“Listen to Yourself,” The Rest Will Follow: Meet Dr. Scyatta Wallace

Dr. Scyatta Wallace is the founder of the Janisaw Company and a trailblazer in the field of psychology. She has been featured in several notable media outlets, including CNN, Time, and Essence magazines. She has also received many accolades, including an award from the Women’s Division of the American Psychological Association. 

In our interview, Dr. Wallace gave us a look at what helps her achieve so much as she continues to strive while inspiring others. As a first-generation American with Liberian roots, Dr. Wallace faced many of the same challenges that Black and Brown women continue to encounter today.

However, her parents were so devoted to her and her brother’s success that they encouraged them to explore their curiosities early on. Dr. Wallace’s mother and father eagerly supported her early interest in science, giving her the freedom to dive into the multifaceted world of STEM to find her true passion. 

Dr. Wallace spent a lot of time shadowing teachers' assistants, professors, and colleagues in various labs across disciplines to get a taste of what the sciences had to offer. Her parents were supportive every step of the way. Eventually, she found solace in psychology. 

Since earning her Ph.D., Dr. Wallace has taken the psychology field by storm. Highlighting the importance of diversity, she shared how her unique upbringing as a first-generation woman influenced her experience and colleagues. 

Dr. Wallace’s upbringing as the daughter of immigrants has added a new perspective to the discourse and research she’s contributed to. Her own experience highlights the value of diversity in STEM and in all fields, giving us a chance to consider deeper and different questions that often dig up the need for change. 

Dr. Wallace was also a professor at St. John’s University where she bore witness to the importance of prioritizing our dreams over the goals and wishes of others, even our loved ones. She mentioned that there was a striking difference between the students who were following their hearts or following the wishes of others. In her case, Dr. Wallace’s parents’ loving support allowed her to blossom into her strengths, passions, and pursuits. She shared,  “If you’re doing things that are aligned with you, it’s easier to get through life and its challenges than when you’re pushing against yourself (doing something you don’t feel passionate about).”

One of Dr. Wallace’s most notable studies examined how various gender and race-based stereotypes, social pressures, and behaviors can negatively impact young Black girls’ self-esteem. The study, called “Gold Diggers, Video Vixens, and Jezebels: Stereotype Images and Substance Use Among Urban African American Girls,” brings awareness to social issues surrounding emotional wellness and potential health risks facing teenage Black girls. This study and others that Dr. Wallace and her colleagues have conducted continue to open doors for important conversations and lasting solutions for women and girls who are often overlooked. 

The study highlighted that one of the greatest remedies to harmful social pressures for Black youth lies in racial socialization. This form of race-based socialization is defined by the positive and lasting impact culturally empowering practices and experiences have on families and communities. One example includes educating our youth about accurate and inspiring culturally relevant people and events. Another small study cited in Dr. Wallace’s research revealed that Black youth who received messages and examples of Black pride and strength exhibited greater resiliency to harmful social pressures. By taking our identities into our own hands, it is easier to navigate the expectations and representations presented by the world as we become living examples of our innate excellence. 

As Dr. Wallace moves forward in her career, she continues to work with STEM students and professionals. As founder of the Janisaw Company, Dr. Wallace works directly with fellow founders and budding scientists alike,  particularly women and girls. She has also recently published a Success in Stem journal, a 52-week STEM journal to help young scientists stay organized and empowered. 

Amidst such mindful and consistent work, Dr. Wallace also shared how she has been finding ways to incorporate more rest into her routine rather than reaching burnout before considering true rest.

In a world where racism, sexism, and other detrimental social prejudices pollute our perspectives, it can be hard to make time to settle down. Many of the same harmful stereotypes and social pressures that Dr. Wallace explored in her study continue to affect Black women’s mental, physical, and financial wellness as we enter adulthood, even when we’ve already achieved greatness. Even when our loved ones are supportive and love us unconditionally. Even when we’ve achieved the American dream, it is up to us to make time for ourselves to embrace and enjoy our lives. This is much different from laziness, weakness, or anything else we may mislabel our need for rest and joy. 

Dr. Wallace continues to impact many lives while making the time to enjoy her own with her loving family and her teeming field of blossoming scientists. We look forward to seeing more of her groundbreaking work! 


Communications Foundations Online Course

Thinkubator Media is proud to present our online learning platform. Below is our inaugural course: Thinkubator Media's Communication Foundations Course.

With this course, you'll receive step-by-step support on how to build a communications foundation for you, your company, idea, or research.

What to Expect
In this course, you will gain the knowledge and understanding of the basic communication skills needed to build your own communications roadmap for your company.

What We'll Cover
In this introductory course, we'll cover the following topics:

What You'll Learn
By the end of this course, you'll be able to:


5 Keys to Help Company Execs Implement an Inclusive Work Culture

Collective change has always begun at the grassroots level. Across civilizations, revolutionary paradigms have been born from the fierce, consistent, and united efforts of the people on the ground. Though many of these demands for fundamental rights have taken years to achieve, these efforts have brought about transformation.

An equitable future is not only the key to a healthy society but a healthy economy as well. A 2020 McKinsey report revealed that companies thrive when everyone is treated fairly. In a study that followed over 1,000 companies worldwide, it was found that the organizations that consistently prioritized DEI standards were more than 30% likely to outperform their peers financially. The companies that struggled with DEI implementation (for any number of reasons) saw slowed growth and performance overall.

Today, we ask Dr. Tana Joseph for an overview of how executive leaders can actively get involved with implementing change. She highlights five key areas of focus for executives to consider when creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DEI) experience. 

Active belief in DEI work and all that it stands for 

Taking DEI work seriously is at the heart of implementing effective and lasting policies. Seeing DEI regulations on the same level as safety and health regulations can make it even easier to consider their importance. When equity is viewed as a fundamental part of company culture, we make natural strides toward creating a sustainable and welcoming environment for all. 

Engage with staff, members, and fellow executives to show interest, improve interpersonal dynamics, and share perspectives. 

Hold and attend company meetings, trainings, and events that highlight and support diversity and inclusion efforts. Get to understand what your team needs then collaborate on creative solutions. 

Check your stats and revisit them regularly. 

Consider your company’s HR statistics such as retention rates, racial and gender demographics, wages, engagement, and all of the inner workings of your organization. Taking so many details into account can seem daunting, but it’s helpful to create SMART  (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals. You will start to see the effects of your actions by breaking your goals down into smaller steps. With time, your organization will be taking strides toward a truly inclusive future.  

Bring in outside help wherever needed. 

Considering the various ways that your organization can embrace a healthy future, you may need outside help. Rather than taking on DEI efforts and foundational changes alone, it is most effective to bring in industry experts. Just as you would hire an accountant for financial management or a photographer for professional headshots, a DEI expert can help your team achieve a lasting sense of equity and fairness. 

Work on the inclusion part of DEI efforts before worrying about meeting diversity quotas. 

Although diversity is important, doing too much with little awareness of other cultures and experiences can readily backfire. To make the diversity of your company a genuine and well-rounded part of your organization, focus on inclusion first. It is essential to understand and address any lingering issues within your company at present. Ideally, you can then collectively lay the foundation for a truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture. 

Although the responsibility of change is often placed on those who need it most, true transformation in company culture can only happen with buy-in and investment from executives and leadership. Following the five steps featured here is a great start, but if true change is to happen, DEI must be thought of early, often, and integrated with all the company does, rather than its own separate category. 

Still not sure where to start? Thinkubator Media can help. Contact team@thinkubatormedia.com to learn more about our DEI consulting support with Dr. Tana Joseph.

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.


Thinkubator Media <> MassBio Video Series: Women in STEM, Part 2

Are you ready to be inspired?

Our latest video podcast series, in partnership with MassBio features some of the most amazing women in STEM that you'll ever meet.

In this series, we sit down with our four incredible guests - Liz O'Day, Sarah MacDonald, Randall Hughes, and Elena Spencer - and ask them to share their STEM stories. From Liz’s groundbreaking biotech company Olaris to Sarah's work at Life Science Cares Boston, to Randall's efforts at Northeastern University, and Elena's mission to connect professionals from across the diverse academic and corporate community of Kendall Square through music with Kendall Square Orchestra.

We loved hearing about their challenges and triumphs, and we know you will too.

Their stories will not only inspire you to pursue your own passions but will also show you that there is a place for everyone in the world of STEM. So don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn from some of the most brilliant minds in the industry. Tune in to our video podcast series and be sure to share with your friends and colleagues.

Let's continue to highlight and celebrate women in STEM!


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! 

Thinkubator Media <> MassBio Video Series: Women in STEM

MassBio and Thinkubator Media have partnered for a video series to highlight incredible women in STEM. In our inaugural chat, Lori Lennon, founder and CEO of Thinkubator Media, and co-host Samanda Jean, Marketing Manager at MassBio, talk with Jessica Ortiz, Program Manager at Boston Medical Center, Shannyn Smith of the Capitol Boutique, and Shelbe Jonson, a chemical engineering student at MIT about careers in STEM.


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.


Bio Building Worksheet

Illustration of a worksheet document against a yellow background

There is a lot to remember when building a professional bio. Treat this worksheet as a mental download of your professional career and achievements. It may be helpful to go through this exercise with a trusted friend who is familiar with your work and volunteer experiences.

Download the Thinkubator Media Bio Building Worksheet