In the Loop: The HDO Blog

Reimagining the Humanities for the 21st Century

October 21, 2020
Steven Mintz, Ph.D.
Professor of History at UT Austin

As humanists grow ever more desperate for students, funding and public recognition, these scholars have attached the “humanities” label to an ever-expanding list of popular subjects — not just such old mainstays such as the legal humanities, the medical humanities or the public humanities, but to a host of less familiar areas of study, including the environmental humanities or the urban humanities and, of course, the digital humanities and the global humanities, each supported by a network of scholarly journals, book series and conferences.

Click here to continue reading.

Strategy for Uncertainty

October 1, 2020
Miles Husid
HDO Marketing Coordinator

This year has been fraught with new challenges that have required both professional and personal adaptation and growth. The way in which businesses and employees communicate, manage, strategize, and function has changed dramatically these last several months, making resources on working and leading through change all the more vital.

Click here to continue reading.

So, You Want to Change the World?

September 25, 2020
Dr. S. Scott Graham
Assistant Professor in the Department of Rhetoric & Writing at UT Austin

Think about the last time you changed a lightbulb. What did you do first? I hope it was turn off the switch. Maybe you’re super safety-minded and even turned off the breaker. Safety is the key here, after all. You obviously don’t want to get electrocuted. But let’s take a minute to think about the thought process behind flipping the switch.

Click here to continue reading.

My HDO Experience: Michelle Jack (Master’s Class of 2018)

July 17, 2020
Lewis Miller, Assistant Director, HDO

Michelle Jack is an alumna of the HDO Master’s Degree program. In the video below, she chats with Dr. Art Markman, a Professor of Psychology and HDO’s Founding Director, about how she used her HDO Master’s education, particularly Dr. Markman’s course on behavior change, to successfully lead a major change initiative for her previous employer.

Click here to continue reading.

What’s Wrong with My Emails?

July 17, 2020
Dr. Clay Spinuzzi

Why do my colleagues ask me questions that I’ve already covered in my email? How come they missed my most important point? And why can’t they write clear emails that I can understand? Why do we end up having phone calls to cover what we already wrote?

Click here to continue reading.

Why Is Working at Home So Hard?

June 10, 2020
Dr. Clay Spinuzzi
Professor for HDO and Rhetoric & Writing at UT Austin

On March 13, the day before spring break was to begin, the University of Texas announced that it was canceling class. By March 17, UT had announced that all remaining spring classes would transition online. Students—and faculty—were shocked, and we had to do a lot of work to figure out how to gracefully transition these classes. Some classes were easier than others—I imagine my writing classes were much easier to teach online than, say, dance classes or pottery classes. But that doesn’t mean the transition was easy.

Click here to continue reading.

A Note to the HDO Community

June 5, 2020
Dr. Amy Ware
HDO Director
&
Lewis Miller
HDO Assistant Director

HDO Community,

These are frustrating and uncertain times. While we continue to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are confronted once again with evidence of our nation’s continued failure to address centuries of systemic racism and discrimination.

During these hard times, it is useful to turn an HDO lens on this issue and learn from our history by drawing from our nation’s most influential activists and artists.

Click here to continue reading.

Don’t Panic! Timeless Principles for Leading Through a Crisis

June 1, 2020
Dr. Ken Wisian

Don’t Panic! These words, from the science fiction classic, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” are a good starting point for thinking through a crisis. The world is in the midst of a once-in-a-century cataclysm that threatens public health and undermines governmental and economic stability. People at all levels of society have suddenly found themselves on unfamiliar ground and scrambling to chart a course from day to day and moment to moment.

Click here to continue reading.

Team(work?): The Pros and Cons of Working in Teams

March 17, 2020
Dr. Mary Rose, HDO Professor

Most of us can probably think of examples in which working with others led to great insights and helped our motivation. But we can probably also recall some counter-examples, in which we felt as if other people got in the way of clear thinking, made us inefficient, or we felt unfairly saddled with the work of others who were not performing.

Click here to continue reading.

Congratulations HDO Class of 2019!

December 10, 2019
Lewis Miller, Assistant Director, HDO

The Human Dimensions of Organizations (HDO) Master’s Class of 2019 graduated last Friday, December 6, adding twenty new members to the distinguished Longhorn alumni community.

HDO’s faculty, staff, and advisors—not to mention the students’ families and friends—are incredibly proud of the hard work these graduates put in over the past 15 months!

Click here to continue reading.