Today is my last day at Harley-Davidson Motor Co. corporate headquarters in Milwaukee, WI. I arrived with little knowledge of the city and only a cursory overview of all things Harley-Davidson. Today I said my bittersweet good-byes, had my final meeting with the amazing and talented Joanne and even had an impromptu gab session with the CEO. I wrapped up my task for Lori – reviewing, collecting and assessing survey results to create an executive summary, gathered my things and closed out the loaned laptop.
As I interpret it, the goal of the Plank Center Educators Fellowship is to create a forum for mutual exchange; to bridge the gap between classroom teaching and real-world application. The platform the Educator Fellowship provides a professor when partnered with an engaged organization is invaluable. In my 20 year career I have served on countless boards and committee, attended dozens of conferences and workshops, participated in panels, contributed as a consultant and mediated shared knowledge forums. Although all of those experiences proved valuable and worthy at least on some level – nothing compares to being the literal fly on the wall in the Educator Fellowship model — a person who is there without agenda; not seeking employment or hired as a paid critic but brought to the table, given access and shown acceptance and respect. I have many notes, ideas and observations in my notebook. Now it is time to review, parcel and articulate them into a digestible format for my stakeholders at Harley-Davidson as well as the individuals at The Plank Center who want to fully realize the impact and importance of this type of exchange. I look forward to not only generating this report, but to taking all that was learned and applying it to my curriculum – sharing it with the students so they, too, can benefit from the knowledge.
A special thanks to…
Joanne, Pat, Sean, Bob, Erin and Jenn with kudos and shout-out to Laureen, Lori, Amy, Wende, John, Lisa, Kris, Julie, Patti and Laura (my cube-mate). Thank you for making this experience memorable, invaluable and wonderful. You are lovely, generous people and I wish you all the success in the world.
Signing off for now – reflections to follow. Embrace your amazing selves and keep the Harley-Davidson vision strong.