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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
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
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.”
“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.”
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
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