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January Digest- 2014


January 2014 AHRD Digest

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From the Board
by Seung Won Yoon
VP, Conference in the Americas (Referred)

Global AHRD Conference Strategy
by Khalil M. Dirani, VP of Webcasts & Conferences (International)
The University of Georgia

Opportunities for Members

Member Spotlight
Dr. Lane Morris

Job Openings

News and Notes
Breakout sessions have now been finalized!

Research Requests

Final Thoughts


From the Board

Seung Won Yoon, VP, Conference in the Americas (Referred)

Something Special about This Year’s Conference and for Years to Come

I have been attending the annual AHRD conference in Americas almost every year for about 15 years. Last year I took a leap of faith and joined the board, taking the role of VP of the Referred Section of the Conference in Americas. Working as a new board member meant to me that there would be many puzzle pieces or system components that I must understand, how they work together, and create various value chains.

From the beginning, meetings and conference calls established two very helpful goals, improving: (1) the quality of the annual Conference in Americas and (2) opportunities for personal/professional development, both in support of the AHRD vision: Leading HRD through research. Surely, those goals had to be translated to concrete strategies and tasks through many conversations, clarifications, and follow-up work involving many people including other board members, the conference planning team, track chairs, and members from Ewald Consulting. Space limit forces me to best represent these thankful people as "we”. We scrutinized previous years’ conference feedback and tackled several dimensions - an integrated online proposal submission/review system, quality checks on manuscripts at multiple phases, better groupings of papers and the scheduling of sessions, to name just a few.

As a result of this work you will see some noticeable changes in this year’s AHRD Conference in Americas. These include sessions grouped by tracks, proposal groupings collaboratively designed by track chairs and the Conference team, room assignments in consideration of previous years’ feedback, and many timely topics from the Food-N-Thought, as well as the Innovative Sessions. Behind these, track chairs (and his/her team) and the Conference planning team put in a lot of sweat. Along the way we also tried to capture insights and things-to-further-improve in preparation for future years.

My reflection of the past several months tells me that as long as there are "we” who support the vision of the Academy, someone and some teams will again look into the past and work together because collective HRD intelligence is simply effective and rewarding. Thank you very much for all volunteers whose work at and after the conference contributes to leading HRD through research. My special thanks to track chairs and the Conference team, because I saw what you all have done for this year’s conference and more. I can’t wait to see you all in Houston.

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Global AHRD Conference Strategy

Khalil M. Dirani, VP of Webcasts & Conferences (International), The University of Georgia

Dear AHRD members,

In last month’s digest "From the Board” section, I wrote about an initiative for a Global AHRD Conference Strategy that the AHRD Board charged my colleague Rajashi Ghosh and myself to work on.

Several members read into that piece that a global strategy had already been developed and was in the process of being implemented. I want to stress that that is not the case at all. What I wrote was that we hoped that "such an initiative would start a conversation and eventually lead the AHRD Board to implement a three-year global AHRD conference(s) strategy”. At this point, our proposal for a strategy is still emerging and there is much work ahead of us. The important thing is that a conversation about the strategy already started and the next Board will be undertaking a comprehensive discussion and review of where AHRD wants to go and determining how best to get there

Happy New Year.


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Opportunities for Members

2014 AHRD International Conference in the Americas

Registration is Now Open! The 21st Annual Conference will be held in Houston, TX from Thursday, February 20 to Saturday, February 22. Registration is now open and information on travel, lodging, and fees, as well as a preliminary schedule are available here.

Emerging Research Course at 2014 Conference in the Americas

The Emerging Research Course will once again be offered in conjunction with the 2014 AHRD International Research Conference in the Americas. This course is offered as a pre-conference experience specifically for graduate students involved in HRD programs. Students in this course will examine the role of research in HRD, emerging themes in HRD research, criteria for evaluating research in HRD, critique of past and future conference presentations, and the role of professionalism and professional organizations in HRD.

This course is offered in association with the conference, however graduate students must work with faculty at their "home” university to earn course credit for the experience and additional work with an instructor at your university is required to earn a full 3-credits for the experience. In the past, 15-20 universities have participated in any given year. If you’re interested in this course and you are currently enrolled in an academic program that supports your participation in the Emerging Research course, contact the designated instructor of your university. If your institution is not a currently supporting the AHRD Emerging Research Course, either 1) contact a faculty member at your institution to determine if he or she would support your involvement in the course as part of a directed study or research-related project for academic credit OR 2) contact the AHRD Emerging Research Course coordinators, Dr. Consuelo Waight at the University of Houston ( and Dr. Jia Wang at Texas A&M University (

Students, be sure to register for the Emerging Research class at the AHRD website—and be sure to register for both the full conference and the Emerging Research course (a separate fee). Students are expected to attend all class meetings and attend the full conference—due to the experiential learning that occurs, there are no exceptions to this attendance requirement. Students must also arrange their own transportation and arrive in Arlington by the start time of the course. For other important pre-conference logistics, please contact the course instructor at your institution and/or see the AHRD website.

Faculty members, if your University would like to participate in this experience this year, please contact Dr. Waight or Dr. Wang (e-mails above).

AHRD’s Program Excellence Network: Join Now for Great Benefits in 2014

Faculty in programs in HRD, if your academic program is not currently participating in AHRD’s Program Excellence Network (PEN), you are missing some great opportunities for development and knowledge sharing among your peer institutions. We hope you’ll consider joining PEN for 2014. Join over 25 institutions – share your successes, get new ideas, connect with your peers! PEN is a network of academic programs committed to strengthening HRD academic programs and promoting excellence in teaching HRD. It provides a forum for its members to explore, learn, and work together to shape the future direction of HRD education. If your academic program would like to join PEN, now is the time to do it! PEN is revving up for its annual meeting that will be a pre-conference experience prior to the 2014 Conference in the Americas. That meeting will be Wednesday, February 19, 1:00-5:00 and Thursday, February 20, 9:00-1:00. The program includes at least one-half day of professional development as well as time for structured information sharing and networking between the programs. And, there’s an informal dinner that evening for all meeting attendees. The cost of this meeting is included in PEN membership dues (which run from January-December) for one representative from your program; and additional faculty from member programs may attend for an additional low cost. PEN membership includes many more benefits in addition to the annual meeting. To learn more visit: and/or contact Wendy Ruona (

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Member Spotlight

Dr. Lane

Our Member Spotlight this month focuses attention on Dr. Lane Morris. He is a Skinner Professor of Management and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs in the College of Business Administration at the University of Tennessee. Lane became a member of the Academy in 2000 after being invited by friend and colleague, Dr. Billie Collier. Lane’s research focuses on leadership and particularly work/life integration and harmony, wellness, and leadership development. These align well with the work of other AHRD members and Lane notes being drawn to the Academy "because of the emphasis on applied research in the development of human capital”.

Many of our long-time members may know Lane, but for those of you who don’t, Lane has been a dedicated AHRD volunteer. In the last 14 years, he had served in a number of roles including a conference reviewer and program chair, a board member, member of the HRDQ editorial board, a member of the AHRD Foundation, and most notably as a President of the Academy.

Because of his long association, Lane has many memorable moments from his engagement with AHRD, but when pressed, Lane described his pride in helping to advance the Academy through various reorganization processes including: the selection of Ewald Consulting which is the external agency that serves as the Academy’s main office and conference planner; the selection and subsequent redesign of conference submission and registration processes; a cooperative partnership with Dr. Jerry Gilley to advance AHRD’s budgetary and revenue-generating processes; and appointing a journal taskforce to examine electronic journal formats.

With Lane’s busy work schedule it is not surprising that Lane offered two book recommendations that relate directly to his interest in leadership. Currently he is reading: How to be Exceptional: Drive Leadership Success by Magnifying your Strengths by John Zenger, Joseph Folkman, Robert Sherwin, & Barbara Steel, and The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World by Ronald Heifetz, Marty Linsky, & Alexander Grashow.

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Job Openings

1) Associate/Full Professor, Graduate Dept of Ed Leadership and ISD


  • Earned PhD in Instructional Design, Instructional Technology or related field-Demonstrated ability to teach graduate courses in Instructional Design and Instructional Technology, including emerging technologies
  • Demonstrated ability to advise and direct masters and doctoral research projects
  • Record of and potential for scholarship, research, and grants/contracts
  • Record of participation in the profession

More information may be found here.

2) Assistant Professor- Rochester institute of Technology /Dept. of Service Systems

Brief Job Description:

RIT’s College of Applied Science and Technology (CAST) International Hospitality and Service Management Department of Service Systems is currently seeking applications from exceptional candidates for a tenure track position at the assistant professor rank to teach in the Human Resource Development graduate program via traditional classroom and distance learning formats.

More information may be found here.

For additional information about job openings, check out the Career Opportunities page on the AHRD website.


Job ads are posted for 90 days and are available to all members and non-members visiting the AHRD website.

Cost of posting:
Members - $25.00
Non-members - $100.00
PEN Members - FREE

If you have any questions, please contact us at

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News and Notes

  • From the Conference Team:


    We are very impressed with the range of subjects that are being researched in the AHRD community. This year’s conference has, truly, something for everyone—there are sessions on emerging topics, and there are sessions that thoughtfully and substantively build upon established research. We have several wonderful Innovative Sessions, and Food and Thought sessions, designed to stimulate dialogue and inspire further exploration.

    If you would like to work with us on putting together what we intend as the best AHRD conference yet, there are still opportunities for Session Hosts. Please sign up at here no later than January 17, 2014 at 5:00 pm (Central Standard Time).

Conference Attendees:

Breakout sessions have now been finalized. Please click here to view your exact presentation(s) date and time. You can use the "Find” function in excel to search for your name. Please note that the conference program book and proceedings will be available in early February.

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Final Thoughts

Come Dance with Me

Early in the fall the Academy introduced a redesigned website with great social networking and communication capabilities. If you go to Member Central at and find the Conversations Tab, there you will see a number of places to engage in conversations with fellow members.

The forums are broken down into three main headings: Water Cooler, Career Development, and The Field of HRD. Water Cooler has places to discuss technology and upcoming conferences (like roommate seeking, collaborator requests), as well as non-AHRD related topics and FAQs about Forums. The Career Development heading has topics for university faculty, practitioners, and graduate students. The final heading is the Field of HRD. This section features the topics of classroom practice and teaching, conducting research, HRD practice, and HRD literature.

These forums have the potential to create a repository for sharing new thinking and ideas that may benefit both current and future AHRD members- but if you visit, you’ll quickly see that the forums are all but empty. Right now the Forum page is a bit like a junior high school dance. The music is playing and the lights are flashing, but nobody is dancing. Our community of scholars and practitioners can’t be wallflowers, waiting for someone else to show their moves on the floor, we need to each take a step forward, tap our toes, and ask some one to dance.

So I invite you to go to the forums regularly, set up your profile to receive your preferred updates, and share something in one of the conversations.

Robin S. Grenier
VP, HRD Practice & Membership Communications

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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 15th of the month previous.

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