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This week we present stories from two scientists who were confronted with their status as an “outsider.”

Part 1: After getting hit by a car, Ph.D. student Reyhaneh Maktoufi must navigate the recovery and paperwork as an immigrant from Iran.

Part 2: When scientist Danielle Lee travels to Tanzania to study pouched rats, she finds she's more of an outsider than she'd expected.

Reyhaneh is a Ph.D. candidate in Media, Technology, and Society at Northwestern University. Her main fields of interest are science communication, curiosity, and public engagement with scientists. She is a visiting researcher at the Adler Planetarium, where she studies science communication and facilitates workshops on communication skills. Before starting a Ph.D., Rey has been working as a health communication facilitator and campaign manager in Tehran, Iran. She also produces comics and videos about science and the science of science communication. In her free time, Rey enjoys staring at a wall and making up stories in her head or play bad ukulele and scare off birds while singing high pitch.

Danielle N. Lee is an outreach scientist who studies animal behavior and behavioral ecology. She studies the behaviors of mice and rats in the Metro St. Louis area and the natural history of African giant pouched rats. Lee was selected as a 2015 TED Fellow and was named as one of EBONY Magazine’s Power 100 and a White House Champion of Change in STEM Diversity and Access. Her current science outreach efforts emphasize engagement with broader audiences via science communication. In 2013, Lee helped found the National Science & Technology News Service, a media literacy initiative to bring more science news to African-American audiences and promote science news source diversity in mainstream media.

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