PKAL Volume IV: What Works, What Matters, What Lasts

Interviews & Stories: People We've Met Along the Way

The importance of regular moments for reflecting on, analyzing, and imagining one’s career is a key lesson learned from reviewing the lives and work of people involved in the work of transforming undergraduate STEM learning— people within and beyond PKAL. A second key lesson learned is the value of sharing those reflections, as a means to build a community with a common language and vision.

Autobiographical stories, interviews, and personal statements from peers challenge each of us about the significance of relationships in shaping and sustaining a meaningful career. Relationships that matter are to people whose out-of-the box thinking opens up new worlds of possibilities and connections; further relationship that matter are to those whose lives illustrate the power of taking small steps and of making breath-takingly dramatic decisions about new directions. Stories can be cautionary tales, or compelling visions of the future. Interviews can be distilled down to very specific advice and counsel for life within and beyond the campus.

Sometime in the recent past, the advice from NSF to prospective grantees (those preparing proposals to NSF) was that: “A successful proposal should make the reviewer respond, what a great idea, I wish I had thought of that.” We hope such an aha moment arises as you read these stories and interviews.