The Practitioner Scholar

Doctor of Management Blog

Christina Barss: Grow. Change. Flourish.

May 28, 2014 ·

What is the Doctor of Management program like? For me it is a string of wonderful positive memories, linked by educational pursuit and kept alive by lifelong friendships. The academic journey has been an emotional one; highs and lows, doubts countered with assurance, failures become the biggest teaching moments and ultimately lead to my greatest success. The curriculum is unique with a rigor that may seem impossible. Students are supported with didactic lectures, virtual residences, technology and a dynamic administrative team in Sue, Marilyn and Alexis. What attracted me to Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management was the reputation of the faculty and organizational development programs.  In this program I have conversations with academic giants- a cache of passionate thought leaders who charted and continue to chart new waters: Kolb, Boyatzis, Buchanan, Lyyntinen, Cooperrider and Lingham.  As CRWU is world class so are the DM students: accomplished talented individuals from top world organizations. For me it was humbling to meet my fellow students on our first day. As the courses passed so did the intimidation. Soon our classroom breaks filled with enthusiastic chatter; a cacophony of English, French, Chinese and Spanish.  My classmates become allies, counselors and family. Learning, laughter and love: for me the Doctor of Management program is life changing.

What does life changing mean?  For me, it meant waking up in the middle of the night, groping for my mobile phone so I may text myself a message because finally my theories became crystal clear. It meant due to the academic rigor from qualitative to quantitative actual study experience my critical analysis lens is so much keener when reading academic journals resulting in a deeper and richer experience. Most of all when present my academic work at a conference or submit to a peer reviewed journal- I am confident that it is of stellar quality because my faculty and advisors have coached me to success. My diploma represents the paradigm shift from professional to true practioner scholar. In summary, this program enabled me to grow my academic acumen, build personal resilience and foster a healthy global perspective – in essence I am flourishing.

Christina Barss, M.S., M.Ed. is the Associate Director of Cleveland Clinic Academy (  Hosting premier learning and development solutions for healthcare executives, Cleveland Clinic Executive Education portfolio includes Samson Global Leadership Academy and Executive Visitors’ Program. Christina’s research specializes in organizational effectiveness, interprofessional teams and social learning in a healthcare setting. She is also a PhD candidate at Case Western Reserve University in the Weatherhead School of Management and can be reached at

Tags: DM Reflections

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