Networking the Bay Area: Opening the Dialog to Promote Scholarship Among SAS Students, Faculty, and Alumni
In any organization, opportunities to collaborate with colleagues should be a process that is readily available. Unfortunately, in the field of research and the advancement of scholarship, individuals tend to feel isolated. Research opportunities may be limited by experience, proximity, identifying possible collaborators, understanding the publishing process, and a network of likeminded colleagues. The first step for an institution of higher learning is to recognize such shortcomings and develop a means in which individuals can connect in person to share experiences, offer support, and create a network of commonality where research and collaboration can flow freely. Just as individuals have different learning modalities, the same holds true for scholars in formulating and conducting research studies. Investigators may seek colleagues with similar research interests for collaboration that is meaningful; therefore, the process of conducting research within a communal cultural setting (Gardner, 1999) with colleagues is rewarding, camaraderie is defined, and collective accomplishment attained.
The Bay Area School of Advanced Studies (SAS) Networking model was inspired by alumni in San Diego with the support of SAS (S. Van Pelt, personal communication, April 3, 2017) and is similar to networking events held by other academic and professional organizations in the region. The purpose of networking, as Bandura (1986) posited, “People not only gain understanding through reflection, they evaluate and alter their own thinking” (p. 21). Following the Boyer’s model of scholarship, the focus of the Bay Area program is to bring together SAS students, alumni, and faculty in a collegial environment to support current doctoral students, academic research, collaboration, and scholarship with the goal of publishing seminal works. The population served by the Bay Area program comprehensively represents each of the University doctoral programs which comprises 154 active SAS students and 95 alumni. Each monthly event features an alumni and doctoral student as speakers with specific topics derived from current and relevant topics of the SAS research community. The monthly events held are to espouse and further the consensus of scholarship via discovery, integration, application, teaching, and learning; therefore, the ability to build knowledge through opportunities of shared experiences to broaden a network of scholars via creativity, innovation, and diversity (Braxton, Luckey & Helland, 2002).
The objective of the Bay Area SAS Network is to champion Boyer’s model to further explore the vastness of scholarship by “integrating ideas [and] connecting thought to action” (Boyer, 1990, p. 77). The scholarly enterprise and shared experiences are the common threads which binds the individuals who participates in the network (Stobbe, Mishra & Macintyre, 2013). Furthermore, the process of developing and supporting a collective academic network is essential for the future of inspirational collaborations; thus, furthering scholarship of the participants and the University.
Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall
Boyer, E. L. (1990). Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities of the professoriate. New York, NY: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching with Jossey-Bass.
Braxton, J., Luckey, W., & Helland, R. (2002). Institutionalizing a broader view of scholarship through Boyer’s Four Domains. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Gardner, H. (1999). Intelligence reframed: Multiple intelligences for the 21st century. New York, NY: Basic Books.
Stobbe M, Mishra, T, & Macintyre, G. (2013). Breaking the Ice and Forging Links: The Importance of Socializing in Research. PLOS Computational Biology, 9(11): e1003355. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003355