New short course in Spring, GRAD 5984, Communicating Science

Spring short course in Communicating Science

For graduate students in science and technology fields

GRAD 5984: Special Study: Communicating Science

CRN: 18756, 1 cr

Tuesday evenings, 6 pm – 9 pm, 3/13/12 – 4/24/12 

This participatory course will be taught by Professor Patricia Raun (, and was inspired by her work with the Center for Communicating Science Institute at Stony Brook University ( and the belief that "scientists have a responsibility to share the meaning and implications of their work, and that an engaged public encourages sound public decision-making. In addition, the ability to communicate directly and vividly can enhance scientists’ career prospects, helping them secure funding, collaborate across disciplines, compete for positions, and serve as effective teachers."

The course is intended to promote understanding of science by training the next generation of scientists, engineers, and health professionals to communicate effectively about their work in a variety of contexts. Participation in the course will lessen the discomfort of spontaneous interaction. Areas of emphasis will include imagination, relaxation, observation, and concentration through improvisation. Some attention will be focused on the tools required for distilling one’s message in writing. A greater awareness of the everyday tools of human interaction (voice and body) will be gained through handouts, discussions, exercises, and improvisation. The students will develop their communicative abilities through careful observation, active class contribution, and committed participation. One of the benefits of this study is a deeper understanding of what it means to be fully expressive.

Graduate Diversity Scholars Program

The Office of Graduate Recruitment and Diversity Initiatives welcomes nominations for its Diversity Scholars Program

The Diversity Scholars Program encourages scholarship and faculty-student mentorship through diversity initiatives. Click here to learn more about becoming a Diversity Scholar and here to (self)nominate a Diversity Scholar.

Call for Nominations for Graduate Student Awards

The Graduate School would like to encourage nominations for the following student awards:

  • Outstanding Dissertation– two awards, one in math/science/engineering and one in social sciences/business/humanities, $1000
  • Graduate Student Teaching Excellence- $1000
  • Graduate Student Service Excellence– $1000
  • Graduate Man and Woman of the Year– $500
  • Outstanding Interdisciplinary Program Student– $500
  • Outstanding Graduate Student– one master’s and one doctoral student per      college, $500
 All students will be recognized during the Graduate Education Week banquet in March as well as receive a plaque/certificate and monetary award. More information about criteria, forms, and process for nomination can be found on our web page at:

The deadline for the first five awards listed above is February 3, 2012 at 5 pm while the last one is due by February 17 at 5 pm.

ETD Speaker Series: Graduate School Review of your ETD (11/9/11)

On November 9th @ 7:00 Graduate School staff will discuss items we check while reviewing your submitted ETD and the timeline of the submission process . ..

Room 351, Northern Virginia Center
Room F, Graduate Life Center

Virtual Graduate Life Center(online)

** We are implementing a new viewing option for the ETD speaker series. We will be using the Virtual Graduate Life Center (vGLC), an environment where you can create an account and attend various events held at the Blacksburg campus from anywhere in the world that you have internet access. This is the first time we will be implementing this viewing option so we ask that you please take the time now to review the links below on downloading the appropriate software and how to create an account then log into the vGLC.

You must request an account no later than noon on Monday,  November 7th in order to ensure your account is approved and your computer is set up to view the streaming program. A sample video will be playing in the vGLC to ensure you have all the settings and preferences correctly selected prior to the event. vGLC users should "arrive" no later than 6:45 the night of the event to ensure all settings are correct to view the event before it begins at 7pm. Questions regarding the vGLC should be directed to