Blogpost: Joining the National Forum Research Team

My name is Gina Gallagher and I am a Master’s student at the Center for Postsecondary and Higher Education here at the University of Michigan.  Prior to coming to Ann Arbor, I earned undergraduate degrees in Political Science and English from Indiana University and a Master’s degree in English from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.  I chose the University of Michigan not only for its renowned Higher Education program, but also because I was drawn to the work being done at the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good.

At The National Forum, I am primarily engaged with work on our Communications team.  The Communications team is an area of the National Forum that is a recent and growing addition.  We are responsible for strategizing ways to share the work of the National Forum with audiences near and far through the most powerful tools available to the modern scholar.  The nature of research undertaken at the National Forum is such that it needs to be shared with students, higher education practitioners and policy makers on a national level.  It involves important, relevant issues to the field of higher education, particularly concerning undocumented and underrepresented students, underprivileged urban communities (especially in Detroit), and applications of servant-leadership in higher education and beyond.

I am eager to work with talented researchers who have such a passion for their work.  The level of commitment at the National Forum runs deep, and we have a number of exciting research projects ongoing.  I am particularly enthusiastic to see the launch of our upcoming resource, which has tentatively been titled the uLEAD Network This online community will be available to practitioners in January and it promises to be a crucial resource in the field of undocumented students. I am also excited to see the publication and dissemination of our upcoming report, Voluntary Support at Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs): An Examination of the Relationship Between Private Support and Institutional Viability and its Impact on Access and Degree Completion.

Overall, my favorite aspect of the National Forum so far has been the sense of scholarly community.  The environment is very familial and supportive, but it is also an intellectually stimulating place to work.  Everyone involved understands that the work we are undertaking is significant, not only to us and the University of Michigan, but to the demographic of students and institutions which we examine and support.  I am honored and privileged to be joining this team at such an exciting time in its history and I look forward to the year ahead at the National Forum.

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