Candy Rivas, PhD

Tucson, Arizona, USA | Former Graduate Student

Candy Rivas, PhD

Former Graduate Student
Physiological Sciences
University of Arizona


  • Infographic & Adobe Illustrator Workshop
infographic introducing a novel molecule that may improve breathing for uncontrolled moderate to severe asthma
Infographic Project

As the student representative of our Physiology program’s executive committee, I am continuously searching for resources and opportunities that would benefit student learning and professional development. After seeing Gaius’ infographics, I realized it would be great if we could develop a custom workshop together to teach students how to disseminate their research to the public in an engaging, accessible manner and gain fluency in Adobe Illustrator.

Gaius worked with us to tailor a two-part workshop series that would cater to the needs of our students as they, in general, had zero experience with using Adobe Illustrator or creating an infographic. Knowing this, Gaius came to the workshop fully prepared with worksheets, visuals, powerpoints, and scheduled periodic interactive sessions where we could exercise the material learned during his oral/visual presentations. Throughout the presentation, he stopped regularly to answer questions, pose questions to the students and provide examples to illustrate design and organization concepts. He also made himself available to students outside of the workshop times to provide additional assistance.

The workshop itself was very popular and warranted a waiting list. Of the students that were able to attend, the feedback we received was excellent. Students felt they received instruction that was useful to them. In the future, we hope to have Gaius return and give the workshop again and this time make it a three-part series to give students more time to complete their infographic design as we learned navigating Adobe Illustrator for the first time was time-consuming for students due to its complexity.

Our only regret is that we didn’t think of developing this workshop and recruiting Gaius sooner because beyond infographics, the utility of Illustrator is that you can use it for manuscripts and presentations to draw custom models and signaling pathways. Any visuals you can use to aid the communication of your scientific findings is critical when explaining complex phenomena. The consensus was that the workshop was successful in teaching doctoral students valuable skills in summarizing findings and illustrating them in a creative manner.