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Saint Vincent College Faculty Blog

Michael Urick

Dr. Michael J. Urick is Graduate Director of the Master of Science in Management: Operational Excellence program, and Associate Professor of Management and Operational Excellence at the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics, and Government. Dr. Urick teaches courses related to organizational behavior, human resources, culture, leadership, diversity, conflict, supply chain, operations and research methods. Professionally, Urick serves on the board of the Institute for Supply Management (Pittsburgh) and belongs to the Society for Human Resource Management and APICS. For fun, Urick enjoys music and, since 1998, has led and performed with Neon Swing X-perience, a jazz band that has released multiple albums and toured portions of the US. He enjoys watching movies, is an avid reader of fantasy and science fiction, and also likes to fence.

Recent Posts

Phobias

Posted by Michael Urick on Mon, Oct 11, 2021 @ 09:10 AM

Since it’s now October, and Halloween is just around the corner, I decided to focus this month’s blog on things that are scary; perhaps not scary in the Halloween-ish “ghosts and goblins” sense, but more like “every day” fears and phobias.

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Sabbatical

Posted by Michael Urick on Fri, Sep 3, 2021 @ 13:09 PM

The first day of the Fall Semester is one of my most favorite days of the year. To me, it represents a fresh start. I love welcoming new students into my classes and can feel the excitement and energy in the air as I walk around campus. This year, however, is quite different for me. I am on sabbatical this fall. The first day of the semester came and went for me with little difference than any other day and certainly with less fanfare than usual for the start of the Fall Term.

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Sources of Inspiration

Posted by Michael Urick on Fri, Aug 6, 2021 @ 06:08 AM

Inspiration can come from many different things. As I think about the things that I’ve done throughout my career, I find that my inspirations come from a variety of sources. Often, my inspirations are related to experiences I’ve had with my family, though other areas of inspiration can also occur and sometimes can be quite unexpected. I want to share with you a few of my experiences about what inspires me.

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On Prayer

Posted by Michael Urick on Wed, Jul 7, 2021 @ 11:07 AM

At first glance, it might seem strange that a professor who studies how people work and who teaches about workplace behavior would write a blog on prayer. But that is exactly what I am doing this month because I believe that prayer is very much related to my research and teaching. Work is important because it is one aspect of life that can help to provide meaning for people and, when focused on and coordinated toward improving the common good, work can help to create a better world. Moreover, as stated by Lauren McTaggart in “The Benedictine Handbook” (2003), work and prayer are closely related. From an earlier blog that I wrote, this is certainly my belief.

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Important Classes

Posted by Michael Urick on Mon, Jun 7, 2021 @ 05:06 AM

Obviously, professors are often going to say that their classes are important (and they usually are, of course!). But, I just started teaching a course this summer session that I view to be my most important. It’s also my most difficult course to instruct.

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Waiting to Be a Leader

Posted by Michael Urick on Mon, May 10, 2021 @ 12:05 PM

There’s a song in “The Lion King” called “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King.” In the song, Simba, the main protagonist, shares his eagerness to take over the leadership of Pride Rock. But Simba is not quite ready to lead yet. He must first grow and learn more. I believe that Saint Vincent teaches our students how to mature into effective and influential decision-makers.

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Popular Culture and Research

Posted by Michael Urick on Wed, Apr 7, 2021 @ 08:04 AM

In my very first blog that I wrote here six years ago, I talked about my views on using popular culture in the classroom. Now, many classes later, things have come full circle and I will launch the “Exploring Effective Leadership Practices Through Popular Culture” book series through Emerald Publishing this month. I am excited to serve as the series editor and also author of the first two books in this series (the first will be about leadership in the “Star Wars” franchise and the second in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth stories). My approach to using popular culture in writing is much the same as it is in the classroom. It follows this general model:

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Why I Love to Teach

Posted by Michael Urick on Tue, Mar 9, 2021 @ 06:03 AM

I’m now in my sixth year of writing this monthly blog and I can’t believe it’s been that long! Time surely has gone by quickly and part of the reason for this might be related to the old expression that “time flies when you are doing something you love.” I love teaching and I have been happy to have been doing it in some capacity for more than 15 years total and at Saint Vincent now for almost nine years. Teaching has truly made time seem to go by quickly.

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Learning and Trumpet Improvisation

Posted by Michael Urick on Wed, Feb 10, 2021 @ 10:02 AM

My field of study is organizational behavior. Even though my field is not education, researchers in my field still explore concepts related to learning, especially in studies that examine knowledge transfer and knowledge management at work (Nonaka, 2005). People learn differently. How people learn depends in part on the type of knowledge that they receive, but it also depends on personal trends on how individuals experience information.

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New Year’s Resolutions

Posted by Michael Urick on Thu, Jan 14, 2021 @ 10:01 AM

Let’s face it – 2020 has been a tough year for many people. And so, I’m sure that many people are looking forward to 2021 and hoping that this coming year is better.

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Topics: Saint Vincent College, Faculty Blog, Dr. Mike Urick

About the Authors

Michelle Gil-Montero is an associate professor of English and director of creative writing at Saint Vincent College. She runs the visiting writers series on campus, oversees the student literary magazine, and serves as guru to aspiring poets on campus. She received her MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2007, and she has been on the Saint Vincent faculty since that year. She is an active poet and literary translator from Spanish. She is spending part of the 2016-17 school year travelling to Argentina on a Howard Foundation fellowship and Fulbright grant. 

Dr. John J. Smetanka has been a member of the full-time faculty since 1997 and currently serves as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean of Saint Vincent College, a position he has held since January 2008. Dr. Smetanka has taught courses in Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry and Geology as well as interdisciplinary seminars. He has published scientific research articles in physics and astrophysics journals, numerous conference proceedings and also works in science education reform and the interaction between science, technology and theology.

Jim Kellam is an associate professor of biology at Saint Vincent College and our resident ornithologist. He received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 2003, and is taking this semester as a sabbatical. What does that mean? He'll explain in his blog posts.

Dr. Michael J. Urick is Graduate Director of the Master of Science in Management: Operational Excellence program, and Associate Professor of Management and Operational Excellence at the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics, and Government. Dr. Urick teaches courses related to organizational behavior, human resources, culture, leadership, diversity, conflict, supply chain, operations and research methods. Professionally, Urick serves on the board of the Institute for Supply Management (Pittsburgh) and belongs to the Society for Human Resource Management and APICS. For fun, Urick enjoys music and, since 1998, has led and performed with Neon Swing X-perience, a jazz band that has released multiple albums and toured portions of the US. He enjoys watching movies, is an avid reader of fantasy and science fiction, and also likes to fence.

David Safin, C'00, has been a lecturer in the communication department since the Fall of 2003, and has served in a variety of administrative roles since the summer of 2004. Currently, he teaches multimedia in the communication department as an assistant professor. 

Dr. Michael Krom received his Doctorate in philosophy at Emory University in 2007 and is currently the chair of the philosophy department at Saint Vincent. He has authored a book on religion and politics and continues to publish works in Catholic moral and political thought. Dr. Krom also directs the Faith and Reason summer program every summer. 

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