Each summer, Fielding alumni travel from all over the globe to attend Summer Session.

This year, in Rosemont, IL, the annual Alumni Track offers a series of workshops presented by alumni for the entire Fielding community including a featured panel on the topic of professional development. Participants will be provided exclusive insight into the professional paths of several prominent Fielding graduates.

The session will begin with a panel discussion where attendees will hear firsthand how alumni went about defining their professional goals and the dynamics behind achieving them. Then, participants will have an opportunity to engage with the panelists to learn more about their specific topics.

Summer Session 2018 “Creating the Professional Self” panelists and topics:

Living with Boards: Engaging, Serving, Withdrawing
with Julie Smendzuik-O’Brien, PhD

During your professional life, you are certain to come across boards that guide organizations you care about. You might even want to join such a board to make a difference in your communities of interest. In this segment, you will learn about types of boards, joining boards via election or appointment, expectations of a board member while serving, and ways your service can end. Julie will relay examples, reflections, and advice from over 20 years of board service with three organizations: 1) a community nonprofit focused on food and farm sustainability, 2) the Organization Development and Change Division of the Academy of Management, and 3) another community nonprofit focused on preserving the heritage of a major watershed in the Upper Midwest.

Julie Smendzuik-O’Brien, PhD

Julie is an accomplished scholar-practitioner who served for over 25 years in professional, mid-level, and senior-level management positions in the agriculture, natural resources, and higher education agencies of Minnesota state government. An innovator, she created two internal organization development and change consulting programs in these agencies, and she directed many other change efforts in policy development, organizational improvement, and strategic planning. She served shorter terms as an external consultant to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC, and with the State of Michigan.

Julie mixes this passion for organizational improvement through organization development and change with a commitment to sustainability and social justice. She was a founding member of a non-profit association focused on the sustainability of the U.S. food and farm system that has continued for over 30 years and has also served on a number of non-profit boards and church councils.

Julie received her PhD in human and organizational systems from Fielding Graduate University in 2017, conducting her dissertation research on how internal organization development professionals contribute to changes for sustainability in their organizations. Julie also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in religious studies from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in public administration from the University of South Dakota, and a master’s degree in human development from Fielding Graduate University.

Additionally, Julie was certified for over 20 years by the American Society for Quality as a Manager of Quality/Organizational Effectiveness and holds a certificate in prior learning assessment from the Council on Adult and Experiential Learning / DePaul University. Julie served as the appointed student representative to the Organization Development and Change (ODC) Division of the Academy of Management from August 2013-July 2014. She is currently the appointed Membership Coordinator of the ODC Division (August 2014-present). She is a career-long member of the Organization Development Network and the Minnesota Organization Development Network.

Publishing and other gigs for using your dissertation and knowledge in ways that align with your values, goals, and future vision
With Kerul Kassel, PhD

Kerul will offer ideas for using your doctoral work in your post-doc life, from publishing (books, article, chapters, blogs, and more) and research to getting some paying gigs using your doctoral work and prior professional experience as street cred – while keeping in mind your values and goals.

Kerul Kassel, PhD

Dr. Kerul Kassel is a faculty member at Fielding Graduate University, teaching in the Sustainability Leadership, Global Leadership, and Humane Workplace programs and the author of The Thinking Executive’s Guide to Sustainability (Business Expert Press, 2014). She has been awarded year-on-year fellowships at Fielding’s Institute for Social Innovation. Her work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals and in conferences around the world. She is a member of the international Developing Sustainability Mindset Working Group of the Principles for Responsible Management Education, a program of the United Nations Global Compact. Her research agenda focuses on sustainable enterprise, business practices and education, and leadership for sustainability in organizations.

Developing a Strong Brand-Identity
with Erika Jacobi, PhD

You are wondering how to integrate your PhD into your current business life. For that, you have to acknowledge that something has changed in you and your way of thinking. Naturally, you would like to utilize this shift to create a positive change in your life and your career. Erika’s presentation will reflect on what a strong brand identity can do for you. More importantly, she is hoping to provide you with some practical steps to develop a strong brand identity for your own business. She would like to work with you so that you can put the best imaginable marketing tool to work: yourself.

Erika Jacobi, PhD

Erika Jacobi is the founder of LC GLOBAL®, an international consulting firm with offices in New York City and Munich, Germany. Specializing in agile organization design that fosters authentic business growth and innovation, Erika has facilitated large-scale organizational change processes on three continents. Erika enjoys working with companies ranging from SMEs to Fortune 50. Microsoft, Siemens, BMW, and Estee Lauder have been among her clients as much as non-profits and the United Nations. She holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Development and Change from Fielding Graduate University as well as a Master’s Degree in Linguistics from the Ludwig-Maximilian’s University in Munich, Germany. Linking her two fields, Erika’s doctoral research explored how successful organizations cognitively construe their sense of their collective identity. Erika teaches Organizational Behavior, Innovating Leadership, and Branding at The European Business School and the Business Division of Post University in the U.S. Strongly advocating world citizenship, Erika identifies as a true New Yorker.

This panel is offered to Summer Session attendees and Chicago area alumni on Friday, July 20 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Westin O’Hare in Rosemont, IL.

For more information, email Director of Alumni Relations Hilary Molina.