How is your summer going so far? Have you recovered from the academic year? Are you ready to kickstart that research project you’ve kept in the wings for the past year? Got some crazy idea that you fortunately didn’t dismiss immediately but instead allowed to simmer, percolate, perhaps blossom into a legitimate research topic or question? Maybe you’re like me: Summer incites the research imagination to entertain grand designs for a social scientific Rube Goldberg a la Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine (the novel I’ve read at the beginning of every summer for the past 30 years).
At SSRC, there is no such thing as a “crazy” idea. We never summarily dismiss any notions, no matter how ludicrous they may seem at first. Instead, we carry them to their logical extremes in an attempt to make them not crazy but innovative and, above all else, attainable, realizable…in a word, DO-able. Who is this “we” I keep referring to? Well, it’s me. It’s our Senior Research Methodologist, Dr. Rachel Lovell. It’s Jessica Speer, our fabulous Research Specialist. It’s also Linda Levendusky, our Projects Coordinator, and Nandhini Gulasingam, our Senior Analyst for IT Solutions. But the real brawn and much of the brains that power our machine lies in the collective brain trust known as “The Research Assistants”.
I feel strongly that SSRC is privileged to employ five of the best graduate students in the greater Middle West, perhaps in the nation. This week I want to introduce you to them. If you’ve worked with us to any significant degree, chances are you’ve already met one or two of them. But most of you haven’t met these very fine scholars, and it’s my pleasure to present them to you in this issue (you’ll find their impressive bios in the sidebar). So read on and get acquainted with the people behind the scenes. Better yet, read on and then take a half hour out of your day to come by and pay us all a visit. Remember, your research is our business.
Greg Scott, PhD