UMBC Mic'd Up

Leading with Emergent Strategies

April 05, 2023 UMBC Mic'd Up with Dennise Season 3 Episode 48
UMBC Mic'd Up
Leading with Emergent Strategies
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to our latest podcast episode, where we sit down with Samantha Novak, a UMBC graduate faculty member, to discuss leading with emergent strategies. 

In this thought-provoking conversation, Ms. Novak shares her insights on the importance of reflecting on our work in the world and how we choose to show up to it.

We delve into the idea that real transformative change can only occur if we have first worked on making sustainable changes within ourselves. She offers valuable insights on how we can approach this process and highlights the key role that self-awareness plays in leadership.

Throughout the episode, we explore different examples of how emergent strategies can be applied in different contexts and discuss the challenges that come with leading in an ever-changing world.

Whether you're a seasoned leader or just starting your journey, this episode offers valuable insights and practical tips on how to develop a more sustainable approach to leadership. So, sit back, relax, and join us for this fascinating conversation with Samantha Novak.

Time Stamps: 
0:00 Path to becoming an environmental scientist.
6:08 The importance of having a process in place.
9:48 The path to leadership
13:12 Skills students will take away from a course in emergent strategies
17:32 Change is challenging, but necessary
21:51 The importance of constructive conflict
26:23 Show up to leadership with curiosity and humility
30:32 The reflective process

About UMBC's Community Leadership Graduate Program and It's Courses: 
The Community Leadership programs at UMBC prepare aspiring and practicing leaders with the skills and experience needed to generate transformative social change. We help students develop greater self-understanding, engage with the assets and challenges of urban communities, hone practical leadership skills, and build personal and professional relationships that will support their growth as leaders. 

Register for the referenced course, Mindsets and Methods of Emergent Strategies (CDLR 611)!

Dennise Cardona  0:00  

Welcome to this episode of UMBC's Mic'd Up podcast. My name is Dennise Cardona from the Office of Professional Programs at UMBC. Today, we are joined by Sam Novak, graduate faculty instructor for a brand new course at UMBC called mindsets and methods of emergent strategy. I hope you enjoy this episode. Sam, welcome to the podcast. It's so wonderful to have you here with us today. 

Sam Novak  0:27  

Thank you. It's so wonderful to be here.

Dennise Cardona  0:28  

So we're going to talk today about this new course that UMBC is launching in the fall of 2023 called mindsets and methods of emergent strategy. Very, really excited to talk with you about this. I know that the program director, Dr. Sally J. Scott is super excited about this course as well. And first of all, though, before we get into that conversation, I always like to hear a little bit about your background, and maybe the path that you took to get here at UMBC. To speak about your academic and even professional background that led you to teaching this course at UMBC.

Sam Novak  1:06  

Absolutely, it was a long winding one, I'll tell you that. I think that's pretty common for folks of my generation. I put my, I pride myself on that. Um, let's see here. What is my path? Well, I got my undergraduate degree at York college of Pennsylvania in philosophy. And I loved philosophy I love, I love the high level thinking and the critical thinking and decided I wanted to do something more grounded. And so I spent two years, I wanted to do something more grounded, I wanted to do something I realized towards the end of my time studying philosophy in the environmental field that felt literally grounded for me. And so I, I decided I would do two years of AmeriCorps service. And so my first year was with the Maryland Conservation Corps. And then the second year, I moved out west, specifically because I had found a degree program where I could get a master's in environmental philosophy. And I really thought that's what I would do. So I moved out west to get residency and did a second year of AmericaCorps out there that time specifically doing environmental education work around energy for low income families at a nonprofit. And while I was at that nonprofit doing that work, I moved from AmericaCorps into doing some housing work and stumbled upon a different program. So I ended up being at the program, the Center for Creative change at Antioch University, Seattle, and I studied whole systems design there. And so I got this opportunity to study what is the combination of systems thinking and social design all kind of wrapped in what it means to be whole? Right? What it means to create whole systems, what does it mean, to create things that are living in ongoing and, and inclusive? Right, so I had this like incredible opportunity. And it shifted once I, once I, once I looked a little bit into the center for creative change and realize like, the thing, the thing that seems to be popping up professionally for me, whether I'm in nonprofits, or I'm sitting on, I sat on a environmental nonprofit board when I was living out west, that kid attests environment, education network, and a couple of other, you know, other volunteer nonprofit positions. And what was popping up time and time again, in all of these positions was, it was clear that creating change, specifically within a community for community was a difficult process. And so that's what really made me interested to switch from an interest in environmental philosophy, specifically, to how do we create the changes that we want to see in the world? How does that actually work? And so working in communities working in nonprofits working on boards, I realized that the thing that really had the most juice, for me was understanding the mechanics or the operations or the really the relationships and the behaviors of how we create change in this world. So that's why I got my Master's in Home Systems Design.

Dennise Cardona  4:07  

Wow, everything is so incredible what you just said, and the long and winding path is very accurate of a description. Yes. What a wealth of experience you have, and to be able to bring to the table in anything that you pursue and anything that you share with the community. So I'm curious environmental philosophy. I honestly have never heard of that before. And maybe some of our listeners or viewers of this video have never heard of it. What is that? Exactly?

Sam Novak  4:37  

I don't know if I could speak to it. I don't know if I could speak to it with any sort of justice because I didn't end up studying it. I mean, this was years ago, this was 2009 when I was first poking around into master's programs. So this was over a decade ago. But what what sparked me about environmental philosophy was that it was an understanding of it, it removed itself from just the science of what's happening in the world and move more into the again, I mean, this, I guess, it makes sense, I switched into what I what I switched into, but like, it wanted to speak more to how we understand the world and less about what the science is in order to create that change. Because again, of course, science is important. But really, how we make changes in our world, is how we understand people and how we understand the function of behavior and the structures of how change happens. And so I think, even without having that language at the time, the thing that interested me about environmental philosophy was, I loved studying environment, the environmental realm and sustainability. And I liked how connected it was to the processes and of the Earth. However, I wanted to do something that was not specifically science based, I recognize the importance of the social side of the science of it all. And so environmental philosophy, really, I think, is it this kind of point of understanding, understanding how we, as humans understand sustainability and science.

Dennise Cardona  6:08  

Yeah, it all comes down to that human element, that engagement, relationship and communication that we have as human beings, to be able to articulate to be able to feel to be able to express what we are doing in the world. And, of course, when it comes to climate, and the environment, and sustainability and inclusivity, all of that pertains to the community. And yeah, so that brings us to the system's approach that you've talked about the ISD person in me because I studied ISD. And that's a systems approach as well to designing course curriculum.

Sam Novak  6:44  


Dennise Cardona  6:45  

Among other things.

Sam Novak  6:47  

I bet we have a lot to talk about.

Dennise Cardona  6:48  

That right there is what piqued my interest in a systems, curriculum, a systems way of approaching problems, solving problems, is having that process in place, because I'm a process person. Definitely like a touchy feely, you know, creative, expressive person, when when you come right down to it, if I don't have a process, things get really muddy really fast. And I think that's true of most people. And being able to create for community at large, you need that process in place so that it can be replicated, not just by yourself, but by others as well, so that it can move forward and push forward.

Sam Novak  7:29  


Dennise Cardona  7:31  


Sam Novak  7:35  

Yes, processor processes are certainly important processes, with the community are certainly important. Absolutely.

Dennise Cardona  7:42  

Yeah. Do you feel like that sort of helped create that, that help with changing mindsets and things of that sort and ways of doing things within a community? Is having that sort of process in place?

Sam Novak  7:57  

Yeah, I mean, here's the thing, it's, it's actually kind of a shift. When I think of processes with community, I don't often think of it as a process for, I don't think of it as a process for the community, I think of it as the community's process. And I think that's the biggest shift is that my job isn't actually to create a process and then give it to a community, my job is to facilitate the community's ability to create a process that works for them. And so there's kind of a different shift in that. And that's what it really means to co create those things. So if we're trying to make a change, it will never, it will never be sustainable or transformative. If we're offering the solution or offering a process, it will only work if we can respect the processes that are valuable to that community. And so a lot of the shift in what kind of whole system's thinking does is shift us away from saying, like, here is the process to saying what is the process and allowing that to be emergent from the group, because if the group is the, if the group is the one making that change, and it has to come from them, that's period, that's the only way it will be transformative, it's the only way that it'll be sustainable. And so that's really the biggest shift. And that is like, yes, of course, processes are really important and processes allow us to have a touchstone on on what to do next, or how to move through something, especially when it's challenging or ambiguous. And it has to be something that you know, people have put their fingers on.

Dennise Cardona  9:29  

That's so well said thank you for that explanation. And it just it makes perfect sense. Absolutely. Now talking about speaking of emergent, can we talk a little bit about the course and the origin of it. What created this idea for this course, mindsets and methods of emergent strategy?

Sam Novak  9:47  

Absolutely. Um, I'm trying to like how far back do I go? When I was born? No, I a couple things. So I was handed this book years ago from a colleague of mine, and I was like, oh, yeah, I write like, immediately I was like, Oh yeah, I get this because it's what I studied and, and so she was telling us, she was telling me about it. And I was like, Oh, yes. And I read it. And I was like, Oh, this is important, like this is important. This is another iteration of the thing that I studied, specifically coming from a black feminist lens. And so a lot of what I had studied in my school had been coming specifically from majority white lens, honestly. And so I was, I was really like excited to have this approach this more like artistic, creative, black feminist approach to something that I studied in school. And I wanted to build in the midst of the pandemic, I wanted to build a leadership retreat around, I was working at Impact Hub, Baltimore, at the time, it was a community manager there. And so much of our community was saying that they needed a sense of community and being in the pandemic, if you were anybody, but specifically an entrepreneur or community leader, where you didn't know what was next was scary. And so having a community of people showing up and asking ourselves these questions of like, how do we adapt? And how do we allow what needs to emerge to emerge felt important. And so, we pulled together some other folks who were doing community leadership work at Impact Hub, Baltimore, and designed and facilitated a three day retreat, a three and a half day retreat around specifically through the framework of emergent strategy that was, that was what was the framework that we worked on, there's all ways in which we could do this. But adrienne marie brown’s emergent strategy was front and center in my world at that time, and I was like, this is a great move to move us into these questions specifically around such a challenging, ambiguous time in the world. And Sally happened to be Sally Scott, the director of the program happened to be a community member at Impact Hub, Baltimore, heard about it. Her, heard, she had emailed me about something else. So we started chatting about this leadership program. And so that's how she and I got connected is that, you know, we were talking a lot about this, and being the Program Director at the community leave, you know, the masters of community leadership, she was like, hey, this is really cool. Let's keep talking. And we did, we kept talking and built a relationship. And over time, she had invited me to participate as a facilitator in one of her courses, they were meeting at a park near Impact Hub Baltimore, and they asked me to do facilitation during the class. I think it was a class on organizing and leadership, although don't quote me on that. And it also just so happened that Joby was there, another Joby Taylor was there as well as Woodrow. And Woodrow at the time was the brand new program director for the engineering management program. And so I facilitated those three plus the rest of the students that were in that class, through an emergent strategy facilitation that I had developed. And from there, Woodrow, who had also been, but also been very excited about systems thinking and had read emergent strategy was also very excited. So I don't even remember your question. I'm just telling the story. At this point, essentially, all four of us were like, This is really exciting. Like, this is something that is clearly missing. It's not even missing, like not even missing. It's a, it's an approach that needs to have a light shone on it. It's not missing, it's there. It just needs it, it's just needs its voice. And so, the, we continue to be in conversation for probably about a year around like, what, how could we continue to ensure that the students have access to something like this moving forward? And what could that possibly look like? And how do we house it and right, so we had like long, I mean, you know, as as you do with things like emergent strategy, it's a lot of conversations, it's a lot of relationship building. It's a lot, right, all of those things. So. So that's really where it all started was, you know, we had, we had this need for a specific type of leadership in the community. We had support, you know, we had support from Sally and Joby and Woodrow to ensure that that type of leadership be highlighted in higher ed.

Dennise Cardona  14:25  

Oh, that's excellent. Yes, you brought us right on that journey. And you answered the question perfectly.

Sam Novak  14:30  

I forgot it and about halfway through.

Dennise Cardona  14:34  

Origin, how it all started. So it was just, yeah, you could see it all just evolved from an initial spark of interest and bloomed into something great.

Sam Novak  14:45  

I think the thing, I wanted, the other thing, the other thing I don't want to leave, leave out of all of that is how so part, part of how we kind of piece that in, because you know, what this is really does cross disciplines. It's completely interdisciplinary and it crosses in disciplines in the world, right? Like this is, these theories are applicable to just about any kind of change work you want to do, whether that's local, global government, higher ed, you know, community, whatever the case is. That's, that's true. And so Woodrow recognizing the real value in it in the world of tech, and shifting his program into offering, they're still working on offering a certification and DEI, he wanted to make sure that this particular approach to leadership was included in what the students would be learning if they were going to be getting a certificate and DEI in the realm of technology. So I wanted to name that too, because it's, it is one of the places in which it is applicable, that I think often gets left out of the conversation. So.

Dennise Cardona  15:51  

Absolutely valuable for the students. Yes, extremely valuable. Speaking of students, what do you hope that students who take this course with you will gain from it?

Sam Novak  16:03  

Oh, boy, what I hope they will gain I think that the thing that I hope students gain the most from this is the confidence to walk into the world with this framework in hand. Right, um, this type of framework really pushes the status quo and takes a lot of practice. I mean, I practice it regularly, right? This is not, this is not the answer. It is a constant practice, right? Being in emergent, working, working with and being in emergents, a constant practice. And what I hope is that we practice it enough that the students feel a sense of confidence walking into the world, with, with a desire to use this approach, right, like, I want them to feel confident when they walk into a room and say, hey, what if we use this framework to think through the solution, I want them to feel that sense of confidence. I also really want them to, to walk into the world, knowing the incredible reality of change, work. Change, work is deeply difficult, and it takes a long time. And it takes commitment. And it is it's hard, and it's challenging. And it's absolutely joyful. And so I also want them to walk out of the class with a recognition of how difficult it is, like it's been. It's, it's just a strange thing to say, like, hey, get ready. It's hard, but it is very hard. And there's insane amounts of joy and love in that hardship. But it is not easy. And so I want them to walk out prepared, prepared for what the ups and downs of is, of attempting to create change in this world is.

Dennise Cardona  17:48  

Well, you know, you bring up a good point, I think that anything that is exhilarating, thrilling, and positions us to thrive in the world has to come rooted in, a in, a in a place that is difficult, and is challenging, because otherwise we're not stretching, we're not expanding our mindsets, we are not putting our full potential out into the world, I believe, if we are not digging in digging our heels in, if you will, and rolling up our sleeves and doing the hard work that maybe others aren't willing to do. And it takes people to do that kind of hard work for change to happen. And once that change happens, it's like it's an amazing result.

Sam Novak  18:28  

It's incredible. It really is well in for this, you know, one of the one of the main tenants, and one of the purposes of this course is also that we are the practice ground for that change. So we often go out into the world and want to make these huge structural changes, and they are important and necessary. 100%, right? Like there are real sets of systems of oppression, there are real marginalized communities out there fighting, and all of those changes are deeply important. And adrienne marie brown says, you know, transform yourself to transform the world, it doesn't mean that you center change on yourself, it means that the, oftentimes the first and most difficult change that you make is your own relationship with yourself and the work. And so this class centers a lot on like, how do I reflect what is my, what is my position in this world? What is my work in this world? How do I show up to this work in this world? Right? A lot of it is really understanding who you are when you are out in the world attempting to make these changes because you cannot make changes. You cannot make real paradigmatic transformative change if you haven't been working on making those real paradigmatic sustainable changes in yourself. That is the first and foremost place you, your close what your your close relatives, your close colleagues, those are the places where that change starts. And so it's really also, also just kind of a an invitation into, into spending a little bit of time around who you are and how you show up to the work.

Dennise Cardona  18:36  

That sounds so intriguing. It really does. Now, when students were in this class, how do you envision the engagement to be from peer to peer?

Sam Novak  20:14  

Sure. So one of the ways that this class is structured, you know, we center a lot on dialogue, we center a lot on reading, we will be spending most of our actual classes in conversation. So I'll be doing a lot of facilitating, right we have specifically so students can see what different types of facilitation styles exist and how they're important and community how we learn and grow together. And, and so engagement for students will look a lot like the expectation that you show up and you've done the reading, and you've done the reflecting before you get to class to discuss it. And the engagement will also be, being willing to be in difference, right? So we structured the class so that it's an interdisciplinary class, right? So we're gonna have engineers, we're gonna have technologists, we're gonna have community leaders and nonprofit leaders. Hopefully, we'll have folks from other programs as well, who care deeply about very different issues, and show up very differently in the world. And, and so the class really is designed to approach that difference, an approach, what will most likely inevitably be conflict, from a place of generate, it shall be generative, right, like this conflict is welcome. Because it is generative. It helps us build deeper, deeper, and more flourishing relationship. And so what student engagement will look like is actually doing the reading and doing the work, showing up for classes and being present and being willing to engage in things that might challenge the way that they think whether that be across peer to peer students or within the content that they are reading.

Dennise Cardona  21:51  

That's really powerful. Because in this world, I feel like a lot of times conflict is suppressed. And conflict can be very constructive. If it's approached correctly, and that constructive conflict should not be avoided. That is where change comes. That's where transformation happens. Without those critical conversations, being able to see somebody else's viewpoint, hear somebody else's viewpoint really understand it, and absorb it, and share yours. That's how things, that's how change happens. And it's important that we learned to do that.

Sam Novak  22:26  

Yes. And it is not easy to do. It does not feel good always.

Dennise Cardona  22:35  

No, it does not. I'm a person who comes from, I've always avoided conflict. And I have learned in my professional and personal life, that that's not the best approach. You need to be able to have those critical conversations as constructive conversations and learn how to have those. And I think graduate school is a really great dojo to make that happen. And it sounds like this course is going to be a really great playground for that to happen and take place and teach, teach each other how to actually have those conversations.

Sam Novak  23:06  

Yes, playground is a great word for it, I think. So telling people like, hey, we're going to be in conflict sounds really scary and isn't moving away. But really it is a playground, it's a place to play, it is a safe place to play,

Dennise Cardona  23:19  

Absolutely it brings me back to my days of martial arts training where I was schlepped to a dojo while in my gear, boxing gear, and get onto the dojo mat, and it's a playground for learning how to well in this case, defend myself and protect myself and others in the real world. But you're doing it in a playground where you're safe, like padded everywhere, so nothing can really happen to you.

Sam Novak  23:45  

That is a beautiful metaphor. Thank you for sharing it.

Dennise Cardona  23:52  

Now, how do you feel students, this course is going to prepare students for working out there in the real world in making these changes within the community?

Sam Novak  24:04  

That's a great question. The world is changing, right? Our paradigms and how we understand what work is, and how we understand how to be with each other is changing rapidly. And this course is teaching you how to lead that right like this. This course is the future of what leadership looks like. Right leadership in and of itself, how we understand leadership has been shifting for a long time and we're at a tipping point. Now I believe in what is expected of who a leader is and how they lead leaders for so long we're expected to show up and, and you know, be able to fix the moving parts on the clock. That no longer is how we understand leadership. Right? We no longer understand leadership is this very top down, command and control. Everybody's a cog in a machine that is really on the outs, right? That was part of our industrial revolution and our understanding of, of how people operated in an organization. That's no longer really how we see the world, we're beginning to see the world as more fluid as more complex, as adaptive as constantly moving as its own organism. And so this course really is teaching us how to understand the leadership of the future. What does it mean to collaborate? What, what does it mean, for movements to happen from the ground up? What does it mean to be adaptive in a fast paced, in a fast paced world, right? So this really is more about like the future of leadership, and the future of how you become an excellent leader, specifically, when you are attempting to lead change, but that change is always right? Like you could be like, you know, I actually change really isn't the thing I care about. But here's the thing, we're constantly surrounded by change. So even if you're just deciding, you want to be a leader at an organization that's not specifically centered in creating change, your organization changes daily, everything's changing, right? Like, there's no way of getting around it. So this really asks us to reconsider what leadership looks like from the future and reconsider what our notion of change is and where it's applicable.

Dennise Cardona  26:23  

So as a, as a graduate student, I know, I, it's all it's very important how a student shows up to a class to be able to really be successful and get the most out of it. What would your suggestion be? For somebody who is considering taking this class? How should they show up to be able to get the most out of it? 

Sam Novak  26:47  

Yeah, that's a great question. My, my immediate, my immediate answer is show up with a sense of curiosity, and show up with a sense of humility. This course, as I mentioned earlier, this course really pushes our understanding of the status quo, when it comes to how we work and when it comes specifically to how we do change. And so it is going to challenge a lot of students' ways of seeing the world. And so if you can come to that challenge, which is with a sense of curiosity, and humility, then you are able to more fully embrace that, what is happening, and it doesn't mean you shouldn't challenge what is being said, it means that it is going to be challenging. And so, you know, allowing yourself to be open to understanding the world through a different lens is not an easy thing to do. If you can come to class, knowing this might challenge the way I see the world and that's okay. This might challenge the way I believed I was doing work in the world. And that's okay, right? If you can come with a sense of like, I am always going to be in a learning process, both in this course, and outside of this course, if I want to continue to be successful outside of this course holding that I'm, I am learning in your mind at every moment, then that kind of curiosity, and humility will, will bubble up it will emerge and so coming, coming, knowing that this is not a course necessarily to debate, it is a course to be in dialogue. And there's a very big difference between those two things.

Dennise Cardona  28:32  

That yeah, that's a good distinction. Definitely a good distinction. What is something that you feel, about the core set might surprise students?

Sam Novak  28:45  

I think it's going to surprise students. I don't want to say this, I think it's going to surprise students the amount of collaboration that will be expected in the, in the course, the amount of reflection that will be in the course. And how both of those things don't have a right answer. I think in most classrooms, many classrooms in higher ed, it's very clear, this is what the expectation is for how I get an A, this is what the expectation is for how I get a B, of course, that those things are available in my course. But the expectation is, are you engaging, the expectation is not like here are all the answers. Can you tell me now what those answers are? Like there's a, there's not a here's a clean slate, I'm going to fill you with knowledge. And I want you to tell me what that knowledge is so that you can get an A so I can say hey, they understand the knowledge. That's actually the opposite of what this course is the opposite. This course says we all have a lot of knowledge. There's a multiplicity of knowing in the world. And the point is that we share that knowledge and so it becomes difficult, especially if you're a student who's so used to having a very clear like this is the right answer. And I'm going to memorize it and give you the right answer. If I say I'm sorry, there's not a right answer, it's going to push you to start asking yourself, what is the, what is the right answer? It's asked you to critically think about that. And so it's hard. If I'm saying there's no right answer, you have to come up with it. That is incredibly difficult. When students have come through years in grade school and undergrad of saying, here's an A, for a good job. And I'm asking them to let, let go of grades for a minute, at least conceptually. You're, you're still graded in my class, but like, how am I going to? How am I going to tell you that what you're reflecting on in your own personal journey is wrong, right? So there's this really kind of a structure that I don't think students are going to be prepared for, if they have not taken a course like this before that is, that is heavily centered on reflective practice, and is heavily centered on group process, and is heavily centered on collaboration, I think that's gonna, it's gonna be a brand new challenge for the students who haven't experienced it before.

Dennise Cardona  31:08  

And that's the real world that right there is the real world. So I'm getting a book right now the 12 Week Year. And what, one of the things that they bring up is the fact that you can have all the knowledge in the world, but unless you execute on that knowledge, unless you reflect on it, practice it, apply it in your life, it's useless. 

Sam Novak  31:29  

Absolutely. Great book!

Dennise Cardona  31:34  

You can read 500 books on how to run. But unless you go out there and actually apply it and run and execute that, you're not going to really get how to run. And it's the same principle. And it sounds like with this dialog, with this reflective practice, that's exactly what it sounds like, this course is challenging students to do is yes, let's share knowledge. That's, share it. But now let's execute on that. Let's apply it let's reflect on it and reflecting on it is applying it and is executing it. 

Sam Novak  32:06  

Absolutely. So, and that the latter part, I think is one of the also the ones that it is hard to understand until you begin to do it that the reflective practice is actually the work. Right? Like that is that's a hard thing to understand. So if I, you know, we have a have an ongoing digital journal, journal in my class, and it might seem like what's the point and then you get to the end, and you realize, oh, that was the point. Right? That was the point to continue to be in reflection around it, and then be practicing and then reflecting and then practicing. And then here's a framework. It's, it's practice. I mean, it's centered in practice, it is the ongoing and overlapping process of reflection, action and theory and for anything to really work, right? For anything to move, to any, for anything to be executed. Those three things should be always in motion together.

Dennise Cardona  33:00  

Wow, Sam, this has been a really great conversation. I've thoroughly enjoyed it. I am positive that our viewers and listeners will also enjoy it. It's just I feel like you reignited that. I don't know the educational spark in me. I'm on my last leg of my, my journey here at UMBC for academic study anyway, and graduating in May. And all of a sudden, I feel like this big, huge jolt to get that last, you know, 10 yards and at the end.

Sam Novak  33:31  

Well, that makes me happy and that makes my heart soar. I hope that that happens with other folks too. I hope that they can be really invigorated or reinvigorated in this class. So, and let's continue talking. I would love to keep talking to you about the work that you do on the world.

Dennise Cardona  33:46  

Absolutely. Thank you so much, Sam. Thanks for tuning in to this episode of UMBC's Mic'd Up podcast, I hope you enjoyed it. If you'd like to learn more about our offerings, do a search for UMBC community leadership graduate programs or click the link in the show notes.