This week, we present two stories of exploring new territory, from communicating with chimpanzees to swimming in the Red Sea.
Part 1: While working as a schoolteacher, Jeff Braden gets a phone call out of the blue from a renowned chimpanzee expert.
Part 2: Biologist Latasha Wright is forced to confront her fear of the ocean when she visits the coral reef she's been studying.
Jeff Braden is dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and professor of Psychology at NC State University. Prior to becoming dean, he was a professor and director of school psychology programs at NC State, University of Wisconsin—Madison, San Jose State University and the University of Florida. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, a member of the National Association of School Psychologists, and an elected member of the Society for the Study of School Psychology. He has presented more than 300 papers at state, national, and international meetings and published more than 175 articles, books, book chapters, and other products on assessment, school psychology, intelligence, and deafness. He recently completed a grant to evaluate adaptive courseware from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Latasha Wright received her Ph.D. from NYU Langone Medical Center in Cell and Molecular Biology. After her studies, she went on to continue her scientific training at Johns Hopkins University and Weill Cornell Medical Center. She has coauthored numerous publications and presented her work at international and national conferences. In 2011, she joined the crew of the BioBus, a mobile science lab dedicated to bringing handson science and inspiration to students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. The BioBus creates a setting that fosters innovation and creativity. Students are encouraged to ask questions, formulate hypotheses, and design experiments. Through the BioBus, Latasha was able to share her love of science with a new generation of potential scientists. Everyday that she spends teaching students about science in this transformative environment helps her remember that science is fun. She loves sharing the journey of discovery with students of all ages. In 2014, the BioBus team launched an immersive, unintimidating laboratory space called the BioBase, a community laboratory model. At the BioBase students are encouraged to explore their scientific potential through in-depth programming and hands-on experimentation. Latasha has lead the efforts in establishing this community laboratory model, and hopes to build on its success in other communities. The efforts of the BioBus’ team to promote science education to all communities in New York City has been recognized by numerous news outlets, including the WNYC science radio program Hypothesis. Additionally, Latasha has been featured as NY1’s New Yorker of the Week.
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