Quality Education in the Benedictine Tradition.


Saint Vincent College Faculty Blog

Self-Efficacy and “The Little Engine That Could”

Posted by Michael Urick on Tue, Jul 9, 2019 @ 09:07 AM

I was infatuated with trains when I was a child, so it’s no surprise that “The Little Engine That Could,” the classic children’s story told since 1930 and published in several book editions by Watty Piper, was one of my favorites – and one that I now love to read to my child.

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Topics: Faculty, Michael Urick, SVC faculty, saint vincent faculty, blog, Faculty Blog, mike urick, Dr. Mike Urick, self-efficacy, The Little Engine That Could

The Importance of Liberal Arts Education

Posted by Michael Urick on Thu, Jun 13, 2019 @ 13:06 PM

Many scholars and educators have contemplated the importance of a liberal arts education, so I do not seek to presume that I am stating anything new in this month’s blog. Rather, this month I aim to reflect on my view of the importance and meaning of a liberal arts education.

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Topics: Faculty, Education, liberal arts, Michael Urick, saint vincent faculty, blog, Faculty Blog, mike urick, Dr. Mike Urick

Miracles in the Workplace

Posted by Michael Urick on Tue, May 7, 2019 @ 15:05 PM

This month’s blog is a little more philosophical in nature than some of my other blogs because I’m writing about miracles. Let me start off by saying that I am a firm believer in miracles. To me, a miracle does not have to be some big once-in-a-lifetime supernatural cosmic event (although those count too, I suppose). Instead, I believe that miracles can be “little things” that happen each day. Some people view daily life as though nothing is a miracle. Others view every positive thing that they experience as a miracle – even those things that are perhaps mundane. I like to think that I fall into the latter camp.

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Topics: Faculty, Michael Urick, SVC faculty, workplace culture, workplace, Faculty Blog, mike urick, Dr. Mike Urick, miracles, extraordinary

Problem Solving: Start at the Source

Posted by Michael Urick on Wed, Apr 3, 2019 @ 12:04 PM

Recently, Dr. Gail Fairhurst (a friend, mentor and colleague of mine from the University of Cincinnati) visited Saint Vincent to give a guest lecture on her research. While her comments were primarily about how to be an effective leader through focusing on communication style, she also talked about the nature of problems that leaders must solve. I am reminded of some research of hers that I read in which she identifies problems as “wicked” when they are challenging to describe, difficult to solve and closely related to other problems. She and her colleagues term these to be problem “knots” because they are often tangled together in such a way that multiple problems relate to, confuse and add to each other (Sheep, Fairhurst, & Khazanchi, 2017).

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Topics: Faculty, problem solving, Michael Urick, SVC faculty, saint vincent faculty, professor, saint vincent professor, st. vincent professor, Faculty Blog, mike urick, Dr. Mike Urick

Writing “The Generation Myth:” Concerns of an Author

Posted by Michael Urick on Mon, Mar 4, 2019 @ 13:03 PM

I recently co-edited three books on leadership with a colleague from Poland. In them, I co-authored chapters with five students or alumni of Saint Vincent College’s Master of Science in Management: Operational Excellence program and six SVC faculty. One of the chapters, co-authored with Dr. William Hisker, was entitled “Benedictine Leadership” and was adapted from a foundational document we wrote in the development of the Benedictine Leadership Studies program at Saint Vincent.  But my primary role in these editing projects (aside from writing some chapters) was to look over the works of other authors to consider for inclusion in the books.

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Topics: Michael Urick, SVC faculty, saint vincent faculty, blog, Faculty Blog, Dr. Mike Urick

The Research Process

Posted by Michael Urick on Wed, Jan 9, 2019 @ 11:01 AM

Happy New Year!

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Topics: Faculty, Michael Urick, research, SVC faculty, saint vincent faculty, Faculty Blog, mike urick, Dr. Mike Urick, new year

Finding Balance to Decrease Stress

Posted by Michael Urick on Tue, Dec 4, 2018 @ 15:12 PM

As we approach the end of the semester, final exams week and concluding class projects, a lot of students (and likely professors) are feeling a high level of stress, which can be defined as difficulty in coping with some aspect of one’s environment. Such timeliness is one of the reasons that I decided to write about stress and balance in this month’s blog.

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Topics: Michael Urick, blog, Faculty Blog, Dr. Mike Urick, stress

Jurassic World and Real-World Organizations Face Constant Ethical Dilemmas

Posted by Michael Urick on Mon, May 7, 2018 @ 12:05 PM

So many great movies are coming out this summer! As a big Star Wars and Marvel fan, I’m (of course) excited for the new Han Solo and Avengers movies. But I’m perhaps even more excited about the new Jurassic World movie. I loved the last film that came out a few years ago and am a fan of the entire Jurassic series.

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Topics: Michael Urick, business ethics, Faculty Blog, Jurassic World, Dr. Mike Urick

The Importance of Heroes

Posted by Michael Urick on Mon, Jul 17, 2017 @ 10:07 AM

In popular culture, we have been bombarded by superhero movies featuring characters such as Wonder Woman and Captain America.  Yet, heroes aren’t just fictional characters and they don’t all wear capes.  In fact, I was inspired to write on the topic of heroes after my band performed an opening set for some of my personal musical heroes, a 90’s-era swing band from California named Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, late in June.  My band used their music as an inspiration as we fine-tuned our sound over the years.  I was also inspired to write about this topic after providing a keynote presentation to the Westmoreland Human Resource Association annual conference whose theme this year was “The HR Superhero.” From this conference, I realized that the concept of “heroes” is useful in the workplace.

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Topics: Michael Urick, heroes, managers, disney hero, hercules, workplace

Combating Workplace Drama

Posted by Michael Urick on Thu, May 11, 2017 @ 15:05 PM

Many people love drama, even though some may not want to admit that fact.  Drama is why some viewers are glued to reality TV, social media or celebrity gossip stories.  Even though drama can be entertaining in the media, it can be disastrous if it exists in the workplace.  Yet, workplace drama is so common that several blog readers asked me to address this issue here.

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Topics: Michael Urick, how to deal with drama at work, conflict at work, workplace culture, organizational culture, drama in the workplace, workplace relationships

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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