Public Speaking for Scientists
Joining the Speech and Debate Team had unforeseen benefits in presenting scientific researchAbigail Schulz CHEM ’20
Abigail Schulz conducted research on polymer synthesis in Professor of Chemistry Braja Mandal's lab to improve cathode materials for lithium sulfur batteries, as well as develop solid-state electrolytes for lithium ion batteries.
Schulz says she also discovered valuable skills as a member of the speech and debate team. She credits the team’s coaches, Brigette and Thea Mora, for building public speaking skills, which have been helpful in presenting her chemistry research.
“They consistently pushed me out of my comfort zone and delivered feedback that challenged me,” Schulz says.
The team travelled to tournaments across the country, including the national championship in Santa Ana, California, and Schulz found herself making daily checklists to help her stay organized.
“This habit helped me to maximize my time and be more productive while studying,” Schulz says. “Because Illinois Tech is known for being rigorous, our speech and debate team would often be the only school doing homework at a tournament!”