Week 7 - Jeff Blaustein and the UMass Public Engagement Project

Submitted by dnavon on Wed, 03/22/2017 - 10:20

I hope you all enjoyed Jeff Blaustein's visit this week.  Jeff is a professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, a member of the NSB program, and a long-time learner and educator right here at UMass.  His research focuses on the role of hormones, especially estrogen-like hormones, in brain function and mammalian behavior.  He has served as the editor-in-chief of Endocrinology, a top journal in his field.  His work with public engagement began very personally, when his wife got sick with breast cancer.

Week 6 - Learning About Industry with Dr. Marisha Godek

Submitted by dnavon on Wed, 03/08/2017 - 09:12

Hi all!  I hope you found this week's guest lecture useful.  Sorry I couldn't make it - the guy who was fixing the tile in my bathroom let out my cat overnight and I had to spend some time dealing with that situation.  Next week is, of course, spring break, so we will NOT be meeting.  Your homework over the break is twofold:

1) Drop me a comment here about the lecture I missed.  Tell me something interesting you learned and something you wish you'd heard more about.  Did you enjoy the lecture?  Why or why not?


Week 5 - Difficult Concept Presentations

Submitted by dnavon on Wed, 03/01/2017 - 10:39

Hi all!  Fantastic job with your difficult presentation concepts this week.  You were all brilliant!  Remember - practice makes perfect, and you're just starting out.  Keep practicing!   We're striving to develop narrative intuition, or an instinctive feel for what makes a good story.  You can find examples of good (and bad!) stories all over science as well as in society.  When you watch a presentation from here on out, try to challenge yourself to answer the following questions: What is the story they are trying to tell?  What's the goal of this research?

Week 4 - "Finding the Story Behind Your Research" with Tim Miller

Submitted by dnavon on Wed, 02/15/2017 - 10:12

Instead of writing a summary about this week's class, I decided to publish my sketchnotes from the talk (see above).  Sketchnoting can be a great way to engage with seminar content WHILE creating sci comm materials!  I learned about sketchnoting at this year's conference for the Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology, and I've been practicing it ever since.  We humans are visual creatures, so communicating with more visual media is always encouraged! 

Week 3 - Intro to Narrative Structure

Submitted by dnavon on Wed, 02/08/2017 - 13:53

On Monday we took our first dive into the world of narrative structure, which is the structural framework that underlies the order and manner in which a narrative is presented to an audience.  For our purposes - narrative structure is all the decisions that you make about how to convey your information to your particular audience based on your particular goals.

Week 2 - Elevator Pitch Workshop

Submitted by dnavon on Wed, 02/01/2017 - 13:52

This week we had 3 very special guests visit our class: Shana Passonno, Alysia Birkholz, and Beth Jakob!  Shana and Alysia head up the Office of Professional Development, which is a fantastic resource if you haven't already been exposed to it, and have been critical in helping me find (and afford) guest speakers for this course.  Beth is the Associate Dean of the grad school.

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