Monday, June 9, 2014

Loch Ness, our last stop!

-Dr. Ann Herd

Near the Loch Ness: Dr. Herd, John; Melissa, Stephanie K., Stephanie P., Caroline;
Cicely, and Shelley.  Great picture of a great group having a great experience

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Royal Mile

     One of our first stops when we arrived in Edinburgh was the Royal Mile.  The Royal Mile is located in the Old Town of Edinburgh, Scotland.  The streets that make up the Royal Mile are Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High Street, Cannongate, and Abbey Strand.  These streets are filled with shops, pubs, restaurants, and historical landmarks.  It was an excellent place to find souvenirs and gifts.  In fact, I bought so much stuff that I had to buy more luggage to bring it all back home in!  Although I spent a few hundred pounds in currency shopping along the Royal Mile, I certainly did not lose any pounds in weight because the food was so great.  Any weight that I may have lost by walking, I found it a few feet away at yet another great restaurant. 

     The length of the Royal Mile is actually a “Scots Mile”, which is a little bit longer than an English mile …. A mile and a meter to be exact.  The roads are made of cobble stone, and the area was filled with people.  There were many tourists from all over the world, and local residents as well, crowding the streets.  There were a few people performing their unique talents in the street.  One man was preparing to do a juggling act with fire!  Another man played the most beautiful music with a metal saw, as if it were a violin!  I was in awe by the skill and precision it took to make such beautiful music with such a dangerous tool.  The Royal Mile certainly embodies the rich culture of Scotland. 

     In addition to the many fabulous places to shop and eat along the Royal Mile, there are two very significant historic locations, Holyrood Palace, and Edinburgh Castle.  The Palace of Holyrood House, also known as Holyrood Palace, is the official residence of the British Monarch in Scotland.  At the opposite end of the Royal Mile is Edinburgh Castle.  Edinburgh Castle sits bold and magnificently atop of a volcanic rock.  When we reached this beautiful structure at the end of the road, it made all of the walking and spending well worth it.  If you ever visit Scotland, you must take a trip to the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

-Cicely Douglas

Cicely at the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

The Royal Mile.

St. Giles.

Taking a break after a walk at the Royal Mile: Back: Shelley, Dr. Herd, Tracey, Stephanie P., Meghan, and John. Front: Cicely, Stephanie K., Dr. Stone, Melissa, and Caroline.

St. Giles.

Edinburgh Castle.

Edinburgh Castle.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hard work at the UFHRD 2104 Conference

-Ann Herd

Tracey and Caroline working together with participants at the UFHRD 2014 Conference.

Hard work: Melissa, Stephanie K., Megan, and Dr. Herd.  Dr. Stone peeking.

Shelley making a presentation at UFHRD 2014, with the support of Melissa in the background.

The U of L-CEHD scholars at the UFHRD 2014 Conference: Melissa, Cicely, Dr. Herd, Stephanie P., Tracey, John, Shelley, Caroline, and Megan.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Leadership Development Across Cultures is alive and well in New Lanark

       Prior to arriving in Scotland with the BSOLL Program, I personally had never heard of a quaint little village known as New Lanark.  Once I learned we would be visiting I simply concluded it would likely be a lovely scenic tour of a Scottish town with some historically significant purpose.  Everywhere you turn in Scotland you are steeped not only in beauty and stunning architecture, but every building, every street and every person seems to have an amazing story to tell.
      The drive to New Lanark, located in South Lanarkshire was incredible.  The lay of the land is like that out of a movie scene.  The rolling hills and steep crags are blanketed in rich green covering, sprinkled with fields of brightly colored flowers, towering trees and populated with a variety of sheep, cattle and horses with their newly born spring babies in tow.  It is truly a constant visual delight.  
       New Lanark is a village strategically tucked into the hillside next to the River Clyde. Founded in 1786 by David Dale, a Scottish businessman, the cotton-spinning mills of New Lanark were built in the late 18th to early 19th century.  However, a young Welshman by the name of Robert Owen, met, fell in love with and married the daughter of David Dale (Caroline) and ultimately purchased the mills and became the manager.  Approximately 2,500 people worked and lived in New Lanark, including over 500 orphans.  The working conditions were less than desirable however not unusual for this time period.  Robert Owen had a strong desire to improve New Lanark by focusing on higher principals, including, education, establishing the first daycare for infants and nursery school for toddlers of the working families; improving the lives of the workers by offering a form of healthcare, abolishing child labor, implementing a humane work & community environment, training and development the workers, initiating and promoting social responsibility.  Robert Owen was a pioneer of human resources and paved the way for several of the principles still utilized today.
      New Lanark was stunning both visually and historically and a trip I would recommend anyone interested in the development of leadership across cultures and human resources development make a point to visit when in Scotland. 
-Tracey Pender
At New Lanark with UFHRD 2014 participants.

Robert Owen.

New Lanark.

At New Lanark: Caroline, Tracey, Megan, Stephanie P, and John.

New Lanark.

The Annie McLeod Experience at New Lanark: Shelley, John, Dr. Herd.

An amazing opportunity, an amazing cultural experience!

      Attending the UFHRD 2014 conference has been both an amazing opportunity and cultural experience. This year's conference aims to meld leadership and culture by bringing together some of the most intelligent minds within the field of HRD. With keynote speakers like Jonathon Passmore, Hazel Makenzie, Eugene Sadler-Smith and Wendy Ruona, conference attendees will gain a wealth of knowledge that is sure to spark questions within the field of HRD. 

      As a doctoral student, I have been given the opportunity to witness wonderfully inteligent individuals present their research and conceptual theories. Each presentation that I have listened to has been both a cultural and academic experience.  I have met individuals from various countires that are just as vested in the field as I am. This conference has also presented me with an opportunity to connect with other students and new colleagues with who I am so excited to hear of how their research has progressed. 

      Overall,  this experience has been one steeped in a wealth of research and of course, leadership. To say I am grateful to be here would be an understatement. I think I can also speak for my fellow colleagues when I say,  "wish you were here!"

-Stephanie Pepera

Part of the CEHD-U of L delegation to UFHRD 2014: Caroline, Tracey, Stephanie P., and Shelley.

The CEHD group at the Edinburgh Napier University, site of the UFHRD 2014. Cicely, Shelly, Dr. Herd, Tracey, Caroline, Stephanie K., Megan, John, Stephanie P., Melissa, and Dr. Stone. Go Cards!

The food blogger

     I was not sure what I was going to write about during our trip.  I wracked my brain and thought about what the best topic would be, then last night at dinner it dawned on me, people may be as interested in the food as I am, so the decision was made that I would be the Food Blogger.  I am very excited to blog about the food, because I have been on a "Food Adventure" since we flew out of Louisville, so it makes sense that I would be the one to blog about our experience in this adventure. 

      Since arriving in Scotland, I have been on a mission to try everything that is native to this land.  So far, we have been to MANY eateries and I have tried as many dishes as I can.  Luckily I have been fortunate enough to find a group that share my adventurous and we decided early on we would all try different things so we could taste it all. 

      The first thing I wanted to try was Haggis!  I have heard so many horrible stories about haggis and how awful it was and how I would hate it, that I was so afraid to try it I had made it horrible in my head.  I decided our first night here I would find an eatery and get it out of the way.  We stopped that night at a pub off the Royal Mile called the Whiskey and Haggis House with the thoughts that with a name like that we were going to find haggis.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the haggis looked eatable.  It was very nicely stacked in layers on top of mashed potatoes and cheese and looked very appetizing.  I am happy to say, "I like HAGGIS!" It was not awful, there were no entrails involved and the smell is actually very good.  Every morning in the cafeteria at the University of Edinburgh, we have haggis served like our fried sausage and I have eaten some every day. 

      Even though haggis was the main attraction of the food adventure, there are so many other foods that we have experienced.  Inn Linlithgow, we had dinner at a Lovely pub called the 4 Mary's and we were served roasted beef and lamb that was cooked to perfection.  That was also my first experience with Yorkshire pudding, which is not a pudding the way we think of it at all.  It was more like upside-down puffed bread with the most succulent gravy I have ever experienced.  We also were served a "Skink" soup, which consisted of potatoes and haddock.  It was also very tasty.  Haddock is the main fish served here, so when I had the fish and chips (fried potatoes), it was not that much different from what we have in the states. 

      The food we found that need a spotlight and marquee are the desserts!  We have ALL decided that we are addicted to the sticky pudding.  Even though we have had this several times and from several places, it is the best dessert EVER!  The most common pudding is the sticky toffee pudding and it is amazing.  It was unanimously decided that we would find a recipe for this when we got home.  Sticky pudding is most often a very moist, heavy dark cake, probably chocolate, with very thick layer of toffee or caramel slathered over the top.  Oh yes, it is as good as it sounds!  I have also had the privilege to try a piece of Victoria Cake, Fudge Cake, several types of cheese cake (which is a lot like our mousse) and a spice cake like dessert that is called Clootie Dumpling and was served with a warm custard sauce. 

      I have been extremely happy with what we have eaten and all the places we have gone.  The restaurants here all have a very homey feel to them as though you are eating in a personal dining room.  The food experience here has been wonderful and I hope I can take some of the recipes home with me and share them with my family.

-Stephanie Kittle

A haggis that goes beyond its fame.

Lamb, a regional tradition.

This looks yummy.

Another one.

Chocolate fudge cake, topped with ice cream. Wow!

Fish and chips, a regional classic.

Edinburgh Waverley Station.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Greetings from Edinburgh, Scotland!

    Our group had the amazing experience of touring the Royal Bank of Scotland.  This fit perfectly within the curriculum of our International Learning Experience through the College of Education and Human Development.
The content focus of this trip encompasses Leadership Development Across Cultures.  We began the trip with a bus ride down to the headquarters of RBS in which we were led on a walking tour in while our hosts discussed the various measures in regards to Human Resource Development they have taken within their business to improve customer service while creating, recruiting, and maintaining first rate employees in the field. 

    As we walked through the various offices and shared spaces, we were immersed in their vision and culture as the building was a flurry of activity and it was literally written on the walls.  As we ended the walking tour we were guided through lush grounds to the RBS Business Campus.  Our class had the opportunity to view a presentation on RSB’s vision of the future as it relates to Human Resource Development and their internal leadership recruitment and training programs.

    As I look through the various photographs from our journey, I’m extremely thankful to have been chosen to go on this trip to place myself outside of the norm and see how HRD practices are both similar and different than those in the US.

-Caroline Stephens

At Royal Bank of Scotland.

Royal Bank of Scotland, headquarters.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Edinburgh Castle, leadership and history

Our group visited Edinburgh Castle shortly after we arrived in Scotland. After strolling up the Royal Mile, we arrived at the castle, just as a wedding was ending. Edinburgh Castle was stunning: full of rich history, knowledgeable and friendly tour guides, and fantastic views of the architecture,  the Firth of Forth (an estuary that flows into the River Forth and on into the North Sea), and the lush Scottish countryside, including the dormant volcano the castle rests upon. For more information, see

If you visit Edinburgh castle, a complimentary tour is included with your ticket. You may take as many tours as you like; we took two and jumped in on another. The tour guides are a font of information. In addition to the knowledge they possess, they are super friendly and are seemingly willing to answer any question.

As we strolled about the grounds, it was obvious how much the Scottish people revere their ancestors and history. From St. Margaret’s Chapel, the oldest structure in the castle built in the 12th century, to Thomas Randolph who invaded the castle and took it by stealth from the English in 1314, to the Scottish National War Museum honoring Scotland’s fallen soldiers of World War I, heritage and pride were everywhere. Many of the sites and stories also tied in to the subject matter of our class, international leadership and culture.

The tour guides told us the story of Thomas Randolph, the nephew of Robert the Bruce, the reigning Scottish King in 1314. Edinburgh Castle had been in English hands for approximately 20 years. Randolph and a few of his men snuck into the castle via a secret path in the middle of the night and took it by force from behind the castle walls, effectively ending the English occupation.

The castle has housed soldiers, stored munitions, and provided “hospitality” to prisoners of war from all over the world, including England, Ireland, France, America, and Germany throughout its history. Today, the castle continues to welcome visitors, including brides and grooms tying the knot in St. Margaret’s Chapel. Visiting Scotland? Make this important historical landmark one of your first stops. It’s truly amazing!

-Shelly Gardner

The proud CEHD group at Edinburgh Castle Gatehouse. From top to bottom, left to right: Shelley, Melissa, Cicely, Tracey, Dr. Stone, Stephanie K., Dr. Herd, John, Megan, Caroline, and Stephanie P.

Stephanie K., Dr. Herd, Shelley, and the curiosity for men with kilt.

Edinburgh Castle.

The Portcullis Gate.

Lion statue with coat of arms.

Edinburgh Castle.

Gentlemen attending a wedding at St. Margaret's Chapel.

Linlithgow and me

      The day after our arrival in Scotland, Stephanie Kittle, Shelly Gardner, Cicely Douglas, and I decided to hop a train to the small town of which is about 20 minutes west of Edinburgh.  As we had already witnessed from the day before, Scotland is an absolutely beautiful country filled with panoramic views, a rich history, and wonderful people, but this little side trip had a much deeper personal meaning to me. 

      Following a tip from a good friend of mine, I discovered that Linlithgow is the official “birthplace” of, arguably, the most famous celebrity Scotsman in the world, the Starship Enterprise’s Chief Engineer and resident “miracle worker” Montgomery Scott from the original Star Trek television show.  So, besides being a “trekker” why was this information of such personal importance to me?  Several decades ago, I was privileged enough to not only meet but eventually become an “adopted daughter” of the brilliant man who portrayed this character, James Doohan, and there was absolutely no way I could pass up the opportunity to see the tribute this small town in Scotland had erected honoring my “Pap”!

      From the moment our merry little band arrived in Linlithgow, we were welcomed with open arms by the townsfolk who answered our every question about their small part of the world with the cheerful smiles and enthusiastic delight.  Spurred forward by their exuberance, we visited the 700 year-old awe inspiring St. Michael’s Church followed by the majestic Linlithgow Palace, the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. 

St. Michael's Church.

Linlithgow Palace.

      After observing such breathtaking beauty and mesmeric history, I felt more than a bit foolish asking the location of my desired destination.  This trepidation was immediately erased by the beaming smile of pride I received from Linlithgow Palace’s gift shop employee, Laren, who eagerly informed me the tribute was located at the Annet House Museum.

Annet House Museum.

      Immediately upon entering the Annet House Museum, I located my desired objective, hanging above the door leading to the exhibit area:

Montgomery Scott Tribute Plaque.

      Upon seeing this, I instantaneously began remembering all of the wonderful adventures and conversations Jimmy and I shared over the years, filling my heart with joy and my eyes with tears, as well as reminding me of all the life lessons and wisdom he imparted during our time together until his passing in 2005.

      By now I’m sure you are saying “Ok, that’s a neat story but what does that have to do with your trip’s concept?”  For me, this story is what this trip is all about!  Examining the past and combining it with the present in order to forge a brighter future, which is the backbone of leadership.  I consider myself blessed to have experienced influential personalities and concepts like Jimmy and the Star Trek ethos of IDIC (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations) from such a young age.  Together they expanded on the core tenets of leadership imparted to me by my mother by illustrating the enormous benefits diverse cultural viewpoints can bring to a leader/manager’s toolkit.  Thanks for the lesson’s Pap, I haven’t forgotten any of them and hope I’ve made you proud!

Jimmy and Melissa.

-Melissa Behres