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Science in Society (SiS) is home to a number of initiatives serving youth and adult audiences. Please contact us for more information or to get involved.
Michael Kennedy - Director
Michael Kennedy has been involved in science education and outreach for more than a decade. He co-developed one of Northwestern’s first annual public outreach events, the Science Outreach Series, geared towards informing citizens of developments in the life sciences. This annual event, held from 2001-2007, brought internationally prominent speakers to Northwestern’s campus to lecture on topics including the Human Genome Project, stem cell biology, human cloning, genetically modified foods, global warming, and neuroimaging.
Through his work with the Science Outreach Series, Kennedy recognized a need for the University to better connect its research mission with the community. His idea evolved into the Science in Society e-magazine, a broad web-based educational resource designed to communicate advances in science and their impact on society, with content authored by practicing scientists and trainees.
In 2008, Kennedy co-founded Science Club, a mentor-based afterschool science initiative, developed in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago. On a weekly basis throughout the academic year, Northwestern science graduate students work with middle school youth in small groups on inquiry-based, engaging lab activities. Groups remain together from quarter to quarter, strengthening the personal connection between students and their mentors. The program is supported by a five-year, $1.4 million award from the National Institutes of Health.
The success and growth of Science Club and the Science in Society e-magazine led to the establishment of a new office for science outreach and public engagement at Northwestern under the Science in Society name of which Kennedy is now the founding director.
His past positions at Northwestern include associate chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Physiology, director of education and outreach for the Center for Genetic Medicine, and, most recently, chief of staff for the Feinberg School of Medicine. Kennedy has a BS in chemistry from St. John's University and a PhD in biochemistry from the Mayo Clinic.
Rebecca Daugherty - Assistant Director
Rebecca began working with Science Club during the Spring of 2008 as a Northwestern University graduate student volunteer. After graduating with her PhD in Cell Biology from the Integrated Graduate Program in Life Sciences (IGP) in 2010, Rebecca pursued a postdoctoral position in science education and public engagement with Science Club and Science for Society. When Rebecca is not goofing around with the kids at the Boys and Girls Club, she is spending time with her baby boy, Henry, or is riding her bike around the Midwest.
Bethany Hubbard - Publications Editor
Bethany first came to Northwestern in 2002 to study Theatre and English (Writing in Poetry). After graduating with her B.S. in Communications in 2006, she spent four years performing on various Chicago stages including the Goodman Theatre, The American Theater Company and Donny’s Skybox at The Second City.
Bethany also studied and performed improvisation at The Second City, and iO Chicago, where she performed in “Storytown,” an improvised musical fairytale for kids.
Her love of storytelling brought her back to Northwestern, this time to the Medill School of Journalism, where she recently completed her Masters of Science in Journalism with a concentration in magazine writing and editing. Bethany spent the last three months of the program in London where she interned at the Ecologist, an online environmental magazine, as part of Medill's Global Residency Program.
Bethany is thrilled to be back at Northwestern as Science in Society's Publications Editor.
Janelle Myers - Program Assistant
Janelle recently graduated from Northwestern University, where her majors in integrated science and chemistry let her combine two of her favorite things: science and food. Her research on different kinds of cocoa powders gave her a legitimate excuse to bake brownies in the name of scientific inquiry, making her project one of the most delicious on campus. A native of Portland, Oregon, Janelle traces her passion for science education back to Outdoor School, a unique Portland program that brings sixth graders out of the classroom and into the woods to do real, hands-on science with the help of high school leaders. On the weekends, you can find her having adventures in the outdoors, experimenting in the kitchen, or curled up with a good book.
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