Services

Communicating Science

The University Speaking Center offers hands-on workshops on Communicating Science. Our goal is to help scientists and students of science communicate better among themselves, with policy makers, and with the general public. We offer participants the opportunity to practice cutting edge communication skills in a safe and supportive environment. Past participants had this to say about our workshops (all comments were anonymous):

“I thought it was fabulous – the presenter was excellent. Like the approach and the new way of thinking about doing presentation. Also the references and feedback were great. Would definitely recommend this.”

“Short, yet effective, workshop. Definitely made me rethink how to craft the opening to talks.”

“I thought it was a very useful workshop. And although I have encountered many of these ideas before, they were put together more convincingly and self-evidently here. That’s the difference between getting it intellectually and getting it in your gut. It is clear that data are no longer trusted by the public. What this short workshop establishes is that the speaker needs to be the bridge connecting the audience to the data, and it provides simple steps to accomplish this task. Thanks!”

“I was nervous because my expectations before coming to the workshop did not match my first impression of the workshop and thus I felt unprepared. In the end, I am glad I had the opportunity to learn and I now have the tools to explore visual presentations even more. I am re-invigorated to join the scientific community as well. Thank you!”

Reviews:

“When I signed up for the 3MT competition at the request of my dissertation adviser, I instantly felt dread. I silently thought to myself, “Why would you willingly torture yourself.” I dreaded the competition for two reasons: I was concerned about my ability to explain my research to a general audience, and I was concerned about the time commitment. The 3MT workshop offered by Dr. Kirchoff and Kim Cuny helped me to overcome my doubts. It taught me three crucial lessons. I learned to be more concise. I learned about the importance of stage presence and hand gestures and how they can enhance a presentation, and I learned how to structure at talk to convey my intended meaning. The follow-up sessions with Dr. Kirchoff and the Speaking Center staff helped me to apply these lessons and become more confident. They helped me refine my message, which helped me understand my research better. Now, months after winning the competition, I find that I am using my newly acquired skills in all aspects of my professional life. Competing in the 3MT has made me a better communicator. This is true whether I am presenting to my committee, speaking to my adviser, or talking to the general public. Competing in the 3MT was a great experience. I highly recommend it.”

~Rada Petric, 2018 3MT Winner, UNCG

“Bruce really helped me improve my presentation skills. After working together I was able to better explain my core research findings, I understood how to design better slides, and was better able to connect with the audience. Bruce helped me draw my own conclusions, so I really learned best practices and was able to change my presentations. I hope you get the chance to work with him as I did.”

~ Eliezer Cocoletzi, Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa, Mexico

Contact:

Please contact Kim Cuny (kmcuny@uncg.edu) to inquiring about arranging a workshop. We are interested in expanding our work to other universities, and to industry.

If you would like to be added to our communicating science mailing list, please add your name and email address to this form: https://goo.gl/forms/Rde3B6pUHJA36EJM2

Fall 2019 programming

October 2 – 3MT for the Chemistry Department, open to Chemistry students, 1 – 3:30 PM, room TBA
 
October 9 – 3MT for the Graduate School, open to any graduate student at UNCG who has registered for the 2019 3MT competition,  2 – 5 PM, room TBA
 
October 16 – 3MT for the Biology Department, open to Biology students, 4 – 6:30 PM, 201 Sullivan Building (and breakout rooms)

Currently Enrolling 

Registration for our October 9th workshop is limited to students who sign up for UNCG’s 3MT competition.  You will find the workshop sign up is an option embedded in the 3MT registration page.

Facilitators:

Bruce Kirchoff is a Professor of Biology at UNCG. He has won multiple teaching awards and has studied scientific communication at the Alan Alda Center for Scientific Communication, and storytelling with NC storyteller Louise Kessel.

Kimberly M. Cuny, MFA, is the Director of the University Speaking Center at UNCG. She holds appointments in UNCG’s Communication Studies and Theater Departments where she is a North Carolina Theatre for Young People teaching artist. Kim has received awards for her teaching, service, and research. 

Erin Ellis-Harrison, MA, is the Associate Director of the University Speaking Center at UNCG. She holds a faculty appointment in Communication Studies. Erin was awarded the National Communication Association’s VonTill Outstanding Newcomer award

Taylor Williams, MA, is one of The University Speaking Center’s Research Associates at UNCG where she also teaches the basic communication course.  Taylor is the recipient of the National Communication Association’s Outstanding Consultant award.

Let’s Talk Friday

During the spring and fall semester in 2018-2019, we offered a weekly Let’s Talk program for scientists.  This program is intended to provide a safe place for English Language Learners, Non-Native Speakers of English, and English natives to participate in activities which are fun opportunities to practice speaking in a group setting.  

The program has a science focus, takes place at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering from 1:30 -2:30, and is open to all scientist

We hope to secure funding to relaunch this effort in 2019-2020.

JSNN Students: Contact Kim Cuny kmcuny@uncg.edu

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