By Jessica Riviere
Another Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network Annual Meeting has come and gone! We at UCAT look forward to our chance each fall to connect with other educational development professionals from across the country and around the world. From October 25–29, our office at Ohio State was reduced to a skeleton crew as the majority of our staff traveled to beautiful Montreal, Quebec to spend four days sharing our expertise and learning from others.
As is custom, members of our staff presented research on our programming. We were also well represented in committees and special interest groups who run the conference behind the scenes, with staff members on the membership committee and coordinating the “birds of a feather” program to connect educational developers who have similar interests and career levels.
During the conference, Associate Director Stephanie Rohdieck facilitated a pre-conference workshop on “Responding to Challenges and Opportunities: Years 2 through 8,” and she also presented with UCAT Assistant Director Teresa Johnson in a session entitled, “Consultation Skills for Engaging Units in Organizational Change.” Instructional Consultant Sarah Holt co-facilitated the “Welcome Session for New Members” at the conference. I also facilitated an interactive session called “Graduate Student Development Showcase: Discovering and Sharing What Works.”
One of the best parts of POD is reconnecting with former members of our UCAT team whose careers in educational development have taken them to other institutions. For example, our former Senior Instructional Consultant, Lindsay Bernhagen, is now Director at the Center for Inclusive Teaching and Learning at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, and she was awarded one of two prestigious research prizes for an article she wrote while working at Ohio State. She’s also a member of the Core Committee, POD’s governing body.
UCAT is well respected in the field of educational development due to its size and long history. Even though we are happy to share our experiences, we go to POD to learn from others! I attended presentations on “sparkshops,” graduate mentoring around research, MOOC based learning communities, and supporting inclusive environments for graduate education. I’ve already gleaned some details from colleagues about what sessions they attended that sparked their interest and what ideas and resources they’re looking forward to bringing back to Ohio State.
Jessica Riviere is an Instructional Consultant and Coordinator of Graduate Teaching Associate Programs at UCAT.