March 2017 Member Highlight: Patsy Kraeger
ISQOLS Board of Directors Member
ISQOLS Executive Committee; Co-Vice President of Publicity/Membership
Assistant Professor, Georgia Southern University
- Describe your background, experience, and research as it relates to Quality-of-life studies. Feel free to describe this in detail.
I came to academia after being a working professional where I have worked in the public, private and nonprofit sectors in areas of community engagement and empowerment though policy and law or programming. There has been a common theme of community development. This work and an interest in looking deeper into what compromises a meaningful community led me to pursue degrees in public administration and policy and nonprofit and philanthropic studies. It was with the return to the university that I recognized the importance of quality of life studies as an organizing principle for cross-disciplinary work and research. Too often, community work, participation and policy making are separate both in research and practice. Quality of life research and indicators provide a baseline for the assessment of meaning. Quality-of-life studies has allowed my own research in philanthropy, social enterprise and participatory democracy to have greater depth with this focus. I attended my first ISQOLS conference in Berlin in 2014 and was energized by all that I heard and learned and realized that this area of study provided me with the missing component I was looking for in my research. It was exciting to see so many QOL researchers from different disciplines of philosophy to religious studies to management to community development to name a few and to see the cross connectivity of the field. I am currently studying for the ISQOLS Certification in QOL Research. I am thrilled that this opportunity exists to further hone my research skills in this field.
- What initially attracted you to the field of quality-of-life studies?
ISQOLS past president, Rhonda Phillips was a professor of mine at Arizona State University. I was introduced to quality of life studies in her Community Development class. She encouraged me to attend the 2014 conference
- What are some areas of quality-of-life studies you feel are lacking attention? Any advice for future QoL researchers?
I am not sure that I can answer this question as I am newer to the field of study. I was glad to see that there was a track for the 2017 conference on philanthropy and volunteerism.
- How long have you been a member of ISQOLS? Why did you choose to be a member of ISQOLS? How has your involvement in ISQOLS impacted your career/research/advancement in your knowledge of QoL studies?
I have been a member since 2013-2014. I volunteered to be on the conference committee for the 2015 conference in Phoenix, Arizona. I am honored that I was nominated for the ISQOLS Board and proud to serve. I am also honored to be a co-Vice-President of Publicity/Membership with Ming-Chang Tsai. I was also excited to be a reviewer for the philanthropy/volunteerism track for the 2017 conference. The quality of the submissions was solid and the abstracts were very interesting given the international perspectives, I would recommend the ISQOLS certificate program as well. Although, I must admit I am a little behind in my reading at the moment! Finally, I think that it is important to get the word out about thee conferences and the value of QOL studies as a broad inter-disciplinary connector to those unfamiliar with the field.
ISQOLS is a welcoming organization that offers collegiality, mentorship and opportunities for research collaboration as you all know. The culture of the organization and the commitment to the field is one that I know will make me a better researcher and professional.
I am the co-editor with Scott Cloutier and Craig Talmage on the upcoming edited volume to be published by Springer’s in the Community Quality-of-Life and Well-Being series. It is called: New Dimensions in Community Well-being. The book addresses new innovations in quality of life and well-being from the perspectives of the individual, society and community across the globe. The chapters are largely drawn from the papers presented in Berlin and Phoenix ISQOLS conferences. The volume is in production now.