Research Success Faculty Learning Community
In Spring 2020, Georgia Immigration Research Network co-founders Dr. Darlene Xiomara Rodriguez and Dr. Paul N. McDaniel, along with Dr. Allison Garefino, Clinical Director with Children and Family Programs and Research Scholar with the Office of Research at Kennesaw State University, participated in the R2 Research Success Faculty Learning Community (FLC), facilitated by the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and the Office of Research.
This program was designed to support faculty in the early stages of conceptualizing, strategic planning, and building partnerships for potential research projects within the four interdisciplinary research themes of the KSU roadmap to R2 success:
- Biomedical and Health Services
- Computing and Technology
- Human Development and Well-Being
- Sustainable and Safe Communities
The goal of the FLC was to bring faculty together to define each theme and identify the interdisciplinary research opportunities therein. Participants worked together to think creatively about how current scholarship can be enhanced through collaboration and funding opportunities. Participants also explored best practices in conducting interdisciplinary research, building collaborative projects, and securing external funding. The facilitators recruited guest speakers, facilitated an ongoing discussion board, and shared supporting resources from the literature.
Dr. Rodriguez participated in the Human Development and Well-Being cohort, while Dr. McDaniel and Dr. Garefino participated in the Sustainable and Safe Communities cohort. With Dr. Rodriguez and Dr. McDaniel focusing on immigrant integration and receptivity in cities and metropolitan regions through a mixed-methods, applied, community-engaged framework, the topics of sustainable and safe communities, and human development and well-being, are inherently linked to their research. Their work is also fundamentally interdisciplinary, and they have worked with colleagues from different disciplines on community-based research in various locations. As they continue to nurture their ongoing collaborations, participation in this learning community was helpful to be able to learn from others about potential new collaborations and topics of focus for furthering a collaborative research agenda. The goal of this FLC to bring faculty together to define a research theme and identify the interdisciplinary research opportunities therein was crucial for researchers already working on collaborative, interdisciplinary, community-engaged research, and also for identifying potential new research focus areas with like-minded, collegial, congenial, interdisciplinary researchers.
The FLC model aids in strengthening existing as well as facilitating new collaborations among researchers to foster mutual trust, respect, and community prior to embarking on a new collaborative endeavor, which subsequently leads to research team cohesion, communication, organization, and greater opportunities for success. The process, via the FLC, to work together with a group of faculty to think creatively about how their current scholarship can be enhanced through collaboration and funding opportunities, and to explore best practices in the potential for conducting interdisciplinary research, building collaborative projects, and securing external funding, is of utmost importance as we contribute to KSU’s research roadmap to R2 success.
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Video about our experience in the FLC (produced in May 2020 by Anne Chance, PhD Student in KSU's International Conflict Management (INCM) PhD program):