Contact: University Outreach and Engagement, Communication and Information Technology,

May 27, 2021

Chelsie BoodooChelsie Boodoo, biosystems and agricultural engineering Ph.D. student and digital content creator for the MSU Science Festival, has been selected to serve on the student advisory council of a major commission at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). APLU’s Commission on Economic and Community Engagement (CECE) leads the Association’s work supporting university engagement with external partners to advance community and economic development. 

Students play a critical role in creating sustainable, reciprocal partnerships between universities and their communities. CECE’s Student Advisory Group (SAG) was formed to ensure that the student voice is represented and informs the CECE. SAG members serve a one-year term, providing input on ongoing CECE programs, conducting projects that address student issues pertaining to university engagement, and advocating for CECE-supported initiatives among members’ home institutions and regions. Each SAG member receives a small stipend from the host institution and travel expenses for the APLU Annual Meeting. 

In addition to her work with the MSU Science Festival, Boodoo is the founding president of the MSU Science Communication student organization, MSU SciComm. She also co-hosts the award-winning podcast, “The Sci-Files,” which explores various MSU student research topics. “The Sci-Files” airs weekly on Impact 89FM Radio, is available on common podcast apps, and boasts listeners from over 50 countries. 

Laurie Van Egeren, interim associate provost for university outreach and engagement, is one of Boodoo’s mentors. Van Egeren said, “Chelsie is utterly committed to science engagement and working with the public to understand and use cutting-edge research. She brings a perspective that tends to be underrepresented in CECE: that of a basic scientist. She has received several recognitions both at MSU and nationally for her science engagement work, and I have no doubt that she will continue to be a force for science engagement.” 

In fact, Boodoo, along with Daniel Puentes, her partner in scientific engagement activities, recently received a competitive fellowship from the NSF-funded Center for Advancing Research Impacts (ARIS) to create a toolkit to assist researchers in communicating their work through art. 

Regarding her motivation to contribute to community engagement, Boodoo said, “I want my community to thrive and to trust science. I want to inspire the youth and be sure children see that anyone can be a scientist. My favorite outreach project right now is the MSU Science Festival, which is the largest free science festival in Michigan, with 50+ statewide partners and 70+ institutional partners. This year we planned over 200 virtual presentations.” 

She also has an interest in biosecurity and is working with international collaborators at the Global Alliance for Rapid Diagnostics (GARD) to improve communication across borders. She is excited about GARD’s first symposium on June 25-26 which, will have researchers from all over the world.

Boodoo sees a close alignment between her career interests and working with the CECE: “My career interests in science media can be compounded by working within the CECE while also learning from people outside my network. I want to help CECE expand engagement through innovative ways. I can learn from CECE and share resources with my network and community while inspiring others to be leaders too. Through this group I can learn from others outside of Mid-Michigan as well. I will unceasingly strive to educate and be a leader to show that science is for everyone, while supporting others.”