Invited Experts

Michelle Paulsen

Michelle Paulsen

Director of Education, Outreach and Communication Programs, Northwestern University

Science Outreach and Education session panelist

Michelle Paulsen has been designing and directing education and science communication programs at Northwestern University for the past six years. Most of her projects are within the Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA). In addition, she is the co-founder and director of RSG, Northwestern University’s research communication training program. RSG was started in 2012 with the goals of increasing awareness for the urgent need for excellent science communicators and providing coaching and training for graduate and post doctoral researchers to improve their own presentation skills. The program focuses on three important and basic components of communication: building confidence in all communication roles, enhancing the clarity of the message, and forming a connection with any audience.

Sheheryar Ahsan

Sheheryar Ahsan

Digital Media Producer, The Brain Scoop at the Field Museum

Multimedia Techniques: Videos workshop

Working as the Digital Media Producer for ‘The Brain Scoop’ at the Field Museum, Sheheryar Ahsan has cultivated his passion for video production into his professional career. He received his BS in Media Arts and Science from the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing. As a videographer, Sheheryar has been able collaborate with many different creatives to develop a mixed variety of media, ranging from educational content to narrative films. His main interest lies in telling stories and to help understand the world around us. As the Digital Media Producer of ‘The Brain Scoop”, he uses his experience to effectively communicate the scientific work being done at the Field Museum, alongside Emily Graslie.

Kevin Bersett

Kevin Bersett

Copy Editor/Writer, University Marketing and Communications, Illinois State University

Journalism and Blogging session panelist

Kevin Bersett is the editor-in-chief of Illinois State University’s research magazine, the Redbird Scholar. He also oversees the University’s style guide, edits publications and marketing materials for academic and nonacademic units, manages multiple social media accounts, and writes for the alumni magazine’s print and online publications. Bersett spent about a decade as a print and online journalist before arriving at Illinois State in 2012. He was the editor of the Rio Grande SUN, a weekly newspaper well-known in New Mexico for its investigative reporting and dedication to open government. He also worked as a crime and government reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat, a daily newspaper in the St. Louis area. He and that newspaper won several awards for a series he co-authored on the region’s surge in drug overdose deaths. Bersett thrives on writing about complicated subjects in ways that a general reader can find interesting.

Emily Graslie

Emily Graslie

Chief Curiosity Correspondent, The Field Museum, Host of ‘The Brain Scoop’

Keynote Speaker & Multimedia in Science Communication session panelist

Graslie's relationship with science began as an internship with The University of Montana Zoological Museum while earning her BFA in painting. What started off as a means to practice scientific illustration developed into a love of skeletal preparation and an interest in the inner workings of natural history museums. In January of 2013, Graslie and YouTube educator Hank Green launched a new channel,'The Brain Scoop,' which aims to share the wonderful inner and outer workings of natural history museums. Graslie now hosts the show at The Field Museum in Chicago and is their first-ever Chief Curiosity Correspondent, where she uses a variety of new media to share the Field's stories with passionate learners from all over the world.

Julianne Hatfield

Julianne Hatfield

Postdoctoral fellow, Science in Society, Northwestern University

Science education and communication with K-12

Julianne’s interest in science education and community engagement started way back in 2010 when she started working with Science in Society’s Science Club as a graduate student volunteer. After a few years of being a mentor, Julianne wanted a deeper understanding of the world of science education and community programs and co-ran a Junior Science Club program at the General Wood Boys and Girls Club in the Little Village neighborhood. After graduating from Northwestern’s Driskill Graduate Program in 2015 with a PhD in Immunology, Julianne joined the Science in Society team to further pursue her interest in science outreach.

In her free time you can find Julianne crafting, cooking, or enjoying the outdoors!

 Steve Franconeri

Steve Franconeri

Professor, Department of Psychology, Northwestern University

Data Visualization workshop leader

Steven Franconeri is a Professor of Psychology at Northwestern, and Director of the Northwestern Cognitive Science Program. His research is on visual thinking, visual communication, and the psychology of data visualization. He directs the Visual Thinking Laboratory, where a team of researchers explore how leveraging the visual system - the largest single system in your brain - can help people think, remember, and communicate more efficiently. His undergraduate training was in computer science and cognitive science at Rutgers University, followed by a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Harvard University, and postdoctoral research at the University of British Columbia. His work on both Cognitive Science and Data Visualization has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Education, and the Department of Defense. He has received a National Science Foundation CAREER award, and a Psychonomic Society Early Career award, for his research on visual thinking 

Meridith Brurozas

Meridith Bruozas

Educational Programs and Outreach Manager, Argonne National Laboratory

Education and Outreach session panelist

Ms. Bruozas oversees the Educational Programs and Outreach Department that currently serves over 4,000 middle and high school, 300 undergraduate, and 300 graduate students appointments each year. Ms. Bruozas is an educator by training and has spent the past 15 years working in a combination of district, non-for- profit and academic service positions researching and promoting STEM education. Over the course of her career, she has coached, mentored and taught thousands of science teachers, develop district level science literacy plans and authored inquiry-based curriculum. Ms. Bruozas’s publications include several nationally published curricula for the K-12 classroom and numerous professional presentations and research articles. She holds a Master of Arts in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from Ball State University.

Sara Grady

Sara Grady

Editor, Helix Magazine, Northwestern University

Communications Specialist, Science in Society, Northwestern University

Finding your hook workshop

Sara Grady is Editor of HELIX magazine, teaches science writing at Northwestern University, and is a Road Scholar with the Illinois Humanities Council, lecturing across the state on the cultural history of environmental narratives.

Her academic research centers on audience engagement and cultural narratives. In the last 15 years she’s specialized in developing international collaborations which leverage the power of stories to connect people to big ideas in inspiring ways. This includes consulting for clients like the BBC and UNESCO World Heritage Trust, and developing public engagement programs for the world’s oldest science festival and the world’s largest book festival.

You find out more about some of her projects at smgrady.wordpress.com

Becky Lang

Becky Lang

Editor in Chief, Discover Magazine

Journalism and Blogging session panelist

Becky Lang is editor in chief of Discover magazine, where she's worked since early 2013. She moved to the magazine world from newspapers after 11 years as the health/science/environment editor at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She's been writing and editing as a job since high school, where she covered minor league baseball in Helena, Mont. She's a graduate of Northwestern University. She loves skiing, hiking, running and camping with her 13-year-old son, and hanging out with their two dogs.

Robert McNees

Robert McNees

Associate Professor of Physics, Loyola University

Science Outreach and Education session panelist

Robert McNees is an Associate Professor of Physics at Loyola University Chicago. After completing his PhD at the University of Texas at Austin, he held research positions at the University of Michigan, Brown University, and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. His research interests lie mainly in the area of quantum gravity, and touch on problems in gravitational physics, cosmology, and high energy theory. Dr. McNees is an award-winning teacher and a big believer in just talking to people about real science. If you so much as make eye contact he will assume that you probably want to hear about black holes right now.

Monica Metzler

Monica Metzler

Executive Director, Illinois Science Council

Science Outreach and Education session panelist

Monica is dedicated to helping people improve their communication skills.  As Executive Director of the Illinois Science Council, she is particularly passionate about helping scientists do so.  Her approach to closing the gap between those trying to convey science & engineering and those trying to understand it comes from training in law and policy (in which precise communication is critical), coupled with real experience of being a long-time consumer of science outreach, and a deep, practical understanding of marketing science (which requires making it engaging).  It’s done with an unbridled passion for understanding science and promoting it widely, and having great respect for scientific education.

Monica is particularly passionate about the education and impact that is possible in the live, in-person format often accompanied by slide visuals using PowerPoint or Prezi. She is a sharp, engaging and sought-after speaker and workshop leader.

Charlie Meyerson

Charlie Meyerson

Founding Head of News at Rivet Radio, Principal at Meyerson Strategy

Charlie Meyerson's delivered the news to Chicago for decades - first in print, then on-air, then online and most recently through a pioneering digital audio news app.

Multimedia in Science Communication session panelist & Multimedia Techniques: Podcasts workshop leader

Charlie Meyerson, founding head of news at Rivet Radio, has devoted a career in Chicago to connecting great journalism with growing audiences at the intersection of communication and technology -- online, on air,  in print. He's held managerial roles at the Chicago Tribune, WGN-AM and WNUA-FM. He's won awards -- including a national Edward R. Murrow Award for audio investigative reporting -- for his work at Rivet, FM News Chicago, the Tribune, WNUA and WXRT-FM, where he still can be heard as an occasional substitute news anchor. He's contributed to Chicago Public Media WBEZ-FM 91.5 and Crain's Chicago Business. He's also been an adjunct professor of journalism at Roosevelt and Northwestern Universities and Columbia College Chicago.

Daniel Moser

Daniel Moser

Professional and Presentation Skills Director, Northwestern University

Presentation Skills Workshop

Dr. Moser specializes in the art and science of communications training for professionals in financial, business, engineering, medical, design, and other technical fields. He holds a PhD in Performance Studies from the School of Communication, Northwestern University where he currently directs The Graduate School’s professional development series in Advanced Professional and Presentation Skills. He also lectures in communication studies at the McCormick School of Engineering and in the program for Leadership and Organizational Behavior. Consulting clients include Goldman Sachs, BP, Apple, DHL, Feinberg School of Medicine, University of Illinois Masters Program in Financial Engineering, MIT Enterprise Forum, A Better Chicago, and Mead Johnson Nutrition.

Matt Wood

Matthew Wood

Editor, Science Life Blog; Social Media Specialist at University of Chicago's Medicine and Biological Sciences department

Journalism and Blogging session panelist

Matt Wood is the editor of the Science Life blog and social media specialist for the University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences.  Before coming to UChicago, he worked for eight years in the IT industry as a systems architect, software designer and business analyst. He also served as an editor for TriQuarterly, Northwestern University’s literary journal, as it transitioned from print to online, and was an associate editor for Chicagoist. As a freelance writer, Matt’s work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, the South Loop Review, Time Out Chicago, and the Cauldron.

 Olivia Castellini

Olivia Castellini

Senior Exhibit Developer, Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

Multimedia in Science Communication Panel

Dr. Castellini, a physicist by training, has translated fundamental science and cutting-edge research into compelling museum experiences on a variety of topics.  She was part of the core creative team behind Science Storms, MSI's 26,000 square-foot exhibition about the amazing science that underlies natural phenomena. Castellini is also active in research into public understanding of science and nanotechnology, which has resulted in several journal publications, refereed conference proceedings and invited talks. Dr. Castellini earned her Ph.D. in physics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Ellen McSweeney

Ellen McSweeney

Musician, Writer, and Founder, ArtistsHuddle.com

How To Build a Compelling Online Presence As a Grad Student Workshop

Ellen McSweeney is a Chicago-based violinist, singer, writer, and composer. As a consultant, she helps individuals and institutions generate excitement about their work through better communications, both online and off. She co-founded the string trio Chicago Q Ensemble and the record label Parlour Tapes, and served for three years as the Chicago regional editor for NewMusicBox.org. Her current research focuses on how artists, writers, and scholars can increase their mental health and resilience while contributing more deeply to their communities. She is a relentlessly curious student of yoga and meditation, and blogs and consults from her website, artistshuddle.com.

Our invited Guest Editors:

Sara Grady, Science in Society department, Northwestern University

Monica Metzler, Illinois Science Council

Kevin Bersett,  Marketing and Communications, Illinois State University

Becky Lang,  Discover Magazine

Barbara Shwom, The Writing Place, Northwestern University

Sara Serritella, University of Chicago Institute for Transitional Medicine

Matthew Wood, Science Life Blog, University of Chicago

Louise Lerner, Argonne Now magazine, Argonne National Laboratory

Julianne Hatfield, Science in Society Department, Northwestern University

Trace Weiner, The Writing Place, Northwestern University