The department has teaching and research interests in many aspects of Biology from the cellular and molecular level to organismal to global ecological and conservation issues

Friday, April 29, 2011

iCLUB - Communication across disciplines

Holly Gaff and Jenifer Alonzo (Communication and Theatre Arts) received funding from the National Science Foundation for a resource co-ordination network incubator.  Their project, entitled iCLUB, will help biologists to collaborate across disciplines.

Groups of collaborators will participate in a foundational communication workshop. The workshop teaches scientists to use tools that actors use  to  build rapport, communicate differences in personal and disciplinary values, and to rehearse strategies for communicating difficult messages. These difficult messages might include concerns over tardiness, concerns about the quality of another scientists’ work, and concerns about professional presentation.

Leaders of groups who participate in the workshops will then meet together at ODU to learn additional tools for promoting healthy communication in interdisciplinary settings.  ICLUB also includes an online presence in which biologists who collaborate at disciplinary intersections might help one another with communication problems via video chat, list-serves, and discussion boards.

Dr. Gaff and Professor Alonzo hope that iCLUB will serve as a model for scientists who collaborate across disciplines in order to work on “big problems” like climate change, sea level rise, public health issues, and energy use.

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