Team Reflections: The Multiple Facets of Communications 

Communications team sitting together indoors

The Innovation Hub Digital Communications Team reflected on their work in the past year and how working at the iHub fostered their personal growth. They highlight the use of collaboration and storytelling within the team, recognizing that even though there are different roles, working together and sharing stories can help to inspire change.

Written by the Innovation Hub Digital Communications Team

This year, the communication team made great strides in graphic design, website development, blog writing, and photography. Our Digital Storytellers sketched creative visuals for our design research projects and redesigned the iHub website. Meanwhile, our Blog Editors & Digital Content Writers produced thoughtful articles about social justice and topics in equity, while our Photographer captured memorable moments. Throughout the year, we worked on our teamwork and storytelling skills to bring ideas to life. While reflecting on this process, our team members provided insights into their biggest takeaways of the year.

Unlocking Creativity Through Teamwork  

Three people with arrows pointing up to a lightbulb

A common theme that our team reflected on was the collaboration between members in different roles. As unique individuals, we all have different work styles and hold different positions at the iHub. We also need to work iteratively and be flexible in our jobs. Through our teamwork, we found ways to bring our strengths together to present the best of the iHub. Some team members expressed how learning to work with others fostered personal growth and bolstered our capabilities as a team. 

Ava – My biggest takeaway from working on the Communications Team as a Blog Editor and Digital Content Writer has been seeing the teamwork and blending of different roles to make a whole, cohesive team. The Communications Team is made up of multiple parts that alone are important and necessary, but together create a means of learning and sharing information in accessible, creative, and innovative ways. 

Diana – I had the unique opportunity to work with material from all the research projects. The part of the process I enjoyed most was doing group activities with my colleagues to bring project visions to life.  

Britney – Creative work can come with a lot of insecurities, but through my position as the Photographer at the Innovation Hub, I learned that it is okay to not have all the answers on my own, as well as the value of working in a community of people with diverse backgrounds and skillsets who you can learn from.  

Mike: In my work, I need to share ideas with the research team for feedback. While sometimes we receive positive feedback, other times we receive constructive feedback. Gradually I started to see how the feedback helped us shape our visuals to align more closely with the research findings, and how the same design could be perceived from different perspectives.  

By collaborating with people in different teams and roles, we strengthened our communication skills and built rapport with others. 

Bringing Ideas to Life Through Storytelling 

Paper surrounded by hands, one is holding a pencil

From writing blogs to developing visual materials, we see storytelling in all parts of our work.  The team had the chance to experiment with different ways of storytelling this year. The blog writers on our team used storytelling in their writings to inspire change in the community. The Digital Storytellers (Graphic Designers) produced graphics that vividly depict concepts and findings of the iHub’s research projects. 

Lois – My biggest takeaway from working at the Innovation Hub is about the impact of storytelling—the way that it fosters empathy and helps us to celebrate everyday experiences. After seeing the versatile blog content that I curated this year, I confidently reaffirmed my capabilities as a writer, which inspired me to incorporate engaging stories with actionable messages into all areas of my life.  

Julie – One of the most enjoyable moments at the Innovation Hub was the sketching sessions. To me, these sessions encompass the importance of a human-centered approach in design. We not only looked at insights and empathized with students’ voices, but we also created spaces to validate our ideas, thus avoiding hindsight biases in creating visuals. Additionally, the collaboration in the team alongside creativity made the work more meaningful.  

Isha – The highlight of my experience at the Innovation Hub has been creatively expressing my ideas for diverse themes. Brainstorming as a group and learning from everyone’s ideas by sketching has been incredibly rewarding. 

Tehseen – The project stage I tend to enjoy the most would be digitizing sketches. I find it very satisfying, bringing the sketch to life and seeing how it evolves from its initial stages. This allows me to capture the essence of ideas digitally, especially when digitizing someone else’s sketch. Through collaborative sketching sessions, I often discover new perspectives on the same design prompts.   

By developing different storytelling techniques, we started to understand how this form of communication could maximize the impact of our work. In other words, storytelling helped us to foster an empathetic and accessible approach in what we created.  

People standing in a circle and holding hands

Connecting Through Communication  

Overall, aside from growing our professional skills in writing, photography, storytelling, and graphic design, we learned how to work as a team and enhanced our communication skills. We are proud of our work in promoting the iHub through various forms of communication. We encourage readers to embrace storytelling through diverse mediums, especially with other people, to introduce new perspectives and connect with audiences.  

Team Members

Mike's headshot

Mike He, Digital Communications Coordinator, Master of Information, User Experience Design 

Ava standing in front of trees and flowers.

Ava Hawkins, Blog Editor & Digital Content Writer, Honours Bachelor of Science, Cognitive Science, Psychology 

Lois smiling outdoors.

Lois Lee, Blog Editor & Digital Content Writer, Master of Information, User Experience Design, Archives & Records Management  

Britney smiling outdoors.

Britney Doopan, Photographer, Honours Bachelor of Science, Neuroscience, Psychology, French 

Diana smiling outdoors.

Diana Radenko, Digital Storyteller, Honours Bachelor of Arts, Book and Media Studies, Writing and Rhetoric, Creative Expression and Society

Grace smiling against a white background.

Grace Yip, Digital Storyteller, Master of Information, User Experience Design

Isha smiling against a white background.

Isha Sharma, Digital Storyteller, Honours Bachelor of Arts, Technology of Architecture, Environment and Energy  

Tehseen smiling against a white background.

Tehseen Sarwar, Digital Storyteller, Honours Bachelor of Arts, Architecture, Environmental Studies 

Julie smiling.

Julie (Hồng Ân) Nguyen, Digital Storyteller, Bachelor of Information, User Experience Design  

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