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Melissa Cuba

Holmes Scholar, Virginia Commonwealth University

Member Voices: Learning to Navigate New Spaces at Washington Week

AACTE Consultant Jane E. West and the author at the Holmes Summer Policy Institute in Washington, DC

I often ask myself, “How can I use my work as an emerging researcher and scholar to help inform educational policy and practice?” Sadly, the implications section of the manuscripts I have produced and even read often feels distant and unattainable, especially without an audience that is empowered to take action. Thankfully, this month’s AACTE Holmes Summer Policy Institute helped me see how I could navigate a new space and translate my work to impact change.

During the sessions, I realized the importance of building relationships, knowing the agenda, and sharing my work in multiple mediums. I learned the importance of branding and using social media to promote the work I am doing and also to inform my community in ways that are accessible. While that may feel foreign to some, including me, I know I can post a section of a paper I am working on or some key data that might get some people to think twice about an education-related topic.

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