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Workshops will help student, faculty researchers communicate topics to general audience

  • woman standing, talking with two women seated at table

Posted on July 01, 2019

Workshops offered in July by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship will help students and faculty members discuss their research topics with a non-scientific audience.

Radha Ganesan, assistant professor of practice for the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, will present two workshops on July 16. 

• Connection is a Choice — Introduction Workshop: 9-10:30 a.m. in Kirkhof Center, room 2263; Ganesan will help participants craft conversational statements about what they do and why it matters. 

• The Principles — Advanced Workshop: 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in Kirkhof Center, room 2263; participants will learn the Alda Method, which combines improvisational theater exercises and message design skills to help people speak vividly and clearly about their research. Workshop participants should also attend the introductory workshop. Preference will be given to current faculty and student researchers in OURS summer research programs. 

Susan Mendoza, director of OURS, said the Alda Center is a national leader in helping scientists communicate their research in dynamic and engaging ways that leads to improved understanding by the public. It will be the first time the center will work with undergraduate research students.

"One of the biggest challenges for many student researchers in the sciences is translating and communicating their research to a general audience," Mendoza said. "The Alda Center provides an opportunity for students and their faculty mentors to develop these skills."

The workshops are open to Grand Valley students, faculty and staff members. Register online at