For the second time, ACS is sponsoring a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellows Program. This year’s ACS fellow, supported by $10,000 in funding from the ACS Education Division and the ACS Office of Public Affairs, is Katie Strong, a Ph.D. candidate in the chemistry department at Emory University.
“I’m really honored,” Strong says. “I’m a member of ACS, I go to their conferences, and I publish in their journals, so it’s really exciting. It makes the fellowship much more meaningful to be associated with a group that I know a lot about, am a part of, and have a lot of respect for,” Strong says.
The 10-week summer program places science, engineering, and mathematics students at media organizations nationwide. Fellows use their academic training as they research, write, and report today’s headlines, sharpening their abilities to communicate complex scientific issues to the public.
Strong started working at the Sacramento Bee on June 8 and will be there until Aug. 14. At the newspaper, she is pitching stories, writing news and feature articles, and learning more about science writing and the publishing process.
“The goal of the program is to improve the quality of communications in science and engineering by enhancing the skill level of people who are committed to making these content areas much more accessible,” says Shirley Malcom, head of Education & Human Resources Programs at AAAS.
“This program provides an opportunity for students in the chemical sciences to get real-world work experience in communicating with the public,” says Mary Kirchhoff, director of the ACS Education Division. “They’re going to learn incredible skills that are going to serve them well throughout their careers.”