News Archive

#SciCommMake Teams Win Funding to Promote the Public Understanding of COVID-19

July 13, 2020

Media Contact:

Heather Thorstensen
Manager of Communications
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society or (919) 549-4691 ext. 216

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC—Teams of scientists, artists, and science communicators have won funding to deliver evidence-based messages about COVID-19 to the public.

The teams are the winners of #SciCommMake’s special session to address the pandemic. #SciCommMake is a competition hosted by Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society and Science Talk in which interdisciplinary teams compete for funding to create projects that help the public connect with science.

Participants attended a matchmaking session on June 29 to form partnerships based on expertise and creative skills. After coaching and concept development, they pitched their project ideas on July 10 to a distinguished panel of judges. Ten teams were selected to receive $1,000 each to complete their projects. One team, with connections to North Carolina, will receive additional financial support provided by Science Communicators of North Carolina. The winning teams will also be invited to present their projects at the virtual Sigma Xi Annual Meeting and Student Research Conference from November 5–8, 2020, and at the annual Science Talk conference from March 25–26, 2021.

The funds for this special session of #SciCommMake are made possible thanks to Giving Tuesday Now donations and a generous gift from Science Communicators of North Carolina.

Winning Teams

Lisabeth DiLalla and Clare Gibson
To create a video for educating about COVID-19 spread and healthy behaviors to preschoolers

Toby Le and Dennis Meredith
To create weekly text alerts to empower populations with accurate information

Kennen Hutchinson and Kelly Crowe
To create a series of short, humorous videos about pandemic-appropriate behaviors

Keighley Reisenauer and Kelly Crowe
To create an Instagram campaign to boost cultural identity around the new normal of mask wearing

Davina Dobbins and Jasmine Frost
To create an Instagram campaign targeting highly affected areas with comparisons of fact versus fiction

Priyanka Gogna and Curt Collier
To create a community outreach project that engages youth to talk about comorbidities and air pollution

Victor Villegas and Brian Shmaefsky
To create a Latinx youth campaign involving mariachi viral videos

Sharon Lin, Philippa Steinberg, Tarun Martheswaran, and Kelly Hallstrom
To create a visual website resource addressing COVID-19 knowledge gaps for teachers and students

Stephanie Ishack and Jeffrey Toney
To create a video that resolves confusing issues related to the communication of COVID-19 as it relates to the 2020 U.S. election

David Goodsell and V. Anne Burg
To create a virtual science–art exhibit exploring the science of COVID-19

Keighley Reisenauer and Kelly Crowe pitch

Keighley Reisenauer and Kelly Crowe take their turn to pitch their concept idea on July 10 to #SciCommMake judges. Each team had a turn to pitch their ideas. 

Thanks to Our Coaches

  • Sara Yeo, University of Utah
  • Darcy Gentleman, DJG Communications
  • Kyle Marian, Science Friday
  • Geoff Hunt, Co-Founder of SciEngage
  • Eric Schudiske, S2s PR

Thanks to Our Judges

  • Amy Aines, Damianakes Communications
  • Oludurotimi Adetunji, Brown University
  • Marla Broadfoot, Science Communicators of North Carolina
  • Alie Caldwell, University of California San Diego

More about Science Talk: Science Talk is a professional society that empowers and inspires the science communication community to expand their communication potential and affect the world. Science Talk provides professional development and networking opportunities through annual conferences, blogs, community discussions, online courses, and more. On Twitter: @ScienceTalkOrg.