Faculty, Staff, Students Participate in College of Public Health Scholarly Writing Retreat

By Ashley McNatt

The retreat provided an environment for researchers, students, faculty, post-docs, and community partners to come together and enhance their writing skills and dissemination of research findings. In particular, the retreat aimed to increase writing skills among underrepresented minorities.

“This was a great opportunity for researchers to come together in a supportive environment to buckle down and get some writing done,” said

Keneshia Bryant-Moore, Ph.D., APRN, assistant dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion for the College of Public Health and retreat planner. “It also provided a way for people to get out of the office and focus on their writing.”

Individuals participated either virtually or in person at Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center in Little Rock.

Funded by the Arkansas Center for Health Disparities through a National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities grant award, the retreat welcomed 11 participants.

The goal was for participants to develop at least one complete, edited paper for submission to a scholarly journal, grant application, or other scholarly product.

Nakita Lovelady-Herd, Ph.D.

Nakita Lovelady-Herd, Ph.D.

“I made significant progress on drafting and editing papers for submission. It also provided a relaxing space away from distraction, along with necessary preparation and resources that ensure a successful writing time,” said Nakita Lovelady-Herd, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute and retreat participant. “We were able to get immediate feedback on our writing from editors, and as a group we shared our daily successes and challenges, as well as helpful tips to overcome them.”

Prior to attending the two-day retreat, participants were required to attend a virtual pre-retreat workshop led by the UAMS Science Communication Group to develop goals and tips for a successful writing retreat.

Participants enjoyed breaks throughout the retreat that included yoga and dancing.

“The retreat was extremely beneficial with an encouraging environment. I look forward to attending next year,” said Herd.”