Fellows 2013-2014 Awards

Fellows 2013-2014 Awards

Congratulations to the 2014 Fellows!

The CMM Institute, in partnership with Fielding Graduate University and Villanova University, is pleased to announce the 2014 Fellows.   This year’s topic is “using the communication perspective and CMM for understanding our lives lived in the new media”.

The work of the three Fellows will be featured on October 18 at the CMM Learning Exchange in Oracle, Arizona.  Please plan to join us to learn more about their projects!

Erin Dolan is a mental health therapist and adjunct professor of Communications at Clark University in Worcester, MA. Erin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Master’s Degree in Psychology, and appreciates the way in which CMM organically allows these two fields of practice to converge. From both a research and practice perspective, Erin is interested in wellness, positivity and the ways in which the communities we create and stories we tell can assist us in our personal and professional growth. Erin resides in Rutland, MA with her partner, Sean and their dog, George. She enjoys physical fitness, traveling, learning and volunteering, and most recently appreciated the opportunity to combine all of these passions through a service trip where she practiced CMM-centered techniques with children at the Be Like Brit orphanage in Grand Goave, Haiti.

Erin’s Fellows project is focused on college-aged female students.  With the advent and upsurge in social media connection (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), humans have been presented with a unique opportunity to show glimpses of their personal lives to the rest of the world. Each time an individual signs on to Facebook or a similar site, they are presented with a variety of “stories” as portrayed by their acquaintances.  These portrayals are often incongruent with the realities of everyday life, and most often include a glamourized or filtered version of the “true self”. One of the consequences of this constant connection, particularly for adolescent and young adult females, is a feeling of disconnect between their stories and the apparent stories of those around them. What can often result is a lowered sense of self-esteem, feelings of inadequacy, and difficulty in connecting with their own “stories lived”. For her CMM Fellowship project, Erin has developed and implemented a CMM focused body-image group for college-aged female students, providing them with the opportunity to explore their own stories and develop a healthier and more appropriate connection with the stories of those around them with relation to social media.

Caly Meyers is a Doctoral Student at National Louis University in Chicago, IL. She is studying Community Psychology and she spends her days learning about community programming, effective evaluation, social justice, and strengths-based techniques—while always considering systems. For her thesis, Caly examined Chicago graffiti from a Community Psychology perspective. In her professional life, Caly has been a Mental Health Counselor, Art Therapist, and Community Programmer (using public art as a catalyst for neighborhood change). She is currently working at a custom content agency where she is learning more about online communities and working towards becoming a master wordsmith. When she is not at work or school, Caly can be found: scoping out the best Chicago graffiti, attempting yoga, volunteering, drawing with charcoal, and blogging.
Her study will be active and participatory in which a CMM workshop/program will be created, tested, and utilized in the Chicago community. Workshop members will be teenagers and their partner family member. Social video will be used as a group project, as members learn how to use CMM tools to create meaning in their lives and relationships. Family pairs will work on a video project with the prompt question: “How can we make a better social world?” Social video itself will be a communication and meaning-making tool in this project. Hopefully, this workshop will lead to more mindful communication. Also, she hopes this workshop will encourage members to be more conscious of how they can use social media to create meaning in relationships and groups. PDF: Final Paper: Social Media Doesn’t Have to Be Isolating: Using CMM Theory and Social Video to Make Meaning between Parents and Teenagers

Sergej van Middendorp is a PhD student with Fielding Graduate University, a partner in Product Foundry, and a co-founder of the Institute for Global Integral Competence. In his research, in his work as an entrepreneur and in his teaching, he is working with his fellow researchers, his business partners and his students to understand the role of metaphors in systems design processes. He is specifically interested in how systems designers improvise with conscious generative metaphors and unconscious embodied metaphors in design conversations and in the process through which those metaphors become embodied in the systems that they are creating.

Earlier in his career, while helping large organizations to implement and adopt the collaboration and knowledge sharing systems of IBM, Microsoft, and Google, he became interested in the metaphor of organizational improvisation. For eight years, he worked with a jazz band, going into organizations to help leaders make sense of change, complexity, and innovation through experiencing the principles that enable the joint making of improvised music. During these years he met his current business partners in Product Foundry, with whom he now creates information technology products that help independent businesses that work together around a shared purpose to achieve a 'groove'. In order to learn more about the theory and research behind organizational improvisation, Sergej joined the PhD program at Fielding to work with scholars like Frank Barrett, one of the founders of the field. At Fielding, Sergej learned with Barnett Pearce and became engaged with the CMM community. Just like jazz improvisation gives musicians the minimal structures to create beautiful and unique music in every moment, Sergej conceived of CMM's theory and heuristics as the minimal structures to improvise beautiful and unique communication in every moment.

Sergej is convinced that our current systems need profound change in order to help us meet today's challenges and sees a communication perspective as one of means for making this change. In his fellowship program with the institute, he takes a communication perspective on the systems design conversations of the Product Foundry team as they apply the agile design method Embodied Making - itself inspired, amongst others, by CMM - to create a new media system that helps independent businesses to buy and sell together. PDF: Improvising with metaphors in the design process of a new media system: A communication perspective

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