This JoVEr Makes Friends, Helps Scientists Teach

Marc Songini, JoVE Writer | 6 min read
Marc Songini, JoVE Writer | 6 min read

JoVE Snapshot: This is a regular series profiling the JoVErs doing outstanding work in editorial, customer success, videography, and more. Together, they are changing how science is done.

Name: Allison Callahan
Title: Curriculum Specialist, JoVE Customer Success
Degree: Bachelor of Science, Biology, University of Massachusetts, Lowell

What do you do at JoVE?

My job is to make friends with scientists all over the country and show them the JoVE videos that I have personally enjoyed and utilized in the lab.

In terms of education, how were you prepared to do your job?

I graduated from UMass Lowell summa cum laude. That helps me understand the STEM field’s needs and understand the different concepts. I know what it’s like to be a student and study for exams, and I appreciate how visual resources would help with learning, and how complicated the learning process can be. My personal situation while I was a student was that I worked weekends, sometimes 20 hours. And I’d get assigned homework too late in the week, so I would have to work on it over the weekend, when I had limited time. It was crucial to have time to sit down and analyze the textbook — and at that time, UMass didn’t have a JoVE subscription, which would have helped me learn faster.

After graduation, I actually used a JoVE article in my research at a lab where I worked. The doctor I was working for showed me how to do eye dissections once, and after that I was expected to perform the procedure. I stumbled upon a JoVE video that showed me exactly what I needed to do and it made it so much easier to learn the procedure, especially since it is such a delicate process.

What customer problems are you solving?

On the customer success team, we do several different things. We spread awareness about JoVE. If professors aren’t familiar with JoVE articles or Science Education, they may not be accessing them, even if their school has a subscription. They don’t realize what JoVE is. We show them what they have access to and how they can use it.

JoVE does a really great job of giving students science experience beyond the limits of class time and beyond the limits of funding. I love it when I can help faculty find these resources, because I know how helpful they can be. For some labs, for example, it’s easier for professors to do part of the experiment before students arrive at the lab because class time is so limited — but it’s still important for students to understand the whole experiment. Some universities don’t have the funding to do work with mice and rats, so JoVE can give students the experience of rodent research without actually having the rodents.

We also solve technical problems, such as helping people embed videos and showing them how to get access off campus. We pass on feedback to other JoVE departments and connect teachers with the correct JoVE teams. If they’re interested in publishing with us, for example, we’ll connect them with our colleagues in editorial.

What’s your favorite show?

Rotten on Netflix. It’s a series about the food industry. They have episodes about how the honey we buy sometimes isn’t even honey and how there’s a monopoly on the garlic industry. It makes you think about the food you buy and where it comes from.

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