Passing the Test: Stories about making the grade

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In this week’s episode, both our storytellers are assessed and evaluated in ways they never expected.

Part 1: During a visit to her doctor, comedian Angel Yau finds herself answering “always” to every question on the mental health evaluation.

Part 2: Scientist Valerie Bentivegna doesn’t know what to do when her PhD supervisors tell her that her thesis isn’t good enough.

Angel Yau is a comedian, storyteller, actor, and filmmaker from Queens, New York. She started her comedy career (unintentionally) in high school when she ran for school council. From then she knew how to laugh at herself. She founded "Asian American Film Thing", and "Shoes off, Mouth off." Both events showcases AAPI storytellers and creators. She is also proudly in the musical comedy group, AzN PoP! Angel's festival-winning stop-motion animations are where she explores her childhood in comedic but heartfelt ways dealing with solitude, rejection, and alienation. Angel was recently featured in a BBC short documentary on being a comedian dealing with mental health.

If you ask Valerie Bentivegna to describe herself in three words, she would say: tall, nerdy, and clumsy (not in that order). She has a Ph.D. in Life Sciences from the University of Dundee and currently works as a Science and Medical Writer at Cognition Studio in Seattle. She enjoys diving deep into the science, translating the complex into the engaging, and bringing in authenticity and the occasional bit of humor.

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