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Saint Vincent College Faculty Blog

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.

But this time of year is not just a time to hope for something better. It is also a good time to reflect and consider what we, ourselves, can do better in the upcoming months. As we reflect, many people create resolutions for actions in which they hope to engage. Some people like to improve their exercise routines. Others like to eat healthier. One good one that some people do is to continue their education. If this last one is yours, I recommend many of our excellent programs at Saint Vincent including our Master of Science in Management: Operational Excellence, which I direct.

Personally, I try not to make many resolutions as a rule. I find that I either forget about them within a few hours of the new year or become obsessed with them so much that I take them to an extreme. There seems to be no in between for me, so I often don’t make any in January and see how the year goes. But, since this is not really consistent with goal setting theory that states that having a realistic objective can help direct effort to positive outcomes (Locke & Latham, 2019) and because 2020 has been a year quite unlike what I had expected, I am going to try something different and state some resolutions in this month’s blog.

Of course, I have several professional resolutions that I would like to make. I hope to finish the three books I am working on, two of which are installments in the “Exploring Effective Leadership through Popular Culture” series that I am editing (one on leadership in “Star Wars” and the other on leadership in J.R.R. Tolkien’s stories of Middle-earth, both due out in 2021). The third book which is due out in 2022 is a bit more grounded. It is about leadership in multigenerational organizations.

Aside from these projects, I hope to also make progress on a special issue for the “Measuring Business Excellence” journal that I am editing and that is closely related to the philosophy of Saint Vincent’s Master of Science in Management: Operational Excellence program. It will be focused on how organizations can create and sustain cultures of excellence. Because this is closely related to what we teach in our program, I hope to collaborate with our graduate students and faculty on this and other related research.

And I, especially, want to continue to improve my teaching, particularly with regard to leveraging technology. I have been fine-tuning my online pedagogical approach for more than seven years, but it was certainly tested this fall when a vast majority of my nearly 100 students chose to take my courses online. I learned a lot, and I resolve to incorporate my learning into my classes this semester to provide an even better experience for my students and to be there for them no matter what this coming year throws at us.

All of these are professional resolutions, but even more important are my personal ones. Yes, I want to get into better shape physically. But, most significantly, I want to improve my “shape” more holistically as a person. I will strive to be a more patient, caring and understanding person. I hope to live every day in 2021 to its fullest by continuing to strive to be the best dad, husband, son and friend that I can be. And I want to experience the joy of each day including the “small” but not insignificant blessings that occur every single moment that are actually every-day miracles.

What do you think? Are these resolutions realistic? Too many? Too few? What are your resolutions for 2021? I wish each of you all the best in 2021. I would love to hear from you in the new year, too! Send me a message at michael.urick@stvincent.edu or connect with me on social media: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Dr. Mike Urick

Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (2019). The development of goal setting theory: A half century retrospective. Motivation Science, 5(2), 93-105.

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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