Portrait Maria Sovago

News - 23 June 2021 - Communication TNW

Physics Lecturer | Coach | Theatre Performer

“My colleagues and I had just started our brand new course in Systems Engineering in February 2020. After three lectures we heard - on a Friday - that we had to make the transition to online teaching on Monday. So we got together, we arranged everything during the weekend and we made the switch. I was so proud of my colleagues and our 250 students, who showed amazing flexibility! Everybody just got together and made it work. It’s a great memory for me.”

Besides my teaching activities at the university, I have my own company. With my background in physics, I have noticed that we, scientists, sometimes struggle to reach our audience. I’ve been playing theatre as an amateur for ten years. During that time I learned so much about bringing a message to an audience. I’ve made it a bit of my life’s mission to adapt the techniques from theatre and make them understandable for scientists. I teach researchers to be themselves, only three times bigger, which helps them present at conferences, teach, pitch and apply for grants.

What will the future bring? Well, human interaction is vital in all aspects of my work, from teaching students to coaching researchers. Looking ahead, I think the way we interact will be very different from now on. These times taught us new ways of connecting. We reinvented ourselves! The university, and I believe any other organization, will be a place to meet and engage, not only a place to work. I am convinced we can combine the best of both worlds: the online tools and the physical teaching. Flexibility will stay with us.

I think it’s great that our campus will gradually open up again. I am really curious what the social barriers will be, since we are now so used to online interaction. My dream is to meet my student physically for the first time. To get a moment to realize: we are now together!”