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Louisiana SciComm Summit: Speakers

Louisiana SciComm Summit

Overview | Application | Planning Committee | Agenda | Speakers | Sponsors  | Directions


Leigh Fondakowski

Photo: Leigh Fondakowski

Leigh Fondakowski (playwright/director) was the head writer of The Laramie Project, co-writer of Laramie: Ten Years Later, and an Emmy Nominated co-screenwriter for the film adaptation of Laramie with HBO Films. Her other original plays include, I Think I Like Girls, The People’s Temple, SPILL and her current work-in-progress, Casa Cushman. Her plays have been produced under her direction at American Theater Company, Berkeley Repertory Theater, Encore Theater, Ensemble Studio Theater, The Guthrie Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Perseverance Theater, Swine Palace, TimeLine Theater and Z Space Studio. Awards include The Glickman Award for Best New Play in the Bay Area (The People’s Temple); Bay Area Critics Circle nomination for Best Production (I Think I Like Girls); and a Jeff Nomination for Best Chicago Production (SPILL). Fondakowski is a 2007 recipient of the NEA/TCG Theatre Residency Program for Playwrights, a 2009 MacDowell Colony fellow and a 2018 recipient of The National Endowment of the Arts Residency for Collaborative Teams at Yaddo. She held a Distinguished Visiting Chair at the University of Minnesota in 2010, and is the author of the creative non-fiction book, Stories from Jonestown, which she is currently adapting to film. Fondakowski teaches and lectures around the country, including New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, and has been a member of Tectonic Theater Project since 1995. She was the recipient of a Next Stage Drama League Fellowship in 2018 and was a participant in the Orchard Project’s pilot theater development program Orchard Project Greenhouse.

Dr. Becky Carmichael, Ph.D.

Photo: Becky Carmichael, Ph.D.Dr. Becky Carmichael, Ph.D. is an ecologist and the Communication across the Curriculum (CxC) science coordinator at LSU. She supports faculty in designing innovative assignments and works closely with students to improve their communication skills, including writing and public speaking. She also works with the multiple undergraduate research courses and programs assisting students with their scientific presentations. In her work with CxC, Carmichael has increased the number of Communication Intensive courses taught with within the Colleges of Science and Coast and Environment by 70 percent. She brought in state-of-the-art resources, such as 3-D printers, a math communications clinic and technology training and she’s done all this despite budget restraints by fostering collaborations across campus. She helped to create Benchtop Talks, which are radio show segments that feature LSU researchers discussing their work in common language, and she is a driving force behind [email protected], which advances learning and improves free-access information. An Indiana native, Carmichael received her doctorate from LSU and has been the science coordinator of CxC since 2012.