Assistant Professor, Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences
I really did not know what to expect going into the program. I came into it with an open mind and was really blown away by both the caliber of the program and the willingness of the participants to just open up and share. Here are my 2 main takeaways from the SEED program:
The first takeaway seems minor but is maybe the lesson I have used the most sense participating in SEED. One of my favorite discussions we had was centered around names and the importance of learning names and learning to say names correctly. I work in the basic science areas of UAMS, where many, if not most, of the people I encounter on a day-to-day basis, are not from Arkansas or even the United States. I realized after our SEED session that I have colleagues whose names get pronounced 2 or 3 different ways by different people and now understand how offensive that is. Why have we not bothered to stop and say, “How do YOU say your last name?”. I have also encountered this in the world of interviews, in which occasionally a candidate has a difficult name that no one has bothered to ask about. So, the name is butchered and the candidate is too shy/nervous to correct the interviewers. Thanks to SEED, I now know the value of a name and am working to spread that message to the people around me
My second takeaway doesn’t stem directly from a singular SEED lesson. That is, my favorite thing I learned during SEED is how amazing and diverse UAMS really is. Basic science researchers can sometimes feel isolated over on the east side of campus. We’re not often going to casually build relationships with clinicians or nurses or folks from billing or legal, etc. because many of us just aren’t in close proximity to any of these departments. SO, I was really honored to get to be a part of a group that included people from all over campus in all different departments and to learn that, despite all of the differences we have on the surface, when you dig down just a little bit, we really do have so much in common. Our core values, our willingness to listen, our weaknesses and our worries.
In getting to know my fellow SEED participants, I have become prouder than ever to be a part of this University,