Breaking Silos and Reducing Replication
Since joining MIDB in 2020 as director of community engagement and education, Anita Randolph, PhD, has met with many colleagues around the University to explore possible collaborations. What she discovered through these conversations was an opportunity to leverage the synergy between the engagement goals of MIDB with other U centers and departments.
“In all of these conversations, I realized that the engagement community is very siloed with each department doing its own engagement work,” said Randolph. “The duplication of programs was astounding.”
Randolph then pitched the idea for the groups—including MIDB; the Graduate Program in Neuroscience; the College of Biological Sciences; the Institute of Child Development; the Office of Biomedical Graduate Research, Education and Training; and others—to combine the strengths of all programs and work together to expand community engagement to make a tangible impact.
“By coming together and sharing resources, we can reduce duplicate efforts and more effectively pursue grants to fund initiatives so that we can dream big and increase programming to make a big impact that the community can feel,” said Randolph.
Early goals for the group include merging duplicate programs and rebranding them to reflect the collective consortium, and developing an interactive community engagement website and a newsletter that equally highlights brain focused community engagement across all the participating units.
“By engaging collectively together, we can scale up our shared engagement activities to benefit our communities,” said Randolph. “My hope is to provide a space where all people interested in community engagement can get together to pitch ideas and find support within the institution.”