Forum Will Explore Media Challenges for Junior Faculty

March 1 panel discussion on how and why to contribute expertise

A Thursday, March 1 forum open to faculty, staff, and students will explore the unique challenges junior faculty members face in establishing a media presence.

The forum is from 12:30-2 p.m. in HMNSS 1500, and includes lunch. Seating is limited to the first 50 people, and you may register for the event at

Panelists will share challenges of engaging with the media, strategies for establishing a media presence, and the benefits of being in the media.

“Engaging media about the work we do at UCR is critical for building bridges with the communities we serve,” said Mark Hoddle, an entomology professor who will serve as the event’s moderator. “Developing stories and sharing cutting-edge information with media outlets undoubtedly has a beneficial and positive impact on academic career development.”

The greatest challenge for junior faculty, of course, is establishing a media presence in the face of ever-shrinking newsroom complements and attention spans. Among junior faculty members, that baseline challenge is compounded by other pressures in the “publish or perish” world of academia.

“Junior nontenured/tenure-track faculty are under pressure to do enough research to gain tenure. They face a number of issues that prevent them from building a media presence,” said Rachel Wu, who will serve as one of three panel members. “These issues can include not having enough time, not seeing the immediate benefits of doing so, no incentive to engage with the media, and being encouraged by mentors to not engage with the media and to focus on research instead.”

In addition to Wu — who recently published an editorial in Scientific American — the panel includes Laila Lalami, a UCR creative writing professor who writes a column for The Nation and has appeared on the BBC and National Public Radio, or NPR, and Assistant Professor S. Hollis Woodard, an entomologist who has been interviewed by The New York Times and NPR’s Science Friday.

The forum is sponsored by University Communications, which oversees media relations for the university, and the Center for Ideas and Society.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-4756

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