Ep. 18 / 2020 Wrap up with Lila Asher

What’s there to say? It was a year and we share, to the best of our memory’s ability, to recall important events globally and locally that were personally impactful. Couldn’t bring all this baggage into 2021 with us.
Also fair warning, Asher and I recorded nearly 2 hours of audio and I was able to trim it down to a tight 40… Unfortunately, that means you won’t get to hear us ponder luxury fruits, cat hygiene, or bean varieties.

Thanks to:
Donnie ‘Rosy’ Ross for theme ‘Feeling Fool’
Aaron Thomas Art for our album cover

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Ep 17: Trauma Stewardship and healing changes

episode 17

In this episode, I wanted to share a great book by Laura VanDernoot Lipsky and Connie Burk, ‘Trauma Stewardship: A guide to caring for self while caring for others’. The founders of the Trauma Stewardship Institute walk the reader through identifying trauma responses and offer helpful, introspective prompts to get you thinking about the work you do and how it affects you throughout the process. For folks involved in trauma work or just people that want to bolster their emotional resilience, this is a great read that I cannot recommend highly enough!
Other mentions in this episode: Thrivance Group, Back to School chat with Michelle Storms
Thanks to:
Donnie ‘Rosy’ Ross for theme ‘Feeling Fool’
Aaron Thomas Art for our album cover

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Episode 16: Columbus Ohio’s legacy of racism in urban planning

Episode 16

Columbus Ohio is all too typical of the physical imprint of racism on urban spaces. Redlining, urban highways, white flite, prohibitive zoning… All of these things and more have manifested in the economic and racial segregation that plagues Columbus. This episode shares some insight on Columbus’ “urban problems” and offers several resources for planners and non-planners alike to learn more and do better.

Discussed in this episode: Strong Women Strong Places, Tamika Butler, Dr. Destiny Thomas, The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein, Columbus Ohio Redlining Maps,Kirwan Institute Study on Infant Mortality,  500 Cities Health Data for Columbus, University of Toronto Study, Communication So White Reading List

Thanks to:
Donnie ‘Rosy’ Ross for theme ‘Feeling Fool’
Aaron Thomas Art for our album cover

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Episode 15: What happened to public transit (feat. Andrew N.)

Episode 15: What happened to public transit

This episode was recorded Mid-May 2020.

Public transit across the US and the world has been entirely disrupted by the COVID19 pandemic. Transit agencies have been forced to cancel service, adjust fare collections, and take aggressive measures to ensure the safety of drivers and passengers.
The Central Ohio Transit Authority took early steps to curb the impact on regional transit. They eliminated fares, mandated new protocol for how many passengers can ride at one time, and altered how those riders may enter and exit buses. The impact on the agency has been significant and in this episode, Andrew, a service planner at COTA, joins me to discuss some of these disruptions and what we can expect of public transit post-pandemic.
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Credits: Album Art and Show Theme Music

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Episode 14: Bridget (Things we lost and learned in quarantine)

A little over a week ago, I graduated with my Bachelors in GIS from the Ohio State University. My dear friend Bridget achieved the same. We were supposed to celebrate together – senior bar crawl, end of semester confessions on the Oval, and photos together in our caps and gowns. We didn’t get what we wanted and certainly not what we deserved.

In this episode, Bridget and I dive into what life has been like in pandemic – from the big naps and loss of time to the effort of friendship and the joys of cable television. It gets a little weird, but it’s honest.

Bridget’s LinkedIn

More episodes and content @ STEMS and leaves
Credits: Album Art and Show Theme Music

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Episode 14 via STEMS and Leaves on BuzzSprout

Episode 13: Buying Time (COVID-19 Suppression Strategy)

Episode 13 via STEMS and Leaves on BuzzSprout

Hi friends.

The past few months and weeks have been rife with trials around the world with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The past week in Ohio, we have been home-bound following the governor’s ‘stay at home’ order. This first week has been rough, but I’m thankful to be surrounded (digitally) by dear friends and wise mentors.

In this episode, we discuss an article posted on Medium by Tomas Pueyo, ‘Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance’. It’s an overview of the current state of COVID-19 and a summary of what measures should be implemented now in order to provide the world with our best fighting change against the virus. Pueyo presents three strategies: Do Nothing, Mitigation, and Suppression. The author presents a compelling case for Suppression and recommends that readers that are moved to sign a petition to the White House that pressures our leaders to approach COVID-19 with a suppression strategy.

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Episode 12: Jason Pyles

Planning in Appalachia, convincing a community that you’re not taking their jobs, and the future of autonomous vehicles in rural places. My guest this week, Jason Pyles, and I discuss all this in more in one of my favorite interviews yet. As a kick off to our discussions centered around Geography and Geographic Information Science, I turn to Jason for his expertise.
Jason works for the Buckeye Hills Regional Council as one of two GIS professionals supporting the agency’s work. His position is unique in that he is sort of a one-man-GIS-show and does all the work entailed in GIS from top to bottom. He shared some great insights into what it means to serve his regional community through his role in technology.

Episode 12

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On Burnout, Recovery, and Taking a Break

Hello Friends.
This is STEMS and Leaves. A place where we explore intersectional stories in STEM. I’m the creator, Emme.
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve shared a new episode. This semester has been incredibly busy and I haven’t had the time I want to dedicate to researching new topics and interviewing guests. Honestly, I bit off more than I can chew this semester. Between research, an internship, a full course schedule, and just staying alive… I’m honestly burned out.

I think I got a little overconfident in my abilities to work and get things done coming off my summer in DC. When I was out there working for FMCSA, I was regularly putting in 9 and 10 hour days, touring the town, networking, and interviewing wonderful guests for the show. It was exhausting, but energizing. Like the ache your body feels after a good workout.

Beyond managing that hectic schedule, I also hit a lot of personal highs. Since moving out of my parent’s house a few years ago, this was the longest stretch of time I’d gone without seeing my family or close fiends. As someone who depends heavily on their support network, it was exciting to realize that I’m capable of managing myself solo and enjoying it too. For the past few years, I was really stuck in a cycle of following other people’s ideas of what my life should look like. Until this summer, I hadn’t realized how fantastic is to do whatever I want and take pride in it.

I can’t lie, it had me feeling really good. So when I returned to Columbus to wrap up my undergrad obligations, I figured it was safe to take on a lot more. Besides, now that I’m home and close to my friends and family and sleeping in my room full of plants and knick-knacks, it would be easier right?

Not really. As school started again and I got into my aviation research and a planning internship at MORPC, I found there really are not enough hours in the day. To eat three meals, exercise, go to class, do my research work, clean up, do chores, talk to a person, manage my cat, study for the GRE, draft application essays, script new episodes, research new guests, make time to run errands, etc etc and etc. Before I noticed how exhausted I was (am), I went numb.

Everything seemed okay, until it didn’t. Burnout has a way of creeping up on you. Problems and stressors are polarized. Each task on my daily to do list was either the most boring thing in the universe or it would change the entire trajectory of the universe forever. Little things that were easy start to become terrifyingly intense. Remembering to eat feels impossible and forgetting to eat is a three day guilt trip.

The exhaustion started to creep into my thoughts. I started feeling incredibly cynical about my research and internship. Both felt entirely pointless. I couldn’t bring myself to work on grad school applications. What’s the point of going to grad school if I’m going to be tired forever? Getting things done didn’t feel like victories or progress. It felt like avoiding failure.

When I started to realize that this semester might be taking more out of me than I had, I pumped the brakes. I suspended my work for STEMS and Leaves, took a few mental health days off from classes, and turned to my family for support. I’ve made some adjustments to my classes and have spent a lot of time shifting my own expectations about what I can get done this semester. In short, I can’t do everything.

I’ve got friends, family, and faculty supporting me in ways that I am beyond grateful for as I give myself space this semester to finish classes strong and investing in self-care. I’ve got a lot of things I want to do for STEMS and Leaves, but I can’t do them if I’m not my best self. So, I will be taking a break for the rest of this semester and putting the podcast on hold.

I hope you too take some time this semester and season to take care of yourself. Let’s all rest and recuperate and come back next year to keep creating amazing things and exploring stories together.

This is STEMS and Leaves. I’m Emme. Stay curious.

Episode 10: Tobi Otulana

This episode my friend and colleague Tobi Otulana chats with me about the field of planning and her path to sustainable planning. Tobi and I have known each other since spring semester, when we took a sustainable transportation class together. I recognized that Tobi is a super talented and passionate individual and I’ve been hoping our paths would cross again to allow that. Lucky for me, after graduating her MCRP program, she stayed local and has been with the Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission for about half year now. I was super curious about her opinion on Ohio State’s MCRP program and how she expects her career trajectory to change.

Disclaimer: All views and opinions expressed in this episode are strictly those of myself and my guest. We in no way represent any organizations or agencies which we are currently or have previously been associated with.

Tobi’s Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tobiotulana/
MORPC: http://www.morpc.org

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Episode 9: Urban Foraging

This episode we discuss the practice of urban foraging. That act of harvesting wild grown food is a practice as old as humanity. From society’s earliest days, we have depended on the fruits, nuts, berries, and herbs we’ve found along the way to secure our food supply. Although, a recent surge in popularity of foraging in cities and a lasting legacy of racist and classist laws often prevent some groups from foraging in public spaces. This episode unpacks why and how we forage and recommends some interesting research papers that discuss an ideal future of foraging laws.


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