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Science and environmental reporting fellow joins RJ staff

Updated June 5, 2021 - 2:09 pm

A reporting fellow will join the Las Vegas Review-Journal newsroom this week focusing on science and the environment.

Stephanie Castillo will produce stories and videos as part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Mass Media science and engineering fellowships starting Monday, assigned to the projects team.

The program places science, engineering and mathematics students at media organizations across the U.S. to research and report the news, thereby sharpening their skills to communicate complex scientific issues to the public.

Castillo is a science video producer, content creator and Ph.D. candidate in science communication at Vanderbilt University. Her research focuses on how representation and storytelling affect how young adults engage with science videos and scientists.

She has nine years of scientific training, having earned her B.S. in chemistry from the University of Central Florida, researching how nanomaterials interact with lasers with a minor in chemical education. After graduating, she went on to earn her M.S. in chemistry from Vanderbilt, where she synthesized novel nanomaterials for energy storage.

Castillo produces educational science videos from start to finish, including writing, filming, hosting, editing and animating. Her scientific background, teaching experience and science filmmaking training as a Jackson Wild Media Lab fellow have allowed her to create meaningful educational science videos for a 13-and-older audience.

Her platform, Phuture Doctors, introduces students to the diversity of careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Phuture Doctors videos showcase underrepresented STEM professionals as they make scientific discoveries while exploring identity, representation and belongingness. Her work aims to show how to effectively produce videos that will help students explore what it means to be a scientist and find a career in STEM that suits them.

Born in Venezuela and raised in Florida, she is the first person in her family to graduate from college and the first to pursue a doctorate.

Story ideas? Send them to Castillo at scastillo@reviewjournal.com. You can also follow Castillo’s journey on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok and Clubhouse.

Rhonda Prast is the assistant managing editor for projects and investigations at the Review-Journal. Reach her at rprast@reviewjournal.com.

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