Paul Goodman was an acclaimed psychologist, author, researcher, and filmmaker who first joined the Carnegie Mellon faculty in 1972. He went on to become a tenured professor of industrial administration and psychology in 1979 and the honorable Richard M. Cyert Professor of Organizational Psychology in 2000.
During his influential years at Carnegie Mellon, Paul made great efforts to expand the global reach of the university. As a professor and a filmmaker, he sought creative ways to connect students with work and technology in both local and international contexts. As Mark Kamlet, provost and executive vice president at Carnegie Mellon, asserts, "He was successful in developing strategic partnerships in Asia, Latin and South America, the Middle East and South Africa. He has been a champion of the university around the world, helping to expand Carnegie Mellon's reach and influence while raising education standards in developing countries." Some of his initiatives abroad included the exploration of environmental issues and technological development at leading universities in Brazil and Chile, the establishment of a program designed to improve the quality of engineering schools in India, the development of a program to build a leadership institute facilitating Jewish-Arab co-existence in Israel, and the building of a new School of Information Systems in Singapore.
While Paul strongly emphasized global awareness in his teaching and research, he was also dedicated to exploring the theme of work in the local Pittsburgh community. He aimed to draw attention to the crucial value in everyday people who worked daily to improve our economy and social well-being, despite being largely unrecognized for their essential contributions. His exploration of workers in action granted him the opportunity to not only learn more about different business strategies, but also to embark on exciting projects using his favorite teaching tool – filmmaking. Among more than 20 educational films and documentaries that he produced, he highlights the important but often overlooked work of individuals such as a nurse, a factory worker, a glass blower, a fisherman, and a women's rowing team.
Paul shares his global business research and strategies with us not only through the nine books and dozens of articles he has published, but also through short films and full-length documentaries that offer insight into the daily lives of international workers and their ideas for economic development. Through a variety of media, he shows us how important, multidisciplinary work improves our local and global societies in numerous ways.
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In the 1980s, Paul Goodman produced 20 educational short films, in addition to two feature-length documentaries, as a part of "The Changing Nature of Work" series. Created for the classroom, these films show how global development and technological expansion are changing the nature of workplace demographics and methods of production, featuring commentary from a variety of workers in local, national, and global contexts.
“The Changing Nature of Work” series is now available for public viewing on the Carnegie Mellon Library website. Watch the films here.
Before our sneak preview screening of Linsanity, which documents the athletic, personal, and spiritual life journey of NBA underdog Jeremy Lin, we are screening Paul's short, "Crew: Rowing in an 8," a film that provides a compelling look into the preparations that the Cornell University Women’s Crew team must undergo before an important race. In both films, we see how teambuilding exercises, support from coaches, personal determination, and humility in the face of a big feat can help one to be a better collaborator and performer in any field.
In advance of our feature film screening of Sofia's Last Ambulance, an emotional drama depicting an emergency medical rescue team fighting to save lives in Bulgaria, we will show Paul's short film, "Nurse," which offers a glimpse into workplace of a neonatal nurse at the Intensive Care Unit of Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh. Through these films, we learn more about the changing roles of hospital staff members and the increasing responsibilities they face in the medical world.
Paul was interested not only in the daily working life of everyday individuals, but also in the concerns faced by workers who might lose their jobs due to economic shifts. Preceding our feature film screening of Eat Sleep Die, which tells the story of a young Muslim immigrant who must struggle to provide for her family and find new work when a local factory closes, we will show Paul's short film, "Plant Closing," a startling account of workers who struggle with the issues associated with a major employee downsizing at a Nabisco facility in Pittsburgh. By viewing these stories, we begin to understand how the impermanent and constantly changing nature of work can greatly impact individuals and families across the globe.