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Create science-based cultural and media programs that promote community and affinity within and outside the college.

 

LEAD: Christine Sinatra, Director of Communications

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

The College is proud of our exceptional public outreach programs, and we have enhanced efforts to promote the visibility of science both on campus and beyond. Our newest additions to public outreach include a new educational outreach program of the chemistry department and a newly opened interactive exhibit this year at the Marine Science Institute (MSI). The Estuary Explorium at MSI is a state-of-the-art, interactive center for all ages to visit and learn. Here on the main UT campus, Fun with Chemistry works with K-12 schools and has a standing monthly spot on a local TV news program.  The College launched an innovative new program designed to bring high campus visibility to science and discovery. Visualizing Science invites CNS students to submit unique images from their research that capture the excitement, beauty and complexity of science. The amazing images of the six winners of the annual event can be seen prominently displayed on canvas in the UT Main Building and elsewhere on campus.  Cohesive “Texas Science” branding across social media channels, on t-shirts and within a new university-wide Academic Identity System have promoted the College of Natural Sciences effectively both on campus and beyond the 40 acres.

In 2015-16, the College partnered with the UT Science Communications Initiative on two university events to improve the ability of students and researchers to talk about their work. The College also became engaged in planning activities pertaining to a new UT affiliate relationship with the Alda Center for Science Communications at Stony Brook University. Within the College, departments implemented e-newsletter campaigns, sending news and updates to all their constituents and alumni. Targeted email content was produced for parents, as well as for parents of prospective students.

 

BENCHMARKS FOR IMPLEMENTATION

  • Science will be as visible on the UT campus as art and athletics.
  • Online media channels will prominently display and promote science in the broader community.

 

OUR METRICS FOR CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

The College will:

  • track public outreach events
  • track College and departmental newsletter communications response and monitor feedback
  • assess faculty and student awareness of science media on campus and beyond

 

NEXT STEPS FOR 2016–17 and BEYOND

  • We will strengthen and build new ties with communities, both on campus and off, focused on science communications.
  • We will continue to work with other groups on campus to make UT Austin a nationally respected model of science communications.