Alexis Takahashi (aka ATAK) is a multiracial activist passionate about creating new models for building knowledge that are rooted in community values. She recently abandoned her job in academia to pursue urban farming and cooperative living. When she’s not micromanaging Free Radicals, she enjoys cycling the streets of Los Angeles, reading fiction, and shooting hoops. You can follow her at @atak91.
Andy Su is a 1.5 generation Taiwanese American who recently graduated from college with a degree in rocket science. While they originally thought about exploring outer space, nowadays they spend most of their time building community spaces as an organizer for LBGTQ Asian American communities in LA. Still starry-eyed, they’ll follow the politics of space exploration and work towards the day militaries are defunded and the money reinvested in communities. But until imperialism, settler colonialism, and capitalism are dismantled, they’re content reading horoscopes and watching Steven Universe.
Anna Khatt is a non-binary 1.5 generation Ukrainian American who tumbled out of a crate of oranges (see Cheburashka for full origin story) to pursue a Microbiology degree from UCLA. She traded in her lab coat to tackle bio-essentialism and transphobic, racist & misogynistic medicine. Currently, she project manages events for Free Radicals and has a radical enthusiasm to support youths’ exploration of the sciences. Her likes include music, indie games and jiu-jitsu.
Art Li is an aspiring high school biology teacher who is still struggling through the personal and political contradictions between science and community-based work. He is interested in making scientific knowledge more accessible to communities that are either shut out of or disinterested in traditional scientific institutions. When he is not suffering from a bout of twenty-something-year-old ennui, he likes to play video games and eat food. Art is currently working an unfulfilling day job to pay his bills while volunteering with API-focused organizations in LA to feed his dying soul. ಥ_ಥ
Kalei Trujillo is a USC alum with a degree in Biology and East Asian Languages and Cultures who is currently a wandering soul. After returning to the United States from a three year stint abroad as an English teacher in Japan, she wants the next step to be as fulfilling as the last. When not job searching and working as a project manager for all your favorite Free Rads, she likes to dream, read fiction, eat everything, and climb.
Kelly Jiyoon Park is a medical student and science fiction enthusiast based in Los Angeles. She is passionate about reproductive rights, mental health literacy in immigrant communities, and not actively contributing to the medical industrial complex. In her free time, she enjoys choral singing and having strong feelings about social justice, books, and the internet.
Linus Kuo aspires to create opportunities for community driven problem solving through science and technology. He currently works in market research where he tries to ask all the right questions. His interests include changing the world through games, playing cello from time to time, and generally being on fire.
Maria Florencia is a Uruguayan, undocumented student, currently finishing up her studies in ecology and conservation biology. Her scientific research interests include studying the human impacts on our ecosystems. She can be found chasing lizards and preserving insects. Currently, she is experiencing her quarter-life crises and trying to find a way to connect her love for nature and organisms to her passions for social justice and activism.
Mariah-Rose Marie M is an artist, poet, amateur naturalist, capsaicin enthusiast, and nomad-heart. She is interested in creating a future where all life is valued, variation is celebrated instead of persecuted, and the socially constructed borders between nations, races, classes, sex, and gender are dissolved. In the meantime, she’s enthusiastic about producing art, writing, and music to help us get there. When she is not brooding about the sixth mass extinction, she can be found enjoying music, trying to pet random cats, cooking, gardening, or training in Brazilian Jui-Jitsu.
Mario De Leon loves math. He was born and raised in Guatemala until the age of 9, and has lived in Los Angeles as an undocumented immigrant ever since. While he was not formally ‘trained’ in math, this topic has been of interest to him since the age of 3 when he first questioned (the concept of) God. Mario believes that math is beautiful and that we are simply out of love with math due to modern formal education systems, colonialism, and capitalism. One of his goals in life is to make people fall in love with math again. When he’s not contemplating the meaning of life, Mario likes to hang out with his cat, Pi. Mario believes in the power of math and science in the hands of the working class to radically reimagine what math education can look like for the benefit of all beings.
Mario Pizarro Rojas is a Chilean undocumented immigrant who recently graduated with a degree in Microbiology. He is interested in creating novel therapies for illnesses that can be easily affordable and accessible to marginalized communities, while dismantling the pharmaceutical companies that profit from them. Mario also works in a community organization that advocates for education access for undocumented students interested in pursuing a career in the health field. His passions outside of science and activism include drinking excessive amounts of boba and coffee.
Sophie Duncan is a botanist. She loves plants (but often struggles to keep them alive). She especially likes plants you can eat. Like mint ice-cream. Her interests include the relationship between imperialism and botany, feminist science practices, and how plants should not be labeled male and female (barf). When she’s not accidentally killing plants or trying to make science less terrible, she likes to doodle, make pet rocks, and bind books.
Sophie Wang (aka shuf) is a second generation Chinese American invested in justice, changing how scientists think about science, solving puzzles, and garlic. She works at a community nonprofit in Little Tokyo and at the LA County Natural History Museum, where she attempts to reconcile her love of evolutionary biology with her qualms with Western systems of science. In her free (radical) time, she stage manages for an Asian American arts space in Little Tokyo called Tuesday Night Cafe and watches an embarrassing number of professional Dota 2 matches.╰(✧∇✧)╯also dungeons and dragons ╰(✧∇✧)╯
Taylin Im is a queer 2.5 generation Korean American medical student interested in deconstructing the intersections of science, religion, gender & sexuality, and social justice. She graduated from college with a degree in Health and Human Biology. Favorite pastimes include piano performance, talking about religious studies, questioning gender roles, and eating avocados. Her dream job is to be in a radical band or to be a food critic.
Tracy Zhao (aka TZ) is queer, Chinese, and a lady. She likes to discuss emotional labor, the boundaries and definitions of science, and community organizing. She is interested in interrogating interpersonal accountability, her own existential crises, and the contradictions within social justice work (and capitalism). She is currently a grad student at UCLA and volunteers with API Equality-LA.
Wil’ Prada is a hip hop head, stargazing astronomy enthusiast that loves capturing and creating stories through film. He was born in the proud ghetto streets of La Campiña, Lima, Peru. And since a young age he’s been amazed by the night sky. Ironically, he’s also an alien. Undocumented, that is. But unafraid also. He became a skilled media communicator through his involvement within the immigrant rights movement. Luckily, being an artist with a love for science has taught him that life is a game and the universe is beautiful. On any given day you can find him kicking a ball around, creating woke media, or fighting off his anxieties.
Iris Jong is a queer/ace/androgynous Taiwanese American, recovering corporate drone, and committed INTJ. Iris is working for a nonprofit now; it’s all good. Her intellectual interests include the viability of modifying vs. dismantling current economic systems, the role of technical prowess in creative endeavors, and artisanal ice cream flavors. She will be beautifying the Free Rads blog with illustrations that will force her to practice ~real art~ instead of incessantly drawing dumb fancomics.
Photo Credit for Alexis, Andy, Art, Kelly, Sophie, Taylin, Tracy, and Linus’s photos
Alexa Fishman is a NYC based illustrator/graphic designer currently working for Cosmopolitan. She draws cats on everything and is always ready with an appropriate gif response. Quoting television comes naturally to her as do snide remarks and a love of cheese. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Melody Yenn loves to draw and work with her hands. Her aspirations include tattooing people, creating a Marmite donut, and keeping bees, among many other things.