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System Dynamics Blog


A note from Rod MacDonald

My name is Rod MacDonald and in 2016 I became an assistant professor at James Madison University where I am teaching courses to undergraduates in System Dynamics modeling and systems thinking.  I am a graduate of the University at Albany where I earned both a RodMacDonaldMaster’s in Public Administration and a Ph.D.   I only planned on getting a master’s degree and then got hooked on System Dynamics.  I remained at UAlbany for an extra 25 years as a student and then the director of the Initiative for System Dynamics in the Public Sector.  I have been a member of the System Dynamics Society since 1991.

The Society has provided me with the opportunity to meet the leaders in the field and even the founder of the field.  I found my current position through the System Dynamics Society career link.  I have volunteered at the conference in everything from satchel stuffing, working the registration desk, room monitoring, to helping out with the modeling assistance workshop.  The MIT System Dynamics Group Literature Collection provided me with dissertations out of MIT that guided through my dissertation process.  The ability to order classic System Dynamics books from the Society is something I continue to utilize.

I guess what I am really trying to say is that the System Dynamics Society has been a valuable resource that has provided me with much assistance throughout my career.  I had the advantage of going to school at the same location as the home office.  I ended up getting pulled into a lot of volunteer activities as they could walk down the hall and ask me to volunteer in person.  I have benefited from these opportunities, the network of friends and colleagues, as well as the resources I have access to as a member of the Society.