On “Giving Tuesday” I stood with a group of other faculty and staff from my university at a reception in our honor. We were thanked for contributing to the university foundation and for the various impacts of our dollars. My contribution was very small in comparison to the contribution of others at the gathering, but I was very glad to hear that it made a difference. It does.
As an international graduate student in the U. S. many years ago, I recall being thankful for every magnificent dollar that helped me progress towards my educational goal by funding my books, my supplies, my rent, my food……..my taxes…the list seemed endless at the time. If not for assistantships and scholarships, supportive family and friends, and a supportive EDRA (that felt like family) I would not have made it through. EDRA’s support at that time was multifaceted. I valued the great group of mentors and colleagues who showed genuine interest in my research. More importantly, I greatly enjoyed going to the conferences, always returning with a renewed sense of purpose. It required very creative financial maneuvering to attend the conferences (even more than required now) but I was always grateful that I could go using some student support from EDRA. I am very thankful for those influences during my formative years and for the long-lasting association with the EDRA family.
Now, as an EDRA member, I am giving back by sponsoring a new generation of students, who like me, will also hopefully find a home for their research. This became a priority because I recall my beginnings and my support. And, like I learned on Giving Tuesday, however small my contribution is, it will make a difference.
‘Tis the season for thanks and giving.
Dr. Betrabet Gulwadi is a Placemaker Member of the Environmental Design Research Association. Placemaker and Wayfinder members of EDRA make possible significant student member scholarships helping to ensure sustaining generations of EDRA members. If you would like to become a Placemaker or Wayfinder, or would like to make a donation to the Student Scholarship fund, please contact EDRA Headquarters at firstname.lastname@example.org.