The Science Ambassadors are here! After careful review of an excellent pool of Science Ambassador applicants, we’ve selected three Ambassadors who, during the course of the year, will be spreading the word about the impact of gateways. Each recipient will receive $1000 in support.
Meet the 2020 Ambassadors!
Sam Donovan is a Science Educator in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh and on the leadership team for the Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education & Synthesis project (QUBES). QUBES has collaborated with SGCI over the last 4 years to refine their services and deepen our engagement with our user community. Despite broad participation from organizations, projects, and individuals there has been little explicit discussion about the potential roles that education gateways can play in supporting education reform. QUBES services have focused on faculty professional development, project collaboration spaces, and an Open Education Resources publication platform. Sam and the QUBES team’s participation in the SGCI Science Ambassadors program will focus on developing and publishing a broadly accessible manuscript to raise awareness and advance the discussion of educational gateways as mechanisms to accelerate the pace of educational innovation.
Brian Winkel is an Emeritus Professor of Mathematics from the United States Air Force Academy at West Point and the Director of the Systemic Initiative for Modeling Investigations and Opportunities with Differential Equations (SIMIODE). SIMIODE was founded in 2013 and is a 501(c)3 Community of Practice currently funded by the National Science Foundation. SIMIODE greatly benefited from SGCI Spring 2019 Bootcamp, now called Focus Week, as well as consultancies in Sustainability and Marketing, User Experience, Technology Support, Social Media, and Summer Intern stipend. SIMIODE will use SGCI's Science Ambassador Award to support Anthony Stefan, an SGCI Summer Intern with SIMIODE, in his new role of Social Media and Outreach Director to continue to enhance the SIMIODE platform, and assist Brian to speak to game changing support SGCI can offer a science gateway. Read Brian's blog post, Science Ambassador Blog: Funding to organize and implement a social media strategy. Brian also made a presentation at the April 2021 Gateway Ambassadors meeting. You can view his presentation slides here.
Arjun Krishnan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering, the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Michigan State University. Arjun is also the PI for SimpleB.io, an online tool and scientific gateway that helps make biological research widely-accessible by providing a feature-rich text-editor that enables scientists (and students) to write technical content in simple-language and building a community of researchers, instructors, students, and the general public around science communication and learning. SimpleB.io provides a framework for explaining complex ideas using plain-language by simulating a non-expert in the form of a text editor that quantifies the “understandability” of the words used while keeping track of several measures such as reading time and an overall readability score. This tool will benefit a large audience, including scientists, students, teachers, and the general public. The support from SGCI will help cover publishing costs related to a publication about SimpleB.io.
We can’t wait to hear about their experiences in the coming year when each Ambassador will contribute a blog post to tell their story. Stay tuned!