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How Faculty Members Can Amplify Their Voices

“This is a topic that a number of you have recommended over and over again,” said Sherilynn Black, associate vice provost for faculty advancement, as she kicked off a workshop for Duke faculty last month. “We’re thinking about [amplifying your voice] from a number of different perspectives,” Black noted — sharing research and scholarship with the broader community, positioning oneself within the university and building collaborations with others.

In a workshop organized by Duke Faculty Advancement, 35 participants learned about strategies to expand the reach of their scholarship and influence. Several experienced faculty members were on hand to share stories and offer guidance. To learn more, watch the recording and read a few excerpts below.

Sarah Gaither

Associate Professor, Psychology & Neuroscience

“Earlier on, I would only do media interviews over email so I had time to process things. … Now, I will do a podcast without any prep, but I still ask for questions in advance before I agree to do any media stuff.”

Bruce Jentleson

William Preston Few Distinguished Professor of Public Policy

“It gets easier over time. You learn the techniques that work for you … But media training really helps with that initial notion of ‘oh my god, what am I getting into?’”

Brian Murray

Interim Director, Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability

“Utilizing your communications team, either within your unit if you have one or across the university, is really critical, because they are the pros who can get people out there in better ways than most of us can.”

Adriane Lentz-Smith

Associate Professor, History

“You don’t have to say yes to everything. Something else will come along.”

Aaron Dinin

Lecturing Fellow, Innovation & Entrepreneurship

“There’s been a significant uptick in demand from faculty interested in learning how to promote themselves on social media, how to grow their audiences.”

Greg Phillips

Director of Global Communications, University Communications

“We have media trainings that cover a lot of these things: how to talk to reporters, how to be interviewed, how to write and pitch an op-ed ... What I really want people to know about is the support we offer on an ongoing basis ... If you get a call and you don't know the reporter, you don’t know the outlet, you don't know what to do, call us.”

Main image: Sarah Gaither, Bruce Jentleson and Brian Murray served as panelists in a discussion moderated by Adriane Lentz-Smith.