Graduate Ambassadors: A vivid vision to empower future Warriors

By Graduate Ambassador Robert D. Alexander-Jordan, Ph.D. student in educational leadership and policy studies

bicyclist rides past the college of education on a sunny day

Vivid Visioning is a strategic approach that involves creating a detailed and compelling vision of an organization's future. Unlike traditional goal setting, which often focuses on short-term objectives and KPIs, Vivid Visioning encourages a holistic and imaginative look at what a future state could be, three to five years down the line. This methodology gained notoriety through the work of business consultant Cameron Herold, who advocated for organizations to dream big and articulate their dreams in vivid detail, making them tangible and inspiring for all stakeholders involved. 

The College of Education (COE) at Wayne State University is in the early stages of developing its own vivid vision under the leadership of Dean Denise Taliaferro Baszile, Ph.D. This ambitious initiative is not just about enhancing the college's visibility within its own walls and on campus but also about extending its impact into the surrounding communities. By assembling a dynamic team, Baszile is pioneering a future where the COE becomes a beacon of educational innovation and community engagement. 

Baszile and her team have actively engaged in laying the groundwork for their vivid vision since September of 2023. They have initiated meetings with various on-campus groups and ventured into high schools to better understand and integrate the needs of surrounding communities into their strategic planning. “This hands-on approach ensures that the College of Education not only aligns with the aspirations and needs of its current and future students but also resonates with the broader educational ecosystem, fostering a more inclusive and interconnected community,” Baszile said. 

According to Executive Assistant to the Dean Kierstin Fiscus: “Dr. Baszile's strategy involves identifying new stakeholders and fostering collaborations that bridge the gap between the university and its neighboring communities.” The initiative is grounded in a series of targeted actions: 

Engaging with the community: According to Baszile: “The COE is establishing regular meetings with schools and community organizations, aiming to develop a deep understanding of their needs and how the college can respond effectively. Through visits, discussions, and reflective sessions, the team is laying the groundwork for meaningful partnerships.” 

Redefining student engagement: “Efforts are underway to redefine student values and increase cultural relevance on campus. This includes identifying student assets that can help narrate the college's evolving identity and values, enhancing doctoral programming, and addressing barriers to student success. An Ambassadors Group is being formed to mentor and support new and potential students, further embedding the COE into the fabric of campus life,” said Chris Banks, graduate student in the master’s teacher education program. 

Building on a legacy of excellence: “The vision for the COE is not only about change but also about building on the solid foundation already in place. This involves aligning educational offerings with the needs of the community and ensuring that all students, regardless of their background, have access to high-quality education and support services. This comprehensive approach is evident in the diverse programs and initiatives discussed in recent meetings, including efforts to support students with disabilities, transfer students, and veterans, as well as initiatives focused on pre-college support and multicultural engagement,” said Stacey Brockman, assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies.

The COE’s vivid vision is a testament to the power of collective imagination and strategic action. “By embracing a forward-thinking approach, the college is poised to not only redefine itself but also to make a lasting impact on the educational landscape and the communities it serves. As this vision continues to unfold, it will undoubtedly inspire current and future generations of Warriors to pursue excellence, embrace diversity, and contribute positively to society,” said Tracy Boyce, associate director of marketing and communications. 

The success of this initiative will hinge on the continued collaboration between the COE, its stakeholders, and the wider community. As Wayne State University looks to the future, the COE is leading the charge, paving the way for a brighter, more inclusive future for all. 

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