The CLOCK creative community continues to grow. This quarter we’re delighted to speak with John Callahan in New England in the US. John is an academic dean and wargame designer. Here he shares his thoughts on the CLOCK process, his work as a wargame designer, and the value of peer mentoring.
Why did you decide to do the CLOCK programme?
A good friend of mine and fellow sector expert, Janos Keresyenei, told me about CLOCK about a year ago. After meeting with CLOCK Founder Denise-Stanley Chard, it was of interest to me. As an academic, who also works creatively as a wargame designer, I thought that CLOCK’s goal of expanding academic recognition and opportunity to people often left out of traditional academia was something I wanted to be part of.
Tell us about your work and creative practice?
I am currently Dean of Graduate Studies at New England College, a liberal arts institution located in Henniker, New Hampshire. I oversee a broad range of programmes ranging from political science to business, education, fine arts, homeland security, business, and computer science. So, education is something I live and work every day. My creative practice focuses on the development, facilitation, and play of wargames. Whether looking at military campaigns or decision-making processes, the goal is to get people collaborating and working together to solve complex problems, while also learning about the game’s subject.
You’re the first CLOCK sector expert based in the US. What does CLOCK offer US-based professionals like yourself, that perhaps other professional development programmes lack?
What I like most about the CLOCK process is the focus on peer mentoring. Such mentoring really draws out your inner successes and strengths, while also letting you hone in on the areas of your practice that need focus and development. It is collegial and fun, while also driving introspection and, ultimately, innovation.
What aspects of the CLOCK programme or CLOCK boot camp experience have you taken into your day-to-day work or practice?
The number one thing is to look deeply at all facets of my life, work, and practice to draw on the common and reinforcing elements of each. At the end of the day, the brand in question – Me! – is strengthened by such a deep internal look.
What does 2021 have in store for you John?
Good question, since COVID-19 still has a grip on the whole world. The non-satisfying answer, but the one that has to do, for now, is to continue to do my best with the weirdness that the pandemic continues to impose while continuing to improve my work, my practice, and my preparation for the future!