Professional update: After 6 years of leading one of the nation’s first applied research centers dedicated to student-focused studies of college-work dynamics, I’m happy to announce that I’m stepping down as Director of the Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions (CCWT) at UW-Madison.
I’ll be handing over the reins to my trusted and amazing college – Dr. Mindi Thompson – who has been co-directing the Center with me over the past couple of years, charting a new direction for our research, public education, and advocacy efforts. Dr. Thompson’s expertise in counseling and vocational psychology and commitment to student-centered research will bring a unique and valuable perspective into a field of inquiry where psychological perspectives remain uncommon. Given the strains our nation’s students have been under since the pandemic and other social and ecological disruptions, attention to their well-being and psychosocial resilience should be at the forefront of discussions about work-based learning, skills gaps, and workforce development.
It's been a productive and impactful 6 years since launching the Center with seed funding from the School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison back in 2017. With generous support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and Strada Education Foundation, we’ve been able to create and launch the National Survey of College Internships (NSCI), host studies of internship efficacy and impacts at HBCUs and HSIs, hold numerous webinars and conferences, publish a long list of reports and papers, create a train-the-trainer programs focused on student well-being, and serve as a launching pad for new projects for several early career scholars.
It's been a privilege to shepherd the resources of UW-Madison and supporting funders to create research and outreach programs that hopefully have had a positive impact on the world. But now it’s time for me to take some time to attend to some medical issues and hit the pause button on the intense pace of activity of the past several years. I’ll continue to be involved in CCWT as a researcher working on climate-related issues, internships, and faculty development programs, and am excited to see the new directions that Dr. Thompson and the team take the work. Thank you to everyone who has supported me and engaged the work of CCWT over the past several years!