Journeys in Research
From Sabbatical to Service: Discovering Your Next Research Project

From Sabbatical to Service: Discovering Your Next Research Project

April 6, 2021

Episode Six

Special Guest: Alysia Roehrig

In Episode Six, Alysia Roehrig shares the benefits of sabbaticals and how she helped bring Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® to Leon County.

Alysia Roehrig, Professor of Educational Psychology, joined the faculty at Florida State University in 2003 and serves as the Learning and Cognition Program Coordinator. She earned both her Ph.D. and M.A. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Roehrig’s research interests focus on issues related to effective teaching, particularly exploring the successes of students labeled at risk for school failure. She has published several articles, co-authored the book, No more sharpening pencils during work time and other time wasters, with her former doctoral student Beth Brinkerhoff, and helped update the 7th edition of the widely adopted textbook Educational Psychology by Santrock for McGraw Hill. Roehrig is the Principal Investigator and Director of PURPOSE: Partners United for Research Pathways Oriented to Social Justice in Education. Funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, PURPOSE is dedicated to increasing diversity in the doctorate of education.

For Show Notes and further resources, visit our Home Page.

Research in Movement: Running, Directing, and Funding a World-Class Dance Company

Research in Movement: Running, Directing, and Funding a World-Class Dance Company

February 25, 2021

Episode Five

Special Guest: Jawole Willa Jo Zollar

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar is in the profession of creating. Inspired by jazz from an early age, she embraces a methodology based on collaboration, strength, and finding the shared genius in the room. In Episode Five, Jawole shares how she has navigated the administrative side of running a performance company and persevered in her pursuit of arts funding, all while remaining true to her artistic vision.

Zollar is the Nancy Smith Fichter Professor of Dance at Florida State University, and in 2011 she received FSU's prestigious Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Award. She earned her B.A in dance from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and later her M.F.A. in dance from Florida State University. After moving to New York City to study with Dianne McIntyre from Sounds in Motion, Zollar founded Urban Bush Women in 1984. The UBW was founded as a performance ensemble dedicated to exploring the use of cultural expression as a catalyst for social change. Along with creating 34 works for UBW, Jawole has also directed pieces for several dance companies including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Philadanco, and University Maryland. UBW is among only 20 companies to be honored by the Ford Foundation as one of America's Cultural Treasures.

Teaming Up for the Long Haul: How to Build a Strong Research Team that Lasts

Teaming Up for the Long Haul: How to Build a Strong Research Team that Lasts

February 4, 2021

Episode Four

Special Guest: Neil Charness

What makes a strong research team? And what makes it last? 

Dr. Neil Charness joined the CREATE research team in 1999, and that team has been continuously funded for 20 years and counting. 

In Episode Four, Neil shares his perspective on team formation and team longevity. He also shares how games and happy accidents led him to the field of gerontechnology and to interdisciplinary research.

Dr. Charness is the William G. Chase Professor of Psychology and the Director of the Institute for Successful Longevity at Florida State University. He received his BA from McGill University followed by his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in Psychology. Dr. Charness also serves as the Associate Director for the University Transportation Center (ASAP) and the Associate of the Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy. His current research focus is on aging and technology use from a Human Factors Perspective, Older Driver and Pedestrian Safety, and Aging and Exert Performance.

“Dusty Hills” by Ketsa is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Try, Try Again: Lessons Learned as an NSF Panelist

Try, Try Again: Lessons Learned as an NSF Panelist

December 18, 2020

Episode Three

Special Guest: David Whalley

In Episode Three, Computer Science professor David Whalley shares the lessons he learned on his journey to obtain funding from the National Science Foundation, and how he persevered through rejection and made every proposal count.

Before becoming a professor at Florida State University, David Whalley earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Virginia. He has received various awards since, including the E.P. Miles professorship for the Computer Science Department, ACM Distinguished Membership, the Florida State University Distinguished Research Professor award, and most recently a fellowship with IEEE. Dr Whalley’s current research interests include optimizing compilers, compilation tools, embedded systems, computer architecture, performance evaluation, WCET Prediction, and energy-efficient processors. Dr. Whalley’s current research is supported by the National Science Foundation. 

Data and Discoveries: Becoming a Maverick in Your Research

Data and Discoveries: Becoming a Maverick in Your Research

December 11, 2020

Episode Two

Special Guest: Sharon E. Nicholson

Episode Two follows Dr. Sharon E. Nicholson to the West African Sahel. To the desert. Nicholson started her journey as a curious young researcher, unafraid to question her superiors and became an internationally-recognized research powerhouse, who successfully turned a paradigm on its head and changed how climatologists think about the desert.

The 2020 - 21 Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor, Dr. Sharon E. Nicholson is a world-renowned climatologist and professor of Meteorology for the Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Science at Florida State University. She has garnered several awards, including the Humboldt Research Award, which she received for her work on the effects of climate on dry environments in Africa. Her research has had a major impact not only her area of expertise, but on the fields of hydrology, physical geography, remote sensing, arid land studies, and paleoclimatology.


How to Refocus Your Research After COVID-19

How to Refocus Your Research After COVID-19

December 1, 2020

Episode One

Special Guest: Anne Coldiron


One of FSU's eleven Krafft Professors, Anne Coldiron earned her Ph.D. in English at the University of Virginia; her undergraduate degrees are in French from Wake Forest University and the University of Paris. She was The Berry Chair in English Literature at St Andrews in Scotland in 2017-18.

Coldiron is the author of three major books, one edited collection of essays, and more than eighty published essays. She has won, as of July 1, 2020, over one million dollars in research funding over the course of her academic career. But she is proudest of the accomplishments of her students: every dissertation she has directed has resulted in at least one major national grant or fellowship for the student, as well as numerous publications by them. Her former mentees now work in institutions as varied as small liberal arts colleges, research universities, the NEH, Cambridge University.



Segment 1: How to Refocus Your Research After COVID-19 

Assess what has been lost or damaged within the research. Focus on changing the objects of study, methodology, and anything that can contribute to the research topic that was not planned before. 

Ask yourself: How can I meet the larger goal of contributing to human knowledge and improving human life through my the research?  



Segment 2: How to re-establishing research and publisher connections after Covid-19 

Come up with a series of long-term and short-term backup plans. Reach out to supporters and editors and explain what's going on. They are more understanding than you might expect. Speak to them about a backup plan to show the work is not being abandoned, just readjusted.  

Since the pandemic, there is a new flexibility from editors, presses, and grant organizations. For instance, The American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship program has turned their focus to untenured faculty. 



Segment 3: How to communicate with existing collaborators and find new opportunities to collaborate after COVID-19 

Establish relationships with as many people as you can. Ask for help when you need it. Do not be afraid to speak with someone to discuss your work. More likely than not, they will be honest with you. After the pandemic, researchers have a renewed opportunity to reach out to press editors and begin to form relationships with them.  

Communication is key, especially when working with collaborators. Contact collaborators to brainstorm ideas, plans, and solutions. Find out more about them; get to know their interests and their restraints.   

When presenting your research at your first conference, reach out to other members who have attended. Discover their interests and ask for their email regardless of whether your interests intersect. Research is always evolving. In the future, you may come across a research topic that needs collaborators.  


29:23- 37:-01

Segment 4: Advice for today’s research faculty  

Find your own reason for doing the research you are doing, use your strengths to the fullest, and strengthen your weaknesses. Strengthen your weaknesses by exploring other fields of study. Always be ready to learn and learn more

Find research you can be passionate about. Refine what you know, make it better, then share it with others in hopes that it will help them in the future. 


Journeys in Research is a production of the Office of Research Development at Florida State University.   

We’d love to hear from you! Please send questions or suggestions for episodes to with the word “Podcast” in the title.  

Special thanks to everyone who helped make our first episode possible: Beth Hodges, Cece Pierre, Mike Mitchell, Grace Adkison, Rachel Goff-Albritton, Walter Lee, and Neil Coker. 

Hosted by Evangeline Coker. 

Music for this episode by Ketsa. “Dusty Hills” by Ketsa is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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