Friday, November 21, 2008

McIntire Offers First “Knowledge Continuum”

McIntire Offers First “Knowledge Continuum”for M.S. in MIT Alumni

Can leadership be learned? How can you start to think more creatively? What are the core principles of value creation, and how can you align value propositions with business strategy?

These were just a few of the questions pondered by the 14 participants attending McIntire’s inaugural “Knowledge Continuum,” a two-and-a-half-day executive residency designed to provide information technology leaders (and, in particular, alumni of McIntire’s M.S. in MIT Program) with a continuation of their academic learning experience.

“We decided to initiate the Knowledge Continuum because so many of our alumni were telling us, ‘We want more,’” says IT Professor Ryan Nelson, who, with Director of Alumni Development Nicole Fitzwater, helped organize the program. “So we developed a program that would get M.S. in MIT alumni back on Grounds and give them a sort of ‘booster shot’ in the critical areas of leadership, innovation, IT strategy and management, IT architecture, and business intelligence.” Nelson notes that the Knowledge Continuum will become an annual event.

Participants in the program got the full “back to school” experience, with the opportunity to hear from—and actively engage with—Management Professor Tom Bateman; IT Professors Stefano Grazioli, Peter Gray, Ryan Nelson, and Barb Wixom; and world-renowned creativity expert Chic Thompson. Of course, the continuum wasn’t all work and no play: Students and faculty also enjoyed an evening out in downtown Charlottesville, as well as dinner and a lively lesson in Jeffersonian lore (courtesy of McIntire Finance Professor Bob Kemp) in Pavilion VII on the Lawn.

“The Knowledge Continuum was exactly what I was looking for,” said Teresa Duvall (M.S. in MIT ’06), Director of Network Enterprise Services at CACI International Inc. “It was like an extension of the M.S. in MIT Program—not a rehash of the program, but learning about new concepts and new technologies, with a broad base of students.” Duvall notes that the contributions of her top-notch classmates, who came to the continuum from a variety of industries, made her time in the program “a very rich experience.”

Indeed, she said, the excellence and diversity of her classmates, along with the continuum’s superb coursework, world-class faculty, flawless organization, and location in beautiful new Rouss & Robertson Halls, all combined to make the program a “class act.” Of course, Duvall said, she’d expected nothing less of McIntire’s M.S. in MIT Program: “This is a team that we in the field have come to respect as leaders in the management of information technology.”

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