Non-scripted STEMulating Conversations to help you navigate the journey to a rewarding and satisfying career!

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July 19, 2017

SC04 Engineering a Career with Family: Dr. GDale Wesson

Dr. Dale Wesson shares his journey from a chemical engineering undergraduate student to a VP of Research in Higher Education Administration.  He gained valuable experiences along his non-linear journey to the PhD, which included resigning from the same company twice. 

Through all of this, he credits having a strong family support system as the main reason he has been able to have a successful career and a healthy family life.

If you enjoyed this conversation and would like to connect with Dr. Wesson, you can follow him on Twitter @gdalewesson or reach him via email at dwesson@ vsu [dot] edu



July 12, 2017

SC03 Running Dad Zach Cross Turns Synthesis to Sales

Zach Cross went from a high performing synthetic chemist to a top technical salesperson.  The non-linear path that he took to get there, however, is the best part of this STEMulating conversation.  Through a series of events, Zach Cross realized that chemistry in a macroeconomic sense was changing, and he had to both adjust and adapt to remain relative and competitive. 

He also shares his love for running and how he has been able to incorporate it in several phases of his career.  He has organized a successful fundraising event for his company and as a calling card to develop rapport with potential clients.  Zach shared that running allows him to focus and applies it to everything he does in life, from being a husband, a dad, and a professional. 

As this episode aired, he completed another milestone of 600 consecutive days of running at least 1 mile.

Check him out and follow his running streak on social media using the hashtag RunningDad


July 5, 2017

SC02 Learning to Embrace Career Challenges with Dr. Sibrina Collins

Have you ever been grateful that some things didn't work out the way you wanted them?  Dr. Sibrina Collins began her career journey on a path to the professoriate, but a disappointing tenure decision forced her to reassess what she really wanted to do in a career.  She began to walk in her purpose of serving the STEM community in a way that truly aligns with her passion which led to her current roles as the first Executive Director of the Marburger STEM Center at Lawrence Technical University.

Dr. Collins shares her story, and gives solid advice to those who may be facing a challenge in their current role, and also addresses the importance of self-care and family.

Mentioned in the episode:

Marburger STEM Center at Lawrence Technological University

Claflin University

Sweet Tea!  A Southern delicacy

Careers for Chemist: A World Outside the Lab

Dr. Collins may be contacted at scollins @ltu [dot] edu

June 28, 2017

SC01: From Academia to the Private Sector with Dr. Carl Cohen

Carl is a thought leader in the field of management and leadership training for scientists and technical professionals. 

Interesting facts that we learn about Carl in the conversation is that he is a trained physicist, who early in his career, was tasked to lead a hematology lab!  From there he went on to become a tenured professor, then left the academy to fill an executive role at a biotech company. 

Mentioned on this episode:

Leadership in Bioscience Workshop, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

A tale of two companies”  Blog post

Lab Dynamics: Management and Leadership Skills for Scientists (available on Amazon).

Zia Khan, VP of Initiatives and Strategy, Rockefeller Foundation. Co-author of “Leading outside the lines: How to mobilize the informal organization, energize your team and get better results” with Jon R. Katzenbach.

Connect with Carl:

Science Management Associates Website



June 28, 2017

SC00: Welcome to STEMulating Converstions

The host, Marquita M. Qualls, PhD aka "Dr. Q" is a living example of someone who decided to leave the bench and pursue a career that helps others achieve their goals.  Though a chemist by training, she commands a masterful understanding of the human aspects needed to thrives in today’s fast-paced and competitive business environment. This has enables her to function and make seamless transitions between the scientific and non-technical worlds.

This show is built around non-scripted STEMulating Conversations with those who started out doing laboratory research, then ventured Beyond the Bench to use their skills and experiences in other ways. 

If you have guest or topic recommendations for the show, please send them to podcast@stemulatingconvo.com

Mentioned in this show:

Adrienne at Groovetheory Designs

Stephen Hart and The Trailblazers podcast