The Evolution of Our Success
Successful entrepreneurs allow ideas to flourish by pioneering new pathways to bring knowledge to the world. Alan did this by starting Alda Communication Training (ACT), capitalizing on the communication training innovations that he created at Stony Brook University.
The Alda Center & ACT
The story of our pioneering public-private collaboration
The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science is founded as part of the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University
In the 2010-11 academic year, the Alda Center conducts its first 13 on-the-road workshops
The Flame Challenge is launched. To date this fun, interactive #scicomm program has reached more than 1,700 schools and 110,000 students.
Alan Alda receives James T. Grady – James H. Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry
Alan Alda receives Scientific American Lifetime Achievement Award
An Alda Center participant wins National FameLab USA Competition
Science on Tap outreach program launches
Science Unplugged program begins with 12,000 viewers
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory honors Alan Alda with Double Helix Medal
Alan Center welcomes First International #scicomm affiliate
Since the launch, The Alda Center has reached 600 graduate students at Stony Brook University
Certificate in Science Communication program is established
ACT, Alda Communication Training, is launched as a first-of-its-kind University-Business partnership with the State University of New York (SUNY). ACT helps to manage the yearly workshop events and further extends the commercial operations for the Alda Center in order to provide an array of communication training services around the world.
To date, 10,000 scientists and physicians have been trained, and more than 30,000 people have been introduced to our approach through talks and lectures
ACT donates $100,000 in first-year profits to the Alda Center to help further advance research and development in important STEM and Medical communication training programs.
ACT formally launches, Power Connection™, a new program designed specifically for women in the corporate world.
Alan Alda prepares to launch an exciting new media venture … stay tuned for more details later this year!
Alan Alda, 7-time Emmy Award–winner, and Academy Award nominee, has acted in, written or directed many films and television programs, including M*A*S*H and the West Wing. He became interested in communication when a life-long interest in science led to his hosting Scientific American Frontiers for 11 years on PBS. On that show he helped hundreds of scientists around the world make their research clear to the public. He helped found the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, which has trained thousands of scientists around the country and overseas to be better communicators. The Alda Center uses innovative improvisational theater games to help people communicate more directly and personally and to function better as teams.
His many awards in science communication include: The American Chemical Society Award for Public Service and the Public Welfare Medal from the National Academy of Sciences. In 2015 he was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society.
Chief Operating Officer
For more than 10 years, Sarah Chase has worked with executive teams in the United States, Europe, and Asia to translate high-level corporate visions into actionable plans. Whether raising 8 figures, executing a press conference at Dallas Cowboy’s Stadium, writing a last minute speech in a private jet somewhere over Iowa, managing a DARPA proposal, or running up 5th Avenue with a film crew, Sarah has steadily grown companies and helped them improve their face to the world. Today, she is honored to serve as the Chief Operating Officer for the Alda Communication Training Company, helping world-renowned actor, writer, and director, Alan Alda, bring his proven improv and communication methods to the world. Sarah is currently working toward her MBA.
Chief Marketing Officer
Michael has been recognized as one of America’s top marketers. When asked what has been the single greatest contributor to his success he does not mention intelligence, hard work, creative mind or insightful strategies – he declares it is his communication skills. Michael learned at a young corporate age that great strategies and ideas poorly communicated will not gain support and reach the marketplace. He has grown his communication skills to insure he is engaging, enlightening and entertaining. He is a rare marketer that has been an inaugural Chief Marketing Officer 5 times in his career with SeaWorld, Bass Pro Shops, The National Hockey League, Rural Media Group and now Alda Communication Training. His foundational skills and communication techniques were developed during a 20 plus year career with Anheuser-Busch rising to be the VP of Marketing for Budweiser. Michael is a proud and honored member of the team and is thrilled to be working with Alan and Sarah in this role.
Podcast & Video Producer
A member of the small founding team of the long-running series NOVA, Graham has since produced over 80 hours of documentaries for PBS, including Emmy award-winning episodes of NOVA and FRONTLINE as well as the mini-series Hard Choices, Odyssey, War and Peace in the Nuclear Age, Columbus and the Age of Discovery, The Secret of Life and Anyplace Wild. But his most fulfilling work has been his 20-plus year collaboration with Alan as co-producer of Scientific American Frontiers and producer of the miniseries The Human Spark and Brains on Trial. These programs broke the mold of science documentaries, replacing dry talking heads with vivid, accessible and often humorous conversations between Alan and hundreds of scientists, bringing both them and their research to life as never before. This work was the inspiration for Alan’s founding of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating
Science, where Graham served as a media instructor. Graham continues with his work in media training as a certified instructor for ACT, assisting scientists and corporate clients better prepare for television, radio, and podcast interviews.
Client Relationship Manager
Allison Coston spent six years serving in the military in the advanced electronics computer field, specializing in radar and navigation equipment. During her time in the U.S. Navy she worked as a technical trainer, teaching numerous personnel essential military communication skills. She was promoted and took on a supervisory position where she was responsible for the training, professional development, and mentorship of junior sailors in her division. She has a curious mind and enjoys working with individuals to gain new perspectives on life through her interactions with them. Her passion for helping people connect with others through the art of communication inspires her work at ACT.
Here’s a short list of some of the companies, nonprofits and universities who have worked with ACT and our instructors: