Get to know SNAS – a new academic community aiming for social impact!

Society of North American Scholars (SNAS) is an academic community for social impact! As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, it is initiated by an interdisciplinary network of scholars in the United States in January 2021. In a broad sense, SNAS aims to foster socially responsible scholarship by providing global mentorship, organizing academic conferences and workshops, and publishing reports, proceedings, and scholarly work. But, what are some of its activities through which these lofty goals are attempted to be materialized? In this short post, I will try to review our activities prior to and since the founding of the organization.

SNAS founders organized their first event as a regional Winter Retreat at Ocean Place Resort & Spa in Long Branch, NJ in December 2019. The pre-pandemic event had 35 participants and featured a networking session as well as five presentations with a wide appeal in the academic community. The presentations included:

  • Crafting a Professional Identity, Tenure and Beyond” by Dr. Zeynep Ercan, Professor of Early Childhood Education at Rowan University, NJ
  • Academia and Industry Relations” by Dr. Nuray Yurt, Global Head of Advanced Analytics Solutions at Novartis, NJ
  • Grant Writing” by Dr. Onur Asan, Associate Professor at Stevens Institute of Technology, NJ
  • Academic Job Market” by Dr. Selcuk Acar, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at University of North Texas, TX
  • Online Teaching: Best Practices” by Dr. Omer Topaloglu, Associate Professor of Marketing at Fairleigh Dickinson University, NJ

Due to the high interest, SNAS founders organized its second event as a continuation of the original retreat at the national level. This Academic Development Workshop took place over Zoom in May 2020. The workshop had 144 registrants and each session hosted 70 to 110 participants. All presentations were designed to appeal a wide range of academics. The event also featured discipline-specific breakout sessions, in which the participants had a chance to network with others from similar expertise areas. Here is the presentation list:

  • Crafting a Professional Identity, Tenure and Beyond” by Dr. Zeynep Ercan, Professor of Early Childhood Education at Rowan University, NJ
  • Academia and Industry Relations” by Dr. Nuray Yurt, Global Head of Advanced Analytics Solutions at Novartis, NJ
  • Grant Writing” by Dr. Mehmet Gunes, Associate Professor at Stevens Institute of Technology, NJ
  • Academic Job Market” by Dr. Selcuk Acar, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at University of North Texas, TX
  • Online Teaching” by Serpil Caputlu, Instructor, DePaul University, IL

These two successful events lead to the official founding of SNAS in January 2021. Founding board of directors are Dr. Onur Asan (Stevens Institute of Technology), Dr. Hasan T. Arslan (Western Connecticut State University), Dr. Zeynep Isik-Ercan (Rowan University), Dr. Levent Koc (New York Academy Education Services), Dr. Ozlem Yasar (New York City College of Technology), Dr. Necmi Biyikli (University of Connecticut), Dr. Ali Kaya (Texas A&M University), and myself, Dr. Omer Topaloglu (Fairleigh Dickinson University).

In Summer 2021, SNAS organized two additional events. The first event was a free online research methods workshop in August. Around 100 academics registered for the event. The program featured the following sessions:

Session 1 – General Research Methods

  • How to write an empirical paper fast” by Dr. Vahap Uysal, Associate Professor of Finance at DePaul University.
  • Conducting in-depth interviews: Getting rich data” by Dr. Zeynep Isik-Ercan, Professor of Early Childhood Education, Rowan University.

Session 2 – Networking (1:45 – 2:15 pm)

Session 3 – Innovative Applied Techniques

The second event was the first Predoctoral Academic Mentorship Program (PAMP) workshop also in August. PAMP provides comprehensive mentorship support for undergraduate and masters students who wish to apply for a PhD program in the US. Around 80 undergraduate and graduate students registered for the workshop, which included introductory remarks, breakout sessions, as well as a panel to introduce the life of an academic to the future generations. The panelists were:

  • Safiye Yigit, Doctoral Candidate, Columbia University
  • Murat Yuksel, Professor of ECE, University of Central Florida
  • Nuh Gedik, Professor of Physics, MIT
  • Vahap Uysal, Professor of Finance, DePaul University

We will organize similar events that will constantly benefit our members. Please get involved and email [email protected] if you would like to subscribe to our newsletter. It is an honor for me to serve as the inaugural president of the society and promote sustainable and ethical research practices that lead to social impact. We have lofty goals and we invite all academics, researchers, students, and industry professionals to join us in turning these goals into reality.

Sincerely,

Dr. Omer Topaloglu (SNAS President)

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