Alana Stein

Making feasible plans is central to public scholarship. As I work to plan my project, I am very concerned about planning a feasible project that will still provide meaningful benefits to Yolo County Food Bank. I think project management is a crucial skill to develop for public scholars. Although project management and planning are important to any research project, I believe they are even more important in public scholarship due to the involvement of multiple parties and the more pressing timelines in the public sphere.

The collaboration of multiple parties in public scholarship can necessitate stronger emphasis on project planning. All parties must be able to agree on the goals of the project as well as a feasible plan for each party. This can be difficult to accomplish as each party as obligations out of the partnership, so a lot of coordination needs to go into the planning.

Since the academic world moves at a slow pace, it is often easy to forget the rapid pace at which ideas, movements, and publications move outside of academia. Compared to a dissertation research project that can take three years and wait an additional four years to be published, newspaper articles move at lightning speed. Community partners often need results within months, so it is necessary to carefully consider what can be done quickly.

As I am considering my project, I am trying to very carefully consider what I can do in two months. I have planned my project to be carried out in two stages. The first stage will involve mapping existing programming at the food bank. The second stage will involve interviews. As I work to further plan this second phase, I am very concerned about time required to do interviews, the amount of time each interview will last, and the amount of time it will take to do the resulting analysis of the interviews. These are all things that I need to work on planning more carefully with advice from others who have worked on similar projects before.