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Science is for everyone, and everyone can do science | Teachers' Lounge Podcast

Waubonsee Community College

On a brand-new Teachers’ Lounge, Dr. Sheela Vemu!

She’s a biology professor at Waubonsee Community College. We talked about the research she’s done about community colleges AND the research she’s helped her biology students conduct.

Community college students don’t always have the opportunity to do undergraduate research -- and one of her students even got to travel to Washington D.C. to present work on mapping the immunogenic regions of COVID-19 variants to help better understand vaccine design.

We also talked about Dr. Vemu’s childhood in Southeast Asia, how she uses case studies to show how scientific innovation happens across the globe, the importance of Diversity in STEM and the phrase she starts all of her classes with.

If you’ve never listened to Teachers’ Lounge before, our show is based on an idea -- we’ve all had teachers in our lives who shaped who we are. And we want to hear about the teachers who inspired you or deserve a spotlight in your community. Every educator we have on this podcast, whether teacher, coach, counselor or professor, is nominated by our listeners.

So, tell us about the person who comes to your mind. Shoot us an email and nominate an educator at teacherslounge@niu.edu and they could be on the podcast! And please subscribe to our Teachers' Lounge newsletter right here where you can stay up to speed on the show and share stories you think we should cover!

Also, Teachers’ Lounge is on the radio! Catch the show as an hour-long radio program every month LIVE on 89-5 FM and streaming at WNIJ.org. We have multiple guests, stories, and exclusive segments. Tune in on the last Friday of the month at noon for future episodes. Our next episode airs on Friday, August 25th at noon and then the next day, August 26th at 6 a.m.


Educator in this episode:

Dr. Sheela Vemu

Stories featured in this episode:

Illinois students will be required to learn about Native American history, sovereignty, genocide and more

What's the legacy of Federal Indian Boarding Schools in Illinois?

Music: Our show's theme music is from the northern Illinois-based band "Kindoves" and their songs "Popn," "Origins" and "Quiche." You can find more of their music on their Soundcloud page. You can also listen to the episode of WNIJ's own Sessions from Studio A where they were featured.

Teachers! People who know teachers! People with stories about teachers! Send us an email and be part of the show! Also, send us your topic recommendations: teacherslounge@niu.edu

Peter joins WNIJ as a graduate of North Central College. He is a native of Sandwich, Illinois.