American Military University participated as a strategic partner and sponsor of Ravens Challenge 2017 ASEAN in Bangkok and Hau Hin, Thailand, July 10 – 21. Ravens Challenge hosted a dynamic, multinational Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) event with realistic Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) training and complete testing for local, regional, and national agencies. Participants joined from the United States, United Kingdom, Thailand, Japan, Malaysia, and Cambodia.
Summer is halfway over! Leaders and team members across the nation are finding and creating time for vacations, for staycations, and/or just time for rest and relaxation. Throughout my lifetime, I have made time for a week or a few days here or there. Rarely do I recall being away for more than one workweek plus the ensuing weekends. This summer was different.
There are many benefits to seeking change for an individual or organization. Having a willingness to move from the status quo requires being aware of the need to adapt and remain relevant in an ever-changing society. This need to adapt and remain relevant in an ever-changing society became our challenge in shifting our Core Learning department’s culture to develop 21st-century practitioners. In short, our faculty needed to shift their legacy instructional practices to better anticipate and meet the corresponding needs of 21st-century learners by fostering those skills themselves, including creativity, analytic thinking, collaboration, communications and ethics, action, and accountability (Crockett, 2016). The award-winning APUS Group Coaching and Mentoring Framework (GCMF) became the strategy to affect that desired change.
The enthusiastic response from APUS faculty to the end-of-year “Service Challenge,” offered insight into the solid culture of service within our ranks. As part of the APUS Wellness Program, the Challenge grew out of a trend within workplace wellness circles that point to the ability for one to connect with his or her purpose as a key ingredient of well-being. Add that to a growing body of research showing the positive impact of selfless service and volunteer work on personal health and well-being, and a challenge was born. While faculty typically account for, at most, 25% of participation levels in our programs, they comprised nearly 50% of Challenge participants during the last quarter of 2016. Among the 30 who participated, three shared their experiences for this article.
With the beginning of a new year and a new leadership team in place, we have launched the first-ever APUS Leadership Listen and Learn (LLL) initiative. What is it, who is involved, and why do this?
The purpose of the LLL strategic program is for the university community and leadership team to meet in a more intimate and collaborative gathering focused on the APUS vision and direction, exploring what we need to do as a university in both the near-term and coming years to continue to strengthen our focus on academic excellence, student success and organizational effectiveness. To accomplish this goal, I, Provost Vernon Smith, COO Bob Gay, Chief of Staff Gwen Hall and other members of my leadership team will host students, faculty, staff, partners, alumni and other integral university stakeholders on our Charles Town campus and in locations across the country where we have significant populations of students and/or faculty, with additional virtual sessions to be conducted remotely.
This week, following the recent arrival of Dr. Vernon Smith as new APUS provost, Mr. Robert Gay (Bob) joined the university as chief operations officer (COO). Bob’s primary role is to lead our focus on strategic enrollment growth, consistent with our established mission to provide an affordable, accessible and relevant education. The COO oversees the strategy of the university and leads and/or interfaces with teams focused on admissions, financial aid, marketing, military, corporate and community college outreach, transfer credit, and alumni relations. To achieve strategic enrollment growth in an ever-changing higher education and learning environment, he will focus on simplifying the prospect and student experience so that it is seamless and free of unnecessary administrative roadblocks.