Summer Commitments Will Keep Center Faculty Busy

2017 cohort of German Fulbright Fellows. The CCS will co-host a third group with Cranwell International Center this summer.

The Center for Communicating Science (CCS) has a busy summer ahead. Conference presentations, expansion of our role in a 3-week German Fulbright Summer Institute, and development and delivery of a set of communicating science workshops for undergraduate student summer researchers will keep the CCS hopping all summer.

In early summer, center director Patty Raun, associate director Carrie Kroehler, and  faculty fellows Daniel Bird Tobin and Cassandra Hockman plan to participate in CESTEMER, or Cultivating Ensembles in STEM Education and Research. We science communication folks don’t like acronyms much–and acronyms inside acronyms? Yikes! But it’s a great conference, and this year’s theme is “The Power of Connection: Performance, Play and Creativity.” Kroehler will facilitate an interactive exercise, “Who, what, when, where, how, and why, why, why? Exercises for distilling your message.” CCS faculty also may be presenting at CESTEMER’s Share Fair.

In late summer, Raun will serve as keynote speaker at the annual conference of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association, an organization of which she is a longtime member and for which she has served as president. The conference, scheduled for August 4-7 in Orlando, has a theme this year perfectly suited to Raun’s skills, experiences, and interests: “Connectors, Communicators & Culture.” Her keynote address, “Let Your Life Speak: The Art of Connecting across Difference,”  provides an opportunity for her to share the wisdom gained from her many years of work in theatre, voice, and communicating science.

Raun also will present later that same week, a thousand miles to the north, when she gives a TED-type talk at the annual conference of the Applied Improvisation Network, held this year in conjunction with the Alda Center for Communicating Science. Conference theme? “Communicating Beyond Borders and Barriers: Applications of Improvisation in Society.”

Raun and Kroehler also are preparing to host German Fulbright Fellows in collaboration with Virginia Tech’s Cranwell International Center for the third year in a row. Twenty German undergraduates will arrive July 26, tour Washington, DC, with program faculty for a weekend, and then spend three weeks in Blacksburg in their German Fulbright Summer Institute “Communicating Across Disciplines: New Approaches for Applied Sciences.”

Last but certainly not least, CCS faculty are developing a 10-week summer communicating science program for undergraduate researchers. Funded by the Office of Undergraduate Research, this pilot project will provide weekly workshops for summer undergraduate researchers from the Fralin Life Science Institute and the Biocomplexity Institute.

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