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Early Career Scholars' Column

Activities update

By Michele Schlehofer, Salisbury University

Hello! You are reading the first-ever Early Career Scholars Committee column in the Forward. The
Early Career Scholars Committee (ECS) was developed to further the professional development and promote the needs of SPSSI members who are within seven years of having received their doctorate.

Since the 2008 biennial meeting, we have been working hard to develop several new initiatives and programs specifically for early career SPSSI members. We are particularly interested in promoting increased and more frequent dialogue among early career individuals within SPSSI. When in graduate school, it is easy to forge strong social networks and friendships with others in our same situation. However, oftentimes these social networks weaken once we disperse from our graduate institutions to start our careers. Although our social networks may weaken, our need for social support does not!

Because we believe in the importance of maintaining a solid support network during the early years of our careers, we have hopped on the proverbial bandwagon and started our own blog.Now, we know what you’re thinking: everyone has a blog these days, right? But, the SPSSI early career blog will be perhaps one of the most useful blogs you’ll ever read. So, bookmark the blog site right now: And, thanks to Jeannetta Williams, we have our very first blog topic: “Advising the advisor: What am I doing, what should I be doing?” In the blog, Jeannetta discusses her (on-the-job) training as an advisor and her efforts to develop a statement of her “advising philosophy.” Interested in learning more about the process of developing an advising philosophy? Have advice for Jeannetta? Want to read others’ advice? Need an outlet to discuss your advising woes? If the answer to any of these questions is YES, then please visit the blog! Anyone can read and post comments. You can post comments with just your name, a google account, another open ID account, or anonymously. And, please keep a close eye out for our next blog topic: “Controlled Chaos: Collecting Materials for Administrative Reviews,” which will discuss annual reviews, third year reviews, and preparing promotion and tenure packages.

We are happy to report that SPSSI Council is very supportive of our efforts to develop one of our largest initiatives to date: the Early Career Scholars Summer Workshop. This day-long workshop, to be held the day prior to the start of the 2010 biennial convention in New Orleans, will provide a select group of scholars with advanced training in applying one’s research to public policy. Thank you to Colleen Sinclair for all of her initial work on the workshop. Please look for further information on the workshop, including details on how to apply, in the Forward and on the SPSSI website later this year.

Do you have any feedback for us? Suggestions for future initiatives? Want to suggest a blog topic or write one yourself? If so, please do not hesitate to contact Kim Case (ECS Chair) at or any member of the committee. We would love to hear from you!

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