Scholarly and Creative Expression
Through my own frustration at the lack of opportunities for authentic connection and shared goals, I have developed and led a series of multiday faculty professional development retreats over the last three years that center on building community, balance, and harmony between participants.
First called 'LeftBrainRightBrain Retreats or "LBRB" but now called the Convergence Retreat, these events are a blend of serious personal academic focus, joyful creative expression, shared duties for cooking and cleaning, and accountability through daily check ins with a group of 8 -10 colleagues from across disciplines and schools on campus.
The result of this coming together includes greater connections with colleagues from different schools, increased morale and sense of belonging at the institution, and academic output in the form of manuscripts for publication, creative work, and other products.
Testimonials from the retreats.
“One thing I hadn't imagined was how influential the experience was in terms of community building. I also didn't expect to accomplish so much. The structure of the work time--and being held accountable through sharing at the end of the day and retreat REALLY lit a fire under my ass. More than I expected it would.”
“I was able to build strong new friendships and working relationships across campus that I hadn't really thought about as an outcome. I also have been inspired to do more creatively and developed a more concrete appreciation for the role that it plays as an integrative part of my scholarly life, rather than something that I do merely as a personal indulgence”
“[The retreat] is really invaluable. Honest. It is really rare to just leave everything behind and spend several days creating and thinking and letting the Muses go where they will. I know that's hard to assess and quantify, but it really renewed my creative spirits”.