Great Things Don't Happen Alone
Karla SiuLan Todd MSM '13
Karla SiuLan Todd is a busy adult learner interested in helping other busy adults learn-whether as an English teacher in her grandfather's Chinese village or as founder and chief learning officer of E.L.D.E.R.: Experiential Learning for Disability and Eldercare Resources. The former management consultant with Bain and Company and Boston Consulting Group, who, in addition to a Lasell MSM, has a BA in Economics from Oberlin College and an MBA from Columbia University, is excited about the possibilities of E.L.D.E.R. helping to "transform management learning for the eldercare profession." Leaves spoke with the busy MSM to learn more.
What attracted you to Lasell's Elder Care Management graduate program? The school's unusual approach to the field-mixing management with sociology, policy and overviews of important topics in aging-makes a lot of sense to someone with a business background like mine. Lasell recognizes that a management perspective is needed in educational programs about aging, which I think is spot on.
What was your Lasell academic experience like? Lasell benefits greatly from letting adult learners pave their own paths, leveraging their own unique experiences, and from collaboration with other schools, such as a popular class on interdisciplinary teams in aging that is taught and cross-listed by Harvard Medical School. The Eldercare Management program attracts a very diverse set of students with a wide range of perspectives, much like the real world.
How did Lasell's graduate program help you advance in your already-successful career? After an "all-business" career, the program allowed me to construct a second "mission-driven" vocation. Aging is a field with scarce resources, in need of everyday managers to find solutions that make their organizations function according to fast-evolving changes in the profession. There is a lot of work to be done to help managers think strategically, and to transform the field in the ways that are needed.
E.L.D.E.R., which you are preparing to launch, will produce and distribute management and leadership courses customized to companies and employees throughout that eldercare world. What unique role will Lasell play in this initiative? An important partner with E.L.D.E.R., Lasell is a center of experiential learning, which is the way to go for adult learners. Our new E.L.D.E.R.-developed courses are unique in that they are not only "experiential," but also are being co-developed by faculty and experts from the eldercare profession.
What are your hobbies/passions? My hobbies all have been driven by collaboration: collaborating with other parents to raise my three young men; collaborating with friends to get to this stage of life in great health; collaborating with fellow parishoners to maintain the community and financial health of an amazing Newton church; even collaborating with my fiancé to raise my dog!
Why is it important for graduate alums to support Lasell? Great things don't happen alone. Most of us are not solo geniuses. We all need to connect for our professional lives and for any other personal goals we have. Lasell maintains strong relationships with its former students. When alumni act as a community, the value of their Lasell degree is enhanced.