I am participating in a challenge with some of my colleagues at the University of Venus ( @UVenus ). We are taking special care to network and meet people across our campus. Given that I am the Chair of the Academic Women’s Caucus this provides me an easy way to do this, but I have also had a few coffee meetings to meet with different colleagues across the campus and would like to speak to how helpful this has proven during these last two months.
Most recently I met with the coordinator for the Anti-Violence Project and we are working on a shared conversation about safe spaces on campus and the university support of safety. These are just the early conversations, but it was great to have this meeting that caused us to find out that we share some of the same professional networks.
Last month I had coffee with Dr. Jentery Sayers from the English Department at UVIC and I was so impressed and envious with his courses and current area of research. I was happy to get some of the flyers for his course, “How to Network a Novel.” It looks like an amazing course and I have since shared the flyer with the students enrolled in my courses.
For the second year I am sitting on the December 6th memorial planning committee, and the committee is made of some different staff from last year and I have the opportunity to work with a great group of women from all over campus. And, I look forward to the events that we are planning.
I have also met informally and formally with different staff from the UVIC Communications team and have repeatedly found the team helpful and professional. If your campus has a communications team and you haven’t met them yet—get to it. They can help get you on the Experts Database (if your campus has one) and make sure that you are included in media releases.
And, the last thing that I spearheaded was the nomination of a colleague for a teaching award. This turned into more work than I anticipated, but it was a great process for my involvement. I contacted probably upwards of 60 people for the dossier and the file fielded some strong, personal assessments. Ultimately, I felt honored to play a small role in this nomination. It is important for me to note that this nomination was based on my position as the Chair of the Academic Women’s Caucus. I hope that next year the Caucus can nominate another woman on the Steering Committee. Part of my self-imposed mandate is mentoring and this includes peer to peer mentoring and support.
I have had a productive first few months for the challenge and look forward to the next few months!