Steve Duenes Open Science Cafe Event

Written by on May 7, 2014

Open Science Café: My Experience

Learning is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” —Warren Barris

Open Science Café has empowered me to make my event an incredible reality!

On January 28, 2014, I received a phone call from Karen Lauritsen, communication and public programs coordinator at Cal Poly’s Kennedy Library. She congratulated me as Open Science Café’s first winner!

Out of my awesome Cal Poly colleges, my application was selected. It was evaluated on creativity, thoughtfulness, feasibility, and planning. I then had an in-person interview before the judges panel made their final selection. Now, the event is only a few hours away. I hope you can join us as we welcome Steve Duenes, the graphics director for The New York Times, as he talks about “How to use data and design to tell stories.” Read more about Open Science Cafe.

What I’ve learned so far

This experience has heightened my knowledge of leadership, project management, communication, and collaboration. Karen is an inspiring and brilliant mentor who has guided me through the process of making this event possible as well as memorable. Together we developed an extensive checklist for tasks to be completed before and after the event. Our checklist included managing a budget and outlining a detailed schedule protocol to follow during the day of this event.

What I have learned the most from this Open Science Café experience is how to correspond effectively and efficiently with our speaker Steve Duenes. Due to his busy schedule as graphics editor of The New York Times, I found ‘tweeting’ and follow-up emails were the best way to reach him. Persistence is key.

From Steve, I seek inspiration and advice for pursuing and working in the competitive and innovative field of UX design. As a graduating senior, his guidance will help me prepare for a career in this field. I am most excited to share with the Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo community someone who exemplifies Learn by Doing and collaboration! I believe that a broad audience will be interested in what Steve has to offer as a creator of interactive news graphics and multimedia journalism.

Partnering with students

In addition to my weekly meetings with Karen, I also met with the communications and public programs student assistant at Cal Poly’s Kennedy Library, Rachel Scott, to create a Vine series that documented and promoted our progress. The Vine series was ‘tweeted’ and blogged by Rachel. We thought Vines were a clever way to reach our demographic of college students. Our most recent Vine captured Rachel and I arranging the video interview set-up in the Kennedy Library’s atrium. Check it out here!

Making connections

As also a representative of the department of Art+Design, I held meetings with my graphic design advisor and professor, Charmaine Martinez. Charmaine was the one who encouraged me to apply for this opportunity and has been supporting me throughout this entire planning process as well. I am grateful for her helpfulness, influence, and introduction to Steve Duenes.

See you there!

After four months of planning, this dream event is finally happening! Join us this Friday, May 9th from 11–12:30 in the second floor cafe lounge. More event details are on our calendar.

Thank you to all of our partners! Department of Art+Design, Journalism Department, and AIGA Santa Barbara.


Read more on Ali Albiani, Design, Innovation, journalism, open science cafe, and Stev Duenes.