Center Names Faculty Fellows

We welcome Elizabeth Allen, Meaghan Dee, and Cassandra Hockman, who are joining us this year as Faculty Fellows to help scientists, scholars, health professionals, and others develop their abilities to connect, communicate, and collaborate.

The center’s Faculty Fellow program is intended to provide additional opportunities for skill development and  to leverage university resources. In addition, we hope that it will foster collaborations and strengthen relationships among people working  in diverse ways to communicate to diverse audiences.

Liz, a program associate in Virginia Tech’s Institute of Policy and Governance, co-manages the institute and currently serves as a data manager, evaluator, and project specialist on a grant to assess the needs of nonprofits providing human services in Loudoun County, VA. She recently provided staff assistance and data management support on a Veteran demonstration grant evaluation, gathering information on more than 1,000 transition programs, employment and training opportunities, and educational programs. She has also served as a data specialist on a 4-year grant-funded project evaluation for the early childhood education Smart Beginnings program.

For the Center for Communicating Science, Liz is applying data management skills and survey development knowledge to help design assessment and evaluation tools. Her data visualization expertise will help the center provide related workshops and resources.

Meaghan, assistant professor in Virginia Tech’s School of Visual Arts and chair of the Visual Communication Design Program at Virginia Tech, is lending her experience and talents in the visual arts and design fields to the center through workshops and artist/researcher collaborations. She is a part of the FutureHAUS  communication design team, and her work has been recognized nationally and internationally by the American Advertising Federation, the American Institute of Graphic Artists (AIGA), Graphic Design U.S.A., Graphis, and Hiii Typography. Before she came to  Virginia Tech, Meaghan worked as a designer for the architecture and design firm Marnell Companies, where she collaborated with architects, interior designers, and industrial designers on large-scale resorts.

Meaghan’s design focus is on branding, typography, editorial design, user experience, and packaging, and her work with the center facilitates delivery of workshops on design “tips and tricks,” one-on-one poster and powerpoint presentation feedback for graduate student researchers, and a focus on audience for researchers designing communication materials.

Cassandra, a communications coordinator at Virginia Tech’s Fralin Life Science Institute, communicates university research to the public in a variety of ways. She has taught writing to undergraduate students within Virginia Tech’s English department and co-developed a student match project in the department’s Science Writing course that gives science majors experience being interviewed and English majors experience interviewing, writing for public audiences, and navigating the editorial process for publication. She completed a summer institute program at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University and has been part of Virginia Tech’s Flint, Michigan, water crisis team, traveling to Flint a number of times to cover the project, work with Virginia Tech students, and volunteer with others working to help the citizens of Flint.

Cassandra’s experience with writing and teaching allows her to provide curriculum planning for center workshops for graduate students,  faculty members, and industry partners, including topics such as science writing, blogging for scientists, distilling one’s message, and science storytelling.

If you have an expertise you’d like to share through the center, please contact us. Center Faculty Fellows may offer workshops, help develop materials, engage in research, or write grant proposals with us. Appointments are for one-year terms and come with a stipend.

Please provide a 1-2 page statement of interest and your CV to the director of the Center, Patty Raun ( The statement should highlight your expected contributions. We may then request an initial meeting to talk about whether your interests and expertise align with the vision and mission of the Center.

(this article, written by Carrie Kroehler, appeared first on the center’s website)

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