Engage opened doors for Robin McLachlan. She has led science-communication workshops for attendees ranging from undergraduate students to senior scientists with backgrounds from genome sciences to renewable energy. Through networking with these diverse audiences and collaborators, she have become a regular contributor to science magazines and blogs, such as Lateral Magazine and the American Geophysical Union’s blogosphere. The project she is most excited about? Her science-communication curriculum for undergraduate students. She created, implemented, and evaluated a science-writing curriculum that can be incorporated into any existing science course with the aim of training science students to be better communicators and more successful in their early careers. After earning a PhD in Oceanography, she plans to become a professor at a teaching-focused university where she will cultivate student achievement in discipline-specific education and cross-cutting communication skills.
“I believe I will be competitive and successful in my early career in large part because of the experience and skills I acquired through Engage.”
— Robin McLachlan
"Participating in the ENGAGE course was a major part of my graduate school career. Taking the course gave me the tools I needed to communicate my work in genetic engineering to a broad audience, something that has made writing grants and giving talks a lot easier and more productive as I am now more easily able to navigate the instinctive negative emotions some people have on hearing the term GMO. Through teaching the course and mentoring the next years instructor, I was given an insight into what it takes to plan a syllabus, to create a safe learning environment and to challenge students to step out of their comfort zone and grow as communicators. The network of scientists and science communicators that the course helped me build has been a major boon so far in getting my work into the public eye, and I expect it to provide even great dividends in the future as I move further down the academic career path."
- Arjun Kharhar
“In short, the Engage class and a subsequent graphics design course (how and why to use Adobe Illustrator) had a huge impact on how I present my science and how I train my students to present their science. The impact was so large that I have started my own course for grad students here at the University of Illinois at Chicago. It focuses more on the visualization of scientific data, but includes a large “tell your story” component. Of all the courses I took as a PhD student I would say that both of those courses, the Engage class and the graphics design course, were among those that have “stuck with me” the most.”
- Andrew Sawers