When you’re trying to convince a child to wear a bicycle helmet, you don’t talk to him or her about “blunt force trauma.” You say, “You could crack your skull!”
Yet, much too often, when graduate students and faculty try to talk to the public or even their family about what they do, they forget to drop their own version of Doctor Talk — and their message fails. In the long run, poor communication skills can also affect their ability to get jobs and crucial research funding.
And what a shame. As University Distinguished Professor and CSU atmospheric scientist Dave Randall says, “You can have the greatest idea in the world, but if you can’t move it from your head into someone else’s, what good is it?”
Professional development series
A new and innovative program open to all CSU graduate students aims to help fix that problem. The Graduate School is offering communication training talks featuring some of CSU’s leading experts in the field: Professor of English, Emeritus, John Calderazzo; Professor of Journalism and Media Communication Marilee Long, and Executive Director of Public Relations and former TV news reporter Mike Hooker. All three have worked with a wide array of academics and scientists to help them communicate their work to the public, the media, and decision makers.
“We’re really excited about the skills that this program can give to our students,” says Dean of the Graduate School Jodie Hanzlik. “Learning how to connect with different audiences can boost a career and speed up the ways that research and discovery can turn into policies and actions that benefit society.”
Learn to tell your science
Two professional development opportunities for grad students will be presented this semester by John Calderazzo, Marilee Long and Mike Hooker:
Breaking Out of the Box – How to Communicate Your Research to Wider Audiences and How It Can Boost Your Career
Sept. 27, noon-1:30 p.m., Cherokee Park Room, Lory Student Center
Tell Me a Story – Using Narrative Techniques to Communicate Your Work to the Public, the Media and Decision Makers
Nov. 1, noon-1:30 p.m., Lory Student Center Room 386
No registration required.
These talks will also be repeated in Spring semester.