(Above, left to right: Mark McCaslin, Ph.D. dean of research and scholarship, Peter Cohen, president, University of Phoenix, Dr. David Proudfoot, Plenary Host and 1 of 4 Distinguished Faculty Scholar Awardees, and Dr. Mansureh Kebritchi, chair, CEITR, greeted attendess in the opening session).
By Erik Bean, Ed.D.
Associate University Research Chair
Center for Leadership Studies and Organizational Research
For the second year online, the popularity of the 2019 Knowledge Without Boundaries (KWB) Summit within the virtual collaborative tool dubbed Shindig® demonstrated its usefulness as a rigorous and engaging distance learning conference. From Monday June 10th through Friday the 14th, more than 300 Eventbrite registered attendees logged into hear 236 speakers and 103 workshops, individual presentations, and symposiums offered by the University of Phoenix College of Doctoral Studies. The peer reviewed proceedings included keynotes from President Peter Cohen, Provost John Woods, IBM, and Fulbright, geared towards a variety of higher education topics from leadership to management, to healthcare, technology, and entrepreneurialism.
The effort was among the largest higher education peer reviewed conferences ever held online and included concurrent sessions and the ability for attendees to collaborate in private video conversations while presenters spoke from virtual podiums above. The platform helped to duplicate the feel of a hotel or convention center conference particularly compared to other platforms that typically only allow one person to speak with larger audiences of more than 25, for example. Attendees could pick and meander in and out of sessions like any conference and mingle to build camaraderie and to strengthen networking opportunities. Like last year, attendees had the option to partake in several presentations that offered electronic crossword puzzle contests designed for engagement and to reinforce key theoretical and practitioner concepts and topics. A list of the winners can be found here.
Day Three was earmarked by an emotional award ceremony featuring both the 2019 Dissertation of the Year and Distinguished Faculty Scholar winners. Dr. Hinrich Eylers, VP of doctoral studies & academic operations ushered in the student winners. Best dissertations were selected in three primary categories representing the SME aligned to the various doctoral degree offerings in business, healthcare, and education. For business the winner was Dr. Simone Arnold a member of Center for Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Research. Her paper entitled, A Quantitative Descriptive-Comparative Study: The Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence and Workplace Diversity. Chair: Leah P. Hollis. For healthcare the winner was Dr. Khalida Ayoub a member of the Center for Educational and Instructional Technology Research (CEITR). Her paper entitled, Recommended Health Care Models for American Muslim Women: A Delphi Study. Chair: Elizabeth Johnston. And a third winner in education went to Dr. Barbra Pottorf Bowers (CEITR), Technology Leadership: A Qualitative Exploratory Multiple Case Study Identifying Challenges Principals Experience. Chair, Karen K. Johnson.
Mark McCaslin, Ph.D., dean of scholarship and research announced the distinguished scholarly leadership winners, Dr. Louise Underdahl, Dr. David Proudfoot, Dr. Sandra Sessoms-Penny, and Dr. Gary Berg. The selection was based on faculty visibility, rigor, and contributions to the either the published literature or practitioner community engagement and/or the mission and core competencies of the College of Doctoral Studies. Each winner joined the podium with a short acceptance speech and like the outstanding dissertation winners, each received a certificate for their achievements. More recent distinguished scholars included Dr. Lynne Devnew, Dr. James Lane, Dr. LauraAnn Migliore, and Dr. Kevin Bottomley.
Several year-round career building Research Hub offerings were available to sample via KWB 2019 workshop sessions. For instance, the popular and effective Dissertation to Publication workshop series created by Dr. Mansureh Kebritchi was well attended. The five-month program that meets once monthly via a webinar allows UOPX graduates to elicit coaching that can help increase the chances of getting their dissertation published in a peer reviewed academic journal. To assist in scholarly research rigor, the Research Methodology Group provided an overview of their year-round offerings that include webinars, videos, and sessions led by peer reviewed published methodology experts.
Other Research Hub offerings included the much-anticipated preview of the popular Phoenix Scholar, a quarterly electronic publication showcasing the latest research, presentations, and publications of the faculty, students, chairs, and staff of the College of Doctoral Studies. Dr. Rodney Luster, VP of Research and Innovation and Dr. Erik Bean, Phoenix Scholar managing editor, were on hand to discuss the publication that marked its 20th anniversary this past summer and to answer questions about submission inquiries. The periodical offers all UOPX stakeholders a voice including students from the masters and undergrad levels who demonstrate rigor and practicality in their practitioner discipline subject matter expertise (SME).
Bean and Dr. Carol Holland also played host to a mini Professional Engagement to Publication (PEP) KWB workshop that is offered several times throughout the year to help prospects learn about trade publication and journalistic markets where they can express their SME for career visibility and to lead conversations in their professions upon publication.
On day five, each Research Hub center leader, including Dr. Kimberly M. Underwood,, research chair, Center for Workplace Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Brian Sloboda, associate university research chair, Center for Management and Entrepreneurship, Mansureh Kebritchi, research chair, CEITR, Elizabeth Johnston, associate research chair, CEITR, as well as Ryan Rominger, associate university chair, Center for Leadership Studies and Organizational Research (CLSOR), and Erik Bean, associate university chair, CLSOR, were available to field a variety of questions about fellowship opportunities and assistance.
In addition to UOPX stakeholders, invited speakers included Michelle Bolourchi, outreach and recruitment specialist, Institute of International Education, Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, who led a well-attended presentation on the application and selection process of Fulbright scholarships and IBM’s James A. Kahle, a research fellow, and a chief architect of IBM POWER microprocessors, who engaged participants on the future of technology.