New faculty prepare for research, grant writing


RICHLAND, Wash. – Seven new Washington State University faculty members recently became students again during an intensive retreat to improve their writing skills for research articles and grant proposals.

“It was inspiring to see how motivated our new faculty are to pursue their passions and translate that into publishable work and grant projects,” said College of Education (COE) faculty research development coordinator Laura Girardeau, who helped facilitate the weekend retreat.

The college’s annual retreat also provided opportunities for creating community and motivating career progress.

Trevisan“The most valuable parts of this year’s retreat were the discussions among faculty as they explored innovative and exciting ways to collaborate on research and grant projects,” said Dean Mike Trevisan. “I look for good things to come from this group of new faculty.”

Model for other universities

Only a few large, public universities in the country have colleges that offer such writing programs.

Rud“Writing well, often and fluidly is central to a faculty member’s life at a research university such as WSU,” said co-facilitator and distinguished professor A.G. Rud. “For a faculty member to be successful here they must write. This college seeks to be known for its research.”

Trevisan, Rud and Girardeau are developing recommendations for other institutions to design similar retreats.

Tailored to faculty needs

Trevisan said feedback from faculty has been good for both years of the retreat.

“Last year, faculty mentioned the open times for working on manuscripts and time to explore collaborations as most important,” he said. “This year’s participants mentioned the grant proposal development training and time to explore collaborations.”

While it will be difficult to improve on two successes, he said the college will continue to tailor the workshop to the unique needs of the faculty participants.

Time to focus

The group stayed at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory guesthouse on the WSU Tri-Cities campus. A retreat was the best way to maximize faculty time, Rud said.

“The time away from daily activities and distractions in order to focus is invaluable,” he said.

COE faculty who attended are: Anne Cox, Brenda Barrio, Johnny Lupinacci, Richard Lamb, Simon Licen, Yuliya Ardasheva and Yun-Ju Hsiao.