We live and work in a world of constant and considerable change. Some transitions can feel threatening and overwhelming, other changes can feel like the world has opened up its oysters to surpass our greatest positive dreams. But whether we perceive a change as positive or negative, one thing is true of all changes – each brings opportunity. Some tremendous events have been occurring on the world political stage of late and these events have impacted many of us in a variety of ways and will continue to bring waves of impact in the upcoming years.
As President of SRA, I feel a great desire to reach out to all of you, my colleagues, my friends, my comrades in arms that actually understand what I’m saying when I speak the words “indirect costs” or “IRB” or “Horizon 2020”. Regardless of how we might be feeling individually at this time, it is so vitally important that we join together in unity and stand for one another with a message of reassurance, inclusion, care and hope. We are here to learn from one another, brainstorm new ideas and ways of performing, support and mentor each other in our individual goals in this professional realm we call research administration.
I must also send a message of gratitude to those who laid the foundation of an organization where we can feel safe and nurtured as we learn and grow, to those who show up consistently on their own time and dime to deliver on SRA’s promise, and to those who haven’t even met us yet that will continue to edify us in the future with their new ideas and ways of dealing with our rapidly changing situations. Thank you.
I would also like to put out a challenge, a call to action. I know so many of us are incredibly busy and working overtime but let’s take a big breath sit back and ask ourselves what is really important in this world. What matters most? There is no better time than now to engage, to check in on colleagues you haven’t heard from in a while, to reach out and ensure that your fellows are not feeling drowned, disenfranchised or ignored. If you are feeling alone and overwhelmed with the world, there is no better time than now to pick up the phone or send an email and ask “how can I best engage?” Or, even better, “This is what I can offer – plug me in.” Surround yourself with the nurturing we all must have in order to succeed in challenging times.
Please know that I and the rest of the SRA team are here for you just as I know you are here for me. No hurdle is insurmountable when we face it together. And although it may sound trite or cliché, our diversity truly is our strength. This is where we find the confidence to turn any challenge that might greet us into opportunity.
With hope and gratitude,