University of Wisconsin–Madison

Communication and Advocacy Training

2018 NHA Annual Meeting and Humanities Advocacy Day

The National Humanities Alliance (NHA) is an advocacy coalition dedicated to the advancement of humanities education, research, preservation, and public programs.  The Annual Meeting and Humanities Advocacy Day, March 11 –  13, 2018, will provide participants the opportunity to: connect with a growing network of humanities leaders from around the country; learn about communicating the value of the humanities to Members of Congress; explore national humanities policy; and become year-round advocates for the humanities.  Sessions are held at George Washington University and on Capitol Hill.

Read more about the event here.

Read more about the National Humanities Alliance here.

The Graduate School selected the following graduate student through a competitive process to attend the 2018 National Humanities Alliance (NHA) Annual Meeting and Humanities Advocacy Day in Washington D.C.

Vanessa LauberKathryn Mara

PhD Student in African Languages and Literature

Kathryn’s research examines the social context in which genocide representations are constructed. More specifically, she is interested in the narrative and discursive practices surrounding the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi (The Rwandan Genocide).

“In the current social order, emerging humanities scholars require a new vocabulary to advocate on behalf of our disciplines, one that represents our unity, as well as our importance in society,” Mara states.  “The humanities tell a story with which we may or may not be familiar, but that we can respond to and learn from and grow with, because stories signify the growth of humanity.”

Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering: 2018 Workshop

Each April the Graduate School sends two University of Wisconsin–Madison graduate students to learn about science policy and advocacy at the Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering (CASE) workshop in Washington D.C.  This year’s workshop will be March 18-21, 2018.  The workshop, sponsored by a coalition of scientific groups including the AAAS and AAU, teaches STEM graduate and upper-class undergraduates about the structure and organization of Congress, the federal budget and appropriations process, and tools for effective science communication.

Students participate in interactive seminars for both policy-making and communication. They learn about ways to stay engaged and involved after they return to their campuses, through relevant professional societies or on-campus activities. The day after the culmination of the workshop, students form teams and conduct meetings with their elected Members of Congress and congressional staff members, putting into practice what they’ve learned.

Read more about the workshop here.

The Graduate School hosts a competitive process to select the two UW–Madison graduate students to attend the CASE workshop and covers the cost of travel, accommodations, meals, and event registration for the graduate students selected to attend.  The following two graduate students were selected to attend the CASE workshop in 2018.

Catherine SteffelCatherine Steffel

PhD Candidate in Medical Physics, Member of the Mitchell & Varghese Labs

Catherine is a third year PhD candidate in the Department of Medical Physics. Her research uses medical imaging and signal processing techniques to identify atherosclerotic plaque in the carotid arteries that may cause a stroke.

“Armed with specialized knowledge, scientists have equal potential to offend or enlighten, disconcert or inspire,” Steffel says. “The CASE workshop will help me shape my messages and research for maximum impact.”

Jeremy SpoolJeremy Spool

PhD Candidate in Zoology, Department of Integrative Biology

Jeremy is a fourth-year PhD candidate in Zoology. He conducts research on the neural mechanisms by which limited environmental resources fine-tune the timing of breeding in birds.

“Scientists with effective communication skills versed in science policy are uniquely positioned to highlight how basic research translates to unexpected discoveries that impact human health, technology, and legislation,” states Spool.