A year ago, I embarked on a teaching endeavor within my role at Edgewood College that took me into the challenging world of teaching research. With little more than three-week’s advanced notice, I had been handed this responsibility and I leapt at the chance. You see, anytime you teach something new, even if you have a foundational level of knowledge about the topic, you enter a real growth period personally. This was no different. My understanding of research methodologies, and the individual strengths & limitations of each, grew exponentially over the past year. Now, in my fourth iteration of this three-course sequence, I’m enjoying guiding non-research students through this new world. Of that I’m so grateful!
As a first-year full-time faculty member, I was assigned several committee membership opportunities this past year. None has been more interesting and rewarding than serving on the Online Education Advisory Committee for the college. As someone who experienced online learning as both a student and now a faculty member, having designed double-digit graduate-level online courses, and who has worked hard to improve the online learning experiences of my students with each passing term, this committee assignment has been a fantastic way to help shape the institution’s approach to non-traditional learning. Of that, I’m also grateful!
On the coaching and consulting fronts, in the past year, I reached the point of feeling comfortable turning down gigs and honing in on the types of projects and engagements that really interest me. In doing so, the level of commitment for individual projects has increased, and my sense of balance between my personal and professional lives has been enhanced. Of that, both my family and I are grateful!
Within the Master of Science in Organizational Development program at Edgewood College, I’ve developed an incredibly positive, effective, and collegial relationship with our other full-time faculty member. Between the two of us, we have covered over 75% of the teaching and mentoring assignments in the program, and along the way, we have consistently succeeded in steadily improving and strengthening the program on all fronts. We don’t always agree, but every interaction has been respectful, intellectually stimulating, and an opportunity for personal growth on my part. Of his partnership, I continue to be eternally grateful!
And most recently, I have begun working with an extremely talented and enthusiastic team of higher educators looking to radically transform the way in which learning takes place in the institution. This promises to be an interesting, exciting, and intellectually challenging new step in my professional journey in higher education that will likely stretch into the next several year. As always, I’m grateful for this new and humbling opportunity!
So, clearly, it’s easy to look back upon the past year with satisfaction, humility, and gratitude. I thank everyone who has played a role in my professional life this past year, those who have challenged me, those who have disagreed with me, and those with whom I have played a role in so many exciting and successful enterprises! I only hope that I have similarly played an important and supporting role in your lives, as well.