On September 19, 2016, Dr. Alison Takemura rejoins the Communication Lab team as the new EECS Communication Lab Administrator. Dr. Takemura graduated from MIT with a PhD in Microbiology in 2014. She was in the original cohort of Communication Fellows in Biological Engineering, where she trained for three years prior to defending and heading to UC Santa Cruz to earn a certificate in science journalism. Dr. Takemura will be balancing being a 50% Communication Lab Administrator for EECS with being a freelance science journalist.
Here are a few thoughts from Dr. Takemura on joining the EECS Communication Lab team:
What was the most important thing you learned from your experience being a Communication Fellow?
Talking to someone is one of the most efficient ways to clarify your thinking. Exposing what you don’t know can, of course, be a humbling experience. But clear thinking is prerequisite to clear communication, and as a Fellow, I learned how an attentive peer can help get you to that mental space.
Why did you decide to come back to the Communication Lab as a program administrator?
I really liked the idea of working with students and the Communication Lab team with tangible skills. I plan to continue writing as a freelance journalist, but that’s a very self-driven, self-structured endeavor. The Communication Lab gives me a home base to interact with people, think about how to help others, and keep me exposed to new science.
What do you love about being a science journalist, when you are wearing not wearing your Communication Lab hat?
I love that I can give early MIT scientists insight into what journalists are looking for and what constraints they work under. That way, scientists can better hone their messages for the media.
What excites you most about working with EECS?
Helping students overcome their communication hurdles by giving them thoughtful feedback. Communicating is hard, but the rewards—including greater connection with your colleagues and curious family members—are well worth the effort.