Photo credits: Photo by Jayme Halbritter

Giving matters: Chair appointment leads to student success stories

Professor Sasha Ardichvili’s chair appointment allows him to help others succeed.

FOR THE PAST SEVEN YEARS, Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development Professor Sasha Ardichvili has held the Hellervik Endowed Chair in Leadership and Adult Career Development. For Ardichvili, it’s not what the chair does for him, but what it helps him do for others that he has found most satisfying.

The chair was established by Lowell W. Hellervik, PhD ’68, who recently won the U’s Outstanding Achievement Award for his tireless work in support of the U and CEHD.

The purpose of an endowed chair is to recognize a faculty member’s achievements and service to the University and academic community. “The appointment comes with additional benefits for the chair holders, enabling them to spend more time and resources in support of their research, service, and student-advising mission,” Ardichvili says.

These additional benefits can be in the form of funds to start new research projects and involve a select group of graduate students in these projects, thus also supporting the students’ development. Ardichvili has found this particularly valuable.

“I was able to provide 10 doctoral students with RA appointments,” he says. “In addition, 15 students received funding to attend national and international professional conferences.”

Of the above-mentioned students, the majority are now holding tenure-track faculty positions at universities in Minnesota and throughout the country.

“For some of them, it would have been impossible to finish their graduate studies without the RA appointments provided by the chair,” Ardichvili says. “For all of them, being able to receive the chair fundings was highly important, since, instead of trying to cover their tuition and other expenses through non-research-related work and part-time appointments, they were able to focus on their dissertation work. The fact that they had opportunities to participate in research projects with me and publish academic articles should be considered an important factor in their success in securing excellent academic positions.”