Ludmila Praslova, PhD, professor and director of graduate industrial-organizational psychology, is an international thought leader with a passion for creating spaces that give people a sense of belonging while being creative in the workplace. She shares this passion with her graduate students as they journey toward earning their Master of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology.
“Industrial-organizational (I/O) psychology covers everything from using science to hire the best candidates to developing organizational cultures that support creativity and innovation,” said Dr. Praslova. “Within organizational psychology, I have always been interested in creating workplace environments that maximize the engagement, productivity, and well-being of people from different backgrounds. This is also tied to organizational ethics and values—another important aspect of my work.”
Dr. Praslova felt called to organizational psychology through her interest in how people can work with maximum creativity, success, and enjoyment—something that has always fascinated her. Before becoming a professor, she particularly enjoyed working in global and intercultural organizations and helping people collaborate and co-create effectively despite dramatically different cultures and upbringing. This created an interest in developing organizational systems that support people of various backgrounds in fully expressing their talents.
“My passion is creating work environments that allow people to be creative and experience flow and joy in the workplace. These are also environments where people can experience inclusion, belonging, and dignity. When people have a sense of belonging and support to maximize their talents, both people and organizations benefit. Now is also an exciting time for our discipline—the world of work is rapidly changing, and we can re-design organizations to maximize individual and organizational success in ways that are ethical and sustainable.”
Dr. Praslova marries her passion and interest in I/O psychology with her dedication to care for her students through her dynamic coursework and applicable assignments. Through their classroom work, students participate in the larger organizational psychology community via networking, reading cutting-edge work, and evaluating the effectiveness of older and newer approaches to the workplace. They also receive higher academic experience through collaboration on conference presentations, writing, and consulting projects. They sometimes even get an early glimpse on Dr. Praslova’s ideas before she publishes articles.
“I think my favorite thing is connecting students with alumni and other professionals. Not everyone will want to focus on inclusion as much as I do, and that’s okay. If students have a network of people who love working in employee selection, learning and development, or leadership development, that nurtures love for the larger field.”