Minds mingle over research

Minds+mingle+over+research

Akasha Khalsa

Faculty Buzz, an event aimed at integrating new faculty at the university, plans to hold a session this semester, responding to an increased demand for the networking opportunity it provides. This Spring Session will be held at 2 p.m. on Feb. 21 in Jamrich 1318.

Faculty Buzz sessions are held every fall semester, but this year a new session has been added in the winter semester as well. This step was taken to assist in integrating new faculty members during the off-semester, Assistant Director of Grant and Development and Training Center Kristin Beck said.

“This is a wonderful event that gives a brief overview of the Grants and Contracts Office, Graduate Education Office, the McNair Scholars and Freshman Fellows programs, but more importantly gives the campus community a brief background into the scholarly activity of the New Faculty at Northern Michigan University,” Beck said. 

The New Faculty Buzz Session started in fall of 2014, but this winter will mark the first time that Faculty Buzz is held in the second semester. This change was made to accomodate more new faculty.

New faculty members at the university are encouraged to send in two slides outlining the research and scholarly activity they have conducted, as well as their interests which will guide research in their future. They are invited to speak on their slides during the event and to take questions from other attendees. 

The event will last about two hours, with attendees welcome to pass in and out as needed, due to their various busy schedules. Light refreshments and beverages will be provided as well, Beck said.

“One of my favorite things about the Buzz session is that faculty from very different departments, with varied research interests, find connections to link their research together. This is very helpful to not only build collaborations across campus, but also to build interdisciplinary teams that may be successful for external grant funding,” Beck said. 

The new faculty may feel that they have a community to connect and collaborate with on campus, Beck said.

In one example of the collaboration that can come from this awareness of the scholarly community at NMU that Faculty Buzz provided, Assistant Professor of biology Guiseppe Cortese began working with researchers in the neuroscience program on the possibility of joint research projects.

During the recent fall semester session of Faculty Buzz, Beck said that a number of new faculty attended, including social work Instructor Caroline Cheng; Assistant Professor of English Madelyn Pawlowski; Assistant Professor of chemistry Philip Yangyuoru; Assistant Professor of earth, environmental and geological sciences Ryan Stock; Cortese; visiting faculty for military science Jessica Copi; Assistant Professor of speech, language and hearing sciences Maryam Khaledi and assistant professors of psychological science Jon Barch and Vincent Jeevar.

Until recently, Faculty Buzz was held in a smaller space in Jamrich, but the event’s growth in recent years has necessitated several shifts in locations to larger rooms so that the number of attending faculty could fit.

“I expect a similar number of faculty to be presenting this week at the spring session,” Beck said.