Director of Programs and Training, Center for Public Interest Communications, UF

As the Center for Public Interest Communications’ Director of Programs and Training, Ellen Nodine oversees the daily operations while providing leadership in the strategic direction of the unit. As a coach within the center, she helps organizations apply a public interest communications framework to their work, which uses science-driven strategic communications and storytelling to advance positive social change.

Through the Center, she’s worked as a coach for numerous entities including the United National High Commissioner for Refugees Innovation Service; scientists and program officers at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture; program directors and leaders of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America; University of Florida scientists, program leaders and educators; and many foundation and nonprofit communicators.

Ellen also directs the University of Florida’s online master’s in public interest communications, the first of its kind in the nation. As director, she provides guidance for curriculum development and facilitates faculty and students in the program.

She serves as the lead organizer for the frank gathering, a three-day conference uniting a community of communication strategists, behavioral and social scientists, artists, funders, agencies, business leaders and advocates working to drive positive social change.

Ellen received her Master of Education from the University of Florida, with a
specialization in education technology. Her area of study is community building, social presence and social media. She spent 20 years in the Caribbean, working in the community and co-founded a not-for-profit K-12 school.

Ellen grew up in Venezuela and is a dual-citizen, calling Antigua and Barbuda her second home. An empty-nester, she and her husband spend their free time traveling between Colorado and the EU, visiting their lesser branches.


Session Title: The Science of Story Building

Session Description: What makes one story more compelling than another? How can we build stories that illustrate the importance of our work and that can drive social change? This session dives deep into the structure of story and uncovers seven principles to help you take a narrative approach to your communications work. Using a small-group feedback model, participants will experiment with each of the principles throughout the course. At the end, participants will map out a story about their own work or organization using the framework. 

Track: Keynote