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OPWL testimonial: Class of 1998 testimonials

Prior to 2013, Boise State University’s online Master of Science in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) was known as the Master of Science in Instructional and Performance Technology (IPT). This blog post contains testimonials from the class of 1998.


david barnesDavid Barnes, Class of 1998

Online Learning Specialist
Learning and Performance Solutions

Each of us has a different story I’m sure. For me, Dr. David Cox was a tremendous inspiration. He believed in me and saw a spark of potential in my academic work. Largely because of his counsel, I went on to earn a Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in Adult Education and Human Resource Development at the University of Idaho. It was there that I honed my quantitative skills (again at the urging of Dr. Cox who was a member of my doctoral committee). Because of my work at Boise State and the U of I my background drew the attention of Janet Emery (IPT Grad) who was forming a new team at DIRECTV in 2006. Along with four talented colleagues we have developed into an amazing team of performance technologists.

I now have a broad and deep history in instructional and performance technology. That background allows me to be a valuable contributing member of the DIRECTV Learning and Performance Solutions team that has done excellent work and saved our company countless time and the corresponding dollars. I’m truly grateful for the fine education I received in the Boise State IPT program.


bill heacockBill Heacock, Class of 1998

Founding Partner
Heacock, Perez, & Associates

Prior to finding Boise State’s IPT program, I was unhappily entrenched in a dead-end position as an instructor for a national seminar company. I had gained some expertise in training delivery as a long-time practitioner, but knew I did not have the depth of knowledge nor credentials in the field to break away on my own and succeed as a private consultant.

In the mid-90’s, I was delighted beyond words to find a description of the Boise State IPT online graduate program in an old copy of ISPI’s Performance Improvement Journal. It actually appeared possible to travel and conduct seminars around the country, yet still complete coursework at night and on weekends.

In the several years that followed, I dialed in via modem from countless hotel rooms, from just about every state in the union (and a handful of other countries), through antiquated hotel switchboards, at a blazing 1200 bps. Along the way, I was hugely impressed by the expertise of the faculty and the amount I was able to learn from my fellow online students.

With degree in hand, I was indeed able to quit my old position and start my own consulting company. Given the breadth and depth of my Boise State experience, there are very few performance improvement situations that I cannot address and, having learned a bit about “learning to learn” at Boise State, I am able to continually expand my expertise and keep up with changing technologies.

My Boise State experience was literally a life-changing event for me and I would heartily recommend it to anyone.


pat brownPat Brown, Class of 1998

Division President
Axiom Resource Management, Inc.

I was doing well in the training business. I had started a couple of companies, and was getting a good reputation for the work I was doing. But I sensed I was missing something, unable to contribute to the field with more than your standard good piece of work and normal accolades. I don’t know exactly what drew me to the IPT program at Boise State, maybe it was a yearning for recognition, and maybe it was a desire to validate what I thought I knew, but the impact it had on me was profound. The time I spent over the course of this program experiencing this prolific exchange of ideas, both with students and faculty, gave me this increasingly intuitive perception that I was being introduced to a whole new world of understanding. Before, I knew the “what” and the road wise “how”; now I know the “why” and a more proven “how.” The process was an adventure in learning. I can now make a difference and I can say so confidently and convincingly to my peers and clients.