Public speaking courses always instruct that one should provide a brief self-introduction covering credentials, experience, and some bit of humor. Here goes.
While I was still in graduate school circa mid-80’s one of the relatives asked my Dad how I was doing. Dad answered, “Well, for the first 18 years we couldn’t get David to go to school, now we can’t seem to get him out.” Once I caught-on to the art (and game) of it, academia was a lot of fun, and it did prolong adolescence while I made up my mind about what I wanted to be….when I grew up. It was the growing up part that was the challenge. Meanwhile I collected degrees the way other people collected stamps: B.A. in Psychology, and M.Ed. in Counseling at Georgia State University; M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Georgia Tech. If one cannot be smart, I reasoned, one can be well-educated. Let me apologize right here to the sheep who gave their lives for this unlikely habit.
Counseling turned out not to be a great career choice; I was young and had as many, if not more problems than my clients. And so I retreated to a not-so-safe harbor in Georgia Tech, and put myself through their program in Industrial-Organizational Psychology by working nights and week-ends. DeKalb Community College, now Georgia Perimeter College, kept me as a part-time counselor and Psychology Instructor. Surprisingly it turned out that the other side of the lectern was even more fun than being a student. Like all addicts, I was in denial. Later I picked up internships with Lockheed-Georgia, Merrill-Lynch and Coca-Cola USA. While slogging through the final stages of prelims/dissertation I did applied research at Georgia Tech Research Institute and taught upper-division I/O courses at Tech. I have since taught at undergraduate and graduate levels at other local colleges.
Through the early ‘90s the U.S. Department of Personnel Management contracted with me to develop and deliver a range of management training programs – everything from basic communications and assertiveness to performance management and strategic planning. That supplied invaluable experience linking academic theory with real-life management problems. For 12 years I built a working mental library about how things worked in the real worlds of management and psychology. Today, the most satisfying part of my practice is being able to plug clients into specific resources that help them solve their own problems.
Through 2002 I worked at one of Atlanta’s top management psychology firms where I learned the art/science of individual assessment, team-building, 360-feedback and construction project Partnering. I founded Executive Psychology in 2002 focusing primarily on assessment of client candidates – external and internal (succession). However, the real pleasure for me is in the feedback process where I come home again to the role of teacher.
We all live happily in Smyrna, Georgia: David, Dorothy (HR executive), two Bichons, Jack and Jill, 3 in-door and 3 out-door cats. The cats are all strays and adopted us for our winsome personalities, warm quarters, regular meals and excessive co-dependency.
Hope you enjoy the offerings here. Remember: “teacher.”