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Graduate Student of the Month

The GSPO and The University Graduate School (TUGS) have teamed up to formally recognize an outstanding graduate student each month. Students are nominated by faculty and staff from within their department, and a competitive review process decides who is highlighted (see nomination and review process here). We strive to recognize students who have contributed to the graduate community in a unique way and are exemplary within their field.

Note: The GPSO and UGS did not give out Grad Student of the Month awards for much of fall 2011 and some of spring 2012 because they were in the process of redesigning the nomination and awarding process.

Graduate Student Spotlight

Ryan Gottfredson, March 2012 Grad Student of the Month

The Indiana University Graduate and Professional Student Organization (GPSO) and University Graduate School (UGS) congratulate our March student of the month, Ryan Gottfredson. Ryan is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources (OB/HR) which, simply put, is the study of human capital within organizations. Ryan explains that scholars in the OB/HR field "are concerned with how to help employees maximize their performance, and how to help organizations better understand how to manage their human capital so that they are successful, satisfied, and committed."

Ryan says he is pursuing this degree so he could "better understand how to a) be a better person, family member, friend, and employee; and b) help others become better." When asked why he chose Indiana University, he explained "I knew I would get valuable personal attention from the faculty in my program, which I felt would help me to be successful and reach my own personal goals."

He also is impressed with the opportunities and support provided by his advisor, Dean's Research Professor Herman Aguinis, and largely attributes his success in research and publications to Professor Aguinis, who has served as a mentor to Ryan since Ryan was accepted into the OB/HR program. Professor Aguinis has provided Ryan with many opportunities to substantially contribute to various research projects, of which Ryan is incredibly proud. Since coming to IU, Ryan contributed to five papers that were published in various journals, has four more papers under review, as well as a few papers that will soon be submitted.

Professor Aguinis is the IU faculty member who nominated Ryan for the award, and told us that Ryan "has the best publication record of all doctoral students in the entire Kelley School of Business - not just students in his cohort," and that "Ryan is in all likelihood the most prolific doctoral student in the Kelley School of Business."

While Ryan is exploring a variety of topics in his program, his main focus is on issues of trust within the workplace. More specifically, he is "interested in how and why trust changes in relationships over time, how trust develops, and how it might be repaired when trust is broken or breached by another." He continues, "I believe that trust is vital to the success of employees as well as organizations, and if we can better understand the answers to these questions, the more successful and satisfied employees, managers, and organizations, in general, will be."

Ryan also is a teacher and mentor for IU juniors and seniors in Z304, an honors class on organizational behavior. He says that he enjoys "being able to teach them various perspectives and skills that will allow them to be successful as they move into the working world, and as future managers and leaders."

When he completes his degree, Ryan would like to become a professor of OB/HR, which will allow him to "teach others how to be better."

In addition to all of his impressive and valuable work, Ryan and his wife are expecting a baby girl. He greatly looks forward to becoming a father.

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