Meet Yvonne Xiao, Graduate Communications Intern
My name is Yvonne Xiao, and I’m the new graduate communications intern at Washington STEM. I am an international student from Beijing, China. I moved to Seattle in September 2018 to pursue my Master’s degree with the Communication Leadership program at UW. I am getting a Master’s of Communication in Communities and Networks, focusing on building community, growing networks, and crafting organizational identity.
Before coming to Seattle, I was in Boston, MA for my undergrad. I graduated in May 2018 with a B.A. in Media Studies from Emerson College. During my time at Emerson, I worked for their undergraduate orientation program, admissions office, and office of International Student Affairs. These positions all required strong communication, outreach, and event planning skills. One of my positions at Emerson was as the international pre-orientation chair. I planned and executed both international and some domestic orientation programs. I was in charge of recruiting over 100 orientation leaders, training the orientation leaders, and planning social and educational events for the new students and families. It was the orientation program that made me realize my passion for community building, and it led me to pursuing my graduate degree. Right now, besides working with Washington STEM, I have also been managing the Communication Leadership’s Instagram account. I genuinely enjoy every moment of it, whether it is answering a prospective student’s question or taking pictures of our events.
I took a class during my undergrad called “Plants and People.” It’s one of those core requirements in science that you need in order to graduate. I walked into the classroom with a super low expectation. I’m not a science major. I did not find it relevant to me. However, I learned so much in that class through many engaging projects. It was eye-opening. I wrote some blog entries for the growth of some “mysterious seeds.” I made a podcast on a tree in the Boston Common. I made a zine that talks about seed dispersal. It was that class that made me realize that science can be fun for everyone. It was also that class that made me realize the giant gap between science and the general public. Science communication and education are vital to our society. For my graduate program’s core class, the communication challenge I decided to work on is to find out what communication strategies could make science more accessible to the general public. Washington STEM is the perfect organization for me to contribute my knowledge and further develop my skills.
I will be working with the Washington STEM communications team until the end of May. During my time here, I will be working on several projects such as Notable Women in STEM and the STEM Super Youth Advocate Program. I am beyond thrilled to be a part of the team!