‘Soundings Series’ to highlight skills, strategies for public engagement

‘Soundings Series’ to highlight skills, strategies for public engagement
Soundings Series 1
Dr. Tamara Hew-Butler, an associate professor of exercise science at Oakland University, and Research Assistant Mario Rusnak watch as Golden Grizzlies basketball player Brad Brechting undergoes a scan using the dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) machine.

The Research Office is inviting all Oakland University faculty and alumni, as well as the general public, to attend “No Guts, No Glory,” an upcoming “Soundings Series” event featuring Dr. Tamara Hew-Butler.

The event, which will take place from 3-4:30 p.m. April 18 in Room 242 at Elliott Hall, features examples of faculty successfully taking their research out of the lab, the field, the archive, or the studio and using it to make a positive difference in the world.


“One of the contributions that universities make to their communities and to the wider world around them is to mobilize the knowledge they create to reach the people who need it,” said Dr. David Stone, professor of health sciences and chief research officer at OU.

“The best American universities have a long history of producing community-engaged scholars and public intellectuals. But there is no specific training for faculty or students in how to take what you learn in your research and mobilize it out into the world. One goal of the Soundings Series is to provide faculty and students with focused training in how to do that,” Stone said.


Each Soundings Series event will include a talk by a successful, publicly engaged faculty member, describing his or her work. Each session will include an exploration and guided discussion of the skills, tools, and strategies required to become a publicly engaged scholar.


“I believe that the Soundings Series is a breakthrough event, serving to celebrate and cultivate home-grown research while engaging the public at large,” said Hew-Butler, an associate professor of exercise science at Oakland University.


During the event, Hew-Butler will talk about her research work on the potential dangers of over hydration and about how she has taken the message out of the lab and brought it to the public through a wide range of media outlets and approaches.


Soundings Series 2
Dr. Tamara Hew-Butler (center), pictured here with Golden Grizzlies basketball players James Edwards Jr. and Brad Brechting, will discuss her research on the potential dangers of over hydration during the "Soundings Series" event on April 18.

“I view my role (speaker) as a motivator, hoping to inspire success through the lens of adversity,” she said. “As highlighted in our work with athletes, winning is achieved through hard work and perseverance. There are no short-cuts to success and to get noticed, you must demonstrate sustained success”.


Following Dr. Hew-Butler’s talk, Dr. Stone will lead a didactic session and open discussion on strategies and tactics faculty and students can use to engage the media around their work.


“For our first event, I will be leading a discussion on how to interest the media in your work, and what skills, tools, and tricks of the trade do you need to do that effectively,” Stone said.

Leanne DeVreugd, program assistant for Women in Science, Engineering, and Research (WISER), said the event provides a “unique way to highlight OU’s publicly engaged researchers and foster interdisciplinary collaborations.”

“This event series will be informative as well as useful since each session incudes a guided discussion about what is required to become an engaged scholar,” she said. “It is also an exciting opportunity to showcase the research that is happening on campus and in the community.”


For more information about the “Soundings Series” event, contact DeVreugd at ldevreug@oakland.edu.