I met Dr Mihaela Robila at the 39th Annual Society for Cross-Cultural Research Conference (2010) in Albuquerque, NM where I presented a discussion called Swedish Child Health Centers and its Influence with Parental Leave, while Dr Robila’s talk was entitled Family Policy in International Perspectives.
It was during this initial meeting by chance (or perhaps because those running the conference realized we had similar topics), that I was introduced to Mihaela. She was not only presenting, but also was the coordinator running the presentations for this particular session on family policy.
After the presentations she suggested that we expand our presentations and turn them into comprehensive book chapters about family policies in our respective country (i.e. Sweden for me). This idea was not only enthusiastically picked up by us presenters (and later, other researchers from all over the world), but also by a publishing company, Springer. Now, due in mid-June of 2013, a 500 page book intended for scholars, researchers, and graduate students interested in family policies from all over the world can read the book entitled Handbook of Family Policies Around the Globe.
A simple 15 minute conference talk has led to years of communicating, relationship building, and now a book (a thick book!). Networking can be as easy as asking a question: would you like to publish? And what researcher wouldn’t love to jump on that opportunity? And as such, Mihaela has encouraged and helped develop my research by forcing me to dig deeper into Swedish family policy, allowing me to learn a lot more about the country I now live in.
Dr Mihaela Robila is a professor in Family Science at the City University of New York – Queens College · Department of Family, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences (see her short biography on LinkedIn here). Her publications can be found on her Research Gate site located here. She is highly involved with the American Psychology Association and was deemed a fellow by them for her expertise in immigrant families, and wrote a book entitled Eastern European Immigrant Families (which has received some nice ratings). She is also an expert on family policy in Eastern Europe. Feel free to read more about her biography on her university webpage.