Manage episode 361877657 series 2341989
In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers share stories about the problems of finding representation of diverse skin tones in science and medicine.
Part 1: While preparing for a lecture, Stacy Vasquez finds a racist term on a skin slide.
Part 2: While learning about Lyme disease in medical school, LaShyra Nolen isn’t satisfied when the professor can’t tell her what the rash would look like on dark skin.
As a first-generation Chicano in STEM, Stacy Vasquez recognizes the importance of addressing the STEM achievement gap and creating an inclusive space that will inspire students from marginalized groups. His dissertation researched and examined the impacts of a multicultural curriculum in a traditional microbiology course. With an academic background in microbiology, he was always interested in learning how the discrete, scientific information was related to issues impacting society. Traditional microbiology courses often place heavy emphasis on rote memorization of discrete facts and focus very little on how the content relates to societal issues. The multicultural curriculum aimed to teach students about various social issues while still managing to teach the objective, scientific content. The relevant topics were intended to spark student interest in efforts to strengthen their academic performance. He has continued implementing culturally responsive teaching practices in my other sciences courses, such as Human Anatomy & Physiology.
Born and raised in Southern California, LaShyra “Lash” Nolen is a writer, activist, and third-year MD/MPP dual-degree student at Harvard Medical School and Kennedy School of Government, where she is serving as student council president of her medical school class, the first black woman documented to hold this leadership position. Her work has been featured in the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, and Teen Vogue, among others. She is the Founding Executive Director of “We Got Us,” a grassroots community empowerment project with the goal of bringing vaccine education and access to marginalized communities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. She is a co-host of the Clinical Problem Solvers Anti-Racism in Medicine Podcast. Her work has earned her the honor of being named a Boston Celtics “Hero Among Us” and named on the Forbes “30 Under 30” in healthcare list. She is a fervent advocate for social justice and enjoys storytelling through spoken word poetry, rap, and writing.
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