Author: Dr. Teresa Evans | Category: Career Development | October 07, 2015
The first annual Science Communication and Outreach Career Symposium was a great success! Over 170
individuals visited UTHSCSA for this event. Attendees included undergraduate
students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty from across San Antonio
and the nation.
The primary goal of the two day symposia to showcase not
only a wide variety of careers for STEM professionals but also the importance
of strong communication skills in attaining and succeeding in any STEM career.
"Making connections through networking events like this one and maintaining those relationships was reiterated throughout the symposium as being one of the most proactive ways to begin your career search," said Allison Doyle, graduate student in the Department of Pharmacology. "I would definitely recommend this symposium to any graduate student or postdoc interested in exploring career options."
The focus of the first day’s
events, held at the Blue Star Brewery, was science outreach. These sessions
provided professional development opportunities for attendees as they learned
from scientists who are actively engaged in science outreach.
Also, among the presenters we
had a professional radio science communicator, Dr. Alan Xenakis who shared with
the group his insights as an Emmy Award Winning host of a medicine focused
In the evening, invited
speakers and guests joined the symposium organizers and the local Alamo chapter
of Sigma Xi for a reception followed by an engaging outreach activity, a
The presenter at the café was a
local entrepreneur and biomedical engineer, Dr. Gerald “Jerry” Wilmink, CEO of Wisewear. His presentation allowed the
community to engage with local scientists around a relatable scientific topic.
The second day focused on providing
career development for attendees. Information was provided about different
science careers, focusing on how science communication is a necessary component
of each. With two keynote speakers, Dr.Jamie Vernon, director of communications for Sigma Xi and Dr. Sharon Milgram,
director of the Office of Intramural Education and Outreach at the NIH.
Mariam Ishaque, a graduate student in the M.D./ Ph.D. program said that she enjoyed listening to Dr. Jamie's Vernon's talk the most.
"As someone who does not use social media, it became clear to me the impact it has and will have in the scientific realm in the future," Ishaque said.
The afternoon featured
professional development workshops, that focused on the following career areas:
Industry, Entrepreneurship, Outreach, Policy, Education, Research, Military, Academic
Leadership. You can review the notes
from these panel discussions here.
Finally, the day came to a
close with an innovative poster session where presenters were encourage to
present their poster at a level appropriate for a general audience. Further, poster judges were recruited from
across the San Antonio community that represented the lay audience.
"This symposium helped solidify for me that not only is it important to engage in research you are passionate about, but that you must be able to convey that research to scientific and non-scientific audiences alike," Ishaque said. "In practicing for the poster presentation, I identified the most salient aspects of my research and developed an effective way of community it."
- Great symposium! Both Dr. Milgram and Vernon had invaluable career insight and left me with much to think about! Thank you!
- Very well represented broad range of topics available!
- Really enjoyed the speakers and panelists information useful; great value! Taking much back to my own students!
- Great symposium and the panel session were very informative and beneficial.
- As the first large conference I have attended, this really inspired me to find more opportunities to enhance my educational and career opportunities.
- The talks during the symposium were very helpful, it gave me a better idea about the options I have as a career
2015 Science Communication & Outreach
Career Symposium General Public Poster Presentation Winners