Erica Dao wins Research Communicator Award

Erica Dao

Medical Physics - Radiation Sciences PhD candidate Erica Dao and Psychology, Neuroscience & Behavior PhD student Rachael Finnerty have won the 2021 Dean's Award for Excellence in Communicating Graduate Research from McMaster's School of Graduate Studies.

Last March, Erica and Rachael finished second and third in the inaugural McMaster GradFlix Final Showcase. Erica also won the Dean's Award for Excellence in Communicating Graduate Research Award in 2019.

Why's it important for scientists to communicate about their research?

Erica: Science communicators are bridge builders. Communication connects those doing research with the people we do our research for. If we want everyone to be able to understand what we do, we all need to play a part in sharing reliable and truthful information. Being honest, approachable, and engaging is the best way to garner support and maintain our relationships with the communities we belong to.

Is there anyone who inspired you to be a science communicator?

Erica: I see so many amazing science communicators every day! Whether in casual conversations with my peers, in the classroom or during different events, there are always people that are really effective at a particular aspect of communication. I use every encounter as an opportunity to improve, for example I could broaden my vocabulary, note effective body language, or practice my story telling skills by learning from the brilliant people around me!

How are you currently putting your communication skills to work?

Erica: This term I'm teaching a first-year Medical Imaging Physics course and it has been a really fun way to keep practicing my communication skills.  The return to in-person learning after two years of virtual delivery has brought with it the need for effective live presentations and verbal delivery. It has been a challenge, albeit a fun one!

Congratulate Erica at

Read full story in the March 2022  Science Matters Newsletter

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