Third Annual Hounds Connect at Home Event
By Alexandria Garin ’17
The morning of Wednesday, November 2, began with a better-than-usual buzz in the HUB at Moravian College. The students in Management 255: Mindfulness and Flow in Sport Organizations, in cooperation with their professor Katie P. Desiderio and Dean Amy Saul and Pat Hanna of the Center for Career and Civic Engagement held the third annual Hounds Connect at Home event.
The event gave students an opportunity to participate in and plan a discussion panel and networking luncheon that shared the remarkable journeys of four alumni guests who have enjoyed careers in Sport Management or were student athletes. The prompts for the discussion did not just circulate the concept of sports, however, but reflected conceptions that were meaningful to all students who attended, whether an athlete, artist, musician, or future entrepreneur.
The alumni panel included, Michael Quirk ’00, senior director of merchandising and licensing at the Professional Golfers’ Association of America, Kaitlyn McKittrick ’04, deputy director of athletics at Lafayette College, Ray Bishop ’81, president at Team Imaging Inc., and Bob Gratz ’75, who is Moravian College’s current director of alumni engagement and a three-time hall of famer.
As the event approached, Desiderio and her students maintained a supportive, exciting, and dynamic learning environment by continuing their discussions of Csikszentmihalyi’s theory of flow; flow being the optimal psychological state that one experiences while engaging in an activity that is both challenging yet produces complete concentration on a task resulting in high levels of personal and work satisfaction. In other words, flow is being in the zone. While using Desiderio’s facilitated dialogues of flow in the context of optimizing performance in sport organizations and with complex understandings of current organizational behavior and leadership theories, the students were able to synthesize key concepts and put theory into practice.
In order for students to fully develop skills as aspiring professionals, it is important that learning go beyond the classroom, and the Management 255 students did just that by engaging in their second of four experiential learning endeavors of the semester. Students practiced leadership and used organizational behavioral tactics, working in teams of five or six along with Saul and Hanna to plan, organize, lead, and manage the professional panel and networking event. Each team of students focused on a specific task: logistics, promotional efforts, planning of the networking luncheon, parking, registration, and involvement of key individuals at Moravian College.
With the help of the Center for Career and Civic Engagement, the students were able to reach out and engage the four alumni guests; request, organize and set up both the UBC Room in the Hub and the lower level of Colonial Hall; prepare itineraries for the day for the alumni guests; write and give welcome addresses; and ultimately experience yet another highly rewarding and successful event.
The discussion panel and networking event not only gave students an insight into management and mindfulness in the world of sport, but also awarded them with preparations for the transition from college to the professional workforce all while engaging in an experiential learning venture that has now become an annual event at the college!