To begin, begin…

Mickel Allen, CARA-ACAAR Member and CRA Student

William Wordsworth said it best and aptly, encapsulates the catalyst to research, discovery and innovation: “To begin, begin”. This saying is true of almost every undertaking in life be it personal or professional.

For the past few years, I have provided financial and research administrative support in the capacity of an Administrative Secretary to a diverse, exceptional and innovative Faculty and their support staff in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at York University.

Nothing feels more rewarding and satisfying than knowing and understanding who you support, how to effectively, support, and the role you play in the professional life of the Faculty and by extension research processes and research institutions. The evolving nature of research and innovation has peaked my own expansiveness, compounded by the desire to provide consistent, informed, and efficient support while simultaneously, acquiring new skills and broadening my professional repertoire as I chart my career path in Research Administration.

Membership in CARA-ACAAR and enrollment in the Certificate in Research Administration has availed many opportunities both personally and professionally. It has networked me with Directors, Managers, Research Administrators and other like-minded individuals who lend themselves to mentorship and knowledge sharing which makes keeping abreast of changes in the Canadian research environment, research, and administration processes easier, especially during these unprecedented times (amidst the current pandemic COVID-19). 

Thus far, I have successfully completed two courses in the CRA program and look forward to the wealth of information and skills I will glean from the remaining courses as they will enhance the quality and level of support I provide.

I count myself blessed to be a part of CARA-ACAAR, a true collective of research administrative, minds that seek to consistently champion, support and facilitate Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity in the Canadian Research Environment by undergirding its members with equal, access to a wealth of information and opportunities to stay informed, grow and function with excellence in our roles and the research activities we support.

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible;
and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
~ Francis of Assisi

CARA ACAAR meanders its way through research institutions, skillfully interweaving research minds, administrators and protocol together into an intricate, fabric of research excellence and administration across Canada and in so doing supporting research and innovation that makes the necessary and what others once deemed impossible, as plausible and possible.