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From the Board

Joshua C. CollinsBuilding a Future after COVID-19
By Joshua C. Collins, Chair of AHRD Awards Committee

I have been sitting in front of my Macbook for the last hour trying to figure out what to write. As a new board member, I am delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to the AHRD Digest, and yet I never imagined that doing so for the first time would come under these circumstances. If you are like me, most days it is difficult to concentrate on much other than our work and our lives in relation to COVID-19. Parts of my job have gotten bigger, while other parts have had to take the backburner. The collective trauma that we are all experiencing has also taken its toll, and our experiences illustrate the need for HRD professionals to pay attention to what's going on and how the world, organizations, and individuals are changing. I worry for myself, for my family and friends, and for the world. However, I am going to challenge myself, in this brief column, to focus on a positive future—on the opportunities and innovation that await us on the other end of this tragic and challenging pandemic.

Like many others, I refer to our efforts to self-isolate and minimize physical proximity and contact with others as “physical distancing,” rather than “social distancing.” In the first couple of weeks of self-isolation, I felt both physically and socially distanced. I was not sure if I would be capable of maintaining social relationships without being able to sit across the table from someone, share a meal, enjoy a night out, or go see a movie together. Sure, relationships at-a-distance have been a part of many of our lives for a long time. I have been texting, Facetiming, emailing, Facebooking, and Instagramming with friends and family for many years. But always with the promise, or at least the possibility, that we would soon physically see each other. Instead, I found myself canceling dinner plans, concert tickets, and three different trips that had all been planned nearly a year in advance. I was very sad. Before I could accept this new reality, I had to grieve not only what I felt I had lost but also the fact that none of us know when life might return to “normal,” if such a thing even still exists.

I have recently been able to get to a psychological place where I no longer feel quite as socially distanced, despite the necessary physical distance that I have responsibly maintained from family, friends, and colleagues. For the first time in a decade, I had a conversation with my mother that lasted longer than a few minutes (90 minutes on Facetime, to be exact). We (my husband and myself) Facetime with basically his entire family in Florida almost every single night, and we enjoy an active group text thread with my family in Texas during the day. I started a weekly Zoom “happy hour” with a core group of friends from college, all of whom are geographically dispersed across the United States.

I had lost touch with another friend beyond the occasional interaction on social media, but when she recently announced that she was being admitted to hospice care after a two-year battle with cancer, I was able to reach out and share some fond memories and final goodbyes before she passed away. After she passed away, I reconnected with another friend I have not seen since her wedding nine years ago, and we have been texting more regularly and have a Facetime hangout scheduled for later this week. In this time of physical distancing, my life has been enriched socially. I do not mean to diminish the impact or severity of COVID-19 by implying that there is some sort of “silver lining,” but rather communicate the idea that through the struggles, anxiety, and grief that I have experienced, I have also found some pockets of joy. I am trying to hold on to those.

It is not lost on me that nothing is likely to be the same after the pandemic subsides. People who were previously told they could not do their jobs remotely have now been doing their jobs remotely for several weeks. Children and teenagers who were previously told they could not move on to the next grade without passing a standardized test will be moving on to the next grade without passing a standardized test. Colleges and universities are waiving ACT, SAT, and GRE entrance requirements, and allowing students to take major courses on a pass/fail basis, recognizing that distinguishing between an A and a B seems less important now than before. Many of us have had no choice but take a long look at the things we hold dear, the things we have taken for granted or left unquestioned, and reframe our perspectives. This is healthy and should be embraced.

So I challenge each of you to identify some pockets of joy and to do your best to hold on to those. Then use that joy to analyze the changes around you with a new mindset. What if some of what we are experiencing as new right now is not temporary and will never return to “normal”? How can we reframe our perspectives to make HRD responsive to and reflective of those new realities? For now, we must focus on survival and getting through this, but I offer that a day will soon come when we will see a light at the end of the tunnel. We can begin planning now to build the future that we would like to see.

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News for Members

New Associate Proceedings Editor Appointed for 2021 AHRD Conference

Dr. Dae Seok ChaiThe AHRD Board of Directors has approved the appointment of Dr. Dae Seok Chai as the Associate Proceedings Editor of the 2021 AHRD International Research Conference in the Americas. He joins Dr. Karen Johnson (2021 Program Chair) and Dr. Katherine Yeager (2021 Proceedings Editor) to complete the 2021 Conference Program Committee. With this newest appointment, Dr. Chai will become the Proceedings Editor and the Program Chair for the 2022 and 2023 conferences, respectively.

Dr. Dae Seok Chai has been a proactive and passionate researcher with multiple refereed journal articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings, based on his three research interests: Cross-cultural adjustment and training, organization development in an international context, and leadership in diverse cultural contexts. Dr. Chai has served as the Track Chair of the International, Global and Cross-Cultural Issues track of the AHRD International Research Conference in the Americas since 2013. Before his doctoral journey at Texas A&M University, Dae Seok was involved in designing and delivering various training programs, including change management, cultural diversity, global talent development, and leadership, for various types of employees in a large Korean conglomerate. During his doctorate, as a subject matter expert and training designer, he consulted for Hyundai Automobile and Korean Ministry of Employment and Labor for the development of several hybrid training programs. He received a B.S.Ed. in Business Education from the University of Georgia, M.Ed. in HRD from the University of Minnesota, and Ph.D. in HRD from Texas A&M University.

Congratulations to Dae Seok!

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Call for Papers: Adult and Continuing Education’s Response to the Global COVID-19 Pandemic

Submitted by M Cecil Smith and Jeremy Bohonos

The COVID-19 global pandemic has quickly become a catastrophe that threatens millions of lives and the livelihoods and well-being of people throughout the world. As our scholarly and professional communities are developing and testing ways to respond to the present challenges, we have a great need to share emerging effective practices. For this reason, New Horizons in Adult Education and Human Resource Development is announcing a Call for Papers in an upcoming themed issue. Among the concepts that we would like to see explored in this issue are:

  • What are the potential strengths of and challenges for adult and continuing education during times of national crises?
  • In what ways is the field of adult and continuing education contributing to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and in other countries around the world?
  • How have your institutions, agencies, programs, and staff responded? What strategies have been implemented to continue delivery of adult education programs to serve student needs?
  • How is adult and continuing education likely to be affected over both the long- and short-term by the COVID-19 pandemic? What steps should be taken to mitigate the damage so that the field can continue to provide education and training to meet adult learners’ needs in the post-pandemic world?
  • What can we learn about the purpose and value of adult and continuing education as an enterprise and a resource for responding to a global pandemic? How has adult and continuing education assisted adult learning during this time?
  • How will the field need to adapt and change to prepare for the next inevitable pandemic or other global or national crisis?

Taking a broad view of our field we encourage submissions on a variety of topics, not limited to:

  • Case-study descriptions of how institutions are responding to COVID-19;
  • Our fields’ roles in providing education and training related to COVID-19;
  • Reviews of literature exploring the connections between our field and public health or other medical sciences;
  • Historical analysis of past pan/epidemic events and their effect on education and the workforce;
  • Emerging communities of practice focus on fighting COVID-19;
  • Social movement organizing in an age of social distancing;
  • Artistic and musical responses to COVID-19;
  • New applications of learning technologies;
  • Social justice, equity and equality issues emerging as a result of COVID-19 including labor organizing of frontline workers and differentiated death rates of historically marginalized groups.

Given the need for timely and relevant dissemination of this research, we are welcoming manuscripts ranging in length from 2500-7500 words. We are also inviting relevant perspectives papers of between 1000 and 3000 words. All submissions will be peer reviewed.

Deadline for submissions of papers for this themed issue is June 15, 2020. While submitted papers need to make this deadline for full consideration for this themed issue, any papers on these topics received after the deadline will be considered for future editions of the journal.

Click here to view the full call for papers.

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SIG News: The First AHRD China Conference

Submitted by Jie Ke and Ronald Jacobs

On November 14-16, 2019, the first AHRD Annual Research Conference in China, themed Talent Ready for Business, was successfully hosted in Shanghai. Two AHRD board members, Laura Bierema and Brad Shuck, were invited to deliver keynote speeches. AHRD China SIG co-coordinators, Ronald Jacobs and Jie Ke, provided one-day workshops during the pre-conference and also gave keynote speeches. Over 700 people, mostly industry managers and practitioners, attended some or all two days of the conference.

The conference was coordinated through AHRD China SIG and sponsored by OnDemand Consulting, a well-known consulting firm in China. The conference gave identity to those faculty interested in HRD and helped inform more experienced and senior practitioners about issues related to research to practice. The founders and CEOs of OnDemand, Lianbin Cui and Li Hu, received their Ph.D. degrees from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in Workforce Development. It is their hope that HRD will be introduced and developed as a professional discipline in China, and AHRD is hopeful to help them achieve this goal. Currently, there are no official HRD academic programs in China, as HRD is not an officially recognized area of study as approved by the Ministry of Higher Education. Nevertheless, many faculty in China teach courses related to HRD within established disciplines, such as instructional technology, human resource management, and vocational education, among others. The conference sought to inform advanced practitioners and give these faculty members an opportunity to come together as a research community.

The success of the conference confirmed the interest for more information about HRD in China, and called for further cooperation with AHRD. After the conference, the AHRD Board of Directors extended the contract with OnDemand to conduct annual research-to-practice conferences together for another three years. AHRD and OnDemand are now exploring additional opportunities on how to work together beyond the annual conferences, including but not limited to HRD certificate programs and establishment of a China affiliate.

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SIG News: Qualitative Inquiry SIG Presents Data Analysis Webinar

Submitted by Yonjoo Cho

Webinar Title: Exploring the Basics of Qualitative Data Analysis

Organized by: Dr. Yonjoo Cho, Associate Professor, Indiana University and Co-Chair of the AHRD’s Qualitative Inquiry SIG

Presented by: Dr. Jessica Nina Lester, Associate Professor of Inquiry Methodology, Indiana University

Date and Time: May 5 (Tue), 2020 at noon EST/1 p.m. EDT

Venue: Zoom (

Webinar Description: Currently, there are a wide range of analytic approaches to qualitative research and there is little consensus on how to complete rigorous analyses. To tackle this issue, the AHRD’s Qualitative SIG invites Dr. Jessica Lester, a well-known qualitative methodologist from Indiana University, to provide an overview of qualitative data analysis as a workflow support to qualitative research.

This webinar will provide a general overview of qualitative research and the various qualitative analytic approaches that are possible. Attention will be given to how various theoretical orientations shape the analysis and interpretation of qualitative data.

Dr. Jessica Nina Lester ( is an associate professor of Inquiry Methodology (Qualitative Research) in the School of Education at Indiana University. She has published over 70 peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as numerous qualitative methods books and book chapters. Broadly, her scholarship is positioned at the intersection of disability studies and discourse studies, with a particular focus on mental health and education contexts. She is a co-author of the first edition of Digital Tools for Qualitative Research, published with SAGE, with the second edition soon to be released. She has also co-edited a book focused on performance ethnographies (Peter Lang, 2013), policy and discourse analysis (Palgrave, 2017), and is currently editing a book focused on discursive psychology and disability (Palgrave, in press). Most recently, she co-authored (with Dr. O’Reilly) a book focused on applied conversation analysis with SAGE.

She is a founding member of the Microanalysis of Online Data international network, the Associate Director of the Conversation Analysis Research in Autism group at the University of Leicester, the U.K., and the current chair of the Qualitative Research Special Interest Group (AERA). In 2014, Dr. Lester received AERA's Division D's Early Career Award in Measurement and Research Methodology (Qualitative Methodology). In 2018, she received the Distinguished Early Career Contributions in Qualitative Inquiry Award from the APA. She has most recently published in journals such as Qualitative Inquiry and Discourse Studies. She received her Ph.D. in educational psychology, with an emphasis in qualitative research methods and cultural studies, from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

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AAACE Membership Discount Code

AHRD members are eligible for a 10% discount off AAACE membership with this Promo Code: “AHRDMemberPartner”

Visit the AAACE membership page here:

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Journal News

Human Resource Development International (HRDI)

Jessica Li, Editor

Human Resource Development International (HRDI)

Special Issue Call for Papers

Engagement at 30: A Retrospective and Look Forward through an International Cross-Cultural Context
Guest Editors: Dr. Brad Shuck, Woocheol Kim, and Luke Fletcher

We are excited to address the application of engagement—whether employee, work, job, or organizational—across cultural contexts and we encourage situating engagement within cultural boundaries that remain underrepresented throughout the world, such as developing and emerging economies, identities, and professions.

We welcome contributing papers that are:

  • Grounded in evidence, including research studies and workplace case-studies (qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method); and/or
  • Theoretical or conceptual papers that make meaning of the existing literature in novel ways; and/or
  • Thought leader pieces that align with, or challenge, the status quo of engagement.

Deadline: August 1, 2020 for full complete papers due to HRDI for Special Issue.

View the full call for papers and submission instructions here.

Announcing the latest Issue of HRDI currently available on online

The latest issue of HRDI, Volume 23, Issue 2 is available here.

Currently Available online:

  • Jessica Li & Sarah M. Zehr (2020) The well-being of communities, large and small: a ponderance of HRD, Human Resource Development International, 23:2, 103-107, DOI: 10.1080/13678868.2020.1726604
  • Catharine Ross, Lynn Nichol, Carole Elliott, Sally Sambrook & Jim Stewart (2020) The role of HRD in bridging the research-practice gap: the case of learning and development, Human Resource Development International, 23:2, 108-124, DOI: 10.1080/13678868.2019.1667691
  • Shoaib Ul-Haq (2020) Spiritual development and meaningful work: a Habermasian critique, Human Resource Development International, 23:2, 125-145, DOI: 10.1080/13678868.2019.1679570
  • Andreas Gegenfurtner, Maximilian Knogler & Susanne Schwab (2020) Transfer interest: measuring interest in training content and interest in training transfer, Human Resource Development International, 23:2, 146-167, DOI: 10.1080/13678868.2019.1644002
  • Urban Pauli (2020) Training professionalisation and SME performance, Human Resource Development International, 23:2, 168-187, DOI: 10.1080/13678868.2019.1696079
  • Deyanira Garcia Zea (2020) Brain drain in Venezuela: The scope of the human capital crisis, Human Resource Development International, 23:2, 188-195, DOI: 10.1080/13678868.2019.1708156
  • Rajashi Ghosh (2020) Leadership and power in international development: Navigating the intersections of gender, culture, context, and sustainability, Human Resource Development International, 23:2, 196-197, DOI: 10.1080/13678868.2019.1640013


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Additional News

Job Postings

Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) seeks an experienced, mission-focused, and strategic leader for the position of Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer (AVP). The next AVP will work collaboratively across campus to integrate the office throughout all facets of the university as a trusted resource and proactive partner on all matters related to human resources (HR). The HR staff at RIT is strong and dedicated, so to build upon this solid foundation this leader must have a roll-up-one’s-sleeves attitude while focusing on creating a strategic, unified, and ambitious vision for HR at RIT.

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Human Resources Business Partner, R20030

Bellevue College, Bellevue, Washington

The Human Resource Business Partner will provide guidance and consultation in any, some or all of the following: recruitment, classification, compensation, collective bargaining, employee/labor relations, grievances, affirmative action, training and development, performance management, program and policy development, organizational analysis, interpretation and application of laws, rules, policies, or other functions relating to human resources management.

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Department Chair at the rank of Full Professor - Human Resource Development

The University of Texas at Tyler, Tyler, Texas

The Soules College of Business at The University of Texas at Tyler invites qualified individuals to apply for a full-time academic Chair position at the rank of Full Professor in the Department of Human Resource Development. The College is looking for an accomplished academician and effective leader who will advocate for students, staff, faculty, and programs. The department currently offers bachelor’s (BS), master’s (MS), and doctorate (Ph.D.) degrees in Human Resource Development (HRD). Department faculty have led the field through teaching, scholarship, and service including as leaders in the Academy of Human Resource Development and editors for HRD journals. The position begins Fall 2020 and is an academic year appointment at The University of Texas at Tyler with a summer stipend.

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Assistant/Associate Professor of Human Resource Development

The University of Texas at Tyler, Tyler, Texas

The Soules College of Business at The University of Texas at Tyler invites qualified individuals to apply for the position of Assistant/Associate Professor of Human Resource Development. The Department is looking for an emerging or accomplished scholar to help achieve its vision to be the program of choice for students, practitioners, executives, and/or educators who are seeking a corporate and/or academic career in human resource development. The department currently offers bachelor’s (BS), master’s (MS), and doctorate (Ph.D.) degrees in Human Resource Development (HRD). Department faculty have led the field through teaching, scholarship, and service including as leaders in the Academy of Human Resource Development and editors for HRD journals. The position begins in August 2020 and is an academic year appointment with the potential for summer teaching.

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Final Thought

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

Tomika GreerIn putting together this month’s AHRD Digest, I am reminded that the AHRD community is a resilient one. This month, we hosted a Town Hall event (replay available on YouTube) using Zoom and a Facebook Live event (replay available on Facebook). Both of these events leveraged the power of technology to keep us connected and engaged as a community even during this time in history when we are being encouraged to maintain physical distance from each other. 

In May, we will continue to offer these opportunities to connect as a community. I hope you will take advantage of the upcoming webinars and live events. To keep up with the happenings, please like our page on Facebook ( @AcademyHRD) and follow our Twitter feed (@AcademyHRD).

Be safe. Take care.

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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
  • Joshua C. Collins
  • M Cecil Smith
  • Jeremy Bohonos
  • Jie Ke
  • Ronald Jacobs
  • Yonjoo Cho

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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