Faculty, grad students complete first-ever Research Communications Academy

Friday, May 3, 2019
Researchers take a soil sample

Graduate student Clarice Perryman was among the first cohort of UNH researchers to participate in the Research Communications Academy.

What do you study? Why should I care?

Thirty-two UNH faculty members, graduate students and research-related staff now answer those questions with ease and aplomb after participating in UNH’s first Research Communications Academy (RCA) during the 2019 spring semester.

Sponsored by the Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Research and NH EPSCoR, the RCA boosted participants’ communications skills with workshops by the Alda Center for Communicating Science, grant writing consultant Peg Atkisson and UNH’s own media relations, government relations and research office staff.

“The RCA was a great opportunity to practice talking about my research and receive constructive feedback to improve my message.”

“The RCA was a great opportunity to practice talking about my research and receive constructive feedback to improve my message,” says Amy Keesee, associate professor of physics. Keesee took advantage of congressional visits and recorded a StoryCorps interview through the American Geophysical Union.

“I now have a network of equally motivated peers across UNH with whom to continue this endeavor and further hone my communication abilities,” adds Drew Robison, a Ph.D. student in the Natural Resources and Earth Systems Science (NRESS) program. “I am thankful UNH has recognized the importance of communication from their researchers and invested in the culitvation of these skills.”

Robison, who credits his RCA training with helping him get accepted into the American Geophysical Union’s Voices for Science program, is among several participants who parlayed their new communications skills into success. Sydney Birch won the Graduate School’s Three Minute Thesis competition by bringing the “sensory systems of Ectopleura larva” to life for a lay audience. 

“We’re proud of these researchers for their commitment to more effectively communicate their research to diverse audiences,” says Kevin Gardner, UNH vice provost for research. “Their training will enhance the power and impact of UNH’s important research.”

“NH EPSCoR is focused on increasing the state’s research capacity and impact by building partnerships across boundaries,” says Justine Stadler, director of partnerships and impact for NH EPSCoR. “We are excited to see how the first RCA cohort and future cohorts use their new skills to move their research forward with new collaborators, industry, funders and other external stakeholders.”

Participants in the inaugural Research Communications Academy were:

Jenn Andrews, staff, Sustainability Institute

Mark Anthony, graduate student, NRESS

Bradley Barr, affiliate professor, Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping (CCOM)

Sydney Birch, graduate student, molecular evolutionary systems biology

Jessica Briggs, graduate student, biology

Sarah Boege, policy analyst, Institute on Disability

Sophia Burke, graduate student, NRESS and Earth sciences

Megan Carney, staff, Sustainability Institute

Simone Chapman, graduate student, natural resources and the environment

Marcy Doyle, project director, Institute for Health Policy and Practice

Katharine Duderstadt, research scientist, Earth Systems Research Center

Lisa Fernandes, staff, Sustainability Institute

Colleen Flaherty, staff, Sustainability Institute

Thomas Gruen, Paul College

Anne Hartwell, graduate student, Earth sciences and CCOM

Sarah Jakositz, graduate student, civil and environmental engineering

Jennifer Johnson, graduate student, Earth sciences and CCOM

Jin Lee, graduate student, English

Dovev Levine, assistant dean, graduate school

Marta Lima, assistant professor, agriculture, nutrition and food systems

Amy Keesee, associate professor, physics and astronomy

Sanchari Kundu, graduate student, biology

Melissa Melendez, graduate student, Ocean Process Analysis Laboratory

Jovana Milosavljevic-Ardeljan, graduate student, education

Jessie Morell, principal lecturer, agriculture, nutrition and food systems

Bryan Mascio, postdoctoral research associate, education

Laura Nickerson, director, STEM Teachers’ Collaborative

Sanjib Paul, postdoctoral research associate, chemical engineering

Clarice Perryman, graduate student, NRESS

Andrew Robison, graduate student, NRESS

Edward Song, assistant professor, electrical and computer engineering

Applications for the next RCA, scheduled for spring semester 2020, will be solicited in the fall. To be notified, contact Justine Stadler.

Jeremy Gasowski | UNH Marketing | jeremy.gasowski@unh.edu | 603-862-4465