Building and Facilitating Strong Internal/External Staff Relationships – A Lesson in Patience

In December, we wrapped up the first year of the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP), funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The first cohort of Fellows was made up of 17 scientific community managers working with a diverse range of scientific communities. We’ll be recruiting for Cohort Two later this year for a start date of January 2019.

Meanwhile, we’re continuing to share reflections from the 2017 Fellows on the Trellis blog. In today’s post, Melanie Binder shares some strategies for building internal staff relationships. You can catch up on all posts by the Fellows here.

Posted by Melanie Binder, Community Engagement Manager and Social Media Coordinator for the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB)

One of the challenges that many organizations face is how to get your internal staff (colleagues) and external staff (board members, etc.) to be supportive of your projects and goals. And when your new projects are ground-breaking and innovative within your industry, it can be quite a struggle to get all parties to share your vision. While we at the American Society of Plant Biologists have made great strides to address this issue over the past few years, it continues to be one of our biggest challenges.

How do you build strong staff relationships? Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/15132846@N00/8197868606/
How do you build strong staff relationships?
Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/15132846@N00/8197868606/

Continue reading Building and Facilitating Strong Internal/External Staff Relationships – A Lesson in Patience

Including underrepresented community-members in planning for diversity, equity and inclusion

Today we continue our series of regular posts on the Trellis blog for science community managers interested in diversity, equity and inclusion. This installment was authored by Jennifer Davison, Urban@UW, University of Washington. Additional series coordinators are Marsha Lucas, Society for Developmental Biology, Josh Knackert UW-Madison Neuroscience Training Program, and Rosanna Volchok, The New York Academy of Sciences. You can find all of the posts in the series here.

How are you ensuring diverse participation? Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/oregondot/10314223086/
How are you ensuring diverse participation?
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/oregondot/10314223086/

As community managers, we may have experience in and appreciation for engaging our community in order to develop more innovative and robust ideas: how to tackle a complex research question, compelling new ways to visualize results, or a particularly timely topic for a conference panel discussion. We may know that more perspectives often leads to better outcomes. We can apply this knowledge in our planning for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). How? By welcoming and prioritizing the perspectives of community-members from underrepresented groups in this planning. In this post, we explore some ideas for doing just that.

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Community Guidelines: A Key Component of Your Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Toolbox

Today we continue our series of regular posts on the Trellis blog for science community managers interested in diversity, equity and inclusion. This installment was authored by Marsha Lucas, Society for Developmental Biology. Additional series coordinators are Jennifer Davison, Urban@UW, University of Washington, Josh Knackert UW-Madison Neuroscience Training Program, and Rosanna Volchok, The New York Academy of Sciences. You can find all of the posts in the series here.

Community managers are in a unique position to help foster diversity, equity, and inclusion within their communities. One of the tools at their disposal is the establishment of community guidelines.

What message are you sending to your community members with your community guidelines? Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mootreelife/5364190913/
What message are you sending to your community members with your community guidelines?
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mootreelife/5364190913/

Community guidelines set the tone for community interactions by clearly stating what the community is about and what it values. They lay out expectations for community members and consequences for failing to meet those expectations. This is the perfect place to codify an organization’s beliefs around diversity, equity, and inclusion, and highlight behaviors that cultivate creativity, productivity, and collaboration.

It is most effective if guidelines are created early in a community’s life cycle before a conflict arises. However, it is completely acceptable to create or revise community guidelines as times change, or in response to an issue that bubbles up in order to move your community in a more positive and inclusive direction.

Below are a few points to keep in mind when drafting community guidelines to ensure they wholly represent your community.

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The Big Monster Named Stress – Working with Stress as a Community Manager

In December, we wrapped up the first year of the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP), funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The first cohort of Fellows was made up of 17 scientific community managers working with a diverse range of scientific communities. We’ll be recruiting for Cohort Two later this year for a start date of January 2019.

Meanwhile, we’re continuing to share reflections from the 2017 Fellows on the Trellis blog. In today’s post, Heidi Olds shares some strategies for coping with stress as a community manager. You can catch up on all posts by the Fellows here.

Posted by Heidi Olds, Technical Activities Administrator for the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).

This year has been a whirlwind of new adventures! The challenges facing professionals working in the oil and gas industry have only illuminated the passionate spirit of our members and THAT is EXCITING! #SPEluv Although I am a member of the SPE Staff, I full- heartedly identify myself as a part of our member community. This sense of belonging and loyalty has intensified my workload. I find that I internalize things that are beyond my reach until they manifest into the Big Monster named S-T-R-E-S-S!

Stress monsters can take many different forms. How can you help to regain control? Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/soft/415401088/
Stress monsters can take many different forms. How can you help yourself to regain control?
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/soft/415401088/

Continue reading The Big Monster Named Stress – Working with Stress as a Community Manager

Scheduling my way to success! Time management tips for community managers

In December, we wrapped up the first year of the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP), funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The first cohort of Fellows was made up of 17 scientific community managers working with a diverse range of scientific communities. We’ll be recruiting for Cohort Two later this year for a start date of January 2019.

Meanwhile, we’re continuing to share reflections from the 2017 Fellows on the Trellis blog. In today’s post Allen Pope shares an experiment in which he tries to solve his challenges with multi-tasking. You can catch up on all posts by the Fellows here.

Allen Pope is the Executive Secretary for the International Arctic Science Committee, an international scientific organization pursuing a mission of encouraging and facilitating cooperation in all aspects of Arctic research, in all countries engaged in Arctic research and in all areas of the Arctic region. On Twitter @PopePolar and online at about.me/allenpope & iasc.info.

I started my new job running the secretariat of the International Arctic Science Committee at the beginning of 2017. In the past year, there has been a lot for me to learn, a lot for me to get up to speed on, and a lot for me to do! After wrapping up our large annual Arctic science meetingI realized that I was spending too much time responding to emails and getting small tasks done and not enough time working on longer-term projects and thinking forwards. That might be okay for a little bit, but it isn’t sustainable in the long run.

Continue reading Scheduling my way to success! Time management tips for community managers

Defining Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity to Build Better STEM Communities

Today we continue our series of regular posts on the Trellis blog for science community managers interested in diversity, equity and inclusion. This installment was authored by Rosanna Volchok, The New York Academy of Sciences. Additional series coordinators are Jennifer Davison, Urban@UW, University of Washington, Josh Knackert UW-Madison Neuroscience Training Program, and Marsha Lucas, Society for Developmental Biology. You can find all of the posts in the series here.

How clear our your diversity, equity and inclusion values? Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ekcragg/5896894236/
How clear are your diversity, equity and inclusion values?
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ekcragg/5896894236/

In our first post, we introduced the concept of the science community manager as an agent of change. The ideals of inclusion and representation are so deeply woven into the fabric of community that community managers are thus uniquely positioned to help maximize diversity and foster equity. But what exactly do we mean when we talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion? And, more importantly, why do these concepts matter when we seek to build community within and across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields? In this post we’ll examine these three core terms in more detail.

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Fostering Diversity as a Community Manager: Series Introduction

Today we launch a brand new series of regular posts on the Trellis blog for scientific community managers interested in diversity, equity and inclusion. This installment was authored by Josh Knackert, UW-Madison Neuroscience Training Program. Additional series coordinators are Jennifer Davison, Urban@UW, University of Washington, Marsha Lucas, Society for Developmental Biology and Rosanna Volchok, The New York Academy of Sciences. You can find all of the posts in the series here.

Why does diversity, equity and inclusion matter in communities?

“Welcoming and supporting a broad range of backgrounds, skills, perspectives, and approaches helps communities be most effective.”

Community can mean different things for different people – a collection of individuals with a shared purpose, small efforts driving a larger movement, or a support structure, to name a few. Key principles at the heart of all of these definitions are diversity, equity and inclusion.  Welcoming and supporting a broad range of backgrounds, skills, perspectives, and approaches helps communities be most effective.

Hands up for diversity, equity and inclusion! Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wocintechchat/25388901994/
Hands up for diversity, equity and inclusion!
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wocintechchat/25388901994/

Continue reading Fostering Diversity as a Community Manager: Series Introduction

A Community Manager Finding Support in Unexpected Places

This week we’re wrapping up the first year of the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP), funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The first cohort of Fellows is made up of 17 scientific community managers working with a diverse range of scientific communities. Today, Heidi Olds reflects on what taking part in the inaugural cohort has meant to her. You can catch up on all posts by the Fellows here.

Posted by Heidi Olds, Technical Activities Administrator for the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).

Wow! This year has been a whirlwind  of new adventures. I was lucky enough to be accepted into the 2017 AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program as part of the inaugural class! We explored new depths of community management and I am walking into 2018 feeling empowered and more confident than ever.

The 2017 CEFP Fellows in a group fist bump. Photo credit: Allen Pope.
The 2017 CEFP Fellows in a group fist bump. Photo credit: Allen Pope.

Continue reading A Community Manager Finding Support in Unexpected Places

Understanding the Advocacy and Ambassador Program Landscape

We’re now mid-way through the first year of the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP), funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The first cohort of Fellows is made up of 17 scientific community managers working with a diverse range of scientific communities. As they continue to develop their community engagement skills and apply some of the ideas and strategies from their training, the Fellows will report back on the Trellis blog, sharing their challenges, discoveries, and insights. Today, Fellows Melanie Binder and Rosanna Volchok catch us up on what their project team has been doing to better understand the current landscape of community advocate programs in science and technology.

Posted by Melanie Binder, Community Engagement Manager and Social Media Coordinator for the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB), and Rosanna Volchok, Network Engagement Manager at the New York Academy of Sciences

Two men holding cameras walk through a field. One points ahead
Explorers” by Darren Flinders under CC BY 2.0

The goal of our CEFP project team is to gain a stronger understanding of what makes a successful advocacy/ambassador program at scientific communities. As a follow up on Allen’s blog post describing who we, the Advocacy Ninjas, are this post provides an update on what we have been working on since then.

One of the initial challenges we faced as a team was deciding on the final output and format of our research findings. For example, did we want to publish a paper, produce a report, or present at a conference? Once we chose the final format–a detailed report with a scorecard and case studies–then it was time to get to work on a survey that, ideally, would address our two main research questions:

  1. What do community advocacy/ambassador programs in science and tech look like?
  2. What makes these programs successful?

Continue reading Understanding the Advocacy and Ambassador Program Landscape

Empowering a community with the Google Summer of Code

We’re now mid-way through the first year of the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP), funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The first cohort of Fellows is made up of 17 scientific community managers working with a diverse range of scientific communities. As they continue to develop their community engagement skills and apply some of the ideas and strategies from their training, the Fellows will report back on the Trellis blog, sharing their challenges, discoveries, and insights. Today, Fellow Malin Sandström describes how a new project made a difference in her community.

Posted by Malin Sandström, Community Engagement Officer at INCF (International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility) 

The author (Malin Sandström, right) with a colleague (Chris Fitzpatrick, middle) and a 2016 student (Devin Bayly, left) in the Google Summer of Code program.
The author (Malin Sandström, right) with a colleague (Chris Fitzpatrick, middle) and a 2016 student (Devin Bayly, left) in the Google Summer of Code program. Photo by Ylva Lillberg, INCF.

This summer, just above 1300 students have spent their time writing open source code for projects from over 200 mentoring organizations, within a program called “Google Summer of Code” that is run and sponsored by Google. I work for one of those 200 organizations. I have been involved in recruiting mentors and projects for us since 2013, and in charge of managing our participation since 2015. This is a fantastic program that has been of much value to us as an organization, and very enjoyable to work with for me personally.

Continue reading Empowering a community with the Google Summer of Code