SMS Career Podcasts

Ara Austin

Graduating in Science...Now What?

Listen on iTunes || Listen on Spotify

This Podcast series aims to provide SMS students with relevant career advice from professionals with STEM degrees who work in various types of fields.

Episode 14: Patent Law

Mr. Nick Soloway has over 40 years of experience in patent prosecution, litigation, and licensing, and is the founder of Hayes Soloway Law Firm. Mr. Soloway completed his undergraduate degree in chemistry at MIT and then attended Boston College for law school. Since becoming a patent lawyer, he has filed and prosecuted over 10,000 patents and trademarks. In this podcast, he is joined by his assistant Ms. Shauna Bronson, who completed her biochemistry degree at ASU back in 2020 and is working towards becoming a patent agent.

Episode 13: Science Museum

Dr. Darrell Porcello holds a PhD in neuroscience from Stanford University, but he decided to embark on a different career pathway in STEM education after completing his degree. He currently leads a national NASA STEM education project at the Children's Creativity Museum in San Francisco and has also worked at the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California - Berkeley. Dr. Porcello will share some key points of his career that many would consider "unconventional" and share his role in science museums and STEM education as a person with a science degree.

Episode 12: Drug Development and Research

In this podcast, Dr. Evan Darzi joins Dr. Austin to speak about his career as a medicinal chemist. Dr. Darzi is a graduate of ASU and received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in medicinal chemistry from the School of Molecular Sciences. He currently works as a chemist at Icagen, which is a pharmaceutical biotech company focused in early drug discovery.

Episode 11: Science Policy & Government

In this podcast, join Dr. Austin as she interviews Dr. Sarah Staton, a scientist who has been working at the U.S. Department of State in Washington D.C. since 2014. In her role, Dr. Staton provides her scientific expertise to guide policy making and governmental affairs, and she currently works as the Senior Coordinator for the Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) program.

For more information on the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) program as mentioned in the podcast, please see:

Episode 10: Science illustrator

PhD Candidate Anna Guerrero who currently works as a professional scientific illustrator joins Dr. Austin on this podcast.  Anna holds a Bachelor's degree in microbiology and is currently pursuing her PhD at ASU, researching the history and philosophy of images in the sciences. She will share her experience as a scientific illustrator, which allowed her to merge her science background with artistic talent. 

Episode 9: Science Teacher

In today's podcast, Dr. Austin interviews Mr. Chad McCluskey, Alhambra High School's "Teacher of the Year." Mr. McCluskey received his chemistry degree from ASU and was the recipient of the annual Merit Award during his senior year of college.  He will share why he chose to pursue a career in teaching, and the joys that his students bring to his life.

Episode 8: Environmental Science

In this podcast, Dr. Austin interviews ADEQ’s Communication Director Mr. Ian Bingham, who has held a variety of roles at ADEQ. He will share how he has used his degree in chemistry to work in the field of environmental science.

For information on internship opportunities at ADEQ, please contact: Ms. Lola Francis-Randolph (

Episode 7: Cosmetic Chemistry

In this episode, Dr. Austin interviews a cosmetic chemist Ms. Mica Oba. Once an aspiring baker, Ms. Oba will share how a trip to Sephora guided her to become a cosmetic chemist instead. In her spare time, Ms. Oba mentors future cosmetic chemists through her website Geek + Makeup + Wisdom (, where she shares various tips to break into the competitive beauty industry.  (Students at ASU can join as a student member)

Episode 6: Brewing

Did you know that behind every great tasting beer, there is a lot of science involved? Join Dr. Austin as she interviews a quality assurance scientist Ms. Roberson from Diageo, one of the world's largest producer of spirits and beer. Jenna will take you through the science behind making some "happy beer".

https://www.asbcnet.orghttps://www.mbaa.com (for more info and job postings)

Episode 5: Starbucks

In this podcast, Dr. Austin speaks with the scientists who are responsible for different stages of product development at Starbucks, Dal Perio and Alicia Binion, and a flavoring chemist at Robertet, Laurie Angley. Together they create food and beverage items at Starbucks that will become the next consumer favorite.

Episode 4: TGen

In this podcast, Dr. Austin speaks with TGen's Manger of Education and Outreach, Ms. Julie Euber, and Research Scientist, Ms. Amanda Courtright-Lim, as they give advice on how to apply to research positions as an undergraduate student.

For more information on TGen's Helios Scholars Program, please visit:

Episode 3: FBI

In this podcast, Dr. Austin interviews Special Agents Erin Gibbs, Sabrina Thompson, and Lori O’Brien about their roles in the FBI. For more information on FBI careers and its Honors Intern Program, please visit:

Episode 2: International Sales

Join Dr. Ara Austin as she interviews Dr. Martha Medina, who is currently the Vice President of International Sales at 21st Century Healthcare. Dr. Medina shares how she uses her chemistry knowledge to influence her buyers internationally, and she gives advice to our students who may be better suited for careers outside of traditional bench science.

For more information on 21st Century Healthcare, please visit:  

Episode 1: Forensic Science

Join Dr. Ara Austin as she interviews forensic scientists Krista Placko and Sarah Fredricks from the Mesa Police Forensic Services Division as they give relevant career advice to our ASU students pursuing science degrees.

For more information about volunteering and internship opportunities visit:,,

Podcast music credit: Island by Nekzlo Music provided by Free Music for Vlogs