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For one team of researchers with the Center for Educational and Instructional Technology Research, months of hard work paid off recently in an unexpected way. After working on an extensive literature review regarding theories that can help with the integration of social media and cultural competency, the research team composed of Drs. Sandra Nunn, Lequisha Brown-Joseph, and Michelle Susberry Hill received some great news. Not only was their research accepted for presentation at the AECT Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada in October 2016, but the team also was asked to submit their research for inclusion in a peer-reviewed book to be published this fall by Routledge.
“When we first got approached by the editor, we were surprised and excited. I contacted the editor immediately that day and spoke to her at length about the book project, its focus, and who the publisher would be. What I found out was that the book was a perfect fit for our research and, if accepted, our research would be one of thirteen chapters in a book to be published by Routledge later this year around the time of the AECT Conference,” recounts Dr. Nunn. Following that conversation with the editor, the team immediately got to work finalizing the manuscript in less than 24 hours. The team submitted the manuscript to the editor who, after two days, contacted Dr. Nunn with the news that the editors had accepted the team’s research as a book chapter. Upon the request of the editor, the team subsequently modified the manuscript to better reflect a book chapter format. Currently, the team is going through one more round of edits following a subsequent review and should have the final chapter manuscript completed by the first week of May 2016.
The success of this research effort was recently lauded by Dr. Mansureh Kebritchi and Dr. Marianne Justus who both spoke highly of the team’s hard work and dedication during this project in a recent meeting with other researchers. Dr. Kebritchi also noted how success stories like this serve as an inspiration of what is possible when research teams work well together and commit to excellence in the research process.
Dr. Michelle Susberry Hill recently reflected on this experience. “Joining the group provided me the opportunity to work with two individuals who shared common goals. Each of us wanted to write, publish, and present; therefore, we worked very hard to produce a document that flowed. Our team started out at a good pace writing in spare moments from our outside commitments. In the beginning, we met every few weeks on the phone and wrote in between. The work on the document progressed and slowly developed from a proposal to a manuscript. Then life happened. We got busy. We got tired. We got frustrated and we showed that we were indeed human. However, in the process, something started to evolve that we did not dream would happen so quickly. We were accepted to present at an upcoming conference. From there, we were offered the opportunity to contribute our work as a chapter in a book. Suddenly, we began to see past our frustrations and worked tirelessly at a moment’s notice to meet a deadline we had no idea had been heading our way. Writing was what we did and life was our spare moments until completion. We celebrated our little victories, had a few laughs, and then we got busy again. As I look back at how far we’ve come as a team, I see how we are realizing our goals beyond what we could have imagined when we first began. We are breathing now; although, this is just our intermission as we look forward to new possibilities. I feel so privileged to have been a part in this endeavor.”
Similarly, Dr. Lequisha Brown-Joseph shared her perspective as well. “Working with the research center has been a blast as well as a challenge. My first experience with the center was conducting research on theories centered on social media and cultural competency. In my team, I feel like I was a team player and I also believe that my team worked extremely well together especially when we were under some serious time constraints. We worked steadily during the development of the project and, as we grew closer to the finish line, we buckled down and finished the project successfully. I believe being a team player is important. More important, believing in and driving a common goal provides much more of a dynamic and strong work ethic among individuals. According to Andrew Carnegie, “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” Not only was my experience uncommon, but a positive and successful one.”
On a final note, Dr. Nunn summed up the experience of the team’s research efforts. “I am really proud of what this team accomplished in the end. We started this research project in September 2015 as one of several projects regarding social media and cultural competency for the research center. In about 8 months in April 2016, we successfully got accepted for presentation at the AECT Conference and for publication in the book. While the research process took time, I was very impressed at how our team pulled together so cohesively to finalize the work we started and get everything done ahead of the deadlines provided by the editor. It was one of the finest examples of teamwork I’ve ever experienced in my 30-year professional career. I sincerely look forward to wherever the future takes us with our research efforts.”
Nunn, S., Brown-Joseph, L., & Susberry Hill, M. (2016). Foundational theories of social media tools and cultural competency: A systematic literature review. In A. Benson, R. Joseph, & J. L. Moore (Eds.), Culture, learning and technology: Research and practice. New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN: 1138928534