A group of people sit around a wooden table. On the left side of the table, three black men wearing white, gray, and tan suits from left to right, engage with Patty Raun, center director on the right side of the table, wearing a gray shirt, red scarf and black pants.
Center director Patty Raun discussed the work of the center with East African visitors to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Photo courtesy of Dickson Otieno.

With rhododendrons in full bloom, it’s hard to remember that this busy semester began in the cold month of January... but it did. Before classes got underway we had already conducted an “Introduction to Communicating Science” intensive for the Combating Antimicrobial Resistance National Science Foundation Research Traineeship program on January 10 and traveled to the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus in Arlington to facilitate a communicating science intensive for Innovation Campus faculty on January 12. We also hosted Gretchen Matthews, director of the southwest Virginia section of the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative, for her January 25 Science on Tap talk “Defending Against Hackers of the Quantum Future.” We finished out the month by facilitating a workshop January 31 to help 30 graduate students prepare to compete in the Nutshell Games.

    February’s schedule included 

Four individuals stand together and laugh including an Asian woman with glasses, dark hair, and a sweater with a French bulldog on it; a Black woman with short dark hair wearing all black and writing on a notepad; a Black man wearing glasses, a grey shirt, and clasping an orange notebook behind his back; and an Asian man wearing a tan vest and appearing as if he is in thought.
Innovation Campus faculty members collaborated to dream up some big goals as part of a Communicating Science Intensive in January. Photo courtesy of Carrie Kroehler.

    In March, Center for Communicating Science faculty 

  • hosted (in person and on Zoom) faculty from other universities interested in learning about the CCS; 
  • took one of the sections of GRAD 5144 (Communicating Science) to Eastern Elementary/Middle School to interact with the 6th and 7th grade students there, while the other section of 18 graduate students engaged 5th graders as part of Hokie for a Day at the Moss Arts Center
  • welcomed the undergraduate student participants in the ACC Meeting of the Minds symposium with a “Connecting Across Differences” workshop; 
  • began our engagement with the National Science Foundation Critical Zone Collaborative Network
  • worked with McNair Scholars from Eastern Tennessee State University; and, 
  • curated communicating science experiences for Graduate Education Week, a course in Watershed Assessment, Management, and Policy, the Grand Challenges Workshop on Pandemic Prediction and Prevention, and a psychology course at Roanoke College.
A building’s hallway is lined with people on the left side. In the center of the image, three people wearing white pose, the two on the outside crouching with their hands clasped, and the woman in the middle forming an O with her hands. A Panera breakfast spread lines the right side of the hallway.
Chemistry students used body language to communicate in a workshop during the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry’s Global Women Breakfast. Photo courtesy of Carrie Kroehler.

    April included another GRAD 5144 trip to share research at Warm Hearth Retirement Community. We also facilitated workshops for the Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health program, the Mastering Your Future graduate student professional development series, microbial physiology graduate students, and McNair Scholars from Virginia Commonwealth University. We met with a delegation of researchers from East Africa and were represented at the American Educational Research Association annual conference. Planning got underway for a number of initiatives, including a “Community Kaleidoscope” workshop to welcome participants May 3 to the Mid-Atlantic PREP (Post-baccalaureate Research and Education Program) and IMSD (Initiative for Maximizing Student Development) Research Symposium, hosted this year by Virginia Tech.

    We appreciate all of our collaborators and project partners! Contact Center for Communicating Science director Patty Raun (praun@vt.edu) if you have ideas for partnerships or projects.