto Rican Heritage) Ph.D. student in Dr. Jed Fuhrman’s lab at the University of Southern California studying marine bacteria and viruses. In 2017, she graduated with a B.S. Degree in Biology from Millersville University of Pennsylvania, with a concentration in Marine Biology. She is passionate about promoting diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and hands-on education in Marine Science. 

 






Ariel Vaughn, Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)

Date: Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Webinar Link: To watch a recording of this webinar, please click here.

Story Book of Choice: 

  

Ms. Vaughn read
"Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence"
by Karla Valenti

 

 

 

Ariel Vaughn's Bio:

Ariel Vaughn is a physical chemist. She does both physics and chemistry. She uses lasers to understand how molecules move. She is Miwok and the first person in her family to go to college from a small town in central California. She received her B.S. in Chemistry from UC Davis in 2014. After graduating, she spent one year working at a pharmaceutical company and one year working in the stock room at a local community college. She now works in two labs, one inorganic materials laboratory and one physical chemistry laboratory. She is a board member for our local Society for Advancing Chicanos and Native Americans in Sciences (SACNAS) chapter and is active in the Women in Chemistry program. Her favorite thing to do is be in nature.

 


 

Miguel Ordeñana, Natural History Museum of LA County

Date: Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Webinar Link: To watch a recording of this webinar, please click here

Story Book of Choice: 




Mr. Ordeñana read the story
"P-22 The Journey"
by Sherry Mangel-Ferber




 
Miguel Ordeñana's Bio:

Miguel Ordeñana is a community science manager and wildlife biologist at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. In that role, Miguel promotes and creates community science projects, recruits, and trains community science participants. Miguel utilizes his mammal research background by conducting urban mammal research in Los Angeles on carnivores and bats and co-leads the Natural History Museum’s Southern California Squirrel Survey. He also acts as an advisor on a jaguar project in southwest Nicaragua. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Southern California, and an M.S. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis. 

   


 

Melodie Grubbs, USC Sea Grant

Date: Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Webinar Link: To watch a recording of this webinar, please click here.
Resources: We have provided a list of resources for you to explore that accompany this webinar. Please click here to view the list

Story Book of Choice: 




Ms. Grubbs read the story, 
"Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor," 
by Robert Burleigh

  



 Melodie Grubbs Bio:

Melodie Grubbs is a Science, Research & Policy Specialist at USC Sea Grant. As a coastal scientist, Ms. Grubbs helps coastal communities prepare for and adapt to changing climate conditions, coastal hazards, and sea level rise. Previously she served as the Director of Watershed Programs at The Bay Foundation where she developed, led, and implemented coastal sand dune projects in Santa Monica that helped restore coastal ecosystems while creating a natural barrier to sea level rise. Ms. Grubbs also has experience at sea, serving as a scientist and chief mate on board a research ship that sailed the Atlantic ocean. During this time she had the opportunity to swim in the deep blue waters of the Atlantic and experienced two whales swimming right by her! 

Ms. Grubbs is fascinated by exploration and spends her free time finding uncharted shipwrecks off the coast of California and creating ocean-inspired paintings. You can follow along with her as she paints a California Sea Otter in this watercolor tutorial.  She holds a Masters in Science in Geographic Information Science and Technology from USC and a Bachelors in Science in Meteorology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. 

  • USC Sea Grant
  • 3454 Trousdale Pkwy, CAS 200
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0373
  • (213) 740 - 1961
  • seagrant@usc.edu