Carey the Torch caught up with Chris Myers, assistant professor in the management and organization discipline. His areas of expertise include individual learning, development, and innovation in organizations. Before coming to Carey, Myers was an assistant professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School.
Twitter Handle: @ChrisGMyers
When did you first start using Twitter and what was the draw to it?
According to Twitter (I had to go check!), I joined in July of 2012 when I was teaching and completing my PhD at the University of Michigan. I began using it as a tool for engaging my students outside of class and sharing interesting ideas with them, as well as with other academics and practitioners.
I am by no means a hardcore tweeter, and I am still learning a lot about engaging with people through Twitter, but I still use it for most of the same purposes as when I started.
Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter?
I do a lot of multi-disciplinary work – often at the intersections of domains like management, learning, healthcare, and aerospace – so one of my favorite things about Twitter is that I get to see updates and ideas from colleagues and key organizations in these different domains all in one place.
That being said, I also love getting my daily dose of humor from Twitter, so I really enjoy following accounts like @AcademicPain for some meta-reflective humor on faculty life, and indulging my life-long love of @CalvinandHobbes comics.
Do you feel Twitter enhances your role as a Carey professor?
I think Twitter provides a great tool for sharing the research I am working on at Carey and connecting with other faculty, practitioners, and students who may be interested in similar topics. Often as faculty, our research appears only in field-specific academic journals, so being able to also share findings from this research with individuals who may be able to put the findings into practice in their work is really exciting. Having to explain the findings in 140 characters is also a fun exercise in focusing on what is really the core of the idea!
How does your use of Twitter influence your teaching?
Teaching was the original reason that I started using Twitter, and I still think about my students as one of the major reasons to tweet. I invite students to follow me on Twitter in all of my classes, with the goal of creating a community online of current and former students from different classes (and multiple universities), so I can reach out and share ideas with them, learn more about what they are doing now, or connect them with one another to learn from each other.
I also invite students to tweet out their reactions to class readings, share their progress on group assignments, or pose questions on twitter so that many different people can react, rather than just getting only my response. Here again, the 140-character limit is a really helpful “forcing function” for thinking about the core issues and important ideas.
What was one of the most memorable Twitter exchanges you’ve had?
My colleagues and I recently published an article on patient safety and surgical errors that was featured and tweeted by a major media outlet, but the author of the media piece accidentally misquoted our estimates of patient deaths from surgical error by an enormous amount (amounting to almost 2/3 of the US population!). Needless to say, we (and the media outlet) got a lot of curious, concerned, or critical tweets in response, many of which were quite amusing. The issue was soon corrected, but in a way it was a great thing, because the confusion and controversy got people thinking and talking about the ideas!