The VCU Science Communication Award

Monty, the VCU Science Communication Award trophy is a 3D printed grey mouse holding a trophy and standing on slices of cheese. At his feet there is a sign saying "Good Job!"

Monty, the VCU Science Communication Award trophy.

The VCU Science Communication Award, sponsored by VCU Libraries, the Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research, and the VCU Postdoctoral Association was inaugurated in 2019. This award includes a $100 cash prize and is awarded to the postdoc who presents their How-to topic clearly and with an emphasis on quality science communication. Awards will be announced at the How-to Talks by Postdocs Networking Reception, at the conclusion of the series.  Past and present speakers, advisors, and all postdoctoral fellows at VCU are welcome to attend.


Past Winners

Sean Koebley, Ph.D., winner of the 2021 VCU science communication award.

Sean Koebley, Ph.D., winner of the 2021 VCU science communication award.

2021: Sean Koebley, Ph.D.

Dr. Koebley, a postdoctoral scholar and former IRACDA fellow in the Physics department, won this award for his talk: Goodbye, P-value: Practical Bayesian Statistics To Replace Frequentist Statistics. This talk explored the limitations of frequentist statistics, challenged attendees to derive a different way to describe the relevance of data, and discussed the basics of Bayesian statistics. Dr. Koebley’s session epitomized the goal of the How-to Talks, effectively communicating a process or strategy to the VCU community and engaging them in the process. He used his experience as a three-time How-to Talk speaker to engage the audience which was especially challenging in the virtual environment. After the highest attended How-to Talk to date; we look forward to welcoming Dr. Koebley back in the fall of 2021 to share more about how to do Bayesian statistics.

Four female scientists posing to congratulate one on winning the VCU science communication award. The award recipient is holding her trophy and certificate.

From left: VCU Postdoctoral Association President, Molly Hyer, Ph.D., VCU Libraries Basic Sciences Liaison, Stacey Wahl, Ph.D., Postdoc winner Sarah Thomas, Ph.D., and Wright Center Research Liaison Pam Dillon, Pharm.D. celebrating Dr. Thomas’s award.

2019: Sarah Thomas, Ph.D.

Dr. Thomas, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of Pathology, won the first VCU Science Communication Award for her session entitled: Introduction to Immunofluorescence Microscopy: Light at the End of the Tunnel. This talk exhibited the core tenets of science communication: the content was appropriate for a wide audience, the delivery was engaging and dynamic, and the speaker presented and answered questions with poise and clarity.  A three-time presenter, Dr. Thomas leveraged her experiences in the How-to Talks to transition to her current career as a Field Application Scientist for the Olympus corporation, a global microscopy leader.