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Today was one of those mornings I tell myself, “This is why I love working in academia!” In short, it’s the people. I caught the same bus to campus this morning as a friend of mine who is doing graduate studies in instructional design.  As we road into town and walked across campus together, we talked about my dissertation research and I learned some interesting insights from my friend’s perspective, some things I hadn’t thought about before. I was able to share something with him he said he might be able to use in his teaching.

It’s this cross fertilization of ideas with people that’s one of my favorite parts of my work. I’ve had similar experiences talking with fellow scholars in public policy, economics, and latin american studies, as well as within the business school with friends in entrepreneurship, accounting, and information systems. I had a friend during my masters program who was interested in getting a PhD, but shied away from it because he wants to interact with people too much. I admit there’s a lot of isolated work in scholarship. But there’s a tremendous amount of opportunity for productive interaction with others. We are members of an academic community and participation in the research process is more than just advancing my personal agenda. If managed correctly, research and teaching are ways to connect with others and to work together in a positive productive way. 

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