Earlier this week, I had coffee with a colleague–Dr. Todd Davis. A couple of days later, I shared some adult beverages with Todd, his wife Shana, and Dr. Doug Stahl at the Estabrook Beer Garden. The preliminary purpose of our gathering was to discuss a research project we’re about to enact–but that wasn’t the real intent of our after-work soirée. Just as the intent of doing this specific research isn’t for the sole purpose of better understanding the long-term affects of sending students into the developing world to engage in engineering-related service projects.
What was the intent? From my perspective, the purpose was (or is) found in community. I’ve worked with these people for several years and am proud to call them colleagues. This research project that we’re starting is a structured opportunity to spend meaningful time with these meaningful people. Doing research is a great learning opportunity, but the quality of the research experience is in large part dependent on the quality of the people you share it with. I choose to share it with Todd, Shana, and Doug.