Master Classes Offer a Window into Graduate Academics

Posted by Kathryne Sonnett on Jan 21, 2021 12:05:42 PM

A few months after taking command of the Maryland National Guard, Major General Linda Singh helped lead the response to unrest and rioting in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray, a young Black man, from injuries sustained in police custody. The retired officer, now chief executive officer of Kaleidoscope Affect LLC, discussed this and other public policy experience from her long, distinguished career in “Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace,” a Master Class hosted by the School of Professional Studies’ Master of Public Administration Senior Leadership (MPA-SL) program.

“Use your power to level the playing field. If you want an inclusive environment, you must innovate and disrupt. We made a difference because we were bold and willing to roll up our sleeves and work,” Singh said, describing how she promoted capable women to her leadership team because of their skills, not their gender — creating the first-ever fully female senior leadership team in Maryland National Guard history.

Singh’s session was part of the Clark University Graduate Studies Master Class Series, designed and presented by faculty from each of its graduate departments — School of Management (SOM), School of Professional Studies (SPS), and International Development, Community, and Environment (ICDE) — to offer a window into an actual Clark graduate course. Classes, including Sustainability Marketing, Lean Software Development, and Climate Change Impacts and Adaptations, provided a deeper dive into graduate academics. Recordings of each class can be found here.

School of Management

SOM, a leader in business education recognized for its unique and innovative programs, offered classes on a broad range of business topics. Professor Steve Ng discussed how he prepares students to become equity research analysts and stock pickers in “Stock Portfolio Management,” offering alternative strategies based on current concepts and their applications.

In “Analytics Applications: Bitcoin and Stock Process Prediction,” Assistant Professor Hamidreza Ahady Dolatsara reviewed the financial data of public markets, collective publicly available intelligence, and the power of analytical methods in short-term trading. Participants saw how state-of-the-art trading methods can be used to develop an expert trading system based on predicting the next day price movement.

The current paradigm shift in the field of marketing has led to an emphasis on sustainability marketing and branding, the subject of Professor Thomas Murphys Sustainability Marketing course. In his master class, Murphy reviewed the skills and knowledge needed as product and service categories are pressed to provide more sustainable solutions for consumers.

Professor Mary-Ellen Boyle, who teaches about globalization and social change, presented a class on “Resilience in this Global Economy” where she explored what successful organizations can do in the face of continuous uncertainty. By examining instances of failures to scan, pivot, gauge, or adapt, Boyle provided examples of how managers cope with crisis.

School of Professional Studies

SPS programs offer a flexible framework — grounded in experiential learning taught by experts in the field — to help students increase their earning potential and achieve their career goals. Master classes offered by faculty emphasized real-world applications of their curriculum.

In “Lean Software Development: A Scrum Alternative,” Professor Brian LeBlanc, a successful entrepreneur, corporate leader, and financial technology veteran, reviewed the concept of the Agile approach in business. LeBlanc discussed how Lean Software Development can be an alternative option to the traditional Scrum methodology.

Professor David Hofstetter, president of The Hofstetter Group, an international management training and coaching organization, discussed the importance of maintaining work-life balance during “The Balancing Act.” His session explored various techniques for balancing all the demands of working, studying, and having a personal life in these uncertain times. 

And Professor Jon Leiberman, award winning content creator and journalist, offered his perspective on “Branding Yourself,” to demonstrate the importance of ways to build one’s personal brand —  a requirement in today’s saturated job market. Whether you start out as a self-employed entrepreneur or working in a large corporation, Lieberman stressed, you are the captain of your career.  

International Development, Community, and Environment

The sessions presented by IDCE faculty highlighted the hallmark of its degree programs — facing the big challenges of today’s world with a flexible, interdisciplinary, and practice-oriented curriculum that is designed to cross boundaries and address major social and environmental justice issues. IDCE degrees put solutions into action locally and around the world.

Migration is a key adaptive strategy for millions of people around the world, but it is often treated as an afterthought by sustainable development advocates. In “Project MISTY: Migration, Sustainability, and Transformation in Worcester,” IDCE Director Ed Carr and Professor Anita Fabos discussed Project MISTY, an innovative research project focusing on migration for a transformation to sustainability in six cities around the world, including Worcester. 

The Clark Wildlife Conservation Consulting Team presented a master class highlighting examples of Clark’s GIScience solutions to Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) conservation challenges including: mapping bison habitat suitability on Native American and privately-owned lands in Montana, and establishing baselines for the Sustainable Wildlife Management Program. Geography Professors John Rogan and Florencia Sangermano reviewed how Clark students consult with WCS to deliver practical solutions for predetermined conservation projects.

By reviewing the range of perspectives and paradigms that permeate the field of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) in “Thinking and Acting Evaluatively: Forging Programmatic Impact and Organizational Change,” IDCE faculty members Professors Laurie Ross and Dave Bell highlight how IDCE’s M&E concentration and certificate programs develop solutions with maximum impact. The monitoring and evaluation programs ensure that current and aspiring community development and international development practitioners can embrace the multiple perspectives, paradigms, and disciplines when developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating projects, programs and intervention strategies.

“Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation for the Mexico City Region,” presented by Professors Tim Downs, Yelena Ogneva-Himmelberger, Morgan Ruelle, and doctoral candidate Ravi Hanumantha demonstrated IDCE’s interdisciplinary, engaged approach to both research and teaching. In their fieldwork and teaching. They discussed how they provide transformative solutions for the complex challenges of climate change to water supply and sanitation, food and agriculture, energy systems, critical infrastructure, the economy, livelihoods, property, and other drivers of human health and wellbeing. 

These classes are just a few examples of how Clark graduate programs provide the knowledge, skills, and confidence to allow you to move forward with purpose.

Topics: Graduate Studies, Clark Community

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