On the job

This year has been a challenging, busy and rewarding one, professionally speaking. I’m in my fifth year as director of research advancement at Binghamton University. My main work involves communicating about research in subjects ranging from physics to neuroscience to economics. I edit a website and twice-yearly magazine focused on research news from Binghamton.

Rachel with one of her writing heroes, Jonathan Weiner

Rachel with one of her writing heroes, Jonathan Weiner

In the spring, our campus played host to the annual meeting of the University Research Magazine Association, which gave me a chance to meet one of my writing heroes, Pulitzer winner Jonathan Weiner. We had about 40 colleagues from around the country and as far away as London at the conference.

Many of the stories I work on these days are highly technical in nature, but I do get to do some writing about our scholars in the humanities, too. And once in a while, I have a chance to take on a project that’s way outside the normal boundaries of research communications. In March, I heard from one of our librarians in Special Collections who had discovered a connection between one of our archives and the TV drama Downton Abbey. The resulting story, titled A Countess on Campus, was published over the summer in the university magazine. I had such fun with it that I am dreaming of ways to write a book about Tilly Losch or in some way inspired by her life story.


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