Broader Impacts Resource CenterPenn State Eberly College of Science Outreach Office
GRFP Broader Impacts Success Spotlight: Cory Henderson & Science-U
Cory Henderson, a Ph.D. student in the Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Biosciences (MCIBS) program, was awarded a 2018 GRFP grant enabling him to delve deeper into his research on the interactions between an emerging pathogen, Mayaro virus, and its mosquito vectors. However, the novelty and rigor of his academic pursuits weren’t the only qualities that helped him secure the grant.
“I feel that my Broader Impacts helped differentiate me from the other people applying in my field because I was able to develop a strong connection between my research and my outreach interests. These broadly consist of encouraging interest in STEM fields in underrepresented groups and among young people.”
Cory worked closely with the Office of Science Outreach to refine and implement Finding Your Roots, a genetics and geneaology-focused Science-U summer camp originally developed and directed by Dr. Nina Jablonski of the Department of Anthropology.
“I developed a portion of my Broader Impacts based off of an established curriculum, which provided me with guide as I built my lesson plans. I was also given independence to change things where necessary, and found that this mixture of prescription and autonomy gave me the ideal environment to apply my outreach program.”
Though he has always had a strong interest in science education and outreach, Cory’s experience with Science-U has inspired him to continue pursuing outreach opportunities, and to make outreach an important part of his academic and professional career moving forward.
“My experience with Science-U was very positive. The staff were nothing but helpful as I was going through the process of planning and implementing my outreach plans, and I have no doubt that I will continue working with them in my future of conducting outreach at Penn State. I currently have plans to direct Finding Your Roots, or variants of it, throughout the rest of my graduate career, and I hope to take the skills I develop from this endeavor and continue to develop outreach programs that are deeply integrated with my research foci.”
If you’d like to see additional examples of past GRFP and NSF applicants who were successful in part because of their strong incorporation of Broader Impacts, click on the links at the top of this page.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or suggestions for how we can improve this resource center! Additionally, we would love to hear if you have Broader Impacts grant or activity examples you would like to share!