This is Ludmila Praslova

Ludmila Praslova is a Professor and the Founding Director of Graduate Programs in Organizational Psychology at Vanguard. She was born in Moscow, where she enjoyed swimming in her local lake and the arts and culture of the downtown. She graduated from the Russian State University of Humanities with a specialist degree in organizational management processes and human resources. Praslova remembers Eastern European academics being intensive – the 5-year specialist degree was closer to a master’s degree that to the western undergraduate education. During that time, she was still figuring out her career and did not plan to work in education – she was focused on organizational practice.

“I always thought about the workplace. I think it’s so important to find the right the people for the right job. Research shows that if people enjoy their work then they not only perform to standard or higher but stay longer at a company.”

After working for a few years in both applied and collegiate settings, Praslova found her passion for work within academics. She received a full-ride Ph.D. assistantship to the University of Akron, Ohio. Her research focus is diversity, equity, inclusion and neurodiversity/autism in the workplace. Praslova enjoys the writing aspect of her job and has recently contributed to Fast Company, SHRM blog and ERE.   She is also responsible for starting the graduate program in Organizational Psychology at Vanguard.

“Starting a graduate program is very difficult. But we had a purpose. Today, many graduate programs are designed to be very stressful. Students are often competing with each other and it creates cut-throat environment. I wanted to create a program that is more approachable for students who can learn  a collaborative environment.”

Organizational psychology has been around for around hundred years, but Praslova believes the future of organizational psychology is changing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She foresees changes such as an increase in flexibility. Employees will be able to work remotely and off-site throughout multiple industries. To adapt to this new environment, leadership and management practices will become more adaptable and human-focused... These changes will likely fuel the need for more organizational psychology practitioners.

“Organizational Psychology is about people. Graduates from our program do many different things. Some work for big corporate companies like Taco Bell, Deloitte, the Pacific Bank and Chipotle. Others, start their own consulting business and become very successful independently. After graduating, there are many options – the career path depends on what you want to do.”

Vanguard is thankful for Praslova and her decade long service in teaching our students as well as preparing them for the future of work.