by Erin Martel, CFICE Communications Research Assistant

Community First: Impacts of Community Engagement (CFICE) is a project that aims to foster existing community-campus partnerships and identify new ways that post-secondary institutions and community organizations can better work together. Sharing information between these stakeholders is an essential part of the project. Today, we meet Erin Martel, a communications research assistant working with the CFICE Secretariat. Her mission is to share informative and inspiring stories that shine a light on the work CFICE does to benefit communities across the country.

Portrait of Erin Martel, a communications research assistant for CFICE.Erin is currently a student at Carleton University, pursuing a master’s degree in human-computer interaction. She has an interest in making technology more usable and conducts research in the fields of virtual reality and gaming. She is also a graduate of the technical writing post-graduate program at Algonquin College and has worked as a writer for various companies, including Alcatel-Lucent and Open Text Corp.

Erin has a passion for information design and employing the principles of usability when crafting communications. Part of her job with CFICE is to translate the research conducted by CFICE’s various working groups into communications products–such as blogs, articles, reports, presentations and videos–that general audiences find useful and entertaining.

Erin feels that CFICE must develop communications that are designed to meet the needs of its various target audiences: “While taking an audience-centered approach is always advised, it has an especially important role to play when we develop communications for CFICE,” she said. “Part of the mandate of the project is to share insights between our academic partners, community partners, funders and students. To be successful, we must demonstrate that we respect the values and needs of our various target audiences.”

Erin is looking forward to spreading the word about CFICE initiatives: “I find it gratifying that as a communications RA, I am helping CFICE to make a difference in communities across Canada. I am excited to start collaborating with the team and getting our message heard!”

To learn more about how usability relates to communications, check out the links below: