SAN ANTONIO – Continuous learning is a cornerstone of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command School for Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
In no truer way is this exemplified than the recent awarding of a Doctorate of Education in Higher and Adult Education to IMCOM Supervisory Training Instructor Rebecca Strawn.
Strawn, who has worked for the command for more than a decade, said the degree directly supports her role working in training and education with IMCOM professionals.
“I'm passionate about adult education and training, and wanted to bolster my knowledge and skills to more effectively work with our workforce full of adult learners,” she said.
The coursework and research, which Strawn completed through the University of Memphis, focused on practical application in addition to theoretical knowledge about adult education.
“It provided me with advanced knowledge, skills and practices to help me make an impact in our training and educational practices, as well as strategic-level problem solving and research skills to use at work,” she added.
Career began in Italy
Strawn, of Friendsville, Tennessee, started her career with the Department of Defense as a recreation intern with Navy MWR at Naval Support Activity, Naples, Italy.
She served as a Navy civilian in various Child and Youth Programs roles – including youth activities director, school-age child care director, child development center director, training and curriculum specialist, and more – before coming to work for the Army in 2010.
Today, Strawn works for the IMCOM HQ G3/5/7 and is forward-stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia. She is responsible for training development and delivery on a variety of topics including soft and technical skills to Family and MWR leadership and frontline team members at multiple garrisons. She also supervises a team of training instructors who support teams across IMCOM installations.
The MG Robert M. Joyce School for Family and MWR joined IMCOM in 2011 as part of the G7 Training Directorate. The school was established in 1987 to provide a competency-based, progressive, sequential approach to team member professional development and training.
By developing and supporting the Family and MWR workforce through training, career planning and performance solutions, the school enables garrisons to provide quality of life programs and services.
“Continuous learning helps me stay relevant with the field, increases my job competencies, helps my creativity, gives me fresh perspectives, and provides me with opportunities to collaborate and share with others,” Strawn said.
Continuous learning is exactly what Strawn aims to provide to other Family and MWR professionals as well.
“We provide over 70 courses delivered online, virtually, and residentially, designed for a range of audiences from our front-door staff to senior leaders,” she explained. “Topics vary greatly depending on the needs of the teams we support, which makes it a very engaging and challenging job!”
Learning can be formal or informal
The school's team of training instructors in the field includes 15 training instructors placed at large installations across IMCOM. Each instructor also remotely supports Family and MWR team members at three to five other installations. Additionally, several training instructors are based at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston and focus on online training options and executive level courses.
“Seeking out informal ways to learn is crucial, don't just rely on the formal options that are available. We learn so much by doing and experiencing! When we stop learning, we stop growing,” Strawn said.
Family and MWR professionals may find more information about the school’s course offerings and enrollment at www.imcomacademy.com.