DEI expert and Astrophysicist Dr. Tana Joseph Joins Thinkubator Media

No matter how big or small a team is, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion must be a part of your DNA.

Dr. Tana Joseph is joining Thinkubator Media to offer her skills to support DEI efforts and education for companies and founders.

We firmly believe that inclusion must be thought about early and often to create an equitable, safe, and welcoming environment for everyone.

How can Dr. Joseph help?

Dr. Joseph provides training sessions and workshops on topics such as:

Dr. Joseph also works 1-on-1 with teams to create effective and measurable DEI strategies and workplace policies, and develops bespoke training on inclusive public engagement, conference presentations, and how to run meetings, seminars, and conferences through the lens of inclusion.

Welcome to the team, Dr. Joseph!

Dr. Tana Joseph is a South African astronomer, entrepreneur, public speaker, and social justice advocate for the sciences.

She obtained her PhD in physics in 2013 and has been awarded both Fulbright and Royal Society fellowships in recognition of her research excellence.

Dr. Joseph is passionate about science communication and firmly believes that science is for everyone. In 2018, she founded her own science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) communications and consulting company, AstroComms.

Dr. Joseph is an advocate and consultant for equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) and decolonization efforts in astronomy and science. In this capacity, she works as the Equity and Inclusion coordinator for astronomy in the Netherlands.

Interested in working with Tana? Contact us!

Video: Want to Start a Podcast? Anne Can Help

Thinkubator Media is excited to introduce Anne Chisa, our new podcast coach.

We sat down and spoke with Anne about her podcast, The Root of the Science Podcast, and how she supports scientists who are interested in starting their own podcast.


Henrietta Lacks: The Mother of Modern Medicine

Henrietta Lacks, the rightful “mother of modern medicine,” has finally received overdue justice for her timeless contribution to science. After unwittingly having her cancer cells extracted back in 1951, Henrietta’s cells have gone on to reproduce indefinitely, laying the groundwork for massive discoveries in science and medicine ever since. Her family has finally reached a settlement with the biotech company responsible for extracting her cells against any of their knowledge. 

She was a tobacco farmer in Virginia before moving to Maryland with her family, where she worked at a Steel Mill near Baltimore. She was a typical American woman, hustling and bustling at work and tending to her family, all while trying to squeeze some joy into each day. 

One day, during a routine exam, Henrietta’s doctor discovered a large tumor, resulting in her spending her last year of life in and out of John Hopkins Hospital. Despite her unshakeable optimism, Henrietta succumbed to her illness in late 1951 at the budding age of 31, leaving 5 children behind.

Throughout the course of treatment, Henrietta’s cancer cells were extracted, examined, and eventually used without her or her family's knowledge. An outside biotech lab, Thermo Fisher Scientific, was responsible for this breach of privacy and respect. The aptly named “HeLa cells” have continued to serve millions of medical professionals and their patients: producing life-changing medical advancements worldwide.

The nonconsensual use of Lack’s cells was a physical violation and an outright robbery. HeLa cells have provided a solid foundation for modern scientific discoveries such as vaccines and treatments for various ailments from COVID to cancer. Countless lives have been saved by Henrietta’s expansive cell line. Her cells have even helped scientists observe the way gravity (or a lack thereof!) interacts with cells in outer space. 

After uncovering the vast influence of Henrietta Lacks’ cells, Lacks' family pursued legal action in 2021 against the biotech company. As of the summer of 2023, the family has finally settled in court, receiving the justice they deserve while continuing to graciously share Henrietta’s legacy with the world. Since the settlement with Thermo Fisher Scientific, Henrietta’s estate has filed suit against California firm, Ultragenyx, alleging the company has “made a fortune” from producing using Lacks’ cells.

Networking Tips from a Not-So Extrovert

Post-pandemic Lori has found attending events, especially after work hours, harder. 

I was slowly returning to in-person events after things opened back up from COVID. My dad had Parkinson’s Disease, and absences at school for my daughter meant she was missing lots of learning without an online option. I was looking to avoid the risk of COVID as best I could. 

Finally, when things felt more settled, I mustered up the strength and attended an evening event in Boston. Old Lori would have jumped at the chance to see people, but this time was different. I spent the entire day telling myself, “You are going to this event. No excuses. It’ll be fun.” and “Once you get there, it will be fine. You’ll meet great people!” I then get to the event and spend 10 minutes in my car, staring at my destination, willing myself to unbuckle the seatbelt and just get in there. 

I wouldn’t consider myself an introvert (an ambivert, perhaps), but my social battery has required much more charging since the pandemic. Based on lots of conversations I’ve had with colleagues, I’m not the only one. 

Despite all this, there is great power and potential in networking. As a business owner who works from home, it’s essential for me to meet new people and share my mission (I’m told it’s also healthy to leave your house every once in a while). In fact, the events I’ve attended in the past year have built many new and beautiful friendships and opportunities. 

So, how do you manage walking into a room full of strangers? Here are a few strategies that have helped me make the most of networking opportunities. 

  1. Set a goal. Years ago, a good friend gave me the best advice for networking. She said to create a goal each time you approach a networking event. The plan she shared with me, which I still use today, is to meet five people you didn’t know before the event. After you’ve met those five people, you can leave or stay if you’re having fun. Having this number in my head has helped me get over the hump of walking into a space where I might not know anyone. My introverted friends say this helps them know how soon they can leave. 
  2. Have a pitch. I love my businesses, which means I can dive down a rabbit hole and struggle to get back up at any moment. Rabbit holes happen when you run into someone who loves what they do! Instead of leaving it up to chance, I’ve created an elevator pitch that clarifies what I do and who my work is for. My theory is if you build on the natural curiosity of humans, they will ask follow-up questions about you and your work. Your job is not to talk at a person, but to have a conversation. I always find myself asking lots of questions when I meet folks who are working on inspiring projects. You naturally want to learn more! 
  3. Be authentic and curious. Honestly, just be yourself and ask questions about others. Don’t worry about overly impressing the people you’re talking to or keeping up an appearance. By being authentic to yourself, you will find it easier to connect with folks. One of my favorite stories was when I arrived at an event alone and was late and struggling to find someone to talk to. I saw a person standing by herself against a wall, and I walked up to her and asked, “Are you by yourself, too?” It started not only a great conversation but a wonderful friendship! 

Networking can be challenging, but it is essential for building awareness about yourself and your business. Lastly, don’t forget to follow up with the folks you met afterward. Connect on LinkedIn, send an email or both. This last step will help build a stronger connection with folks who could be your next boss, client, or friend.

Happy connecting!

Webinar: The Art of Communicating Your Science Startup

Thinkubator Media founder and CEO, Lori Lennon, teamed up with Osage University Partners for a webinar on "The Art of Communicating Your Science Startup."

In this webinar, you'll learn about the tools and strategies to create a strong and cohesive message for your startup, whether you are getting ready for a big pitch, or looking to build a strong online presence.

You can watch the full webinar here, and access the Communications Toolkit mentioned here.

For more information about messaging for your startup or business, email

Top Five Ways to Nail An Interview

Interviewing may seem daunting at first, but with some practice, you can become a pro in no time. Our good friend Brian Shactman of WTIC Radio in Connecticut offers some helpful tips on having a seamless and effective interview, whether you’re a newbie or a pro.

With experience in both television and radio, Brian’s gotten to know the ins and outs of good interview etiquette as a host and as a guest. Thinkubator Media Founder and CEO Lori Lennon got a chance to sit down with Brian to get expert advice on what truly makes for a successful, high-quality interview.

Know Your Stuff

This may be the part of the interview that most people tend to focus on a little too much. It is possible to overload your brain with talking points so much that it can derail your entire thought process when you simply forget a line. Although it is crucial to know what you’re talking about for a fruitful and effective interview, finding the right balance between knowing your stuff and overpreparing can take some time and practice.

Try to leave some breathing room so that you can prioritize having a genuine conversation rather than giving a flawless dissertation on complex topics. Your nerves can affect your performance, which is why it can be helpful to practice some mock interviews beforehand.

The complexities of STEM present unique challenges to scientists seeking to passionately convey cutting-edge research. Getting a natural feel for the flow of your interview by practicing beforehand can make it easier to deliver an accurate and relatable message. As you become more comfortable with presenting your findings, you will develop your own style of communication to reach and inspire your audience.

Know Your Host

Knowing your host can make it easier to have an engaging conversation that keeps everyone interested. The beauty of a good interview is in the authenticity of conversation between the host and interviewee. Although it’s ideal for the host to learn a little about you and your mission before you go live, it can also be helpful for you to do a little research of your own.

There’s also nothing wrong with some good old witty banter to lighten the mood and ease the nerves that often accompany interviews.

Be Prepared to Go Off Topic

Practicing your interview beforehand can help you naturally anticipate the possibility of going off-topic without being too self-conscious about remembering important points. Knowing your host and your discussion topic well makes it easier to bounce around talking points rather than maintaining so much rigidity.

Be Prepared for Follow-Up

Knowing how to follow up with relevant information continues to support the natural back-and-forth of a conversation. It can be challenging to boil the complexities of science and hours-long studies into simple snippets for the average person to understand.

Aim for your content to be informative and relatable. This may not be as hard as you think when you express your findings with your own unique passion and flair. Approach the interview trusting in your own expertise and unique qualities as a person.

Have Fun

The most crucial part of having an authentic and memorable interview is that you have fun with it! The host and the audience can tell if you’re feeling sure of yourself or if you’re riddled with nervousness before your interview.

Some of the best gifts you can give your audience are new information, something funny or insightful. When you’re able to be and express yourself fully, you not only represent your brand well, but you are able to truly connect with your audience, leaving a lasting impression.

Watch our full Interview with Brian below! 

Preparing for Launch: Thinkubator Media Communications Toolkit

Preparing for a company launch or building a communications strategy can be challenging.

Thinkubator Media has created a Communications Toolkit that provides a step-by-step guide to help you build communication essentials, such as goals, audiences, messaging, storytelling, and a timeline to help prepare the time needed to develop all the pieces.

To access the toolkit, click here. If you have any questions along the way, be sure to email us!

Build Your Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is a great way to share what you do in a clear and concise way with those who need to hear it.

Creating an elevator pitch takes planning to get right. It can't be too short, or too long. It must have enough detail, but not too much to overwhelm the listener. We're looking for the Goldilocks of statements; the "just right."

Use this worksheet to help develop a 30-40 second elevator pitch for your next networking event or collaboration opportunity.

Download the Thinkubator Media Elevator Pitch Worksheet.

Jaye Goldstein: Transforming Founders to Leaders

Making the transition from a company founder to leading a team can be a big challenge, but Jaye Goldstein, CEO and Founder of Founder to Leader, offers coaching, tools, and support for this critical transition. She joins Thinkubator Media to share some of the strategies and tips she shares when working with her clients.

Meet Anne Chisa, Host of The Root of Science Podcast

Thinkubator Media sits down with Anne Chisa, the host of The Root of Science Podcast. Her show is dedicated to amplifying the voices of Africans in STEM. Her podcast shares stories from Africans in STEM across the globe, and gives her guests the opportunity to tell their stories and share their research projects in their own voices.

Anne shares some of those stories, what inspired her to start the podcast, and tells us more about her own research in this video.