Service has always been an important and significant aspect of my life. Both of my parents were active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) throughout my childhood, with both serving in leadership positions at various points. Even before I was old enough to join as a member, I joined my parents in serving at fundraiser events and conventions. When I joined as a member, I took my service a step further by taking on the position of Conductress for the VFW Post 2799 Auxiliary, Flag Bearer for the VFW District 8 Auxiliary, and various chairmanships. While it has been several years since I’ve last held a position with the VFW, I still maintain my membership, volunteer when I am able, and assist my mother with her continued service to the organization.

While the VFW may not be directly related to teacher education or educational technology, I carry that heart for service and leadership into my career and future. I understand the importance of organizations in providing a community for people with a commonality, whether that is a community of veterans and their families or a community of academics. Professional organizations provide a place to network with other academics in the field, creating opportunities for collaboration and research. Regardless of the specific path that my career may take over the next thirty years, professional organizations will always be an integral part of my professional life, and I intend to continue serving them the best of my ability.

One of the simplest and yet most impactful ways for an academic to give back is through peer review, and I strive to take every peer review opportunity that aligns to my research interests, including reviewing conference proposals and a book manuscript. I have grown in leadership with the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), specifically the Graduate Student Assembly (GSA), and I intend to extend my service to other AECT divisions as well as the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

Primary Evidence

I. Organizational Leadership and Volunteer Work

Social Media Officer, Graduate Student Assembly (GSA), 2021-2022

  • Managed GSA social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
  • Created and managed GSA LinkedIn group
  • Managed a team of GSA members for collecting relevant articles to share according to the editorial calendar
  • Collaborated with Communications Officer
  • Created visuals for disseminating important GSA information

Bylaws Committee, Graduate Student Assembly (GSA), 2022 – present

  • Collaborated with others to review and revise the existing GSA bylaws and handbook

Professional Development Committee, Graduate Student Assembly (GSA), 2022 – present

  • Collaborated with others to plan and host GSA webinars

2022 AECT International Convention

  • Volunteered on the GSA Convention Sessions Planning Committee
  • Volunteered on the GSA Research Showcase Committee
  • Created a brochure of GSA Convention Sessions
  • Moderated GSA session “Navigating the Organizational or Institutional Leadership: The Benefits and Challenges to Taking on Leadership Roles”

2021 AECT International Convention

  • Volunteered at the GSA Welcome Table
  • Volunteered at the GSA Meet & Greet Event

AECT has been an instrumental organization in my growth as an academic and a researcher; therefore, it is important to me to give back to the organization as much as I am capable. So far, this has come in the form of volunteer and leadership experience in the Graduate Student Assembly and convention service. Serving in GSA leadership has taught me lessons in leadership and collaboration.

II. Peer Review Service

Springer, 2022

  • Reviewed 1 book manuscript

2022 AECT International Convention

  • Reviewed 5 proposals for the Division of Distance Learning (DDL)
  • Reviewed 2 proposals for the Learner Engagement Division (LED)

AERA 2022 Annual Meeting

  • Reviewed 10 proposals for Division C – Learning and Instruction, Section 3b: Technology-Based Environments

ISTE Live 2022

  • Reviewed 5 Creation Lab proposals under the topic “Creativity & Creation Tools”

2021 AECT International Convention

  • Reviewed 3 proposals for the Division of Distance Learning (DDL)
  • Reviewed 2 proposals for the Teacher Education Division (TED)
  • Reviewed 1 proposal for the Division of Emerging Learning Technologies (DELT)

Reviewing conference proposals and book manuscripts may not be the most glamorous of tasks, but it does offer a number of significant benefits to the reviewer, the author, and the field. As a researcher, completing these reviews has taught me what makes good academic writing and has given me insights into the research occurring in my field.

III. Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Internship, Summer 2020

As a part of the inaugural group of interns, I collaborated directly with training specialists, subject matter experts, and instructors to develop asynchronous learning modules using Articulate 360. This internship lasted a total of 9 weeks, during which time I logged approximately 80 hours of work. In addition to working on existing learning modules and creating a new learning module from scratch, I also created the Equipping Leaders with HR Fundamentals logo seen in the screenshots below and developed a template that could be used for the creation of future learning modules.

Occurring in the summer before I began the ISDT doctoral program, this internship was completed entirely outside of coursework and without pay.

The following documents show my formal evaluation as an intern as well as a letter of recommendation.

The majority of my previous work has related to education in some way; this internship was an opportunity for me to stretch my instructional design skills beyond the K12 or higher education classrooms. In addition to the invaluable experience with Articulate software, I learned how to collaborate with a subject matter expert when the content is well outside my purview. This internship also provided me hands-on experience to which I could frequently refer during my subsequent coursework.

Supplementary Evidence

IV. Graphic Design

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 2799

As my graphic design skills have improved through my work on presentation and educational media design, I’ve used them in areas outside of learning and education. I created various visuals for the VFW Post 2799 in New Springfield, Ohio, where I have been a member since I turned sixteen. This organization has played a significant role in my life, so I am thrilled to have the chance to give back with the skills that I have gained.

V. Additional Professional Organizations

I am a current member of the following professional organizations:

  • Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT)
    • Divisions:
      • Design and Development
      • Distance Learning
      • Emerging Learning Technologies
      • Teacher Education
      • Graduate Student Assembly
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
    • Divisions:
      • Learning and Instruction
      • Teacher and Teacher Education
    • Special Interest Group:
      • Online Teaching and Learning
  • International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
    • Professional Learning Networks:
      • EdTech Coaches Network
      • Inclusive Learning Network
      • Online and Blended Learning Network
      • Teacher Education Network
  • Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE)
    • Special Interest Groups:
      • Distance/Flexible Education
      • Instructional Design
      • Technological, Pedagogical and Content Knowledge
  • Texas Distance Learning Association (TxDLA)
  • Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA)
  • Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)
  • National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)

Professional organizations provide necessary support and camaraderie, especially for young professionals at the beginning of their careers. These organizations have played an important part in my development. My very first conference presentation was as an undergraduate student presenting with my class at the 2013 NCTE Conference in Boston. I moderated multiple days of a slow Twitter chat book study for the EdTech Coaches PLN of ISTE. Each organization offers unique professional development and networking opportunities.