The Power of New ConnectionsJune 01, 2012
New Connections gave me the chance to make the leap from newly minted PhD to grant funded junior faculty member. As a New Connections grantee, I was directed and guided on a professional path of excellence, scholarship and collaboration. The grant allowed me to conduct my own research and develop manuscripts, all wonderful outcomes. Yet the most intangible outcome of my experience is the most precious— the feeling and energy captured in a room filled with Black, Hispanic, and Native American PhD’s. That force, those feelings, and the fostered collaborations that emerged from those meetings can be described as the power of New Connections.
I want to see the geniuses from our nation’s ghettos, barrios and reservations become academic scholars, so I became one to set an example for others— that we can do this. For me, the New Connections Research and Coaching Clinics and Research Symposiums have been an incredible professional development opportunity. For the past five years, I’ve looked forward to these events. The meetings were invaluable during my first few years on the tenure-track. Conversations were cathartic even therapeutic. We all needed a forum to freely share our professional visions (without the sense that this would count against tenure applications).
I met a lot of people at these events but the closest bonds were built with Round II and III grantees (what I consider my cohort). These friendships have produced some great research collaborations as I have written papers and applied for grants with other members of my cohort. It has been great to watch the New Connections program grow.
Research project, manuscript, grant proposal
Potential collaborators - priceless
At the last New Connections Coaching Clinic at the American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting I met Bertha Hildalgo who was new to the New Connections Network. We happened to be at the same roundtable at one of the New Connections sessions and vowed to stay in touch. The following day we sat next to each other as counselors for the APHA statistics section.
Deciding this was more than coincidence, we agreed to collaborate on a statistically-speaking column. This time I would be the project mentor. Through several conference calls and lots of emails we developed a column and submitted it to the APHA statistics section for a new peer review process where papers are reviewed by a committee of four statisticians before being submitted to the journal.
Now that’s the power of New Connections!
Melody S. Goodman, PhD