Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Richard Walsh-Bowers

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


I focused the research project on creating effective transition in a graduate student government organization of which I was the president in 1998-1997. I conducted the evaluation as an insider, using a participatory-action research model. My search of the literature focused on principles of community psychology and how the literature on learning organizations could apply these principles as organizational goals. I then used organizational development as a model for putting these principles and subsequent goals into practice. I guided the evaluation and improvement of board transition with measures of board effectiveness. I collected the data from in-depth qualitative interviews with the ten other board members of the graduate students’ association board. I also obtained information from contact with various student ‘government organizations across the country about their processes of board transition. My findings revealed four major themes of board transition: uncertainty about the official and operational goals, a lack of ‘big picture’ perspective, the necessity of transferring information, and an appreciation of the potential learning experience. To enrich the context for this study I also included my personal comments on my experiences as an insider evaluator. In the discussion I bridged my conceptual framework with the findings of the study. I conclude with recommendations as action- oriented statements to improve effectiveness of the board transition.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season