Jeremy Scott Hoffman attended the Cultivating Ensembles in STEM Education and Research (CESTEMER) conference in June 2015 in Berkeley and wrote about his experience for our blog.
"It was surprising to me how quickly we formed a community at the CESTEMER conference! When I arrived in Oakland we almost immediately began playing at the conference opening dinner. We did improv games, introduction games, and learned that we had a safe place to explore our passion of play and communication and inclusivity in STEM.
What interested me about CESTEMER was the ability to share ideas that don't get as much support or interest at my academic institution. I was joining a conversation that others have already started and was able to contribute my own little weird ideas without the anxiety of how it would be received.
I remain engaged with the community mostly on a person-by-person basis: I've exchanged emails about how to craft teaching job application documents and how 'Flash Mob Science' might be used in a biology class. I've also decided to take 'Flash Mob Science' to a large national conference after being invited by another CESTEMER participant.
I love continuing my relationship with improvscience, in any capacity. Raquell has served as a mentor for me as I consider a move from the science enterprise into the communications realm."