Before applying to UMass Dartmouth’s Master of Professional Writing Program (MPW), Meg Cichon '09 MA '15 worked as an associate editor for Renewable Energy World, a trade publication with a daily news website and print magazine.
Cichon, who earned her undergraduate degree at UMass Dartmouth, thought that joining the professional writing program would further her writing career and help her network in the science and university communities.
“The MPW curriculum is quite diverse, and it was a perfect fit for my needs: journalism, science writing, technical writing, and creative writing,” Cichon said. “It even offered a grant writing course, and I use skills from that class in my work today.”
Prepared for the world of science communication
Now, Cichon works as a science editor at MIT Lincoln Laboratory where she edits technical articles written by scientists and engineers, writes and edits feature stories about upcoming technologies at the lab, and has even started producing a podcast.
“The skills I learned in the program are very versatile and can be used in several fields,” said Cichon. “I use my skills daily, and I’m starting a podcast about science technology research and development.”
Bridging the gap between scientist and audience
The unique master’s program at UMass Dartmouth gave Cichon the necessary skills she needed to help translate the exciting and life-changing work scientists do to a broad audience who can benefit from that work, or more importantly, fund that work.
“The MPW has helped me in analyzing the audience, understanding their needs and message, and then communicating that message effectively,” Cichon said. “Scientists often have trouble communicating the importance of their projects and audiences often struggle to understand, so it is the science/technical communicator’s job to bridge that gap between the scientist and the audience with clear writing and communication.”