PEWS is excited to introduce four new interns and Sustainability Fellows for the academic year 2022-2023. With the support of UC Research2030, PEWS has named Dylan Carter (Anthropology) and Ahmad Khan (Civil Engineering) as Sustainability Fellows, and Collin Lucken (Philosophy, Engineering) as Video & Media Coordinator and Sarah Yaser (Neuroscience) as Web & Social Media Coordinator.

Dylan C. Carter

Dylan C. Carter grew up in rural South Georgia where he was constantly surrounded by plants and wildlife. He gained a joy and care for these organisms by working with his mother in her garden. His childhood in this region meant that he was constantly surrounded by an attitude of cautious distrust in science that stemmed from conflicting belief systems. While Dylan’s personal interests and education in science established his firm trust in science, he is still able to understand the perspective that many people wary of science hold. Through his work, Dylan’s hopes to find the common ground between the findings of science and the lived experience of the public.

Dylan is a 2nd year Masters student in the Anthropology program. His thesis research is about how social interactions play a role in the production of scientific knowledge which holds implications for understanding and sharing how science happens. Dylan wishes to illuminate the scientific process drawing from affect studies, multi-species ethnography, science and technology studies, and feminist theories. He hopes to make the scientific process accessible to those who see the process as cold and sterile instead of being human, transformative, and inspired by affects. Dylan’s goals as a PEWS Sustainability Fellow are to expand his skills in interdisciplinary communication through facilitating the PEWS Sustainability Research and Discussion Group and to connect students to opportunities that may facilitate their sustainability research and work to move forward.

Ahmed Faiz Khan

Ahmad Faiz Khan grew up in Northern parts of India and completed his Bachelors of Technology in Civil Engineering from Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi, India. He joined UC as a Masters of Science candidate in Civil Engineering in the department of Civil & Architectural
Engineering & Construction Management because of his deep interest in a sustainable built environment. In the summer of 2022, Ahmed interned in a company based in Virginia where he did energy modeling for newly constructed buildings to make them energy efficient. His Masters thesis focuses on retrofit strategies for existing buildings in the growing era of climate change to reduce the energy consumption of the future buildings. As he is passionate about sustainability, Ahmed wants to join industry after graduating from UC to help clients design energy-efficient buildings to mitigate climate change and to contribute towards making a sustainable world.

This fall, Ahmed has joined PEWS as a Sustainability Fellow, where he will be assisting PEWS faculty affiliates in writing grant proposals targeting sustainability issues and organizing graduate student gatherings for public engagement with science.

Collin Lucken

Collin Lucken is an interdisciplinary researcher working at the intersection of philosophy and engineering. Prior to joining to UC, Collin earned a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from New York University in 2017 and a Masters in Philosophy from Eastern Michigan University. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Philosophy at UC, as well as a Masters of Engineering degree in Robotics and Intelligent Autonomous Systems. His philosophical research focuses on the contributions engineers have made to human progress. 

At the Center for Public Engagement with Science, Collin coordinates the weekly PEWS Research & Discussion Group meetings and helps produce PEWS-related media like live streams and videos. He is also co-authoring a short book about practices in public engagement with science with other PEWS-affiliated graduate students and faculty.

Sarah Yaser

Sarah Yaser is a first year Ph.D. student in the Neuroscience Graduate Program in the UC College of Medicine. Before joining UC, she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience at Wellesley College. Sarah grew up in a low-income neighborhood in Pakistan. Growing up, she found a lack of resources available to understand science at school and saw its negative consequences on her peers’ and her own education. This experience highlighted to her the importance of making science more accessible. Additionally, the detrimental effects of misinformation on society during the COVID-19 pandemic motivated her to help bridge the gaps between the public and science. As a result, Sarah joined PEWS this year to learn the skill set required to efficiently communicate science to an audience with a range scientific backgrounds. In her role as PEWS Web & Social Media Coordinator, Sarah edits and publishes PEWS News posts and manages PEWS’s social media accounts.

One of the tasks that Sarah wants to take on as a scientist, after her neuroscience Ph.D., is to spread scientific knowledge to audiences that have limited access to it. She hopes to start by making science more accessible to people in low-income neighborhoods in Pakistan like her own. She wants to do so by providing necessary resources and information required to understand science and its implications for society.

Header photo by Tyler Casey on Unsplash