By Ashley Causey-Golden, Columbia University and APPAM Policy Council Student Representative
This is a statement that has been heard on every level of an organization, but as the APPAM Fall Research Conference gets closer, you should take a moment to think about what that statement means to you and why attending this conference is important.
APPAM provides a platform for multiple voices and perspectives to be shared. Your beliefs, experiences, and passions are important and vital to the research community and APPAM can be a platform for your story. As a first-time attendee last year, I can’t stress the importance for representation because research can be isolating at times, as you try to answer the questions that make you wonder and push through the days when you don’t feel like writing.
APPAM, for me, was that light at the end of the tunnel. It provided me the chance to sit and listen to people across the spectrum of experience and research. I had the opportunity to learn from seasoned researchers how to think about the multiple ways to approach a question. Attending APPAM showed me the multiple ways that I can represent and share my story.
The 40 for 40 Fellowship is an opportunity for young researchers, like me, to have a platform to not only use their voice, but to gain the support of a community. You are building confidence not only in the individual but are helping to ensure that the field remains diverse.
As the APPAM Fall Research Conference gets closer and the call for support for the 40 for 40 Fellowship draws to end, think about your experiences and perspectives on policy and what made you passionate about it. What are the personal stories connected to those perspectives? For most of us, it was a personal event that broadened our awareness of a topic or issue and made us want to pursue it.
For me, it was volunteering at a charter school and asking the questions about how to make education more equitable. Through the support of APPAM, I was able to experience my first conference and it provided me the possibility to expand what I thought was possible for me to achieve.
Representation matters and you have the chance through the 40 for 40 Fellowship to provide another researcher the opportunity to share their story.