USD’s Office of Research hosted its annual New Faculty Reception in the Muenster University Center Ballroom last Wednesday, Nov. 3. The event, which was able to be held again after a hiatus last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, allows new faculty members to connect with faculty in the Office of Research in order to facilitate their research.
Kevin O’Kelley, Assistant Vice President for Research Compliance, who helped put together the event, said it helps to introduce new faculty to the systems USD uses for managing research, funding and applications.
“In addition, we want to introduce the researchers to each other, and to several of the centers we have on campus—research centers, because the emphasis now is very heavily on collaborative research,” O’Kelley said.
The event is intended as an icebreaker between researchers and the office of research.
“When you first come to campus, or when you first move to a new town, new school, it’s hard to break into a clique or a group of people,” O’Kelley said. “We want them not to be shy with us, but instead to know who we are.”
The event featured tables for different research areas. Wine was served, along with cheese, crackers and cookies.
“It’s a social event,” O’Kelley said. “It’s not a lecture opportunity, where we try to meet people on a social level.”
O’Kelley said the biggest consideration in planning the event was time.
“Professors are busy people,” O’Kelley said. “So we pick a time we hope as many people come as can, we’re doing it during work hours, because afterward people go home, and we didn’t want anything on the weekend, didn’t want to interfere with anybody’s personal life.”
O’Kelley said the office is excited to be able to plan in-person events again, and to start back up outreach programs to different departments at USD that were put on hiatus during the past year.
“What’s going well now is how excited we are to be able to meet the researchers again, face to face,” O’Kelley said. “Zoom is great. But it’s not the same as being in-person.”