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Alda Center, School of Communication & Journalism Welcome First Science Communication Graduate Cohort

Ellice Peck

This fall, Stony Brook University’s Master of Science in Science Communication program welcomed its first cohort of four students.

The program, offered jointly by the School of Communication and Journalism and the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, helps scientists and researchers combine their subject-matter expertise with effective communication theory and practice to help increase public engagement with science.

Alex Ambrico

Alexandra Ambrico
Washington D.C./New York, NY

Ambrico began her career at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), where she conducted research and published several papers about metastatic prostate cancer. While at CSHL, she co-founded the lab’s Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) group ​​to build and sustain a more supportive, collaborative and equal scientific community, as well as provide educational opportunities for girls in STEMM. She spearheaded the first science camp for girls on Long Island in partnership with the Dolan DNA Learning Center. During this time, Ambrico interned at the Lasker Foundation as their social media ambassador. 

She currently works at the International Biomedical Research Alliance, a nonprofit that was created in 2005 to support the NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program and associated global PhD and MD/PhD training programs based in NIH’s intramural research program. 

Ambrico says she is interested in expanding her science communication skills “to advance important dialogues, both within the science community and with the public, and provide the tools to understand the vital impact of science. I aim to be a leader within the communities I serve and inspire the next generation of women in STEMM.”

Joellen LampmanJoellen Lampman
Albany, NY

Lampman works at Cornell’s New York State Integrated Pest Management Program, where she helps people understand how they can better protect themselves against destructive pests, including poison ivy, bedbugs and ticks, while also protecting pollinators and water and air quality. She previously worked at Audubon International managing a program to help land managers improve wildlife habitat, conserve resources, protect water quality and tell their story. Across both positions, Lampman seeks to help people understand that they are constantly surrounded by nature, even within their homes, schools or office buildings, and the actions they take, or not, make a difference.

“Choosing what information to leave out in public presentations is a painful process as I want to include enough science to back up my recommendations,” she said. “A two-hour talk is more than most want to sit through, yet it takes time to earn trust and supply the reasoning behind pest-management strategies. Sharing this kind of information seems like an impossible task sometimes, and I’m hoping to learn how to provide sufficient information in shorter amounts of time to produce behavior-changing results.” 

Ellice PeckEllice I. A. Peck
Queens, NY

Peck graduated from Stony Brook with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a concentration in neuroscience, and is the founder of The Neuro Aesthetic, a science communication platform that offers helpful blog posts and resources for PhD students and postdocs with an aesthetic twist. Peck also tutors school-age children in reading and science, and offers professional proofreading and editing services through her site. 

In addition to running her own business, Peck has spent the year working as a science communication intern for the Alda Center, helping to develop and design The Link, a blog that connects science communication research to practice, to help scientists and other professionals gain a basic understanding of new research and how to apply it to their own communication strategies.

“I want to empower women of color in STEM and bring a relevant, feminine perspective to a previously male-saturated discipline,” Peck said. “Science has always been beautiful. It’s time it was presented that way. People are hard-wired to engage with visually pleasing content, and I want to help make science stand out through good design.” 

Donielle StevensDonielle Stevens
Seattle, WA

Stevens works in the Communications & External Affairs Branch at the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service in the West Coast Region. There, she works with scientists, program managers and policy experts to share information and engage the region’s residents in NOAA’s mission to study and steward the nation’s ocean resources and their habitat. She has more than 10 years of experience in communications, primarily in the environmental non-profit sector. She has previously worked with Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, a Waterkeeper Chapter in Washington, building communication strategies for education, community science, policy and legal campaigns aimed at protecting and preserving Puget Sound waterways and endangered species. She also worked at the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics to help translate research from the fields of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and Recreation Ecology into actionable preservation of public lands. In this endeavor, Stevens traveled to more than 26 national parks and camped more than 400 nights on public lands across the United States, delivering environmental outreach and education programs across the country.

“Translating science to inform, educate and engage public audiences which develop tangible results in behavior change, policy and funding for science is a great passion of mine, and I’d like to dedicate my career to this endeavor.”

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