EdD Immersion: 2015 LIVE BLOG

Day One

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Today, 58 doctoral students from around the United States and five different countries will arrive on the USC campus to participate in the first EdD in Organizational Change and Leadership immersion. The immersion will take place now through Sunday at various locations on campus, including Waite Phillips Hall, Davidson Conference Center and downtown Los Angeles. Students will kick off their coursework with intense in-person sessions, study groups, presentations and even a USC campus tour to welcome the newest Trojans into the family.

The new online EdD is uniquely designed for current and emerging leaders who are looking to drive systemic change in their organizations. The program is designed for full-time working professionals within K–12 and higher education systems, private firms, and nonprofit and government organizations. The inaugural EdD class is comprised of a wide range of professionals in education, health care, aerospace, technology and government.

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We’ll be live blogging here throughout the weekend and via #USCEdDImmersion with updates from students and faculty!

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Dean Karen Symms Gallagher, Executive Vice Dean Melora Sundt and USC Rossier School of Education faculty welcome doctoral students to dinner at the Davidson Conference Center.

Executive Vice Dean Melora Sundt, student Christopher Madill, Sr. Admissions Counselor Amy Hoang and Dean Karen Symms Gallagher chatting before dinner starts.

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Dean Karen Symms Gallagher welcomes the doctoral students to the Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership program, noting their diverse backgrounds and experiences and the uniqueness of the USC Rossier School of Education. Afterward, each student introduces her/himself and the room comes to life with connections, laughter and competition over who traveled the most miles (Is Hong Kong further away or South Korea?). The doctoral candidates represent a wide range of professions, including NASA scientist, chef, LAUSD administrator, nonprofit director, professor, clinical social worker, brand manager, teacher, and more. There are a few ‘recovering Bruins’ in the crowd, but they are quickly forgiven and everyone chants Fight On.

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Students meet each other for the first time or recognize each other from past experiences.

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James Winter and John Rajeski, two USC Rossier MAT–TESOL graduates now in the EdD in Organizational Change and Leadership program.

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Day Two

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Another gorgeous day on the USC campus in the heart of Los Angeles.

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Day two of the #USCEdDImmersion starts out with breakfast at the University Club at King Stoops Hall. The building sits on the north side of campus.

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Jessica Gibson, director of the EdD programs, welcomes the doctoral students at breakfast. Next, Executive Vice Dean Melora Sundt addresses the students. She talks about her personal trajectory as an educator and her passion to create programs, such as this new online EdD program. She also talks about how the school is different from most universities, highlighting four values: scale, speed and agility, risk, impact and integrity.

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After breakfast, students speak to Program Advisor Katy Lin thanking her for all her support so far. One student mentions how it’s great to have support since many of them haven’t been in school in a while.

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The first on-campus #USCEdDImmersion session starts at Waite Phillips Hall. This is the last time all EdD students will be in the same room for a course–their actual classes are much smaller!

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Dr. Kim Hirabayashi talks about her background and what led her to her own doctorate degree.

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EdD students bond over lunch.

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Students Jody Tolan and Deborah Glynn in a class activity during EDUC 620 Creativity and Innovation with Dr. Rob Filback.

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Kyle Chavez chats with others during small group breakouts.

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USC Rossier School of Education Phillips Hall.

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Students are getting ready for dinner and day three of the immersion!

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Day Three

It’s the third day at the #USCEdDImmersion and students are up early for breakfast at 7 a.m. The first class starts at 8:30 a.m.

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Students engaged in conversation during EDUC 619 Framing Education Leadership in a Global Context with Dr. Kimberly Ferrario.

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Lunch break turns into a working lunch–everyone is really into framing their problem and working through their concepts with faculty.

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Students are ready to tour the USC Campus.

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We stop at Doheny library.

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Students explore the stacks–and appreciate the Internet!

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Students imagine what it will feel like when they finish their dissertations.

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After a day of problem-solving and rigorous coursework, students unwind at dinner.

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Day Four

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It’s the last day of the #USCEdDImmersion. Students are up early for their last courses at Waite Phillips Hall.

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Students crowd around for a group photo and say goodbye to each other. They will meet again online!

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