GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The UF/IFAS Center for Public Issues Education (PIE Center) welcomes Dawn McKinstry as its newest team member.
As the new education and outreach coordinator, she will work alongside PIE Center staff to develop and implement educational programming and training workshops based on the focus areas of PIE Center research. This will include online and social media practices as well as showing organizations how to best communicate with stakeholders and the public.
Dawn joins the PIE Center after working as a project coordinator with UF’s School of Forest Resources and Conservation and as an IFAS staff photographer. Although she is new to the PIE Center, Dawn graduated from UF/IFAS with a bachelor’s degree in natural resource conservation and a master’s in ecotourism and public participation.
“I was impressed by the cutting edge marketing and outreach that the PIE Center uses to reach its audience,” she said. “The creativity that the PIE Center uses to reach and educate individuals is innovative and very appealing to me. Often, in my experience, the organizations who produce the cutting edge research aren’t equipped or as knowledgeable to reach their target market effectively.”
Having worked in both the public and private sectors, Dawn has a broad range of experiences and skills. Familiar with coordinating research projects, she also started her own photography business.
“My education is science based, but growing up, I was more of a creative person,” Dawn said. “I’ve always been a visual learner, and the photography industry has reintroduced me to the creative and visual side of seeing and absorbing the information.”
Dawn anticipates applying the communications skills she uses with her photography business to the scientific research the PIE Center conducts.
“I really enjoy learning about marketing and consumer motivations and what engages a person, captures their attention, and why,” she said.