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HIV Pecha Kucha

Primary Investigators: 

Jessie J. Kwiek, Associate Professor

OSU Departments of Microbial Infection & Immunity and Microbiology

STEAM Collaborators: 

Thomas (Dodie) McDow, Ph.D- Assistant Professor

College of Arts and Sciences- History

Zach Reau, Community Engagement Manager

AIDS Rescource Center Ohio Inc.


  • Sharing research findings with the broader community 
  • Fostering conversation between students, academics and stakeholders
  • Demonstrating the value of combining scientific and humanties approaches to complex issues


The HIV Pecha Kucha project showcases—in a compelling format—the best collaborative, interdisciplinary work on HIV/AIDS from an advanced interdisciplinary undergraduate course taught be Drs. Kwiek, a virologist, and McDow, a historian, History/ Microbiology 3704, HIV: From Microbiology to Macrohistory. The team- taught class’s goal is to put the sciences and humanities in conversation about the HIV virus and the estimated 35.3 million people around the world 

HIV Pecha Kucha audience

who are living with it. As a culminating project, students create a Pecha Kucha that explores a transformative, controversial, or an unknown/under-appreciated aspect of the history of HIV and elucidate the moment. The presenters must consider their specific HIV topic from a multidisciplinary perspective, drawing from the sciences and humanities. The Pecha Kucha format — 20 slides that advance automatically every 20 seconds — creates succinct narratives (6:40 total!) complemented by strong visuals.

The STEAM Factory HIV Pecha Kucha event, held on April 19th, 2016, included the six most outstanding Pecha Kucha presentations from a class of eighty students and presentations from HIV community groups. This event was a celebration of the student’s scholarship and provided a chance for a wider conversation. Thus the STEAM Factory venue was ideal to host a diverse group in a congenial setting rather than simply meeting in a lecture hall on campus. The event was open to Ohio State affiliates, and we will specifically invited History/Microbiology 3704 students, STEAM factory members, members of the Columbus HIV affected/infected community and select members of the Ohio State administration. To promote community involvement, we partnered with Mr. Zach Reau, Community Engagement Manager at AIDS Resource Center Ohio, Inc. (ARC), which is Ohio’s premier community-based, not-for-profit provider of a comprehensive and cutting-edge response to HIV/AIDS.

Students gained valuable experience presenting their narratives to a broad audience, some of whom will have personal connections with the topics at hand. The visual style and concision of Pecha Kucha made it an ideal launching point for further conversations. This engaging format reflected the value of crossdisciplinary approaches to complex problems, the importance of sharing findings and stimulation audience interaction