May’s community call recap: Creating virtual events that meet people where they are

Two years after the pandemic pushed the majority of events online, we invited community members to discuss when virtual and hybrid formats work well, when they work poorly, and the tools that lead to success.

We also hosted a co-working session, during which we worked on a virtual events glossary and an updated version of our guidebook of curated virtual events resources – two items we’ll release soon. In this blog post, we offer some of the key takeaways from this month’s community call, in the hopes that it helps you plan engaging and inclusive events. 

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New tip sheets on planning and launching community champions programs!

Today we published four tip sheets intended to help you plan and launch a community champions program. They were co-created by CSCCE staff and members of our champions programs working group, and complement the champions guidebook that we released last year. 

Ultimately, these four tip sheets will be joined by five more, each one illustrating one of the nine stages of community champions programs described in the guidebook (and shown below). Read on to find out more about champions, champions programs, and how they maintain, grow, and evolve communities in STEM.

Image credit: CSCCE. Citation: Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement. (2021) The CSCCE Community Participation Model – Exploring the Champion mode. Woodley and Pratt doi: 10.5281/zenodo.5275270
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CSCCE partners with the National Microbiome Data Collaborative to promote metadata standards adoption

CSCCE is wrapping up a project with the National Microbiome Data Collaborative (NMDC) to support their inaugural cohort of NMDC Ambassadors, who are raising awareness and adoption of metadata standards. 

The National Microbiome Data Collaborative (NMDC) is an open science platform through which scientists can deposit and find microbiome data. NMDC staff are working to support the adoption of FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable) data and metadata practices by the researchers who use their platform. One of the ways they are doing this is through the establishment of a champions program: the NMDC Ambassadors program. 

Champions programs are ways of empowering emergent leaders within a community to take on additional roles and push forward the mission of the community. At CSCCE, we regularly work with clients on what an effective ambassadors program might look like in their context, and off support and best practices for getting a program off the ground. 

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May’s community call: Revisiting virtual events

Join us on 18 May at 3pm UTC / 11am EDT for a conversation about virtual events: what we’ve learned after two years of online gatherings. We’ll make space for discussion, considering what the future of hybrid events look like, and host writing sprints to co-create new resources. 

You can join the call on Zoom, and add it to your calendar: iCal | Google

On our May call, we’re consolidating community learnings around convening virtual events. Image credit: CSCCE
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April’s community call recap: Exploring CRMs for community management

On our April community call, we considered how Customer Relationship Management platforms (CRMs) can be used to manage communities in STEM. We heard presentations from community members Yamina Berchiche, Erin Conn, and Chris Hartgerink, who are each using different platforms in their work, and learned about their similarities, differences, and general utility for relationship-building. We also took a few minutes at the end of the call to brainstorm some of the features we’d like to see in a CRM that was optimized with community management in mind.

In this post, we describe some of the themes and insights from the call, and share the recordings of the three presentations. This is not meant to be an exhaustive review of all of the CRM platforms available today, nor is it an endorsement of the products mentioned. Instead, we hope it will help you as you to work through your own requirements, and consider whether a CRM might be useful in managing your community. 

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Community calls coming up in Q2 of 2022

Believe it or not, a quarter of 2022 is already behind us. So, we’re looking ahead to what’s coming up in our monthly community calls over the next three months. 

If you’ve never been to a CSCCE community call, these are monthly virtual gatherings (kind of like a webinar, but more interactive!) for anyone interested in building communities in STEM. Most participants on the calls are members of our community of practice, and we regularly invite members to present or lead discussions. Calls are scheduled for 90 minutes to allow conversations to blossom and diverge, but we also appreciate 60 minutes is typical for virtual meetings and so if you have to leave at the top of the hour there’s no need to apologize. 

We do not routinely record calls, however if there are formal presentations we make those available after the fact on our YouTube channel. Our rationale is that by not recording the calls we afford more opportunity for participants to speak candidly in a protected space, and, to ensure people who are unable to attend benefit from shared learnings, we publish blog post recaps within a week after the call. 

You can find a record of our past community calls, including recaps and recordings, here

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April’s community call: Community/Customer Relationship Management platforms

Our April call will focus on the pros and cons of various Community/Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms, and what a “perfect” community relationship management platform might look like. 

We’ll hear from three members of our community of practice who are using different tools, and spend some time brainstorming to create a requirements document of all the things we’d like to be able to do as community managers with a similar platform. 

Join us via Zoom on Wednesday, 20 April at 11am US EDT / 3pm UTC

Add to your calendar: iCal | Google

This month we’re taking a look at how you can use CRMs to support community management. Image credit: CSCCE
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Welcome to Adrienne Gauthier – CSCCE’s new Trainer and Learning Program Manager

This week we welcomed Adrienne Gauthier to the CSCCE team. She joins us as our new Trainer and Learning Program Manager, and will be working to help us expand our portfolio of professional development offerings and devise programmatic pathways through them for the range of STEM community managers that we support. In this blog post, find out a little bit more about Adrienne, and why we’re so excited to have her on board! 

About Adrienne

Adrienne is an instructional design expert who comes to us from Dartmouth College, where she spent almost a decade working with STEM faculty to design courses for undergraduate learners. Through consultations, thought-partnership, collaboration, and faculty development workshops and events, she shared and promoted a learner-focused and inclusive teaching philosophy. During her time at Dartmouth, she was the program manager for the Learning Fellows Program, supporting and guiding faculty and undergraduate peer learning mentors in collaborative learning environments.

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March’s Community Call Recap: Community manager roles in STEM

The March community call focused on the different forms that community manager (CM) roles take across the STEM ecosystem. The agenda included presentations and reflection questions to guide the conversation, which covered career paths, professional development, and common challenges. 

To kick off the meeting, Lou Woodley spoke about CSCCE’s research program, highlighting our newest resource-creation project: STEM Community Manager Case Studies. Malin Sandström (International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility) and Elisha Wood-Charlson (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) then described work they performed as CSCCE Community Engagement fellows to characterize CM positions. This work will feed into a new CSCCE working group, which will launch in April and continue studying scientific community manager roles.

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CSCCE team trains eLife Ambassadors: Empowering community champions in STEM

The CSCCE training team took to the virtual road in mid-March to work with the current cohort of eLife Ambassadors. In two, 90-minute sessions tailored to the eLife Ambassadors program, Lou Woodley and Camille Santistevan are sharing best practices and actionable tactics for STEM community engagement. 

About the eLife Ambassadors

The eLife Ambassadors program was created to “enable early-stage researchers to build lasting support networks and to help them innovate solutions and work together to overcome the many barriers and issues that their research communities face.” [See the current call for applications for next year’s program].

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