August 2017 EAHR Interim Department Head Blog

August 4, 2017

EAHR Faculty News and Notes from the Interim Department Head

Dear colleagues and friends,

With the fall semester approaching, I wanted to pass along a quick update on news and stories happening around the department and college. 

EHRD Program Represented at Adult Education Research Conference (AERC) 

Eleven doctoral students, staff, and faculty facilitated concurrent or roundtable sessions at the annual Adult Education Research Conference (AERC) that included several pre-conferences. The conference was held at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK from June 8-11, 2017. EHRD doctoral students included Ovi Galvan, Soojeong Han, Bora Jin, Jin Lee, Jihye Oh and Sarah Ray. Faculty and staff included Drs. Lisa M. Baumgartner, Shannon Deer, and Carolyn Sandoval. Drs. China Jenkins and Mattyna Stephens presented their research at the African American Diaspora Pre-Conference. Dr. Deer, a May 2017 graduate of the EHRD program with a specialization in Adult Education, was awarded the AERC Graduate Student Research Award! Kudos to the faculty and students.

Study Abroad

As part of Texas A&M’s Human Resources Development (HRD) program, Dr. Khalil M. Dirani accompanied a group of eight graduate students from the EHRD program on a study abroad trip to UAE between May 15 and 25. During the trip, the group visited several government and non-government organizations including three main universities (American University of Sharja, Middlesex University, and Muhammed Bin Rashid School of Government) where Dr. Dirani presented his research and gave a keynote speech. The group also attended the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) conference, visited five multinational organizations (Mars, Global Aerospace Logistics, NASCO, and Halliburton), and two government organizations including Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MOHRE) and the Career Development Center at Crown Prince Court (CDCPC) in Abu Dhabi.

The trip allowed students to learn about different approaches and contributions in developing HRD in different sectors in UAE, and about practices related to talent development and to the learning organization in particular. In addition, the students had an excellent experience being immersed in a different culture where they learned about the social patterns in UAE. This high impact learning experience helped the group build amazing relationships, bond together as leaders and teammates, and acquire new perspectives on the meaning of life and work. Much appreciation to Dr. Dirani for leading this amazing experience for our students.  

Building Bridges with Fellow Flagships

It’s been an active summer for the IDEAL research team led by Dr. Luis Ponjuán and his graduate research assistants and doctoral students Ms. Leticia Palomín, Ms. Susana Hernández and Mr. Juan Lopez. They group recently convened here at Texas A&M with the research team from the University of Texas at Austin led by Dr. Victor Saénz, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Administration and Dr. Emmet Campos, Director of Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color. Plans were discussed to offer selected institutions of higher learning and school districts greater support to improve academic success for male students of color. The Greater Texas Foundation and the Kresge Foundation are funding the 3-year collaborative between the University of Texas and Texas A&M University. The TECMSC will host its 4th annual Male Leadership Summit at the University of Texas at Austin on August 17th and 18th.  We wish the very best to Dr. Ponjuán and his team as they prepare for their leadership summit.


Dr. Lisa Baugartner will serve in the role of Adult Education Program Leader within the HRD program this coming fall. In the past, Dr. Baumgartner has played a key role in adult education recruitment, admissions, and other matters and as such brings unique expertise to the department leadership team. We’re excited to work with Dr. Baumgartner in her new capacity.    

That’s all for now. Take care and feel free to reach out to me with stories and events.

Warm regards,

Mario S. Torres Jr., Ph.D. | Associate Professor and Interim Department Head
Bob Winter Faculty Fellow | Texas A&M University
Co-Director, Educational Leadership Research Center (ELRC)
Director, Administrative Leadership Institute (ALI)
4226 TAMU | College Station, TX 77843-4226
Phone (979) 845-2716 | Fax (979) 862-4347