Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reflecting on 2013

Once again, it is that time of the year when father time forces a brand new year upon us all. However, reflecting back upon the past year is an important action for looking forward to the future.

The past year for me involved mainly one specific purpose, academics. Earlier in the year, I was enrolled in two graduate courses, Human Resources Management and Strategic Planning Management, at the University of Central Florida. These two courses were core courses within the Master of Nonprofit Management (MNM) program in which I was working towards since the Spring of 2011.

After finishing Human Resources and Strategic Planning courses, I enrolled in an elective course Organizational Behavior. The reason for taking this course was to develop a concentration in public administration to add to my specialization in nonprofit management. I found Organizational Behavior rigorous, but enlightening at the same time, during my work within the course. For the course paper, I focused on the theory behind the communication process and applied this same theory to a later course taken this past fall.

Following the summer session, I finished the MNM program by taking Public Administrators in Governance and Public Policy in the fall semester. With these two courses, I successfully balanced my graduate courses with 18 hours in nonprofit management and 18 hours in public administration. The other course taken was an elective, Cybercrime and Criminal Justice. Even though I had no prior knowledge or experience with either two, Governance and Public Policy were wonderfully rigorous and thought provoking for me. In developing papers for these courses, I researched and covered topics covering Internet Governance and a theoretical perspective on Texting and Driving for a group paper.

The culmination of this past year's courses taken lead to graduating from the MNM program approximately two weeks ago. Walking across the stage and accepting a congratulatory handshake from a UCF provost regarding my academic achievement was an important step in my academic career, but more importantly achieving a life goal I had set twenty years ago after I finished my bachelor's degree. I had promised myself to eventually attend graduate school and receive a master's degree. Check and check for 2013.

Looking forward, I begin the next chapter in my academic career by taking e-Learning courses, Adult Learning and Research in Instructional Technology. My new goal for 2014 is to work towards a second master's degree in Instructional Design and Technology. Delivering future instructional courses online and in the classroom are reasons for working towards a Master in Arts degree. In addition, I intend to apply e-Learning theories and principles gained towards areas in human rights and citizen engagement within the domain of International Relations.

In summary, 2013 was a enlightening year academically speaking. 2014 will definitely be more of the same.