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Interview with Dr. Harmon Courtney Russell, Ashely Inglese , & Lisa Tybinka Interview conducted through e-mail attachment October 23, 2010. 1. Describe your professional preparation that led you to where you are today. English major at undergraduate Worked as mail clerk

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Interview with Dr. Harmon Courtney Russell, AshelyInglese, & Lisa Tybinka Interview conducted through e-mail attachment October 23, 2010

1 describe your professional preparation that led you to where you are today

1. Describe your professional preparation that led you to where you are today.

English major at undergraduate

Worked as mail clerk

Moved to Egypt to teach English as a second language for 2 years

Traveled through Africa by train during the summer and was impacted by a video disc. The video disc was used to diagnose and repair trains; the user did not have to know how to read nor speak a common language; just watch the video. Dr. Harmon then decided to investigate a career path.

Searched through catalogs of programs and found an Instructional Technology program at UGA (from Georgia) and took the GRE

Completed Master’s degree

Internship at Apple in California

Completed PhD in Instructional Technology at UGA

Took job at University of Houston-Clear Lake in Texas

Moved to GA and took job at Georgia State University-been there for 14 years as Director of Learning Technologies

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2. Tell me about some of the current work you are engaged in. What is most satisfying? What has been most challenging?

The “broad and varying array of endeavors in which I am engaged”

Currently working on a grant to improve Georgia’s pre-K programs

Role as team manager

“Perhaps the overriding drive for my career is to make the world a better place. If I can do this in anything beyond an infinitesimal amount, and I feel my life has been well lived.”

“The bottom line, my job is recruiting and distributing resources to get particular projects done.”

most satisfying
Most Satisfying…

“You ask what has been most satisfying; I can say unhesitatingly that the most satisfying aspect of my career thus far has been seeing the success of my students. It gives me great pleasure to watch someone for whom I have had a part in shaping their professional career succeed in ways I could not have imagined. In fact, it is in a very similar vein that one of the greatest regrets of my career has evolved, mainly that I have not spent more time working with undergraduate students. I believe that the opportunity for success is greater with the students who are, oh I don't know, more moldable at this stage. As to what has been the most challenging, the broad answer is that it is the stuff for which I was not prepared in graduate school. This is mainly everything except research and design of instruction. I was astounded when I took my first academic job at the number of things I had to keep track of and how many of them I had never even considered before. Dealing with students, dealing with politics, dealing with the things needed for promotion and tenure, these areas and many many more were a bit of a surprise for me at my first academic job.”

what are your top 3 significant accomplishments in the it field

What are your top 3 significant accomplishments in the IT field?

Global Relief Organization CARE - worked on a large scale program to train CARE relief workers worldwide in personal safety and security.

Designed and developed a training program in safety and security for the 14,000 international relief workers worldwide

Translated into six different languages

Distributed on every continent in the world

Highest completion rate of any course offered by the CARE training organization

No further killings of CARE workers to this date

2. An article written by himself and Dr. Marshall Jones

Included five levels of using the world wide web in education

Proposed a framework for evaluating how an institution might use the World Wide Web to enhance its learning and instruction

Picked up by numerous institutions of higher education around the world

“I have been particularly proud that this theoretical framework has had such a widespread, and apparently successful, practical implementation.”

3. Played a role in furthering the future of the field through new faculty members

1991 - 2004 was heavily involved in search committee's hiring of new faculty in the field

Worked to build IT programs at various institutions

Partial mentoring relationship with several faculty over the course of the last decade and have assisted in their success in achieving promotion

is there any additional information you would like to share
Is there any additional information you would like to share?
  • “Did you know that the first time I ever met Mike Hannifin he was in the drive-thru of a hotel in Philadelphia doing the Gator?”
  • “Bob Gagne spat all over my face the first time I ever asked him a question.”
  • “ Dave Jonassen and I closed down a bar in West St. Louis, after which I think he went, alone, to East St. Louis. Or maybe that was Alex Romazowski. I'm sure were though that Jonassen and I closed down a bar somewhere once.”
  • “ I have heard Lloyd Reiber play the accordion, have you?”
  • “ Mike Orey brought his neighbor to my Halloween party where we learned of the gruesome demise of Stinky the Chicken.”
  • “ And as for Tom Reeves, well, I lived with Tom for two years. I promised his wife Trisha that we would never speak of those years again.”
summary
Summary

It has been very insightful conducting this interview with Dr. Harmon. He included a lot of personal anecdotes such as the one about the video disc on the train that led him to the field of Instructional Technology. It is so interesting to see the minor, unexpected events that end up impacting a person’s life. He seems to really enjoy his field and his job and to actually have a passion for teaching and learning. He also has a great sense of humor and compassion which impacts the projects with which he decides to work such as the Georgia Pre-K program. These personality traits were also reflected in the amount of time that Dr. Harmon took giving our group a lengthy, detailed, and light-hearted interview.

Click here for the full answers to Dr. Harmon’s interview