Endeavour scholarship visit Bould[h]er over

Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship awardee, Jessica Blomfield

Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing Higher Degree Research student member, Jessica Blomfield, won an Australian Government Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship in 2015 to travel to the United States of America to conduct research as a part of her PhD studies into sustainability professionals. We caught up with Jess recently to discuss her time there…

PhD Research in the USA: An update from Jess Blomfield

University of Colorado Boulder campus (image courtesy of Jess Blomfield)
University of Colorado Boulder campus (image courtesy of Jess Blomfield)

From June to December in 2015, my PhD candidature was based at the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO, U.S.A….[where]I was hosted by the Centre for Education on Social Responsibility within the Leeds School of Business.

My PhD explores the emotions of professionals working as change agents for sustainability within organisations. Being at the University of Colorado facilitated my access to a large number of sustainability professionals, as both the university and the town of Boulder itself are hubs for sustainabiltiy research, practice and innovation. I conducted a number of interviews with sustainability professionals, and attended sustainability and social impact conferences. Data collection in this context has informed my research with a wide range of experiences relating to the emotional dimension of working in sustainability, including stress, emotional regulation and strategies for success in the role. Drawing these insights into my research will maximise outcomes for improving the emotional resilience, performance and retention of sustainability change agents to progress sustainability in Australia.

When in Rome!: pedal power is the preferred means of transport in Boulder, CO, USA
When in Rome!: pedal power is the preferred means of transport in Boulder, Colorado (image courtesy of Jess Blomfield, pictured above)

There was also lots to learn about and experience beyond the research tasks.

I was very fortunate to be able to take a research methods course with Professor Russell Cropanzano and gain insights into the culture of academia in the U.S. The local mountain landscape also had many outdoor activities and adventures to offer, including hiking and skiing. It was a wonderful opportunity, and thanks to my supervisors Professor Peter Jordan and Associate Professor Ashlea Troth, as well as WOW, for supporting me to undertake this great experience.

If you are interested to find out more about the Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships, collaboration opportunities with the University of Colorado, or see more pictures, please let me know ([email protected]).

(This article was authored by Jess Blomfield).