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FIRE Communicators generate content that captures their FIRE experiences, representing both FIRE as a program and their respective streams to the UMD community.


In FIRE, we recognize that our students are not only developing expertise in their research streams but also are experts in the use of social media. As such, we developed FIRE Communicators to provide students the opportunity to leverage both of these talents and showcase their experiences on FIRE's Instagram. 

FIRE Communicators collaborate with the FIRE Communications team and Campus Engagement Committee to craft engaging social media content showcasing the student experience in FIRE. Recognized by program leadership, they assume leadership roles in their streams, develop social media content creation skills, and enhance their science and research communication abilities.


What are the benefits of becoming a FIRE Communicator? 

FIRE Communicators gain a range of skills and benefits! These include:

  • research and science communication skills,

  • social media and marketing skills,

  • promotion of their stream's research to the UMD community,

  • experience serving as leaders in their streams,

  • recognition from program leadership,

  • access to content creation tools like DSLR cameras and a paid Canva account.


Who can become a FIRE Communicator? 

Any FIRE student can apply at the beginning of each semester. The Campus Engagement Committee with FIRE Faculty Leader input reviews student interest forms and selects ~16 students to serve as FIRE Communicators.

Can I be a FIRE Communicator if I don't have content creation experience? 

Yes! While experience with content creation (personally or professionally) might be helpful, part of becoming a FIRE Communicator is learning the ins and outs of content creation and science communication. Dr. Ferguson and the Social Media & Marketing Student Assistant will help with each step of the content creation process to provide guidance and support! 

What are the responsibilities of FIRE Communicators? 

Communicators focus primarily on content development and communication. The primary responsibilities of FIRE Communicators are: 

  •  Creating at least one Instagram post per semester,

  • Gathering stream photos and videos from their peers,

  • Attending 2-3 group meetings per semester to provide feedback and insight on social media strategy.


How much time will be required to be a FIRE Communicator? 

Expect to spend 1-3 hours per week on content development, feedback, and communication with the social media team. Content creation is spread across several weeks with admin team support.

Who should I get in touch with if I have a communications or social media-related idea? 

Current FIRE students can share ideas with their stream communicator. You may also contact Dr. Cari Ferguson at

Can I join the FIRE Communicators group? 

FIRE Communicator interest forms are open at the beginning of each semester. Look out for an email from Dr. Ferguson with the interest form link at the beginning of the semester. If you have specific questions or interest please reach out to Dr. Ferguson! 


Questions about FIRE Communicators can be sent to Dr. Cari Ferguson (

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