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Off-Track, On-Purpose

English, Education, 1 season, 10 episodes, 7 hours, 52 minutes
What does it mean to be a whole, creative, and generous person in and around the Academy? Why is academic life set up to produce and reward the opposite? Why are these questions that even need to be asked?!? This podcast explores questions like these through heart-centered conversations with people who have experienced an advanced academic training and gone on to have a meaningful social impact through their creative pursuits and practical actions.
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S1E9: Season One Reflection

Wow, Season 1 is in the books! 8 episodes of inspiration, insight and laughter--and LOTS to reflect upon. 
8/11/202111 minutes, 39 seconds
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S1E8: Dr. David Walton

Today's guest, Dr. David Walton, is a brilliant example of making it count and living with purpose. The youngest of 3 boys, David didn’t understand his true potential until later in his academic journey, in large part thanks to his single mother’s enduring belief in him, even when he didn’t believe in himself. Late in his collegiate career he realized his vocational calling – to work as a physician and dedicate his life to remediating inequity in healthcare amongst the poor and disenfranchised.  He relocated to Boston for medical school, where he obtained his MD and Masters in Public Health from Harvard. After completing his residency in Internal Medicine and Global Health he spent the next 15 years living and working in rural Haiti, where his work focused on health systems strengthening, improvement and expansion of medical care, and medical infrastructure in resource-constrained settings.  Dr. Walton is the co-founder and previously served as the CEO of Build Health International, a non-profit dedicated to designing and building health infrastructure in low- and middle-income countries. He now works as the Senior Director of Global Health at Butterfly Network, focused on reducing disparities of access to healthcare by making medical imaging accessible to everyone around the world.Most important, David met the love of his life after he moved back to Boston full time, and he and his partner are the proud parents of Blue, the cutest rescue dog in Boston. 
8/5/20211 hour, 5 minutes, 20 seconds
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S1E7: Dr. Mariko Silver

Dr. Mariko Silver is the president and CEO of the Henry Luce Foundation, the current, significant stop in her remarkable career journey that weaves through leadership in higher education, philanthropy, and public service. Before coming to the Luce Foundation, she was the president of Bennington College and also worked in the Obama administration as Acting Assistant Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Policy in the US Department of Homeland Security. Mariko is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is also active in the formation of the new Asian American Foundation.She holds a Ph.D. in Economic Geography from UCLA, a Masters degree in Science and Technology Policy from University of Sussex (UK) and a B.A. in History from Yale University.
7/22/20211 hour, 6 minutes, 51 seconds
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S1E6: Dr. Holly Heard

Dr. Holly Heard is the Director of Data and Analytics for Texas 2036, a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy organization that uses data to advocate for policy change in the state of Texas. Holly’s team works to develop data products, resources, and governance systems to support strong state policies. Previously, Holly served as a Senior Research Scientist and Associate Director at the Houston Education Research Consortium, and as an Assistant Professor in the Sociology Department, both at Rice University in Houston, TX. Holly is a native Californian but has lived in her adopted state of Texas for 18 years, so it’s home now.   Holly has a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and was originally trained in the sociology of family, education, and demography. Her career path has moved from tenure-track position in a sociology department, to education researcher, to manager of data and research systems, to Director. None of this was planned. Along the way, Holly has learned, sometimes the hard way, about leadership, equity, and finding her space in the world. 
6/29/20211 hour, 7 minutes, 44 seconds
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S1E5: Dr. Lindsey Sasaki Kogasaka

Dr. Lindsey Sasaki Kogasaka is an interdisciplinary trained scholar with a PhD and master's in international education from New York University, passionate about the intersection of international relations, political and cultural identity and cross-cultural exchange and training.Her work has tackled the Asian diaspora communities in Latin America, specifically Brazil and Peru and Latin American communities in Japan. Lindsey is a gifted polyglot and as someone who is deeply committed to people in community, she serves on various boards, committees and organizations that invest in next generation leaders and creates opportunities to connect international visitors and scholars with people in the greater Los Angeles area.She most recently brought all of this to bear as a senior researcher on a groundbreaking project of the Nippon foundation and the Japanese American national museum. Examining the concept of Nikkei identity among young adults around the world, Lindsey continues to encourage and impact the lives of college students to take their leap and first steps in an international journey.And she does this as assistant director of study abroad at her alma mater Pomona college. 
6/2/202158 minutes, 18 seconds
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S1E4: Dr. Lisa Jackson

Dr. Lisa Jackson is Managing Partner at the Imago Dei Fund, the current hill station in her eclectic career journey that weaves through higher education, direct social service, and philanthropy, and originates from a strong set of values around justice, equity, and inclusion.  Raised in California, Lisa comes from a long line of proud and successful Howard University graduates, including parents holding a Holy Trinity of doctoral degrees, an MD, a PhD and a JD. Needless to say, the bar was set high for educational achievement in her childhood home.  She herself would also go on to Howard, study psychology, and complete her PhD at Stanford University in Education. But don't let the academic degrees fool you, as you will learn, her path has been hardly conventional.  Lisa's unique blend of ferocity, curiosity, insight, and levity is a true gift to the world and embodies the spirit of this podcast. 
5/19/20211 hour, 4 seconds
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S1E3: Dr. Ramatu Bangura

Dr. Ramatu Bangura has spent the last 25 years working with and on behalf of adolescent girls in New York city, Washington, DC, and as a Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica, and she is committed to decolonizing philanthropic practices to ensure that those most impacted by structural violence and oppression are afforded the tools to create a world we are all safe, seen, and celebrated. She currently leads the design and inception of the children's rights innovation fund prior to working there, Ramatu served as the program officer for the NoVo foundation, Advancing Adolescent Girls Rights initiative, where she co-led strategy development and grantmaking to advance philanthropy's largest portfolio, working to advance the rights leadership and wellbeing [00:01:15] of adolescent girls in the United States and in the Global South. Ramatu earned both a master's of education and doctorate of education in international and trans cultural studies at teacher's college, Columbia university, her dissertation In Pursuit of Success: the educational identities and decision-making of African girls with limited formal schooling utilized African feminism to examine how immigrant girls with limited formal schooling, navigate American schools and make decisions about college and marriage.
5/5/202157 minutes, 24 seconds
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S1E2: Dr. Omi Osun Joni L. Jones

Dr. Omi Osun Joni L. Jones is an artist scholar and professor emeritus in the African and African diaspora studies department at the University of Texas at Austin. Her scholarship focuses on performance ethnography, theatrical jazz, Yoruba based aesthetics, black feminisms and activist theater. As the founder of the Austin Project, a collective of women of color artists, scholars, activists, and allies who use art for re-imagining society and the creator Sista Docta, a critique of the Academy and just being an overall generous spirit Omi is what happens when Britt and Mya make a wish upon a star for the perfect guest.
4/15/20211 hour, 3 minutes, 50 seconds
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S1E1: Dr. Britt Yamamoto & Dr. Mya Fisher, Co-Hosts

Dr. Britt Yamamoto has been fortunate to be on a very eclectic professional journey–including stops as an organic farmer on two continents, a full-time professor, and being the founder of several social businesses serving Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East. In addition to his leadership with iLEAP, he is also a Clinical Associate Professor in the University of Washington Department of Global Health, a Founding Partner of Solutions for Online Integrated Learning (SOIL), and the CEO and co-founder of Perennial, a leadership training organization that designs and facilitates transformational experiences for seasoned social leaders from around the world. He holds a BA degree from the University of Michigan, an MSc from the University of California at Davis, and a PhD from the University of Washington. Britt grew up in southern California, but now enjoys making his home in Seattle with his family and Princess Leia Organa, the dog.Dr. Mya Fisher is the Chief Executive and Transformation Officer for Global Equity Forward. She brings a wealth of experience in the areas of equity, inclusion, and education from an international perspective to her executive role. As a woman of color who has greatly benefited from international experiences and opportunities, Mya’s 20-year career illustrates a passion and commitment to equity and inclusion, particularly as a leader in international program management, exchange, and cross-cultural training for U.S.-Japan relations. She is also an enthusiastic supporter of next-generation talent. Encouraging young people to embrace their leadership potential, pursue interests in international opportunities, and discover their place and purpose in the world motivates and inspires her every day.
4/2/202120 minutes, 25 seconds
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Off-Track, On-Purpose: Season One Trailer

What does it mean to be a whole, creative, and generous person in and around the Academy? Why is academic life set up to produce and reward the opposite? Why are these questions that even need to be asked?!? This podcast explores questions like these through heart-centered conversations with people who have experienced an advanced academic training and gone on to have a meaningful social impact through their creative pursuits and practical actions.
4/1/202153 seconds