Season 2

Season 2, Episode 1: Lexi Adams (’26) and Joe Leszczynski (’24)
Allegheny College’s Law and Policy Program provides students with opportunities to explore their interests in politics and prepare them for the kinds of work they want to pursue after graduation. This program is open to students majoring in any academic discipline at Allegheny College. In January of 2023, Prof. Brian Harward and some staff members in the Center for Career and Professional Development took 12 Allegheny students to Washington DC to participate in a 9-day seminar called “Institutions and Interests that Shape the Policy Process” where students learned from top policymaking experts during rigorous academic seminars on critical elements of the policy process, observed oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court, and toured key sites including the White House, the Capitol, and the Library of Congress. Listen in to part of the conversation that I had with Lexi Adams and Joe Leszczynski about their trip to DC.

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Season 2, Episode 2: Bintou Fofana (’24)

Bintou Fofana is a senior at Allegheny College, where she is pursuing a degree in International Studies with an area focus on West Africa. She is double minoring in Political Science and French. At Allegheny, Bintou is involved in numerous activities/organizations, including the Center for Political Participation and she is part of the Global Citizens Scholars’ Program. Bintou is also a podcaster and her podcast, “Things Just Got Spicy”, just finished its 3rd season. In the summer of 2023, Bintou worked on a student-faculty collaborative research project with Prof. Ishita Sinha Roy on podcasting and building gen-z political engagement. Listen in to our conversation as Bintou and I chat about a number of topics related to podcasting, political engagement, and using tools such as podcasts to help build engaging classroom environments. Also, be sure to check out her own podcast and subscribe to “Things Just Got Spicy”.

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Season 2, Episode 3: Nickel Spartz (’26)

You’ve probably heard that DNA contains the genetic code — the “instruction manual” (if you will). Within DNA, some of these segments of A’s, T’s, G’s, and C’s found in a certain order contain the instructions (= genes) to create proteins — the macromolecules that actually “carry out” the instructions of DNA. Researchers, such as evolutionary developmental biologists, study how genes related to the process of organismal development and how that process (and the underlying genetic code) is similar, or different, across different species. In this episode, I chat with Nickel Spartz about the research that he conducted with Professor Brad Hersh studying the development of fruit fly body plans and wings.

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Season 2, Episode 4: Beatrice Foley (’24)

Beatrice is from Toronto, Ontario — one of the fastest growing cities in all of North America. As cities grow, most residents are typically added to the surrounding suburbs which creates a bit of a problem: how do cities efficiently move people from further distances into the city center? To accomplish this, public transits (such as the Toronto Transit Commission) consider adding to the existing network of transit lines. Although these additions are done to create more efficient travel, there are negative consequences to building new transit lines. Beatrice’s research addresses this topic and she spent the Summer of 2023 working with Professor Jesse Swann-Quinn in the Department of Environmental Science and Sustainability on a project that examined topics surrounding the expansion of the transit system in Toronto.

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Season 2, Episode 5: Zachary Wyse (’25)

When the economies of countries grow, they experience a shift (or a transformation) in the makeup of their economy as jobs shift to meet the new economic demands. Economics major Zachary Wyse (’25) and Professor Stephen Onyeiwu (Andrew Wells Robertson Professor of Economics) spent part of the Summer of 2023 exploring the pathways through which inequality influences how, and whether, Africa might achieve structural transformation. Listen in to this episode to hear about their summer research!

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Season 2, Episode 6: Milo Watson (’26)

Field guides are utilized by professional scientists, citizen scientists, and members of the general public to assist in the identification of living (and non-living) parts of our environment. In addition to providing users with images and descriptions of the things that are viewing, some field guides provide information about these items that relate to their historical or cultural significance. Milo Watson (’26) worked on a project during the Summer of 2023 with Associate Professor John Miller (in the English Department) to survey the aesthetics of field guides, how they present information, and the various ways that field guides discuss (or don’t discuss) historical, cultural, and political content. Listen in to Milo and I as we chat about his summer research project.

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Season 2, Episode 7: Alexis Furbush (’24)

Lyme Disease (caused primarily by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi) is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. In 2022, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ranked #2 in the number of  reported cases of Lyme Disease in the United States. Lyme Disease is of interest to biologists, epidemiologists, and health professionals because of the complex ways in which wildlife and ecological variables interact to affect human disease risk.  Alexis Furbush (’24) spent 8 weeks during the Summer of 2024 as part of a grant-funded research team trapping mice and collecting ticks in Crawford and Mercer Counties in Pennsylvania. Listen in to this episode as Alexis and I debrief some of the work that she was a part of and to also learn about how she applied her summer research project in disease ecology to her Senior Comp Research in Global Health Studies.

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