Gwen Schanker grew up in Saint Joseph, Michigan, a summery beach town inundated by snow each winter. Much of her childhood was spent at Sunset Coast Gymnastics, where she divided her time between practicing new flips and tricks, working on her creative writing while lying in the foam pit, and reading while hanging upside down from the uneven bars.

By high school, she was ready to start doing her work right side up. She attended the Montessori High School at University Circle in Cleveland, where she developed a passion for Starbucks coffee while continuing to develop her writing skills. She also found a love for science in her environmental biology class, where she wrote a short story about genetic counseling.

As an undergraduate at Northeastern University, she continued to cultivate her interest in science journalism. You can find her byline in several of Northeastern’s on-campus publications, including The Huntington News and NUScience Magazine, where she served as editor-in-chief. In 2016, she undertook a semester-long internship at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and hopes someday to return to writing by and about the ocean.