Gustavus Adolphus College Board of Trustees Distinguished Chair in Leadership and Ethics Professor Kathy Lund Dean has been awarded a Visiting Erskine Programme Fellowship for the 2015 spring semester by the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Her second Erskine award, Lund Dean will partner with faculty at the University of Canterbury’s School of Business & Economics to determine best practices in embedding experiential learning within large, traditionally lecture-based courses.
The Erskine Fellowship Programme ranks among the most prestigious educational awards in New Zealand and is made possible by a visionary bequest from Canterbury alumnus John Angus Erskine. Erskine, along with fellow Canterbury alumnus Ernest Rutherford, performed pioneering work in magnetic screening in the late 1800s. The Fellowship Programme was designed to bring renowned scholars from all over the world to Christchurch, enriching the University’s ability to serve its students and scholarly community.
Lund Dean utilized her first Erskine award in 2009 by teaching a wholly experiential management course in Canterbury’s executive MBA program.
“While experiential learning techniques such as class discussion, role-play, and community fieldwork are well integrated into American business courses, the New Zealand educational system has held to a tradition of lecturing,” Lund Dean observed. “It took a class session or two for the students to feel comfortable interacting with me and with each other.”
For most students, even on a graduate level, it was the first time they had ever participated in an experientially-based course, and the results were transformative—so much so that the University of Canterbury’s School of Business & Economics is deliberately building experiential learning capacity and expertise.
“I was so proud of the students’ willingness to take risks. They had never even had classroom discussion before, and there they were, doing role-plays in front of their peers. It was one of the most humbling teaching experiences I have ever had,” Lund Dean noted.
The School of Business & Economics’ commitment to building experiential learning expertise in its faculty led to Canterbury lecturer Sarah Wright’s professional development goal of learning American techniques in experiential teaching. Wright, with whom Lund Dean worked during her 2009 Erskine stay in Christchurch, became determined to hone experiential learning expertise after observing significantly improved MBA student learning outcomes.
In 2010, Wright and Lund Dean participated in the OBTC Teaching Conference for Management Educators, run by the most innovative management education experiential learning society in North America. Additionally, Wright earned a 2011 Erskine visit to Lund Dean’s U.S. institution at the time, Idaho State University, to team-teach a summer course.
“We are honored to host Kathy in 2015,” Wright said. “She brings a wealth of knowledge in experiential learning, and injects enthusiasm and energy into our classrooms here at UC. Her willingness to mentor faculty in experiential learning is extraordinary, as is her dedication to help others engage in professional development opportunities. We look forward to welcoming her back in 2015!” Lund Dean and her family will be in Christchurch from mid-February to the end of April.
At Gustavus, Lund Dean is the inaugural holder of the Board of Trustees Distinguished Chair in Leadership & Ethics. She teaches courses in the College’s Department of Economics and Management, is responsible for internal and external stakeholder engagement in order to grow College programs, and is also charged with creating new experiential learning opportunities for Gustavus students. In addition, the Chair supports Lund Dean’s long-term leadership positions in the Academy of Management, OBTS Teaching Society for Management Educators, and the Journal of Management Education to enhance Gustavus’ international scope and reputation.
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