Graduate Student, Undergrads Lend Assistance to Center Staff

Graduate student Ellen Garcia (not in photo) got undergrads in a big lecture hall up and moving with her communicating science workshop.

This spring we had an unexpected bounty of extra help from students! An unofficial “teaching assistant” and two undergraduate student interns made great contributions to the center with their enthusiasm and hard work.

Ellen Garcia, a Virginia Tech graduate student studying cell division, took GRAD 5144 (Communicating Science) a couple years ago, and the work really resonated with her–not just because it helped her communicate her own research, but because she could see herself doing this sort of work in the future.

This spring she asked to help with a section of the course to review the sequence of exercises and develop her facilitation skills, assessing specific exercises and games with course instructor Carrie Kroehler and contributing to group discussions and class activities.

In February, she took her science to kindergarten, talking to three classrooms of children at Eastern Elementary School in Giles County about microscopy, size, and cells.

With input from center staff, she led a set of communication exercises for 60 students in a Leadership in Science course for the DaVinci/Curie living learning community in January and crafted another workshop for young professionals at her academic discipline conference, the Mid-Atlantic Mitosis Meeting, held in Maryland in early April. When the center received a request for some communication exercises for an Introduction to Food Science course with a 90-student enrollment, Ellen courageously accepted the challenge and planned a set of games for the group.

Undergraduate student intern Nicole Elbin staffed our center table at the Experiential Learning Symposium.

Undergraduate student interns Luci Finucan and Nicole Elbin also provided lots of help to the center this spring.

Luci, a physics major with experience in museum outreach, helped keep our Wednesday workshops organized, minding the registration lists and communicating with workshop facilitators. She also pitched in to help with our Brian Malow visit and our table at the Experiential Learning Symposium in April, traveled to Eastern Middle School in Giles County to videorecord graduate student presentations, and tweeted about center events.

Nicole, graduating this year with a major in English, attended all of our Wednesday workshops and Science on Tap events and wrote about them for our e-newsletter (you’ll find her stories nearby!). She lent her design experience to event flyers and other center materials, staffed our Experiential Learning Symposium table, helped with our social media presence, wrote about the events associated with Brian Malow’s visit to campus, and helped workshop facilitators.

Many thanks to Luci, Nicole, and Ellen!

This entry was posted in News. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.