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Master Collaboration: What We Did Not Learn in Graduate School

Friday, April 28, 2017
11:30am – 12:50pm
Northern Hemisphere A4


Eric O’Rourke, Facebook


Levi Nieminen, Denison Consulting


Chris Cancialosi, gothamCulture
Wendy Mack, GrowthPlay
David Morgan, Facebook
Chantale Wilson, Air Force Research Laboratory


This session will attempt to close the academic-practitioner gap by diving into skills that I-O psychologists and HR practitioners need to succeed in their careers, but were not part of their formal graduate training. Researchers and practitioners will come together to discuss and identify relevant/impactful skills such as personal branding, selling, machine learning, and data visualization.

Full Description:

This year's Master Collaboration session will attempt to close the academic-practitioner gap by taking a deep dive into the skills that I-O psychologists and HR practitioners need to be successful in their careers but were not a part of their formal graduate training, i.e., “What we didn't learn in graduate school.” Research scientists, consultants, and practitioners from dynamic organizations including Facebook, Denison Consulting, gothamCulture, GrowthPlay, and the Air Force Research Laboratory will come together for a discussion of some of the most relevant and impactful skills that may not yet be a part of the curricula of I-O psychology graduate programs, including building a personal brand, selling, machine learning, and data visualization.

Intended Audience:

This session is intended for academics who are interested in taking innovative approaches to course and curricula design, early- to mid-career practitioners seeking development in diverse skill areas, and graduate students who want exposure to new areas.

Continuing Education:

The Master Collaboration is sponsored by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Inc. (SIOP) and presented as part of the 32nd Annual Conference. SIOP is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. SIOP maintains responsibility for this program and its content. There are no known conflicts of interest or commercial support regarding this session and its presenters.  There is no additional cost to attend beyond the cost of basic conference registration.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss and identify underdeveloped competency areas such as building a personal brand, selling, machine learning, and data visualization that are defining the success of professionals in I-O psychology, HR development, and related disciplines
  • Network with professionals who have applied these skills successfully in their careers
  • Identify opportunities to learn crucial skills that were not covered within formal graduate training
  • Design learning opportunities for student and early career professionals seeking development in the one of the competency areas identified

Presenter Biographies:

Levi Nieminen, Ph.D, is the Director of Research and Development and Senior Consultant with Denison Consulting in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He leads a team of Research Consultants who conduct and translate applied research into improved culture and leadership solutions for organizations. He publishes and presents Denison’s work across a range of leading scholar-practitioner outlets and professional communities. His primary areas of expertise include organizational culture, leadership development, and safety. He serves as a Senior Consultant and Executive Coach to a number of high-visibility organizations including BP, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York City, the Defense Logistics Agency, and the University of Michigan.  Dr. Nieminen holds a doctoral degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Wayne State University (WSU) in Detroit, Michigan. Prior to joining Denison, Dr. Nieminen instructed undergraduate and graduate courses at WSU and was a Research Fellow at the National Institutes of Health.

Eric O’Rourke, Ph.D, is a People Research Scientist on the People Analytics team at Facebook.  His primary focus areas include employee engagement, strategic selection, and employee surveys.  He has previously been employed by the Southern California Gas Company as an HR Research & Analysis Advisor and the Dow Chemical Company as a Human Resources Selection & Analytics Specialist. He received his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Central Michigan University and his Master's degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, also from Central Michigan University.  He is also an active member of SIOP.

Chris Cancialosi, Ph.D, Partner and Founder of gothamCulture, is a recognized expert in the field of leadership and organizational development with particular focus on the leader’s role in shaping high-performing culture. Chris’ work with senior leaders across industries and sectors centers on large-scale organizational transformation initiatives aimed at creating and sustaining effective change. An experienced advisor with a reputation for providing critical insights and engaging, customized solutions, He effectively combines his operational field experience with his knowledge of organizational psychology to provide unique and practical solutions to today’s ever changing business landscape.  Prior to founding gothamCulture, He held leadership positions in both internal and external consulting roles at JetBlue Airways and Human Performance Systems, where his work focused on leader development, organizational culture, and performance improvement.  Chris served, for five years, as a member of the adjunct faculty of the Department of Psychology at Montclair State University, in New Jersey, where he supported the state’s first program minor in leadership studies.  He holds a PhD in organizational psychology from Walden University.

Wendy Mack is the Director of Org & Talent Consulting Services for GrowthPlay.  She helps sales leaders design, implement, and sustain transformational change in order to drive revenue growth. Her work blends her expertise in sales effectiveness with her extensive knowledge of performance improvement, change management, learning, and communication. She has more than 20 years of experience in the individual and organizational development arenas and she has co-authored three books on the topics of learning, leadership, and change.  She is a popular speaker at national conferences and client events. Wendy received her MA in Communication from University of Maryland College Park.

David Morgan is a Research Scientist on the People Analytics team at Facebook. His research is aimed at recruiting, growing and retaining the world’s top talent. The foundation of his work relies on traditional and contemporary analytics to optimize employee happiness, performance, growth and retention, and to continue to attract outstanding talent to Facebook. Prior to working at Facebook, David was an HR risk management consultant for six years at DCI Consulting Group. Morgan received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Lycoming College, a Master of Science in Applied Psychology from the University of Baltimore, and a Graduate Certification in Statistical Data Mining from Stanford University.

Chantale Wilson is a Research Psychologist at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Continuous Learning Branch in the Warfighter Readiness Research Division. She primarily conducts and manages research on game and simulation-based learning for individual, team, and team-of-teams training for military operations. She and her team develop innovative solutions for live, virtual and constructive distributed mission operations training and performance management in these dynamic environments. She also oversees multiple research and development efforts for simulated training, as well as international collaborations for joint and coalition-level training research. Her research interests include training, simulation, data visualization, visual analytics, performance management and feedback. She holds a Master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Akron and is completing her doctorate degree. 

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