by Jayda Barnes, '20
Flagler alumna Emily Wright, ’16, saw a spotlight on Dr. Joanna Krajewski, assistant professor of strategic communication, and saw an opportunity to connect with her alma mater. She was developing a summer program at Georgia Institute of Technology. Wright’s office, the Center for Education Integration Science Math Computing (CEISMC), hosts many summer programs at Georgia Tech, including Pursuing Urban Sustainability at Home, or PUSH. This year, PUSH’s topic was about water and science communication, an area of expertise for Krajewski, who spent time doing research on water sustainability, water poverty and climate change before her time at Flagler.
Emily Wright, '16, and Dr. Joanna Krajewski.
Wright reached out to Krajewski and, after months of communicating, Krajewski flew to Atlanta on Jul. 10 and 11 to work with 24 high school students in the program. Through her experience with water issues and education in mass communication, Krawjewski delivered a workshop on how to effectively communicate science to a target audience. She provided insight into the topic and encouraged students in their digital media project on how to effectively present water issues in their local community.
Following the workshop, students took a field trip to a local waterway, Proctor Creek, which feeds into the Chattahoochee River. There, they took water samples and observed pollution and local ecology. Using their coaching from Krajewski and the evidence they gathered, the students presented their final projects to faculty and staff members at Georgia Tech.
“She is an inspiration,” said Wright of Krajewski. “I could not be more grateful that she took the time to dedicate to my students.”
Not only did Krajewski help the high school students, but she also connected with Wright and helped her plan for the future. Wright anticipates a promotion leading to more responsibilities on Georgia Tech's GoSTEM program and their newest, GoSTEAM program.
The two are also collaborating on a paper for the International Environmental Communication Association's Conference on Communication and Environment in 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. The paper will cover Krajewski’s science communications and its use in the summer collaboration for the PUSH program. Two of Wright's colleagues will co-author as well.
"This collaboration has proven to be one of the most rewarding projects of my career so far," said Krajewski.
The teamwork of Wright and Krajewski this summer is a testament to the power of connecting and networking with both past and present members of the Flagler Family.