Strategic Communications

The strategic communications team in the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences can help with various communications needs in the schools of the health sciences, ranging from communication planning and consultation to execution.

How to request help from our team

Please use our intake form to submit requests here

Team member contact information

Michael Aubele Associate Editor, Pitt Med
Angela Burrows Associate Vice Chancellor, Strategic Communications
Elena Cerri Art Director, Pitt Med
Brandon Copp-Millward Web Producer and IT Liaison
Micaela Corn Senior Communications Specialist
Andrew Doerfler Senior Editor, Pitt Med
Elvira Hoff Executive Writer
Phoebe Renda Writer and Project Manager
Erica Lloyd Editor-in-Chief, Pitt Med
Nicole Matthews Social Media Manager
Christina Murzynski Administrative Assistant
Maureen Passmore Managing Editor
RJ Thompson Manager of Multimedia and Digital Strategy
Roberta Zeff Director, Strategic Communications

Resources and best practices for science communication

Best Practices

  1. Know your audience
  2. Know your material and your communication goal
  3. Start with the most important information
  4. Avoid jargon and keep it simple
  5. Focus on the bigger impact – why does this matter?


  1. Tips for science communication and presentations
  2. Tools for communicating science
  3. Advice for word choice and avoiding jargon
  4. Tips for plain language summaries
  5. Brainstorming your message

Pitt-Specific Resources

  1. University Communications at Pitt: Social Media
  2. The Center for Teaching and Learning’s Center for Communication
  3. Digital Accessibility from the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  4. Media Relations at Pitt

Media Requests

If you receive a request for a media interview, we’re here to help – we can connect you with the appropriate media relations resources.

Tips for Media and Interview Prep

  • Talk in soundbites
    • Keep your responses concise and clear
    • Prioritize your top 3 messages and repeat them if appropriate (redundancy is not a bad thing)
  • Take control
    • Your responses should steer the course of the conversation
    • Take a few moments to gather your thoughts
  • Prepare for tough questions: Rehearse difficult answers with your team
  • Be polite and professional
  • It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers. You can tell the reporter you’ll get back to them.

Additional Resources

  1. Tips for science interviews
  2. What is newsworthy?
  3. Five tips for scientists speaking to reporters