Below you will find a series of questions that correspond to the weeks of your research or community engagement project. Please plan to respond to one question each week for the six weeks of your Laidlaw project. During that period, please also reply to the summer post of another Laidlaw Scholar as well. Photos, video and multimedia are always welcome, and are a required component of your post for Week Three and Week Six!
As you set out on your research or community engagement project, do you find yourself experiencing any worries or insecurities about saying something that’s already been said? How do we as researchers and/or volunteers learn to address or set aside those insecurities or, better yet, to use them to our advantage?
If your project this summer differs from your project last summer, has last summer’s project influenced your project this year, and if so how? If your project is different, what tools have you developed to help you work on this project?
Does your research incorporate any outside participation, such as interviews or ethnographic observation? If so, how do you plan on approaching research participants or spaces in an effective and, most importantly, ethical manner? If you are not conducting ethnographic research, what communities do you engage in your research, and how have they informed your project?
How do you find your own self coming through in your research, if it all? Is your project more suited towards the invisibility of the researcher, or is it a project that would benefit from the researcher being more present (whatever ‘present’ means)?
If you are doing a leadership-in-action or community engagement project, how do you interact with community members, and what kind of conversations are you having? How do you connect with this community of people, and what common cause do you find?
What does a typical day of your research/community engagement look like? Aside from a narrative description, upload a photo, video and/or other media submission!
What challenges and/or difficulties have you encountered and how did you go about resolving them? Speak to a specific challenge you have encountered and some of the ways that you tackled the problem.
Has your research or work in a community to this point introduced you to any new fields or topics that are of interest to you? How, if at all, has your work narrowed since the beginning of the project?
What new skills and/or knowledge have you gained from your summer experience? Have you met anyone who has been instrumental in shaping/helping you conduct your project? Briefly, how has this person impacted you? What have you learned about leadership from this individual, and how might it influence your actions, work, and self in the future?
For your final post, upload a video presentation to our site. In your presentation, please discuss your project: why did you become interested in it, what was the goal of the project, what was its significance or impact (real or potential). Finally, please consider how your understanding of leadership (curiosity, empathy, teamwork, resilience, etc.) has informed your work or been deepened by your work.
Things to keep in mind while recording: do not speak too quickly! Try to record in a quiet space with minimum background noise. While you should not read from a sheet of paper, practice your speech a few times before recording. Also, be sure that you describe your project in a way that is accessible to viewers who are not experts in your field, and who may not be familiar with your project. Your video should be relatively short–2-5 minutes is ideal!