In higher education, service is this nebulous term that everyone thinks they know what it is, but really, no one does. For me, I think of service as giving back, and it takes many forms. Thinking of it in terms of university service and national service to my field has also helped me conceptualize how service overlaps with both teaching and research.
For example, within this category, I do not list my work within my program, which is something that many faculty do. I instead list it under Teaching (Programmatic Work) because doing programmatic work directly impacts how and what we teach and student learning. And for me, programmatic work is a big part of my research.
Another example is my service to Women in Tech Comm. While that is definitely giving back to the field at a national level, it is also turning into research because the more data we gathered, the more we realized we were creating something new for the mentoring scholarship.
For many people, service is something that they dread. It is true that at times it can be onerous and it can also be and feel like a waste of time. However, I remind myself that my university works–things get done–because faculty do them, and someone has to be the one to do things. It’s not all glamorous or high profile, but from curriculum committees to faculty research symposia committees to professional development time that focuses on teaching, it all effects our lives as professors. And no matter the type or the kind, you just have to put your head down and do the work.
Learn more information about my university service and my national service to my field of technical and professional writing:
- Council of Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication
- Rhetorics of Health and Medicine
- Society for Technical Communication Academic Special Interest Group
For all the nitty gritty details of various committees, lectures, workshops, reviewer responsibilities, and more, download my CV.