Experiential learning is the practical application of learning to solve real-world problems. For students, it is a way to bring classwork to life. Herein, it is case studies that take a retrospective view of what could happen, by analyzing how companies acted. Hands-on experience used to be provided in the form of an apprenticeship, but this concept has been transformed in the world today into internships and externships. These semester-long programs are offered as core curriculum in various undergraduate/graduate programs throughout the country. Students typically work in teams gaining short, practical, educational experiences in their respective fields of study. In this paradigm, the company also benefits by identifying and recruiting potential employees through such a process. The student teams are directed by educators and corporate staff, and typically present their findings at the conclusion of their program.
SAS Fellow Spotlight: Walker Ladd
SAS Fellow Spotlight: Walker Ladd
Our latest spotlight is Research Fellow Dr. Walker Ladd. She is in her second round of fellowship with the Center for Leadership Studies and Educational Research under Chair Dr. Mark McCaslin. Additionally, she is an active dissertation chair and will begin teaching Residencies in Phoenix next month.
Her most current published study, which was recently featured here on the Hub, was a grounded theory study conducted with Dr. McCaslin as part of her fellowship. According to Dr. Ladd, “We designed a study that would describe and explain the processes of successfully accomplishing publication. Therefore, our central research question became ‘How do some scholars publish successfully while others perish from professional pressure?’ The findings revealed the nature of problem solving in order to produce peer-reviewed publication for mid-career faculty was time management, having a passion for the work, and purposing employment with publication choices.”
In addition to completion and publication of this research, Dr. Ladd has been invited to present this research at the TQR7 at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale Florida, January 2016. Many consider this event the who’s who of qualitative research and it is a great honor to be invited.
This success comes as no surprise to her Research Chair, Dr. McCaslin, who has said, “I have worked side by side with Walker in our work of chairing dissertations. In matters of creativity she is as insightful as she is authentic. I think her secret is that in addition to being fully aware of the possibilities of the research her students are pursuing she adds to the mix an ability to see the possibilities held by the student as a person. She is a potentiating force – she is both artist and a gardener in the learning community.” It goes without saying, this passion spills into her research as well.
Dr. Ladd hopes the success of this project allows her to dig deeper into related research topics. “The next research could expand the intersection of past, present, and future within the motivation of the scholar. We need to understand the generative nature of the scholar-mentor relationship. From this research, a model, or several models of faculty development would evolve. Future research based on scholar success would create faculty training and give higher education administration deliverable practices to initiate and sustain in faculty development. Listening to what works creates the causes for success. But we have to listen.”
Currently, she is working on a meta-ethnography/meta-analysis of the qualitative literature regarding success in mentoring the scholarly practitioner. Her hope is to paint the picture of what we know so far about supporting practitioners as they work toward professional and scholarly advancement.
SAS researchers and students interested in grounded theory studies take note: Dr. Ladd is a big fan of this type of study. She said, “I love grounded theory and see its appropriateness in addressing many of the problems in higher education today, particularly asynchronous learning.” If you’re planning to or are currently in the process of completing a grounded theory study, reach out to her directly.
Thank you to Dr. Ladd for her contributions to the research community, higher learning, and SAS students and faculty.