Staja “Star” Booker awarded prestigious science communication fellowship

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Staja “Star” Booker, PhD, RN, for being named a Mayday Pain and Society Fellow! This competitive science communication fellowship supports the next generation of pain experts who develop evidence-based information about pain care and treatment, as well as promising research emerging in the field.

Star Booker 2023

Booker will participate in a three-day communication workshop in Washington D.C. from Oct. 29 to Nov. 1. There, she will learn communications skills and strategies to develop effective messages, interact with journalists and policymakers, and craft a mini advocacy campaign to advance chronic pain knowledge.

Through coaching sessions and one-on-one mentorship, Booker will also identify communications activities (e.g., op-eds, open source education, white papers) she plans to complete within one year of training.

Booker’s career has influenced how researchers and clinicians understand the experience of chronic pain and address social determinants of health driving disparate pain management in older adults. Early in her career, she developed the first set of clinical recommendations uniquely tailored to Black older adults for pain assessment and management. However, she now aims to integrate more policy and advocacy into her work and believes the resources provided through the fellowship will help her achieve this goal.

“I hope this fellowship will provide new knowledge and public discourse skills to further translate my research into communities, health care systems and to the nation for a greater impact,” Booker said. “I foresee expanding access to new audiences with these interactions leading to more impactful work.”