It took a while and a gallant effort, but I finally secured the services of a great teacher.
Dr. Whitney McIntyre Miller was my adviser when I was working through the doctorate program at Chapman University. Her academic background is stellar, studying at Pitt and receiving her bachelor’s degree in social work. Her master’s in international development and social work was also obtained at Pitt. Dr. McIntyre Miller received her PhD from UC San Diego in leadership studies. While this is impressive, there were three areas that caught my attention.
First is her work in peace leadership and community development. She has worked in the areas of international development, refugee return and resettlement, nonviolence, elections monitoring, and community development. These areas require tireless dedication and receive little, if any, compensation. This work demonstrates Whitney’s passion for social issues and community well-being. Whitney has visited more than 40 countries for work, study, and leisure. These travels included extended time in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Russia, and Sierra Leone. I had the pleasure of traveling with her to Cambodia this past summer.
Second was her ability to listen, and provide counsel only when asked for it. I have firsthand knowledge of this skill set, and have been impressed with her in this context. The art of listening is foremost in Lead2Goals teachings. This skill is exactly why I recruited Whitney for this position. Again, personal experience was my guide, she demonstrated her skill in listening in several one-on-one meetings with me. When I did require advice, she was brilliant in her ability to break down the components or the issue. She would then position it back out in a way that added clarity.
What really impressed me, though, was how she handled the age difference between us. I am at least 20 years older than her, and at the same time, her subordinate in the education system. Whitney was able to navigate those roles with dignity and class.
Third, is that she is a teacher. I use that word with reverence. Teachers hold a special place in all of our lives. Here, pedagogy is not that of a lecturer. Whitney is good at challenging students and getting the most out of them. As a lifelong learner, myself, I have no interest in the easy class or the easy A. Whitney made me earn my grades. In addition, she possessed the skill set that would allow the student to learn. She did not force retention of facts and figures, she encouraged a real understanding of the issues. Rather than lecture, she would act as a skilled facilitator and ask a simple question. Then she would get out of the class’s way, so every student could learn. This is the same technique we use within Lead2Goals, which is why I worked so hard to secure her services.
Workshops Whitney Will Facilitate
Whitney will facilitate our public and private workshops on organizational development, as well as developing purposeful dialogue. The process of organizational development creates the culture within an organization. Here we emphasizing the importance of vision, mission and core values. Purposeful dialogue focuses more on teaching the skills necessary to hold the types of conversations many of us shy away from; these are conversations that have a high degree of risk, because the opinions on the subjects vary greatly. The emotions of the participants are right at the surface and are raw. These are two of my favorite topics, and I cannot think of anyone else I would want running these workshops.