17

 

Promote the transfer and communication of discoveries to society.

 

LEAD: Christine Sinatra, Director of Communications

 

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

The College has made significant strides in highlighting new discoveries of our faculty and promoting the broad dissemination of these ideas. Overall media coverage of faculty expertise increased significantly since implementation of the strategic plan. This included a new partnership with the campus radio show, “They Blinded Me with Science” and faculty opinion contributions to the new University initiative, Texas Perspectives.  Communications office staff have begun teaming with the Science Communication Initiative, an emerging community of practice focused on connecting science graduate students, faculty and researchers with opportunities to talk about science with the public, as well as to improve scientists’ ability to communicate to lay audiences. The committee is examining opportunities for training and collaboration with other entities both within and outside the University and is investigating opportunities for College researchers to share their work in live local talks and online video.  Our annual publication, The Texas Scientist, provides a first-hand look at the creative research of our faculty and students and serves as a touch-point for alumni. The College released a newly designed website and enhanced its presence on social media to improve access to college information, news and events. Additionally, the CNS Communications Office partnered with departments to develop department-level email newsletters to enhance communications with students, faculty, parents and alumni. Finally, the College established several new video series about science on campus.  The Office of Technology Commercialization has promoted opportunities for faculty within the College to learn about commercialization and patenting opportunities. CNS faculty and staff have filed for more than 160 patents since implementation of the strategic plan.

In 2015-16, the College nearly doubled its media coverage since the previous academic year, launched a new monthly podcast, Point of Discovery, and continued to produce monthly videos about CNS innovations and faculty discoveries. The CNS Office of Communications began conducting media trainings for faculty and provided all members of the CNS community with on-line tip sheets to improve their external communication, both with reporters and their use of social media.

 

BENCHMARKS FOR IMPLEMENTATION

  • The College’s targeted external and internal communications will promote broad awareness of the knowledge and ideas that emerge from our research.
  • Department communications with alumni and stakeholders will be sustained and will promote a sense of connection with the College.
  • College faculty, students and staff will understand the process by which new discoveries can be publicized, patented and commercialized.

 

OUR METRICS FOR CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

The College will:

  • track external communications in major media channels and on social media
  • assess stakeholder awareness of college research and productivity

 

NEXT STEPS FOR 2016–17 and BEYOND

  • We will increase public outreach speaking opportunities for faculty.
  • We will conduct media and social media trainings for faculty, staff and graduate students.
  • We will track social media followers.