Iowa Leaders Star in STEM Essential Podcast: Vaccination, by STEM!

STEM Essential Podcast Season 3
Vaccination, by STEM! is the third season of the STEM Essential Podcast.

The STEM Council launched the third series of its podcast, STEM Essential. The theme of this series, sponsored by Accumold, is “Vaccination, by STEM!” and features Iowans on the front lines behind developing, distributing and administering COVID-19 vaccines.

STEM Essential features leading advocates and voices to discuss the power of STEM education for our students now and what strong STEM education will mean for the future. STEM Council Executive Director Jeff Weld interviews guests about what inspired their path with STEM, how they view the current outlook for STEM and what they expect to see in the years ahead.

“Professionals in health care are today’s superheroes, all of whom are using their own STEM educations to protect and heal us through a global pandemic,” said Weld. “The only good thing about crisis is the wave of interest in learning about and preventing recurrence, and that is where our STEM Council comes in -- highlighting Iowans to emulate for the next generation of healers.”

Guests on this podcast series include:

  • Dr. Nafissa Cisse Egbuonye, Director of Public Health for the Black Hawk County Health Department
  • Patricia Winokur, MD, Executive Dean, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Professor of Internal Medicine - Infectious Diseases
  • Dr. Balaji Narasimhan, Director, Nanovaccine Institute at Iowa State University  
  • Ken Sharp, Division Director Acute Disease Prevention, Emergency Response and Environmental Health at Iowa Department of Public Health

Weld’s first guest, Dr. Nafissa Cisse Egbuonye, discussed the pandemic at the local level and the role that her agency plays in guiding the community. She said, “What excites me about public health is the fact that we are in every sector. This pandemic highlights it, we are working with the schools, superintendents, healthcare leaders, business community—and that’s the beauty of public health.”

The STEM ESSENTIAL podcast, including series one and two, can be found at and is also available on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

For more information on STEM Council programs, events and resources, visit

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