We are delighted to welcome our newest Center for Communicating Science faculty fellow, Daniel Bird Tobin!
Tobin arrived in Blacksburg last summer for a two-year post-MFA fellowship in Virginia Tech’s School of Performing Arts, where he is teaching sections of the new VT Pathways course Introduction to Applied Collaborative Techniques (I-ACT) as well as acting classes. A director, performer, and dramaturg, Tobin came to us from Arizona State University.
Tobin’s first work for the center, beyond his teaching of I-ACT both fall and spring semester this year, was facilitating a half-day science and risk communication workshop for the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) May 3 in Memphis, Tennessee.
SETAC’s mission is “protecting, enhancing, and managing sustainable environmental quality and ecosystem integrity,” and communicating effectively is essential for members of the organization. Graduate student and SETAC member Heather Govenor, who took Communicating Science (GRAD 5144) here at Virginia Tech, collaborated with center associate director Carrie Kroehler and fish and wildlife conservation post-doc Serena Ciparis to provide a brief presentation, “Strengthening Your Communication Skills: Exercises to Build Rapport,” for the national SETAC meeting in November 2017. That presentation led to the center’s invitation to provide the workshop in Memphis.
The MidSouth Regional Chapter’s annual meeting in Memphis included researchers from a variety of fields, state regulators, consultants, and university faculty and students. People working in the field of toxicology may find themselves needing to communicate with landowners, policymakers, business owners, lawyers, and researchers in different disciplines.
Tobin’s 4-hour workshop for SETAC provided opportunities for participants to improve their listening skills, learn to connect and collaborate with others, and practice difficult or challenging communication situations.