Apprentices: Stories about mentors who shaped us


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In this week's stories, both of our storytellers are apprentices to mentors who have profound impacts on how they see the world, though in very different ways.

Part 1: Fresh out of college, Stephanie Keep is hired to be the assistant to legendary evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould.

Part 2: At age fourteen, Fabrizzio Subia begins assisting a local dentist in treating undocumented patients.

Stephanie Keep was trained as a paleobiologist at Wellesley College and Harvard University. Opting to leave research behind, she now resides comfortably in the center of a Venn diagram that includes science education, academia, and communication. She is a co-founder of a BiteScis, a spin-off organization of ComSciCon that brings together educators and researchers to develop misconception-focused lesson plans for high school students that are rooted in current research. Outside of BiteScis, Stephanie works on state-level science assessments and does work for nonprofit groups that produce free high-quality stuff for teachers. This year, she also finally crossed off the last item on her science education to-do list and started teaching science as part of the Science for Scientists program. Stephanie loves farm animals, hates olives, can’t spell the word “resources,” and will do pretty much anything to get references to whales, cephalopods, and xenarthrans into the stuff she writes.

Fabrizzio Subia is a Chicago based multidisciplinary artist. An Ecuadorian immigrant, his work touches on themes of migration, family, and identity through the mediums of storytelling, poetry, collaborative and individual performance, and visual art. He earned his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2020, and has exhibited work across Chicago, including 6018 North Gallery and SAIC's SITE Galleries. He is a member of Chicago's P.O. Box Collective, and co-founder of Tortas y Talento Open Mic.

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