Seasoned scholars share research tips

Megan Mojica
Staff Writer 

The La Verne Academy hosted its first lecture series of the semester, “Building and Maintaining a Successful Research Agenda: Ideas and Pitfalls,” Tuesday via Zoom. 

The panel featured Academy members Ngoc Bui, professor of psychology and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Professor of History Ken Marcus; and Professor of Management Issam Ghazzawi. 

The lecture brought ULV faculty and academy members together in an open discussion about research projects. 

The discussion began with a brief introduction and a few words of advice from each speaker. 

“Building a research agenda is never an accident, it is always the result of a commitment to excellence in a scholarly world,” Ghazzawi said. 

The three speakers discussed time management, the publication process and facing rejection.    

Bui shared that because of sometimes limited time for research, she seeks collaboration with colleagues. 

Finding and managing time was one of the biggest obstacles panelists and participants said they needed to address.

Ghazzawi said creating goal oriented habits helps.

“You need to have a habit of writing and progressing towards your goal,” Ghazzawi said.

Audience members also shared prioritizing their work, finding peers to help, carving out time daily or weekly and finding what times they are most productive can help tremendously.

Although time management may look different to each person, Professor of Religion Jonathan Reed said his biggest takeaway from the lecture was their discussion around time management. 

“For me, the key issue is time, and how you do time management properly so that you can dedicate sufficient time,” Reed said.

In addition to work balance, the group discussed the difficulties that are faced in finding a publisher and publishing academic articles; From researching and making sure the publisher aligns with a person’s topic and is inclusive to authors, to navigating open access journals. 

Among these publishing difficulties the biggest obstacle authors face is receiving rejections, but Marcus viewed it as a growth opportunity. 

“I think rejection comes with the business and you have to deal with it and you have to develop a thick skin,” Marcus said. “And look at it as an incentive and a way of improving.” 

Ghazzawi said it is best to stay focused and not worry about rejection. 

“You don’t have to be good to start, but you need to start to be good,” Ghazzawi said.

Among the great discussion and collaboration among the group, Professor of Public Administration Marcia Godwin viewed the lecture as a way to bring the campus faculty together. 

“It’s about recognizing that we are really a community and that there’s a need to have both peers and mentors,” Godwin said.

Professor Emeritus and La Verne Academy founder Al Clark said he was satisfied with the lecture. 

“I thought it was really very helpful, it’s the kind of thing many faculty need to help them on their way to publication,” Clark said.

Megan Mojica can be reached at megan.mojica@laverne.edu.  

Megan Mojica, a junior broadcast journalism major, is a staff writer for the Campus Times.

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