Harvard University’s Science in the News (SITN) is a graduate student organization has, for the past 20 years, sought to communicate science clearly and effectively to the general public through various media.
SITN was a major pillar of my graduate education. Not only did I have the opportunity to engage with members of the general public, but I also trained my fellow students to better communicate their work with others. In my four years with SITN, I gave several lectures, wrote and edited dozens of articles for our blog, chaired a daylong science conference, moderated science cafés at local pubs, hosted model organism zoos for elementary schools, and more.
I was elected Co-Director of SITN during my second year of graduate school and assumed oversight and management responsibilities for all ten branches of our organization and our board of nearly thirty graduate students. I implemented three new initiatives during my tenure. First, I established a collaboration with Boston’s Museum of Science by featuring them in our annual daylong science conference, DayCon, and by participating in their annual health science fair, greatly expanding SITN’s reach to Boston locals. Second, I worked with Harvard’s Division of Medical Sciences to develop a Science Writing Path Program for graduate students interested in science communication. Finally, I established and taught a new graduate course on science writing for general audiences. After my two-year term as Co-Director ended, I continued to teach science writing, edited for the blog, and started a bi-monthly “Ask SITN” column to answer science queries from the general public.
To supplement my training in SITN, I applied to and was selected to attend the National Communicating Science Conference (ComSciCon) workshop in June 2017. Additionally, I have run multiple op-ed workshops for Harvard graduate students and served on several panels featuring the work of Boston area science communicators.
Throughout graduate school, I taught and mentored for the Health Professions Recruitment and Exposure Program at Harvard (HPREP), an outreach organization that offers science and health curriculum and one-on-one mentorship to Boston area high school students from underserved and minority backgrounds. Through this program, I honed my skills in public speaking, science communication, and mentorship, and served as the organization’s Curriculum Director for three years. HPREP gave me the incredible opportunity to learn from a group of sixty passionate, bright, and incredibly mature students every year.
In the greater Boston community, I volunteer at local and state science fairs each year, collaborate with Boston's Museum of Science, and give public lectures on the importance of science communication. Additionally, I am a researcher contributor to BiteScis, which provides classroom-tested lesson plans for K-12 audiences. My most recent lesson plan features the genetic link between sickle cell disease and malaria resistance.