The idea for the Military REACH Dictionary was born from a simple question: “What does that mean?” When I first became a team member at REACH, I was unfamiliar with the research terminology that appears in family science publications. No readily available resource existed that included a comprehensive list of terms related to family science, research, and the military, so I resolved to create one myself!
The Military REACH team immediately supported my idea to create the REACH Dictionary. My team members recognized that this would be a useful resource for our audience of military families, helping professionals, military leadership, and policy makers, so we dove straight into the development process.
Creating the Military REACH Dictionary was a challenge, as it required months of research. This resource could not have been created without collaboration with our research and website development teams here at REACH, and I am grateful to have received their support to make my dream a reality.
The current model of the Military REACH Dictionary is even better than I imagined it would be. The website development team has done an incredible job to make the dictionary practical and easy to use.
Creating the Military REACH Dictionary was important to me because I realized that if I couldn’t understand what was being said in a research article or TRIP Report, then it was likely that the families, helping professionals, military leaders, and policy makers that Military REACH serves couldn’t either. To me, this was an accessibility issue: people can’t use information they don’t understand. That’s where the Dictionary comes in as a resource for our audience to improve their own understanding of research so that they may take key findings and implications and put them into practice.
The Global Studies [degree]in [the College of] Human Sciences is rooted in problem-based learning, wherein students are presented with a problem scenario, conduct research to better understand the problem, and develop practical, effective solutions to resolve the problem. Through this model of learning, I have improved my ability to anticipate needs and develop useful resources that address those needs, which ultimately led to the idea of a specially-tailored dictionary for Military REACH.
The similarities between Global Studies and Human Development and Family Studies goes far beyond their ultimate goal of helping people live better lives. Both disciplines ask difficult questions, use research to inform policy and programming, and strategize the use of resources to address major issues. The unique skills I have gained in both fields pair well together and have inspired me to engage in problem-solving on behalf of military families.
Students are an integral part of Military REACH because they provide our team with a new perspective, high-quality products, and invaluable assistance. Continue to look out for our Student Highlights, where we will feature students from our team and will highlight the contributions they have made not only to our team, but to the larger military community.