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Rite of Passage in Researching

Grad students in Organizational Development present Capstone findings to community.

12/17/12 -  

A new class of students has survived a rite of passage for graduate researchers at Queens. The semester-end Capstone presentation literally caps an entire program's worth of effort for students in the Masters of Science in Organization Development (MSOD) in a 30-minute discussion with current classmates, alums and faculty of the program, as well as community members.

The presentations were inspiring for student Lucia Galleno, also a Spanish professor at Queens, who saw it as everyone coming together "to be there as a community improving and learning."

The students showcase the real-life applications of what they learned through the development of a research question, doing a literature review, gathering data, and coming to conclusions about the implications of their findings. The work was extensive and exhausting. "But it's worth it," said Sharon Findlay after presenting her Capstone this month. "It was the culmination of every little piece that I learned throughout the program."

Having to present made the work more real, said Findlay, assistant director of graduate admissions for the McColl School of Business. "It's kind of like getting married in front of people versus eloping."

The Capstone presentations are central to the program, said Will Sparks, director of the MSOD program. "It showcases the student's hard work while preparing them for presentations in the business world."

The presentations also showcase the program itself. Having students present their research projects, what the program's Associate Director John Bennett describes as "often the largest and most complex academic paper the students will ever prepare," allows a broader audience to gain from the work of Queens' students.

The program itself is the largest, fastest-growing, and newest MSOD in the nation, Findlay said.

Sparks attributes that to "an innovative curriculum that [produces] a much-needed product for our market - change management practitioners who are effective coaches, HR professionals, and change agents."

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