Initiating Change, Emotional Intelligence, and the Lifelong Colleague Commitment

There is a common misconception found in all walks of life that a single voice is likely insufficient to initiate change. Try telling that to Malala Yousafzai. When Malala was a young girl, her home in the Swat Valley of Pakistan was taken over by the Taliban and women were banned from attending school. Malala resisted the Taliban and publicly campaigned for her right to get an education. At age 15, while riding home on a school bus, Malala was shot in the head by a Taliban assassin. She survived the assassination attempt and subsequently continued her mission to expand education and promote peace. At age 17, Malala Yousafzai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. When accepting the award, she stated: “This award is not just for me. It is for those forgotten children who want education. It is for those frightened children who want peace. It is for those voiceless children who want change.” Because of Malala’s single voice, awareness of educational inequality for women has been heightened globally and meaningful change has been instituted in various parts of the world.

Whether in the Swat Valley of Pakistan or in the conference rooms of an institution, it takes courage to challenge the status quo and initiate change. “Upsetting the apple cart” can be daunting because the status quo has its own cozy inertia that resists change even when the deficiencies of the status quo are acknowledged; and, even when these deficiencies are acknowledged, they are often tolerated rather than corrected because of the perceived discomfort and chaos that initiating change may bring. However, lack of change, though seemingly safe and secure, stagnates and stifles and leads to debilitating dormancy. Granted, change can be scary and initiating change may require stepping out of comfort zones, but change leads to new beginnings and is the birthplace of an ever-evolving future.

Initiating change is a characteristic of Emotional Intelligence and is part of Roseman University of Health Science’s Lifelong Colleague Commitment. Roseman University has seen significant change since its inception twenty years ago, and a willingness to initiate change has been a consistent factor in the remarkable growth of this great institution. Roseman University strives to create a safe environment where every voice can be heard, where challenges to the status quo are encouraged, and where the chaos of change is recognized as necessary for continued improvement. This progressive approach has helped Roseman University become a strong voice for transformational change in healthcare education.

L. Kris Munk, DDS, MS

Roseman University Associate Dean of Graduate Education