Staff & Mentors
Director, Science Communication Lab
Michael Winikoff directs the University of Minnesota Science Communications Lab, an interdisciplinary internship program for writers, scientists, artists, and designers interested in science communication. Working in a studio environment, students collaborate with research scientists to explore science storytelling in a variety of formats from narrative profiles to animated shorts, children’s books, and live performance. He is the founder of the Science Is a Visual Medium speaker series, focused on the intersection between science, art, and design.
Michael presented his work teaching written and visual storytelling at the 4th Biennial Writing Enriched Curriculum Symposium and the 2019 Inclusive SciComm Symposium. He has a research interest in the use of art and storytelling as a vehicle for enhancing engagement and collaborative research in science, policy, and the humanities.
A visual artist, writer, and designer, Michael’s play The Botanist’s Wife appeared at the Minnesota Fringe Festival. He was a guest instructor at Alfred University School of Art and Design, where he taught Freshman Foundation Studio. His graphic design work has focused on the not-for-profit sector including the Aspen Institute, the Soros Foundation’s Open Society Institute, and the Treatment Action Group. He currently serves on the Bakken Museum’s Exhibit Content Advisory Board and the leadership team of the College of Biological Science’s Impact Exchange.
Contact Michael at: michaelw (at) umn.edu
Claire joined the College of Biological Sciences Communications team in the summer of 2019. With an MS in ecology, she has experience refining manuscripts, research presentations, and posters. Her research focus was in community ecology. Over the past several years, she’s focused on writing for nontechnical audiences including publications with BIO magazine, the Connected blog, and Research Briefs.
Carlise Sorenson joined the Science Communication lab in March of 2020 as a Science Communication Fellow after completing her MS in Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering. She is now a staff member working on long term goals for the lab. This includes developing workshops and writing lesson plans utilizing SciComm materials. Her work through the lab supports her personal goals of bridging the gap between research and successful implementation – which often requires community support and engagement.
Science Communication Training Coordinator
Caroline joined the Science Communication Lab as a writing intern in January 2020. She graduated the following year with a B.S. in Bioproducts Engineering and now continues her work in SCL as a Sci Comm Training Coordinator. In this position, Caroline plans and leads workshops for undergraduate students and coordinates the Sci Comm Coaching Lab. She’s passionate about environmental justice and sustainability and hopes to inspire other engineering students to connect their research with the lives of those around them.
Graphic Designer & Illustrator
Emma graduated from the University of Minnesota in fall of 2020. She received a Bachelors of Fine Art in Graphic Design degree with a minor in Product Design. She spent one semester as an intern with the Science Communication Lab, focusing on a group project with the Bell Museum. She is a detail-oriented creator with a passion for film photography and a love of good food. Emma is a strategic thinker – always trying to find new ways to solve problems. Emma loves trying new things and is a quick learner, especially when it comes to cooking and baking.