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The goal of Susan McConnell’s research is to understand how neurons in the developing cerebral cortex are produced, assigned specific phenotypes, and wired together into functional circuits. In order to strengthen undergraduate biology students’ communications skills, McConnell created two programs focused on engaging biology students in written and artistic forms of expression. In one, students either learn to write for a scientific audience about their laboratory research or for a broad public audience about a biology topic of personal interest.In the second program, students produce personalized creative projects, in an artistic form, centered on an aspect of the life sciences that affected their education.