Category Archives: Uncategorized

Mini-sode: Special Education Department collaboration with CeMaST

Welcome to a special mini-episode of STEAM Talk. The Special Education department at Illinois State University offers several fantastic specialty programs on campus for students to major in. One of these specialties is in low vision and blindness. We are joined today by two undergraduate students in this program who are here to talk about a recent collaborative project they completed as part of their curriculum for SED 365: Assistive Technology.

The Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology at Illinois State University is a multifaceted department that facilitates and empowers STEM education in many forms. Smart Grid for All is a project from CeMaST that provides hands-on learning opportunities for K-12 learners in the classroom. The grid construction sets are used to teach students about energy in an exciting and fun way.

SED:365 stepped in to help make the construction sets applicable for low vision learners! Listen to our interview to learn more about the ways that education can become accessible for all!

Resource Links:


Dr. Jan-Ulrik Dahl: Microbiology at Illinois State (2 of 2)

Welcome back to our interview with Dr. Jan Dahl from Illinois State University’s School of Biological Sciences. We continue our discussion on Jan’s research, student collaboration, and implimenting a Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) into his curriculum! Enjoy and subscribe to STEAM Talk today!

Resources Mentioned in Episode: 

School of Biological Sciences at Illinois State University: 

The Dahl Lab at Illinois State University: 

Small World Initiative: 

High School Summer Research Academy: 

American Society for Microbiology 

Phi Sigma at Illinois State University 

Biology Sciences Student Association at Illinois State 

Dr. Shawn Hitchcock Part 2

Dr. Shawn Hitchcock, Part 2: Organic Chemistry 

Welcome back to our conversation with Dr. Shawn Hitchcock, professor of Organic Chemistry at Illinois State University and recipient of the Henry C. McBay Outstanding Teaching Award. To learn more about Dr. Hitchcock’s journey to Illinois State and his teaching award, check out part one of this interview. In this episode, we get to learn all about organic chemistry and Dr. Hitchcock’s research in molecular chirality. This conversation is all about the applicability of organic chemistry to viruses (like COVID-19) that affect our daily lives. If you are not familiar with the world of chemistry, have no fear! Dr. Hitchcock explains it all in a way that you’ll be able to understand. Whether you’ve taken a few different college-level chemistry classes (like Kara), or you barely passed your intro CHEM1000 course (like Courtney), you will be able to understand and learn something new!  


If you enjoy this episode, be sure to rate and subscribe to STEAMtalk wherever you’re listening. STEAMtalk is a production of the Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology (CeMaST) at Illinois State University. This showis hosted by CeMaST employee Kara and CeMaST Graduate Assistant Courtney. Learn more about CeMaST: 



Read more about Shawn: 

Dr. Shawn Hitchcock wins the NOBCChE Outstanding Teaching Award: 

Chemistry students find true mentor in research laboratory: 

STEM Alliance at Illinois State University: 

Henry C. McBay Outstanding Teaching Award:–mcbay-award 

Illinois State University Chem Club:

 Dr. Greg Ferrence:


Theme music for our show is “Hope is Not Lost” by Jim Hall from the album “Elsewhere”  

Available on bandcamp: 

All other songs played during this episode were obtained from: Upbeat 

List of tracks in order of appearance: 

“Sunny” by Hartzmann 

“How Wonderful” by Cutesy Chamber 

“Lucidity” by Winsanga 

“Check it Out” by Mountineer 

“All the Things You Love” by Soundroll 

“Camping” by Cruen 

“Triumph” by All Good 

Dr. Shawn Hitchcock Part 1

Welcome to another episode of STEAMtalk, in this two part conversation series, we invite Dr. Shawn Hitchcock to take us on a journey through his life leading up to his position at Illinois State University, his recent award for teaching, and the importance of mentorship.

Dr. Hitchcock is a professor of organic chemistry at Illinois State University. For more information on Illinois State University and the chemistry program click here:

Article referenced in episode:

STEM Alliance at Illinois State University:

More information about the Henry C. McBay Outstanding Teaching Award:–mcbay-award




MINI-SODE: Undergrad Research Opportunities w/ Dr. Gina Hunter

Hello STEAMTalk listeners! Welcome to the first ever “mini-sode” (mini-episode) of STEAMTalk. This short interview features friend of the show Dr. Gina Hunter of the Office of Student Research at Illinois State University. This interview focuses on current opportunities for undergraduate student researchers at Illinois State and explains how to get involved! The perfect episode for anyone interested in doing research at the undergrad level at Illinois State!

Here are some links to resources mentioned in the episode:

Office of Student Research at Illinois State University: 

Follow link to find page where you can schedule an appointment with Dr. Gina Hunter or Grad Assistant Sam Bruner: 

Grants and Funding: 

Image of Research Contest Part 5: Sargylana Cherepanova

Welcome to our fifth and final episode of our series on the Image of Research Contest at Illinois State University. We are so honored to be sitting down to talk with one of the first place winners of the contest, Sargylana Cherepanova!

Lana is a graduate student in the Wonsook Kim School of Fine Art. She is working on her MFA in painting, and works with software to create non-video game art pieces. Lana is from an artic city called Yakustk, which is known for being one of the coldest places in the world! Her culture and homeland bring inspiration to her pieces, including the winning submission for the contest, “Sun Time, and Vivid Dreams”

Enjoy our interview with Lana! The 2022 Image of Research Contest is openly accepting admissions from October 1st – November 12th 2021.

Listen on Spotify:

Listen on Apple Podcasts:

Listen on Stitcher:


Image of Research Contest Part 4: RaeAnn Huffman

Episode 8 of STEAMTalk is part four of our five part series on the Image of Research Contest at Illinois State University. RaeAnn Huffman graduated with her Master’s degree in Agriscience from Illinois State University in Spring 2021. She submitted a photo entitled, “Agronomic Intercropping Systems in Corn and Soybeans” and received the People’s Choice Award in the Graduate Category!

The Image of Research Contest is brought on by the Office of Student Research at Illinois State Unversity. Submissions for the 2022 Image of Research Contest open October 1st 2021.

Season 2, Episode 5: Image of Research Contest at Illinois State University, Part 1: Office of Student Research

Welcome to STEAM Talk, Season 2, Episode 5. This episode kicks off a series of interviews centered around the Image of Research Contest at Illinois State University. In this episode, Kara and Courtney discuss the Office of Student Research on campus with special guests, Dr. Gina Hunter (Director of the Office of Student Research and Associate Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Illinois State University), Dr. Noelle Selkow (interim director of the Graduate School since January 2019 and an associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and Recreation as a member of the athletic training faculty), and Dr. John Bauer (professor of chemistry and previously served as Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies from 2013-2020). All three guests have a passion for advocating for student research on campus!

This podcast is brought to you by the Center for Mathematics, Science, and Research at Illinois State University.


Season 2 Episode 3: Let’s Talk Music and Technology

Dr. Kara Baldwin and Courtney O. sit down to talk about how technology has impacted and enhanced Dr. Roy Magnuson’s music career! Dr. Magnuson started his career journey as a composer and discusses how his “say yes!” attitude lead to him becoming the creator of a musical Virtual Reality experience known as Solstice. Dr. Magnuson is faculty in the School of Music at Illinois State and is an instructor for a course in Creative Technology. Roy puts the “Art” in S.T.E.A.M…and also the “Technology”

STEAM Talk Season 2 Episode 2: Researching Crickets and Turtles

In a continuation of Episode 1, Courtney and Kara talk to two Illinois State University School of Biological Sciences Ph. D. candidates. Rosario Marroquin-Flores and Ian Rines discuss their research projects. Ian describes surprising findings from a study he co-authored on decorated crickets that was also published in Research Spotlight Journal and PubNavigator through SACNAS ISU [see episode 1 for more details about SACNAS ISU]. Rosario, the president of SACNAS ISU, discusses her research working with temperature-dependent sex determination in turtles.