A recent transplant from Norfolk, GCATD's new VP of Professional Development, John Carter, shares his professional and personal details and what led him to volunteer for the Chapter. Recently, he started his own instructional design consulting firm, drawing upon both his teaching experience and the project he led at the Institute for Psychological Sciences. John knows the rewards of volunteering and being part of a collaborative team to do something important and it shows with his willingness to step into a new board role. Welcome, John!
Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Hartford, CT and spent most of my childhood in Hingham, MA. Hingham is on the south shore of Boston, so I had the opportunity to learn how to sail and it’s one of the things I still love to do whenever I can.
I earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. Just a few days after graduation, I reported to Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI. I spent 22 years as a Navy surface warfare officer, serving on four different ships, a tour with the Marine Corps and finally teaching at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. After finishing my Navy career, I taught leadership studies for eight years: four at the Naval Academy and four at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA (near Norfolk).
I then took an opportunity to lead a team of instructional designers at the Institute for Psychological Studies in Arlington, VA. We completed a 12-course degree in Psychology and I was the subject matter expert for the two leadership courses in the curriculum.
This year my wife Laura and I will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. She was a Navy nurse stationed in Oakland and my ship was right across the bay in San Francisco when we met. We were married on Treasure Island, which overlooks San Francisco. We have three lovely children: Falyn is a registered nurse, married, and lives in Dallas near her husband’s family. Our oldest son Daniel is a seminarian studying theology in Rome and my youngest son lives in Batavia with his wife. No grandchildren yet! My wife and I had been living in Norfolk, which we truly cherished, but our family was many hours away here in Cincinnati. So, we picked up last summer and moved here. Laura’s oldest brother lives here with a good deal of his children and grandchildren nearby as well.
Q: Share details about your role with LearningDesignCo, LLC.
Upon taking the plunge to move to Cincinnati, I decided to start my own instructional design consulting firm, drawing upon both my teaching experience and the project I led at the Institute for Psychological Sciences. I help my clients conceptualize their learning objectives and put them into action.
Q: What is it you enjoy most about being in a learning role?
I truly love the process of developing practical learning solutions to meet peoples’ needs. For example, I have a client who has taught team leadership in a traditional classroom environment for many years, but he wants to expand his reach through the power of the Internet. I’m working with to review his learning objectives and his materials so that they may be adapted to the online learning environment. His initial question was, “why can’t I just put this stuff online.” So my work has been to answer his question and help him to meet his needs. Working with him to devise create approaches to meet his goals gives me great joy and professional satisfaction.
Q. Where is your ultimate vacation destination?
The one place I want to make sure I go to is the Holy Land. I also dream of a sailing vacation in tropical climes!
Q: Tell me about your involvement with GCATD.
When I moved to Cincinnati, I began to network with people in the instructional design and human resources field and the consistent advice I got was to connect with the GCATD. It is THE professional association for this field. So, I checked it out, attended a Learning SIG event, got on the email list and when the opportunity came to be the VP of Professional Development, I volunteered. Michele Miller has been a wonderful help!!
Q: What advice would you give to others interested in volunteering?
I would say that volunteering is a truly enriching experience because of working with a group of earnest professionals who are serious about serving the membership. We all know how rewarding it is to be part of a collaborative team to do something important. I think that’s why I am interested in volunteering. I did the same type of thing as an Assistant Scoutmaster while my sons were growing up: the comradery of my fellow scout leaders in the formation of our scouts was very rewarding. We were making a difference (I hope!) in the lives of these young men.
Q: What do you like to do for fun?
When we lived in Norfolk, we had an old farm house with some land around it, surrounded by cultivated fields. I loved working around the property maintaining the landscaping and tending to the fruit trees, grape vines, and vegetable gardens. I still like to sail whenever possible. Now that we’re new to Cincinnati, my wife and I plan to explore the area and take advantage of all its attractions.