Graduate School Experience

I began graduate school at UW-Madison in 2019, originally in the Integrative Biology program. I quickly learned I was less interested in conducting research and applied to switch to Life Sciences Communication, which I began in fall 2020.

Life Sciences Communication

Course: Social Media for Life Sciences

Description

This class focuses on how to communicate effectively using social media and investigates how social media shapes modern interactions. Throughout the course, students gain experience using social media to promote their personal brand, create meaningful connections, and measure impacts of their social media practice.

Course Projects

Throughout the course, we built up our social media skills through several projects:

My Takeaways

I was skeptical about what I would learn from this course, but I truly enjoyed the course and learned a few important lessons:

  • There is a science behind effectively using social media.

  • A well-written bio is important for establishing your presence.

  • Maintaining a social media presence and a blog is a lot of work. Consistency is key.

  • It seems like everyone is on social media, but the majority of people are 'lurkers' who only consume content. Only 1% of people on social media are content creators. It's possible to stand out!

Examples of graphics for Twitter posts I created

Course: Introduction to Museum Studies in the Natural Sciences

Description

This course provides students with an overview of natural history museums. Topics covered include: history of museums, field collecting, specimen preparation, collection preservation, ethics, education, and research in museums.

Course Projects

As a part of this course, I did an internship for credit at Henry Vilas Zoo, focused on projects for the education department. These projects included:

  • Design virtual activities for participation in the Wisconsin Science Festival

  • Evaluate biofact collection to improve storage conditions

  • Design an exhibit poster about available education programs

My Takeaways

I love visiting museums and was very excited to take this course to learn more about their inner workings. Here are some of my key takeaways:

  • Many different types of institutions are considered museums, including zoos, botanical gardens, and arboretums.

  • Maintaining collections requires a lot of work.

  • There is a science to exhibit design. The background and signs can detract from the object being highlighted if designed poorly.

  • Navigating the legalities around acquiring an object for a  collection is a difficult, but necessary process.

Exhibit poster I designed for Henry Vilas Zoo education programs.

Course: Web Design for the Sciences

Description