Top 5 reasons to study Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

If I could give one piece of advice to any student considering studying at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, it would be to explore the Life Sciences Communication (LSC) major. LSC focuses on both applied and theoretical communication issues. I started my education as a Biology major and began studying in a research lab in the Department of Neurological Surgery. A few journal publications and several chemistry courses later, I decided biological research  wasn’t my long-term goal. An LSC course introduced me to the field of science communication and I quickly found my new career path and passion.

Here are the top five reasons I would recommend  that any student explore a major in Life Sciences Communication based on my LSC experience:

  1. The opportunity to grow alongside your peers. The Life Sciences Communication major offers the chance to experience a research-1 institution education at a school of 42,000 students in a small classroom setting. The students I began class with in “Introduction to Science Writing” are the same students I will work with to complete my senior capstone. There’s no doubt, these classroom relationships will follow into the professional world and this network will be an incredible benefit.
  2. Interactions with international research leaders, professionals, and experts. I learned science journalism writing from Ron Seely, an award-winning reporter. I developed marketing and branding skills with Sarah Botham, an entrepreneur and business owner. Don Stanley, a well-known digital marketing coach and speaker, helped me develop a strong online presence. Neil Stenhouse offered me the chance to experience communication and public opinion research first-hand. I gained insight into the world of politicized science from Dietram Scheufele – a leading expert on public opinion. Sheila Reaves introduced me to a field I didn’t even know existed, neuro-aesthetics and vision science in design. I’ve had many conversations about science communication with Dominique Brossard, a world-renowned researcher and the department chair. These educators and researchers have been more than professors and teachers, they have been mentors.
  3. Experiences outside of the classroom. LSC provided me with the skills I needed to complete a communications internship with the Wisconsin Area Health Education Centers. With this organization, I traveled to Washington D.C. and spoke with senators and representatives. This coming summer I will be working with Post Consumer Brands in Minneapolis, Minnesota as a corporate communications intern. Every year I also have the amazing opportunity to build a three-year marketing plan with 30 other LSC students through the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) student chapter. We also participate in a national competition and this past year we took first place.
  4. A beautiful building and second home on campus. Hiram Smith Hall is home to the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Formerly the Dairy Science building, it has now been renovated into a beautiful space with accessible computer labs, state-of-the-art technology, and cozy student lounges. Some of my best campus memories are hanging out with friends in the lounge after class or spending late nights on a marketing project in the computer lab.
  5. Extensive alumni network and job opportunities. LSC has no shortage of successful alumni. More than once, I’ve met a professional and we have instantly connected because of our shared undergraduate major. With the skills, I’ve gained and the network I’ve built as a Life Sciences Communication student, I could not be more excited to being applying for full-time jobs. I can’t think of many other peers in other areas of study that can be this confident they chose the right major and this excited for their future.

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