Thursday, June 16, 2016

Final Reflections

The U of L UFHRD 2016 Conference and trip to England has come to an end. As we all acclimate to time zones, work, recovering from our shared respiratory ick, and settling back into our everyday routines, I thought it fitting to look back on our journey (#gettingterrieyed).

Before the trip, I read a timely quote that I thought would be useful to employ for the trip and class: "Expectations are premeditated resentments," unknown author.  So, I went into the trip trying to stay open to the experience, stay curious to what would be presented, and be present as the experience unfolds.  Having said that, I did remain hopeful for a few things, if the opportunities presented themselves: to learn as much as I could in the process, gain a better understanding of what it will take for me to work internationally, be of service to the group, and develop further discernment for where I need to focus after the graduate program is complete. Each of those goals were met with many more bonuses and unexpected outcomes!

9 people, 9 personalities, 9 different backgrounds, experiences, understandings, approaches, viewpoints, and opinions. It could have been a disaster, but instead, we not only became a team (#pinkiesout), but we became a team of leaders: assisting, supporting, influencing, guiding, modeling, caring for, stepping up, stepping back, and sharing plenty of laughter (#douglife, #wherescarlos) with one another. We learned not only about each other, but also each individual learned more about themselves. We went in as 9 strangers and left as 9 friends from having shared moments, memories, and accomplishments together. Learning, development, leadership, and organizational citizenship--fitting for a group of Human Resource and Organizational Development (HROD) graduate students--as well as representation for the University of Louisville took place... by the way, the British pronounce it, "Haech" ROD, not "aech". There were at least 5 presentations given on cutting edge research from U of L HROD faculty and 7 U of L students making international connections. #teamworkmakesthedreamwork

We continuously discussed globalization. The world is getting smaller via technology and travel opportunities (such as ours), but there is still so very much to learn of one another so that we can seek to understand and learn to accept. We met many people from all over the world (Portugal, Saudi Arabia, England, Spain, South Africa, Greece, and Korea to name a few) and made friends along the way. The opportunity for global networking, learning, and professional connection was amazing. Along the way, we were touched by people asking us about and showing compassion for issues that were taking place in the USA while we were abroad (US Presidential candidates, the death of Muhammad Ali, the death of 49 and 53 wounded in the Orlando Pulse nightclub shootings, the sentencing of Brock Turner).

Author, Mark Nepo says that, "Today, being a global citizen requires the courage to stay truthful about our existence and the courage to be touched and shaped by the faces of humanity we meet and help along the way." I think we did just that!

In Peace,
Katie Ryan Fotiadis

Monday, June 13, 2016

Weekend in London

Yesterday, we kicked off the last weekend of our trip with a quick overnight visit to London!  The group was up early to catch a two-hour train ride from Piccadilly station in Manchester.  Some of us dozed on the train while others worked on our assignments for class.

The group checked into Reid Hall on the campus of Regent’s University, right in the heart of the beautiful Regent’s Park.  For some of us, it’d been a while since we’d experienced the communal living of dorm life, but we made the best of it.  After settling in, the group all jumped on the upper level of an open-topped Double Decker Bus to grab in as many sights as possible during our short time here.

The tour took us down the length of Regent Street, through Piccadilly Circus, and into Haymarket where we enjoyed a proper burger and fries.  From there, we continued our tour to the Tower of London.  While some of the group stayed to scope out a peek of the crown jewels, others, including myself, decided to take a trip down the Thames to Westminster.  Views from the Thames were breathtaking as we navigated under a number of bridges, including the London Bridge, which is holding up just fine.  Our group took in the London Eye, Big Ben, and the parliament building. 
At the end of sightseeing, our groups rendezvoused at the Royal Albert Hall Theater for an evening showing of Swan Lake in the round, featuring dancers from English National Ballet.  The English National Ballet Philharmonic sounded outstanding performing Tchaikovsky’s score and the dancers’ performances were very strong.  Even some of the more skeptical among us left pleased with the performance. 

The day ended with a quick reminder of the States: a trip to McDonald’s where we discovered that it is not called a Royale with Cheese.

-Doug Collins 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Thursday Conference and Banquet

The U of L Manchester team started off with a class with Dr. Rowland on Manchester Metropolitan University campus. Right off the bat, we were on the computers in their room, and I noticed – the @ sign is by the shift button on our keyboards! It is just a simple reminder that things are different here, but all it takes is an open mind to get used to it. We discussed our assignments and began conversations regarding the various cultural and interesting items we've found. We've met people from all across the globe – including South Africa, Germany, and Brazil – many of whom are presenting at UFHRD. 

We also had another exciting day at the conference. We listened to acclaimed author, Damian Hughes, discuss his STEPS concept, and how things like storytelling, emotion, and other simple items can help in our field. We also had the honor to watch Dr. Pentecost present Dr. Herd's Staff Ride research proposal to the UFHRD conference. It was a fascinating insight to see how research is proposed once we are journeying further into academia. 

Additionally, the team had an amazing dinner at Manchester Town Hall with the rest of the UFHRD attendees. It was a beautiful building, filled with different stained glass windows, paintings, and statues. Plus, we had a string quartet from Manchester playing various music and a service staff that was second to none. The food was quite good too! 

While being here in Manchester, we have had the great experience of being able to see the way a different country reacts to news items. One news item that is close to all of our hearts at U of L, the commonwealth of Kentucky, and the USA, is the recent passing of Muhammad Ali. 
I cannot tell you the amount of people who have spoken with high regards to Ali, his influence, and his amazing ability as both an athlete and an icon. When they hear he is from our city, people immediately express their feelings on "the Greatest" and his impact on our world as a whole. It is incredible to see the impact that one of Louisville's own has had on our world. I hope each one of us on this conference representing U of L can have just as big of an impact as we grow and further our careers. 

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity and I can't wait for the rest of this experience. 


Lance Flint

Wednesday - UFHRD Conference

Hey all! 

Wednesday, the 8th of June 2016 began our first official day of the UFHRD Conference sessions. I have to say, it was quite a different and eye-opening experience that our entire group was not accustomed to. The day started pretty easy, around 12:30pm with a networking luncheon and went straight into sessions. If anyone has ever attended a conference, you’re most likely used to sessions lasting around 45 minutes with opportunity to bounce around various types of sessions. They’re typically structured, scheduled, and well-communicated. However, our group learned the hard way that this style of conference is structured completely differently than conferences that we are accustomed to attending.  As the Keynote speaker, Davis Fairhurst, the Executive VP of McDonald’s, ended his spectacular speech, it ran over-time, and threw off the timing of the conference sessions, but the schedule continued as normal and was not communicated among the conference participants. Each session lasted around 20 minutes, was very fast-paced, and swiftly shifted to the next, which did not give any time for us to absorb information or change sessions. The schedule and program was very unique to our style of conference.

Additionally, our group was exposed to unique point of views and discussions with various professionals in the field from all over the world. The one that really seemed to stick with our group were a couple individuals from South Africa whom we chatted with during the evening social. It was really intriguing for us to exchange information about our differing educational systems, politics, and human resource design, as well as noticed similarities within our communication, conversation, and expressions. I know we all look forward to another day at conference tomorrow to gain more insight in the realm of human resource development and networking opportunity with some incredible individuals across the globe. 

Katherine Thompson

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Soccer Pilgrimage and Conference Proceedings Begin

As an avid fan of the English Premier League, this trip has been quite the pilgrimage for me.  Since arriving here on Saturday, we have already visited three of the biggest soccer stadiums in England, namely Anfield (Liverpool FC), Etihad Stadium (Manchester City), and Goodison Park (Everton).  It is very unique to see how these teams are woven into the fabric of the English culture.   
One of the main activities for today was  attending Manchester Metropolitan University, for our preliminary meeting featuring doctoral presentations. These presentations provided insight in regards to the research methods for working towards a Ph.D.  The campus of Manchester Metropolitan University bolstered a very pleasant environment, that was equally unique.

Tomorrows activities present the first day of the UHRD Conference. During this time we will have the chance to engage with students from universities in the US and UK. The remainder of the time here in England grows more exciting with each day, particularly our upcoming visit to London!

Attached below are some pictures from the conference today and our soccer stadium excursions over the past few days.
Nicholas Carter 
 UHRD Conference at the Manchester Metropolitan University

Manchester Metropolitan University

 Manchester United

Manchester City

Monday, June 6, 2016

Monday in Manchester

Hi everyone!

The 2016 Manchester group has arrived and is excited to learn and grow throughout this week!  Sleep deprivation hit us all somewhat, but we hit the ground running. The opportunity to participate and gain insight from other cultures and methods of experiential learning is something that we all expect to enjoy.  

Manchester itself is a beautiful city, full of culture, amazing architecture and friendly people.  Our team has had several group discussion meetings and have been able to relate interesting experiences that have stimulated discussions already!

I'm so excited that I was able to participate in this cultural and professional experience and expect to grow and expand personally as well. 

Kathy McComas

Lunch and tea in Sculpture Hall - Manchester Town Hall

 Dr. Rowland enjoying high tea!

 Kathy McComas at the 
Manchester Museum of Science and Industry.

 Carlos Herrera at the Museum of Science and Industry 

Katie Ryan Fotiadis and Margaret Pentecost learning about Manchester's contributions to the development of trains and the importance of the railroad to industry.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sunday in Liverpool

After a good breakfast, we walked to the Piccadilly Train Station to take the train to Liverpool, England.  The ride was smooth, and Dr. Rowland gathered the students together for a class session while traveling on the train.  A discussion about culture and diversity on a train going through the English countryside made for an interesting ride.  We arrived in the Lime Street station in Liverpool and enjoyed the day seeing a number of sights on Albert Dock, the Liverpool Library, museums, cathedrals, and football fields (Anfield and Everton).  The Beatles Experience and riding the giant ferris wheel also added to the excitement of the day.  Four of us climbed the tower at the Liverpool Cathedral for a spectacular view of the city and the docks surrounding Liverpool.  The weather has been unusually warm and sunny, and some of us even got a bit of sunburn.  

Margaret Pentecost