I really enjoyed the Teaching Professor Conference this past weekend. We learned and practiced strategies for enhancing student engagement and critical thinking. In particular, I liked learning about student-centered, team-based, and problem-based strategies. I am thinking of integrating concepts from to create team projects where students create solutions for local and regional health and environmental challenges.
Just finished my last session at the Eastern Psychological Association. I enjoyed my first EPA conference. This was the first conference I was able to bring Washington College students to. They were part of a roundtable discussion on community engagement and had insightful contributions to this discussion. I was honored to be able to help organize the Society for Community Research & Action programming and chair two symposia in addition to this roundtable. This was a great opportunity to meet community faculty, researchers, and practitioners on the East Coast. I further enjoyed attending other Washington College sessions, having dinner with the group, and introducing students to others in the field. I feel I know fellow faculty members and our students much better after this bonding experience. In sum, EPA was an opportunity to learn and share ideas, meet new people, bond with my Washington College community, and serve the field.
I started things off by meeting up with Rob, who was coordinating poster judging for EPAGS. After judging a couple posters, I attended another poster session where Washington College students were presenting. This was also a good opportunity to visit the Taylor & Francis booth to see the Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community, which is celebrating its 20th year. I followed this up with a symposium on new approaches to mental health and learned a lot about screening, mental health first aid, and other innovations in Philly. Wow, they are really doing some amazing work here! Toward the end of the day, I met up with a Washington College student to discuss her senior thesis over chai tea. What a great low-key place to chat about research. Then, I capped off the evening with the annual Washington College EPA photo and dinner. It was a good opportunity to see the Washington College EPA entourage and their energy.
The second day was a rewarding one as well. I started the day off with Washington College posters in the morning. I then chaired an invited talk by Dr. Ferrari, who is conducting research on the Catholic Deacon community. After the talk, I visited some other Washington College student posters (notice a trend here) before and after Dr. Littlefield's workshop on grad school credentials, which was standing room only. What a great turnout! I also visited the community psychology poster session and met up with a former classmate, Bronwyn Hunter, who just landed a faculty position in UMBC's psychology department. We are looking forward to strengthening ties between our departments and collaborating on EPA community psychology programming. Unfortunately, I missed the final set of Washington College student posters, because I was chairing a roundtable discussion on community engagement with some of our students as well as faculty and community practitioners from the Eastern US. I was able to catch the end of Dr. Spilich's symposium on flipping the classroom though. Given the lively discussion, it must have been an great symposium. All-in-all, it was a highlight of my first-year at Washington College. I can't wait to see what next year at EPA will bring!
Manuscript Acceptance - Engagement & Disengagement in Mutual-Help Addiction Recovery Housing: A Test of Affective Events Theory
Engagement and disengagement in addiction recovery settings are important for these communities and their members. This study tested an Affective Events Theory (AET) model of these constructs in the Oxford House network of recovery homes. Residents’ congruence with their home (P-E fit) was hypothesized to directly influence behavior that supported the house and other residents—citizenship behavior. We further hypothesized P-E fit would be related to member intentions to leave, with attitudes toward the home mediating that relationship. To assess this, we administered a cross-sectional national survey to 296 residents of 83 randomly selected Oxford Houses. Although the AET model demonstrated good fit with the data, an alternative model fit better. This alternative model suggested an additional indirect relationship between P-E fit and citizenship mediated by attitudes. Results suggested affective experiences such as feeling like one fits with a community may influence engagement and disengagement. There appears to be a direct influence of fit on citizenship behavior and an indirect influence of fit through recovery home attitudes on both citizenship and intentions to leave the home. We conclude affective experiences could be important for community engagement and disengagement but AET may need to integrate cognitive dissonance theory.
Update: Now available via online first publication.
We installed the CERT window decals today. It is good to see the space transitioning into a community research lab. I guess the shingle is now hung and we are open for business!
As usual, the 2014 Oxford House World Convention was full of inspiring people and events. It is always a joy sharing our team's research developments and learning about both others' research and experiences of residents, alumni, and leadership.
First APA convention as a Washington College faculty member. No students with me today but I am looking forward to bringing some in the future.
Welcome to the Community Engagement Research Team. After six years of being a volunteer, research recruiter, graduate student, and research associate at DePaul University, I am starting as an Assistant Professor at Washington College. I have developed a new website for my research team there and hope to use it and my blog to communicate with colleagues and community members.
For all of those who have supported my training, career, and work, I appreciate all you have done and hope to pay your generosity forward to students at Washington College and the surrounding community there. Feel free to subscribe to my blog to keep posted of CERT and my other work. Alternatively, you can subscribe to my email newsletter, which will be a compilation of blog posts.
To my new colleagues, students, and communities of Washington College and Chestertown, I am eagerly awaiting opportunities to both teach and learn from you all. I look forward to continuing to gain skill in developing critical thinking and engagement in students while extending my line of community engagement research. Although I will be continuing my Oxford House and Alcoholics Anonymous engagement work, I expect to also look at engagement in other communities.
With that, I wish to bid farewell to Chicago and DePaul and say hello to Washington College and Chestertown!