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Network News: Opening Letter July 2015
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Connecting New Dots in the Network

By Marco Cassone, MSOD, OD Network National Board of Trustees, 2015 

  

Summer is a time for vacations, BBQs, and sunburns. With long days and short nights, the summer sun inspires growth everywhere—in kids and crops alike. For graduate and doctoral students, summer break is a chance to pause the study, ditch the library, and soak up much needed vitamin D.

On campuses across the country, summer is a time of ceremony. With Pomp and Circumstance still ringing in the air, commencement speakers offer nuggets of wisdom to bright-eyed graduates: "You can't connect the dots looking forward," shared then CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, at Stanford in 2005, "You can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future."

So, what do summer, Pomp and Circumstance, and connecting dots have to do with the OD Network? Well, from this author's perspective––looking backwards as a recent ODEA graduate––EVERYTHING.

Five Years of ODEA

2015 marks the fifth year of the Organization Development Education Association (ODEA), an alliance of the top graduate OD programs in the country. If there's one thing we're proud to honor this time of year, it's all of our students, graduates, and alumni.

ODEA was founded with the intent to establish, advance, and promote the body of knowledge required in OD education; this is done via peer-to-peer knowledge exchange, collaboration on research, and certification of academic programs. ODEA schools also manage the Student Paper Process (http://www.odnetwork.org/?page=2015SPP) and Student Research Colloquium (http://www.odnetwork.org/?page=2015SRC), which provide valuable feedback on original research and case study papers.

New ODEA Programs

A recent accomplishment of our national 2015 Board of Trustees is the addition of a role and committee dedicated to serving this growing segment of our membership. My name is Marco Cassone; I am a recent graduate of the MSOD Program at Pepperdine University. I’m proud to have been entrusted to develop this next generation of future leaders in our network. If your values align with our initiatives, join me alongside committee co-chair, Kris Lea, MSOD, as we design, pilot, and launch new programs to help students further connect the dots. Email mcassone@odnetwork.org and/or klea@sbcglobal.net for more information, and stay tuned for announcements about new ODEA programs and alumni offerings.

ODEA is Growing

The OD Network is also proud to welcome two new ODEA member schools this year: Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia (Canada), and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. In particular, we would like to extend gratitude for Case Western's platinum sponsorship at the 2015 OD Network | IODA Annual Conference. Their generous support will help import three distinguished guests from South Africa to share their powerful session, "Living through Apartheid: The Power of Witnessing the Other."

Speaking of, the very best way for graduates to connect the dots is by experiencing the OD Network live and in person. We've never been more excited to have students attend our annual pre-conference and conference sessions, where members build relationships that matter by sharing information that's useful. These are invaluable in professional development and for expanding one's network.

Congratulatory Offering

In honor of our 2015 graduates and ODEA's fifth birthday, the OD Network is offering a $100 discount towards FULL DAY PRE-CONFERENCE registration for ALL current student members and recent network member graduates since 2010. Look for updates about the offer, and email us for the student member code at odnetwork@odnetwork.com

In closing this celebratory opening article for Network News, I am humbled to remind my fellow graduates that we stand upon the shoulders of those who have come before us. The OD Network is an incomparable collection of some of the world’s most accomplished thought leaders and OD pioneers. Let's do our best to share our fresh, grad school learnings generously. And to our many veteran members, thank you for mentoring us, for helping us connect the dots in a deeper and more meaningful way, and for being the solid, entrusted shoulders upon which our next generation of members may stand.

Get to know 2015 OD Network Board member and ODEA liaison, Marco Cassone, MSOD: http://marco-cassone.branded.me

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2016 OD Network Annual Conference

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