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From the Board

Thomas G. Reio, Jr., AHRD Board MemberThomas G. Reio, Jr., AHRD Board Member

Being Curious and Civil

One of the things I love most about being an academic is that we are in a profession where we are privileged to do what we do best; that is, be curious. Curiosity, or the desire for information and new experiences, is not just a personality trait where some people, indeed, do have a propensity to be more curious than others. Further, curiosity is not merely being in a state of wanting to know when confronted with cognitive conflicts. Curiosity is a function of both. In addition, curiosity can be epistemic (i.e., information seeking to answer a specific question) or diversive (i.e., novel experience seeking).

As academics, we are socialized into thinking we should channel our curiosities into lines of research. Curiosity within these research lines is undeniably vital, as it can develop into enduring research interests. Thus, curiosity comes first and then the interest follows. Yet, as part of the academic socialization process, well-meaning department chairs and senior colleagues strongly advise against being curious and conducting research beyond “your area.” Instead, they tend to advise aiming one’s research to being more “productive” in service of directly obliging your research line with external funding and research that merits publication in top-tier journals. This mentality can lead to thinking like, “Why should I waste my time being curious outside my line of research or field if it will not directly assist me in earning tenure or a promotion?”

This kind of thinking is incredibly unfortunate in that there is so much we do not know; and it is what we do not know that can help generate new curiosity-driven research. Often, we can glean much from being diversively curious about the body of theory and research in other disciplines, so much so that creative and meaningful new insights into research and practice can be generated. Inasmuch as being diversively curious is a direct precursor to creative thinking and behavior, we need to actively support it if we are to ever go beyond our narrow research interests and the status quo.

Curiosity about how differences in gender, ethnicity, linguistic and cultural background, sexual orientation and disability might influence employee thinking, beliefs, and behaviors is an example of an exciting realm of research that may lie outside one’s research line, but it could be an excellent way to augment it. Clearly, there are differences, and these differences should matter to HRD researchers and practitioners. Allowing both our epistemic and diversive curiosity to guide us to new ideas and fields can help support our research and understandings of the issues surrounding individual differences, and so much more beyond our research lines.

Curiosity and the research questions it generates can assist us in challenging conventional wisdom, questioning outdated and unnecessary rules, procedures, and customs, and wondering how to assure a better future. When channeling our curiosities to generating new research questions, however, we must remember that our research must be interesting, well designed, competent and most of all civil. New researchers can too often make the mistake of heavily critiquing prior theory and research with a harsh, unnecessary tone that no one enjoys reading. What contribution to the field does such writing really make? One does not make a career of being disrespectfully critical of others’ work; rather, careers are made from respectfully honoring prior work, thoughtfully explaining its strengths and weaknesses, and competently leading the reader and field to the new way of thinking that you propose that offers promise and solutions to your issue.

We are taught as researchers to be curious and skeptical, yet this does not absolve us from being competent, respectful and civil. If we are to continue being taken seriously as a field, we need to promote this kind of curiosity-embracing, civility-minded thinking to our students, colleagues, and HRD practitioners.

News for Members

Pre-Conference Proposals for 2019 AHRD Conference International Research Conference in the Americas Due October 10, 2018

2019 AHRD International Conference in the Americas

The Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) is currently inviting proposals for pre-conference sessions to be offered prior to the convening of the 2019 AHRD International Research Conference in the Americas (Louisville, KY).

Pre-conference workshops are typically 4-8 hour sessions that can be offered on one day or segmented between the two days leading up to the conference opening.

For more information, including the proposal submission guidelines, click here.

Proposals must be submitted by Wednesday, October 10, 2018 (midnight MDT).

AHRD Board Member Nominations Due November 1, 2018

AHRD is only as strong as its Board. This year, AHRD members will nominate and elect three Board members, and we need your help to find the best candidates for these important positions.

Board Member Nominations:

Any member of the AHRD, including former Board members, is eligible to be nominated to serve on the Board. Self-nominations are also accepted. AHRD has a strong commitment to diversity in its general membership and to the diversity of the membership of its Board. Those considering having their names placed in nomination should recognize their time commitment for Board assignments. Board members are elected for a three-year term and are expected to attend the Board meetings during the annual conferences in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, and one additional board meeting each year of the three-year term, which are scheduled in the fall and at various locations. Board members are expected to cover their own expenses for attendance at scheduled Board meetings.

Nominations Procedure:

Whether you nominate yourself or someone else, all nominees must provide a written statement that includes both the candidate's biographical information and vision for the Academy, including how they would like to contribute in their role as a Board member. You are restricted to a total of 250 words for your statement, which includes both your biographical information and vision. If the statement exceeds this word restriction, sentences will simply be dropped from the end of the statement to fit the space limitation. Note that the use of flyers or the AHRD listserv for the promotion of candidates is prohibited.

Send nominations and nominee statements to Ron Jacobs (Chair, AHRD Nominations & Elections Committee) at The deadline for nominations is midnight Pacific on November 1, 2018. A reply email confirmation will be sent to you indicating that your nomination has been received. If you do not receive this confirmation within 48 hours, please re-send and contact

In November, all AHRD members will receive instructions for completing their ballot. The AHRD election process will be completed by mid-December, and new Board members will be announced in early 2019.

AHRD Academy Awards Nominations Due November 7, 2018

The "Academy Awards” is the distinguished awards program in the Human Resource Development profession that is sponsored by the Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD). These awards are for scholarly professionals who have made significant contributions to the vision of leading the profession through research.

The deadline for awards nominations is Wednesday, November 7 at 5:00pm ET. The board presents all the awards at the annual AHRD International Research Conference in the Americas.

Awards Include:

The Laura Bierema Excellence in Critical HRD Award
Honors a critical HRD scholar or practitioner who has demonstrated research and activism with impact in HRD.

Human Resource Development Cutting Edge Award
Awarded to ten outstanding scholarly papers from those published in the AHRD Conference Proceedings in the same year.

AHRD Excellence in Scholarly Practice Awards
The awards are given for excellence in applying scholarly HRD theory and research to practice in a manner that brings measurable improvement to an organization and/or has the potential to advance the field of HRD.

Esworthy Malcolm S. Knowles Dissertation of the Year Award
Awarded for the outstanding HRD doctoral dissertation in a given year.

Advances in Developing Human Resources Outstanding Issue Award
Awarded for the outstanding issue among the ending year's volume.

Monica M. Lee Research Excellence Award
Awarded for the outstanding Human Resource Development International article in each annual volume.

Early Career Scholar Award
Awarded to an outstanding HRD scholar in the early stages of his/her career who has made identifiable and significant contributions in scholarly research to the field of HRD.

R. Wayne Pace HRD Book of the Year
Awarded for the outstanding HRD book that advances the theory and/or practice of the profession.

Elwood F. Holton III Research Excellence Award
Awarded for the outstanding Human Resource Development Review refereed article in each annual volume.

Richard A. Swanson Research Excellence Award
Awarded for the outstanding Human Resource Development Quarterly refereed article in each annual volume.

HRD Scholar Hall of Fame
Presented to scholars in human resource development and related disciplines who have made enduring contributions to the Academy’s vision of leading the human resource development profession through research.

AHRD Service Award
The AHRD Service Award is given to AHRD members in recognition of their lifetime achievement in advancing HRD through research combined with their service to AHRD as demonstrated through their time, energy, and support.

Outstanding HRD Scholar Award
The Outstanding HRD Scholar Award (formerly the HRD Scholar of the Year Award) is presented to an outstanding human resource development scholar who has demonstrated a continuing record of scholarly productivity and influence in the profession.

View the Academy Awards page for more information and submit a nomination.

2019 Conference in the Americas Exhibiting & Sponsorship Opportunities

2019 AHRD Conference Exhibiting & Sponsorship Prospectus

Interested in sponsoring the 2019 conference in the Americas?
Online Registration is now open!
Visit the Sponsor & Exhibitor Registration page to learn more.
Registering by mail? Download the Exhibiting & Sponsorship Prospectus!

Korea SIG Grant Available: International Research on Korea


The Korea SIG’s International Research on Korea Grant promotes AHRD graduate students’ research collaboration on research that relates to or contributes to Korea. This grant provides up to $500 to the awardees to reimburse them for research and dissemination expenses for one year only, with eligibility to apply for a subsequent year. Eligible expenses might include, but are not limited to, gifts for participants during data collection; software; data analysis assistance, such as transcribers or translators; AHRD membership; registration for any AHRD conference where the outcome of the award is presented; and travel and lodging while at the conference.


  • Graduate students who are members of AHRD are eligible to apply.
  • A team of students, consisting of at least one Korean and one non-Korean, regardless of where they live, may submit one proposal. A faculty member may be part of the team in a mentor role, though he/she is not eligible to use the funds. The rationale for this eligibility criterion is our desire to expand interest in Korean HRD research and international collaboration.
  • Students can find partners on the AHRD Facebook or LinkedIn pages, or contact the Korea SIG chair, Sehoon Kim, who will distribute your request.
  • Past recipients are eligible to apply in a subsequent year.

Application Process

  • Submit a proposal in electronic format using the Korea SIG Grant Template in Word format (not .pdf).
  • Proposals must not exceed 3 single-spaced pages, in addition to the cover page, including:
    • Problem statement
    • Research purpose and questions
    • A brief review of the literature
    • Research methods
    • Anticipated outcomes and implications for HRD
    • Information dissemination plan
    • Research project timeline

Submission Deadline

  • Submit a proposal by December 1, 2018 to Dr. Sehoon Kim at
  • The Korea SIG Chair will form a three-person review panel.
  • The final decision will be announced at the 2019 AHRD Conference in the Americas.
  • For additional information, contact Dr. Sehoon Kim at

UFHRD 2019 Anniversary Conference Proposals Due January 13, 2019

Submitted by Stefanos Nachmias

UFHRD 2019 Anniversary Conference- Nottingham

We are delighted to announce that the Call for Contributions to the Anniversary conference is now open. Do not miss the opportunity to share your work with active living researchers and professionals from around the world.

A diverse range of HRD, management, training and development themes aim to enable all participants to join an invigorating and thought-provoking dialogue around the HRD field, and the impact of learning in establishing effective organisations in the future. Academics, researchers and scholar-practitioners are invited to contribute papers to one of the following streams:

  1. Leadership Management and Talent Development
  2. Coaching and Mentoring
  3. Global, Comparative and Cross Cultural Dimensions of HRD
  4. Employee Engagement
  5. Diversity and Equality Issues in HRD
  6. Workplace Learning, Training and Development
  7. Strategic Capabilities and HRD
  8. HRD in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
  9. Critical Approaches to HRD
  10. Practitioner Research — Learning and Teaching Research
  11. Justice, Trust and the Ethical Dimensions of HRD

Deadline for final abstract submission is Sunday 13 January 2019.

For more information, please visit

Journal News

Advances in Developing Human Resources (ADHR)

Marilyn Y. Byrd, Editor-in-Chief

Advances in Developing Human Resources journal is seeking proposals in all areas of human resource development with relevancy to practitioners. Currently, topics of special interest include (broadly defined):

  • Spirituality in the workforce, new directions for meaningful work
  • Organizational ethics; socially responsible HRD
  • HRD and the environment
  • Workers with disabilities: optimizing an environment for learning and performance
  • HRD and HRM: exploring the boundary
  • Social justice: critical impacts in the workplace
  • Mobile learning, implications for training
  • Transformative learning in non-managerial to managerial roles (process of critical self-reflection/disorienting dilemmas)
  • The role of HRD education and preparing the future workforce

Other topics that explore the realms of learning and performance in the workplace are welcomed.

Please visit the journal website for specifics on submitting a proposal:

You may also contact: Marilyn Y. Byrd, PhD, ADHR Editor-in-Chief at for additional inquiries.

Job Postings

Adult and Higher Education Assistant/Associate/Full Professor

Oregon State University | Corvallis, OR

The College of Education invites applications for a full-time (1.00 FTE), 9-month, tenure-track Assistant, Associate or full Professor position. Appointment level will be based on the qualifications of the selected finalist.

This research and teaching appointment is in the Adult and Higher Education (AHE) in the College of Education. The incumbent will teach graduate courses, advise students and provide service to the program, college, university and profession. Specifically, the incumbent in this position will teach in AHE’s hybrid doctoral program in College and University Leadership and the online master’s program. The position carries an expectation for distinction in scholarly accomplishment. In addition, the incumbent will build collaborative relationships with other programs and colleges and possibly teach cross program courses. In the area of service, this person will serve on college and university committees and actively engage in promoting student success through the lens of equity, inclusion and diversity. The incumbent will act as a liaison with community college, adult, workforce, and community education professional organizations.

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Final Thought

By Tomika W. Greer, AHRD Board Member and Digest Editor

Tomika GreerSometimes it’s hard to think of a final thought. Like when you’re glued to social media and The Weather Channel, following a natural disaster that has put your entire hometown under water in North Carolina, which triggers memories of your current city being under water just a year ago in Texas. And then you think, “I need a final thought.” But, really you just want to tell people to help other people. And be nice (and civil, as Tom Reio reminds us in his article above). We all need each other.

About the Digest


Be sure to let us know if you move or if you change email addresses. You can sign in to your profile or email us at

Contributors to this Issue

  • Tomika W. Greer, AHRD Board Member and Digest Editor
  • Thomas G. Reio, Jr.
  • Stefanos Nachmias

The editors reserve the right to select and edit articles submitted.

The AHRD Digest is published electronically the second week of each month. Please submit ideas and content that would be valuable to members to by the 10th day of the month previous.

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