By TJ Hansell – Arizona Founding Chapter Scholarship
I know what you’re thinking…San Diego is pretty awesome, but “Baby Got Grants” is even awesomer. Yes, awesomer is not a word, but can any word really describe how awesome of an intro that was? I am sure a few of you are looking through your thesauruses and/or scrabble word list as I type this. Speaking of Scrabble, my grandmother was a spelling machine and would repeatedly laugh when she schooled me in Scrabble. I digress, but sometimes you just got to write what comes to mind.
Getting back on track. “Baby Got Grants” was the perfect introduction for a first timer to the GPA National Conference. That experience alone made the trip worth it in many respects, but the rest of the conference was amazing as well. Not only did I get to meet new people; I ran into quite a few familiar faces there. Arizona was certainly represented well in San Diego.
As a first timer, it was great to see so many grant professionals in one area. The wealth of knowledge, experience, and talent was unbelievable at times. When you look at some of the presenters and individuals presenting (Lucy Morgan, Bev Browning, Sharon Skinner, and others) anyone, even a seasoned grant professional, could pick up something to help them in the future. I know I definitely soaked in as much as I could over the conference schedule. The sharing of information was one of the best aspects of the conference. As a seasoned grant professional, I tend to think I know a couple things about grants, but I also know I really don’t know that much at times. The conference proved that and got me really excited about talking to many of you who attended.
I would not have been able to participate without the generous support of the GPF scholarship. Before I knew I was a scholarship recipient, it was a decision between attending myself or sending my team. Luckily, I didn’t have to make that decision, and all of us were able to attend. The scholarship not only helped me, but it helped two others gain valuable knowledge and relationships that will help for years into the future.
Now back to that amazing intro. I would love to see GPA encourage more of their members to come up with ingenious ways to make the grant world fun. I’m thinking “Grants, Grants, Baby” could be a sequel to “Baby Got Grants.” Just throwing that out there.