Two sections of GRAD 5144, Communicating Science, are being offered this spring (2017), and there are a few seats remaining. To accommodate the cycle of work in grad students’ lives at the beginning and end of the semester, the course is compressed into ten sessions, beginning the week of January 30 and wrapping up the week of April 17. Class will not meet the week preceding spring break (or, of course, spring break week).

This 2-credit participatory course uses theatre improv games and writing exercises to help students become more comfortable with and effective at communicating their research to non-scientist audiences. Participants also find that it helps them with lab meeting presentations, talks at conferences, and communication in committee meetings and collaborative research. GRAD 5144 is intended to promote understanding of science by training the next generation of scientists, engineers, and health professionals to communicate more effectively about their work in a variety of contexts.

Virginia Tech students have had the following to say about their experience:

“The class has been great fun, the high spot of every week and a real learning opportunity for me. I am extremely impressed at the progress we have all made.”

“This course is the best I have taken at Virginia Tech. It has helped me grow as a researcher and as a person.”

“I will take away numerous lifelong lessons from this class on my continuing quest to be an effective scientific communicator.”

“I will remember this course and what I have learned for the rest of my life. It has completely changed the way I feel when sharing information about my work.”

“Personal and professional development is at the core of this remarkable class.”

“I won first place in the poster competition and got $500! I could not have done it without this class.”


Please contact Carrie Kroehler ( if you have questions or need more information.