This post is part 2 of 4 in the series Background.

I went to grad school to learn how to change the world. What I learned is that I am the one who is changing and through my change the world around me changes.
Dates September 2003–June 2005 (age 53–54)
Degree Master of Arts in Whole Systems Design (Organizational Change)
Certification in Organization Systems Renewal (OSR)
School Antioch University, Seattle. Degree program is now at Seattle University.
Learning community
  • 40-member cohort plus 4 faculty advisors: Bill Koenig, Tom Robinson, JoAnn Schindler, Valerie White
  • Guest faculty: Geoffrey Bellman, William Bridges, Fritjof Capra, George Davis, Elaine Jessen, Ralph Kelly, Wendy Luhabe, Jean McLendon, Hugh O’Doherty, Edgar Schein, Farouk Seif, Don Swartz, Linda Booth Sweeney, Jane Magruder Watkins, Marvin Weisbord, Mark Yeoell
  • Degree committee: MaryAnn Ahart, Gino Cesario, Holly Henning Foster (peer advisor), Bill Koenig (faculty advisor), David Peterson (life partner)
Question to answer Can a good-ole Texas boy who enters the world commanding and controlling, become a true collaborator and consensus-builder in his mid-adult life?
Philosophy of program To help others, you must first know yourself.
Intentions
  • Design processes and structures for leading and managing change
  • Develop holistic perspectives about individuals, groups, organizations and the world communities
  • Recognize the synergistic qualities and opportunities inherent in living systems
  • Develop the heart (courage, love, compassion), skills and integrity to move theory to practical action
  • Develop congruence of mind, body, spirit and professional practice in order to help individuals, groups, organizations and communities manage their own transformation and renewal
Calendar of study
date study
2003 Sep Foundations in whole systems design & collaborative learning
2003 Oct Group dynamics
2003 Nov Systems theory 1
2004 Jan Designing and leading participative meetings
2004 Feb Design and creativity
2004 Mar Organizational theory, teaming and collaboration
2004 Apr Change and sustainability
Intervention process (Design team 1)
2004 May Organizational inquiry, Appreciative Inquiry
2004 Jun Cultural perspectives in organizations, Consultative skills
2004 Jul–Aug Research paper: Positive psychology
2004 Sep Change and transition
2004 Oct Leadership
2004 Nov Designing for the future (Design team 2)
2005 Jan Consulting praxis
2005 Feb Dynamics of social systems
2005 Mar Systems theory 2
2005 Apr Global transformation
2005 May Personal & professional transformation, Satir family systems
2005 Jun Celebration, continuance and life-long learning

Intention from entry statement

My hope is to have a safe and challenging environment to learn more about group dynamics and how to design processes that help make a difference in my community and on our planet. I welcome the opportunity to challenge myself in front of others, learning how to face fear in a public forum and understanding how my body reacts to that fear. I’m encouraged by the OSR emphasis on alternative learning styles as I clarify how I learn best. I find that I’m not alone in this group, which is a new group experience for me. The sharing of reflective writing is comforting as well as challenging. The work is challenging and is forcing me to look even deeper into what makes me tick. I’m out of my comfort zone. Isn’t that what graduate school is supposed to be?