Haring Center

October 9, 2023

Homecoming Q&A

with Ariane Gauvreau, Senior Director, Professional Development and Training and Kathleen Meeker, Research Director and incoming Haring Center Director

The opening of the newly renovated Haring Center will be the first time in over four years that the Haring Center research, professional development teams, and EEU staff and students will all be under one roof. We are thrilled to be coming back together as a team which will only serve to strengthen the work we do.

Q: Why is it important for your teams to have shared space at the Haring Center?

Ariane: We have really missed in person collaboration. Our Professional Development team has met in the community – at coffee shops, parks, and in our temporary space – but we miss being with our EEU and research colleagues. Being close to classrooms and our colleagues doing research lets us collaborate so much more.

Kathleen: I completely agree with Ariane. We have really missed seeing one another at the Haring Center. For the past few years, researchers have re-connected with one another in various campus locations. We’re grateful for the spaces we’ve had, but we cannot wait to be back in a space that’s made for the kind of work we do! Our smaller temporary spaces have meant limited opportunities for researchers to talk and learn across projects. We’ve been able to find meeting spaces and desk space, but we haven’t been able to bring everyone together—or bump into someone from a different research project and ask a question. Our work happens in relationships with one another, schools, families, and communities. Those relationships thrive when we’re physically together.

Q: How will the shared workspace impact your work?

Ariane: This will enhance our work immensely. All of our partnerships with schools and districts involve a team – sometimes we have just two people working on a contract, and other times there are six of us. Having a shared space where we can meet in person, easily create materials, brainstorm together, and discuss our work, will make the PD we do with teaching teams so much better.

Kathleen: I’m so excited to see all the benefits a new shared workspace has for our work! Graduate students, faculty, and research scientists will sit side-by-side and sketch out the next generation of research. Every grant that runs through the Haring Center is supported by a team—sometimes, over a dozen people work on a single funded project. A central part of our mission is preparing future researchers, and I think graduate student research will be transformed by the new space. They’ll have access to all the resources they need, on-site mentorship, and stronger relationships with our EEU and Professional Development colleagues!

Q: What are you most excited about when we return to the building?

Ariane: Seeing all the Haring Center staff and members!

Kathleen: As a researcher and a COE faculty member, I’m most excited about being able to pop into a classroom or an observation booth and see our College of Education students (future teachers) working with kids. And all the new ideas that get sparked in classrooms.

Q: What did you miss the most about working in the building?

Ariane: I think we are all ready to be done working from home! I miss seeing my colleagues in person, seeing kids, and seeing families.

Kathleen: I missed seeing and hearing children and teachers every day.