It has been much too long since I last posted. Well, life happens, but mostly uni life. I upgraded, attended several conferences, conducted 7 interviews for my dissertation (also across Europe) and arrived to New York. This is where I am now Fulbright Scholar at Wagner College.
Last year was a rollercoaster so I enjoy getting my daily routine of work in one place for a change. Wagner takes wonderful care of me, as I now have my own office with a meeting space, hardly normal conditions for a PhD student life. As you can see, it has one of the typical, lovely American campuses. There will certainly be a time that I write more about my small culture shocks and other things you only get to see when you are around for longer, not just visiting. Thanks to John Esser, who is kind of my guardian here, as well as Lily McNair, Jeffrey Kraus, Richard Guarasci, and obviously Fulbright Commission, I would work at Wagner. Incredible amount of time, at least compared to the time perspective I was used to.
While I still have some loose ends from before, I hope to get over it in the coming weeks so that I can focus on what is in from of me. First, it is small research project that I tentatively call “pragmatic consensus in action; trends in liberal education in the USA”. I believe that Wagner Plan for Practical Liberal Arts is comprehensive solution to some of the common tensions seen in American discourse on liberal education recently. So they are unique, in some ways, but the pressures they experience at Wagner are hardly unique. This work is an extension on my preliminary research that has just been published as an article in “Educational Studies. Moscow”. By the way, this is my first journal article, already bilingual (English and Russian). For the project, I attend fieldtrips, faculty meetings, as well as conduct interviews. I hope this to be a valuable addition to my knowledge of liberal education in comparative perspective.
To understand better what I see, I finally managed to find time to do some readings. There are many books to read obviously, but now I focus on new ones: “Paying the Price” by Sara Goldrick-Rab, and “The Great Mistake” by Christopher Newfield. This long-time attention given to one topic and one author is something that I really missed for some time now.
My work at University of Winchester obviously continues. I prepared two extended abstracts that are based on my upgrade submission, one conceptual and one empirical. Not exactly sure what I would do with them yet, but it helped me to see some broader relevance of my niche research. Just in September, I was awarded Vice-Chancellor Award for Excellence in Research, and a month later I was again happy to receive Julie J. Kidd ECOLAS Travel Research Fellowship. I plan to use both awards to pay for my American trips to consult my work that I plan to use for dissertation.
All of this require a better description. I plan to disclose all the papers/projects I am now working on in Research Gate, as well as update my publication record with MISH article that is in print in “Working Papers in Higher Education Studies” (in English) as well as “Nauka i Szkolnictwo Wyższe” (in Polish). I also think that I should finally transform this blog, both visually and content-wise, into a daily/weekly writing outlet in a first place, and a platform to think on my projects, questions and their connections. Occassionally, I might also refer to some other work that I do, “consulting” or saying my thing to people who I am not professionally connected but we often speak about higher education with regards to their projects. Or write a word or two on my plans, where am I headed in my life as a researcher. This would most certainly be done before the end of the year, and I hope that would give you more reasons to visit my blog than shameless blowing my own trumpet.