Meet Our 2017-18 Science Education Fellows!

Paige Edmiston
October 1, 2017

We are thrilled to welcome five new Science Education Fellows to our team! The Fellows play a key role in the Center's Science Explorers initiative, helping small groups of freshmen biology students build science skills and achieve academic success as they make the challenging transition from eighth to ninth grade. The Fellows meet with students twice a week for the entire school year, forming the kinds of academic relationships at the heart of the Science in Society's STEM education philosophy.

The Fellows' hobbies vary from playing board games and reading Lord of the Rings to hiking, fishing, and technical theater. But they all share a passion for science and a belief in the importance of sharing that passion with youth.

Please join us in welcoming our 2017–18 Science Education Fellows:

Joe Frumkin
Joe recently graduated with his M.S. in Biology from DePaul University where his research focused on shark hunting behavior. Although he has researched a multitude of organisms from salamanders to bats, his passion is getting youth active in science and engaging them in research through field work experiences. As a Science Education Fellow, he is excited to continue teaching, but with a younger audience. His hobbies include enjoying the Chicago music and arts scene, and playing board games. 

"When I was in high school, I hated biology! As a Science Education Fellow, I’m excited to work with students that may feel the same way and hopefully get them more engaged in science to realize how exciting the field really is. I hope that I might inspire students to use what they learn in the classroom in real world situations that they may encounter in their daily lives."
Favorite Science Fact: The process of evolution was once thought to take many millions of years to progress. However, new research shows that depending on the environment, evolution can happen on much faster time scales, sometimes even within the span of a human life! This new field is referred to as contemporary evolution.

Alli Grecco
Alli received a B.S. in Biology from DePaul University, with a concentration in Ecology and Evolution. She is passionate about science outreach, STEM education, and citizen science initiatives. In her spare time, Allison enjoys hiking, playing piano, and exploring Chicago's theater scene.

“As a fellow, I look forward to witnessing young people realize their potential and raise their own expectations. I hope to be part of a positive learning experience for the kids, spreading excitement and joy of learning to the biology classroom.”

Favorite Science Fact: Arctic Fox fur color changes with the seasons to blend in with the changing environment. During the spring and summer, Arctic Foxes have a brown coat. In the winter, their fur is white to blend in with the snow.

Susmitha Kowligy
Susmitha recently graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign with a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology and minors in Chemistry and Social Work.  Her interests include global health, neuroscience, and integrating science with the humanities, and her hobbies include being a Harry Potter and Lordof the Rings fan, reading, watching lots of Netflix, and drawing. She is incredibly excited to be part of the Science in Society team!

“I am excited to be a fellow because I get to directly contribute to the community I come from and am most looking forward to building relationships with students and watching them grow.” 

Fact: Scaptia beyonceae is a pollinating species of horse fly found in Australia and is named after Beyoncé for the dense patch of golden hairs on its abdomen. 

Brett Pepowski
Brett Pepowski recently graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in Biology. Brett is especially interested in science communication, microbiology, public health, and ecology and other hobbies include hiking, technical theatre, and playing percussion in a band.

I am most excited to inspire confidence and critical thinking in my students.”

Favorite Science Fact: Grasshopper mice, the only carnivorous mice in North America, howl like little wolves.

Ben Smith
Ben recently graduated from Northwestern with a degree in Economics and is beginning medical school at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern next fall. In addition to the sciences, he is interested in the economics of healthcare and community health, especially within Chicago. He enjoys fishing, learning and fixing things around the house.

“I am most excited to work within the community I call my own, and especially with an age group that I have previously worked with in coaching and volunteering roles. It will be a welcomed challenge to extend knowledge and reach out to students as a teacher and mentor.” 

Favorite Science Fact: While astronauts today are many times biologists and physicians, the original group of astronauts (Mercury 7) were entirely made up of military pilots.


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