Update from the Early Career Scholars Committee
Jessica Salvatore, ECS Co-Chair, Heather Bullock, ECS Co-Chair, Nicola Curtin
Greetings, early career members of SPSSI! There are many of us out there, and we know that there is great interest in ways to connect with each other. As Kim Case noted in this column a few years ago, nearly half of SPSSI’s membership can be classified as early in their careers (i.e., up to 7 years post-doctorate). We hope you will be excited about the big plans we are working on to develop an online infrastructure for fostering fruitful, productive connections.
Brian Christens is an Assistant Professor of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison whose research focuses on participation and empowerment in community and organizational settings. He has been involved with emerging local community organizing initiatives (particularly those focused on youth) and has also collaborated on a CDC-funded project to "Transform Wisconsin."
Brett Stoudt is an Assistant Professor in Psychology and the Gender Studies Program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Graduate Center (City University of New York). His research, using both quantitative and qualitative methods, has focused on emotions and masculinity, violence, and health outcomes. He is a founding member of the Public Science Project (PSP), a research center dedicated to supporting and conducting research with communities for the public good. He also teaches community research teams and youth (high school) researchers in workshops he calls “Stats for the People.” Congratulations to both!
Since SPSSI is not sponsoring a biennial (stand-alone) conference this year, our work is primarily focused on strategic planning. In Charlotte last summer we hosted a well-attended panel on the “secrets of success” from past winners of SPSSI’s early career awards. Using the energy from that discussion as a springboard, the committee has been discussing ways to develop new and improved modes of communication among early career scholars. We plan to enhance the functionality of the Early Career section of the SPSSI website. We are currently moving some of the content from the committee’s now-defunct blog (all of the posts remain highly relevant!) and exploring ways to create online networks/forums that would allow early career scholars in small “interest clusters” to meet each other, connect socially and professionally, and partner with writing buddies and/or small accountability groups.
We also want to focus more on small regional meet-ups or mini-conferences that would have both a “serious” academic component and a more laid-back social component. If you would like to be involved in organizing or hosting such an event, or think your region is a good candidate, please do be in touch! As always, we are eager to hear suggestions about how else we can meet your needs as early career scholars. Please do not hesitate to get in touch either the old-fashioned way—our contact information is available on the Early Career section of the SPSSI website—or simply by “liking” the Early Career page on Facebook, which will keep you updated on a more regular basis.
Lastly, we had several changes to the membership of our committee this fall. SPSSI Council member Heather Bullock (UC Santa Cruz) signed on as co-chair, while Nicola Curtin (Clark University) and Adam Pearson (Pomona College) are filling in for outgoing members Landon Reid, Dani Blaylock, and Devin Wallace. Thank you to our outgoing members for their service to SPSSI and a big welcome to our new members.