This month’s community call was part of an ongoing series focusing on the role of community, and the community manager, in STEM. These conversations flowed from the 25 Community Manager Case Studies we published earlier this year, and we’ll be publishing a report to summarize our findings in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can catch up on our August (an overview of the case studies project) and September (a conversation about self-advocacy for community managers) calls on the CSCCE blog, and add our November call (which will focus on supporting and recognizing volunteers) to your calendar.
One of the common challenges identified from the case studies is that many community managers feel that their role is poorly understood, and so people in these roles sometimes find themselves juggling disparate definitions of success. During this session, we heard from three STEM leaders — Josh Greenberg from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, John Ohab from the Hertz Foundation, and Karthik Ram from the University of California at Berkeley — about how they think about the importance and impact of communities, and the qualities they look for in a successful community. This recap describes some of the themes that emerged during this discussion, and includes the recordings of each presentation.
This year we’ve been releasing community manager case studies: two-page interviews, each describing one of 25 community managers from across the STEM ecosystem. On this month’s community call, we shared some of the observations we’ve made as we’ve compared these case studies.
Next month we plan to publish a report that will describe the details of our analysis and make several recommendations for what’s needed to support the emerging community management profession, setting community managers, their communities, and their covening organizations up for success.
During the call, we also heard from two of the community managers who took part in the project, Connie Clare (Research Data Alliance) and Nathaniel Gore (PeerJ), and invited reflections and feedback from all of the participants on the call. We’re so grateful to everyone who came and shared their frank perspectives, and we plan on continuing the conversation on a future call later this year. Read on for a recap of the discussion, and watch the presentation portion of the call in the embedded video clips.
In this month’s call, CSCCE’s Lou Woodley, Katie Pratt, and Saima Sidik will be sharing what we’ve learned from interviewing 25 members of our community of practice about their work and the resultant case studies that we’ve been publishing over the past few months. We’re currently working on a report summarizing our findings, which we’ll preview on the call, as well as hold space for discussion about where we go from here.
The March community call focused on the different forms that community manager (CM) roles take across the STEM ecosystem. The agenda included presentations and reflection questions to guide the conversation, which covered career paths, professional development, and common challenges.
To kick off the meeting, Lou Woodley spoke about CSCCE’s research program, highlighting our newest resource-creation project: STEM Community Manager Case Studies. Malin Sandström (International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility) and Elisha Wood-Charlson (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) then described work they performed as CSCCE Community Engagement fellows to characterize CM positions. This work will feed into a new CSCCE working group, which will launch in April and continue studying scientific community manager roles.
This week we released the first CSCCE Community Manager Case Study! Every Tuesday this Spring you can expect a new case study to drop; browse the collection and download your own copy of each one from our dedicated resource page.
What is a Community Manager Case Study?
These 2-page interviews ask scientific community managers a series of questions about their role, including day-to-day tasks, highlights and challenges, and how they view the importance of community building in STEM. They are very similar in structure to a series of interviews we conducted in 2016, when STEM community managers were relatively unknown, and are intended to showcase what it means to convene communities in a variety of scientific settings.
On each case study you’ll also find a unique skills wheel signature for the community manager featured, which assesses how frequently they used 45 skills in 5 core competencies over the last 12 months. You can find out more about the CSCCE Skills Wheel, created by the C3 project team of the CEFP 2017 cohort in our 2021 guidebook.
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