Train to Advocate

Help us spread the word – post this flyer in your department: TrainToAdvocate

Time: Saturday, May 21, 2016; 1 pm to 5 pm; reception to follow

Location: Smilow seminar room; NYU Medical Center, enter through main entrance at 550 First Ave

Registration/cost: Required / $7 suggested contribution

You are invited to a communication workshop specifically designed to teach you to be an effective advocate for Neuroscience research funding. Train to advocate workshop will teach you how to speak with legislators and the public about the importance of your research and the need to increase funding.

The workshop will consist of two break-out sessions: in the first, you will hone your message and practice your pitch to legislators and the general public. In the second, you will learn how to use non-verbal communication skills that improv actors utilize to connect with their audiences.

Participants will have priority to participate in our upcoming push to encourage NY State legislators to support an Alzheimer’s Bond Bill, that if passed, will provide precedence for the state to support future neuroscience-directed funding.

Space is limited so reserve your spot today!



Michael Heintz, Director of Advocacy, Outreach and Training Society for Neuroscience

Perfect your pitch

Michael Heintz, Society for Neuroscience

Yaihara Fortis Santiago, PhD, Director of Science Alliance, New York Academy of Sciences

Improv skills

Geoff Grimwood, Actor and Instructor, People’s Improv Theater


More on our experts:

Michael Heintz is the Director of Advocacy, Outreach & Training at the Society for Neuroscience, and a long-time advocate of science. He joined SfN after time spent in private law practice, Maryland state government, and prior association efforts. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science from Purdue University and a Master’s in Environmental Science and a Law Degree from Indiana University. He has participated in numerous Hill Days, provided and prepared others to give government testimony, and worked with multiple coalitions towards common goals.

Dr. Yaihara Fortis Santiago is the director of the Science Alliance, the professional development branch of the New York Academy of Sciences. Yaihara develops and implements innovative workshops and courses that provide early career scientists with a range of soft and business skills that will be essential for all careers. Yaihara also works closely with career development offices and student/postdoc organizations to consolidate resources and implement new ideas for professional development programming. In 2014, Dr. Fortis completed the Science and Technology Policy Fellowship under the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). During her time as a fellow she worked at the National Science Foundation (NSF) on programs that transform the frontiers of STEM fields using innovative multidisciplinary approaches and inter-institutional collaborations.

Geoff Grimwood from the Peoples Improv Theater is an expert in teaching how to utilize improv techniques to effectively craft and deliver your message. Geoff has been working in improv since 2002, and currently teaches classes and workshops for the Peoples Improv Theater and private clients in New York and elsewhere. Geoff has taught improv-based communication and collaboration workshops and trainings for Google, Facebook, Oracle, the Columbia University Executive MBA program, Con Ed, NY Board of Ed, NYU, the New York Yankees, and many more.