Kyle Salembier: An agent for positive change

Kyle Salembier will graduate with a degree in Adult and Organizational Development from Temple on May 11.

Kyle Salembier has a simple goal — leaving places and people in a better place than he found them.

It is why the Temple Adult and Organizational Development (AOD) program was such a perfect fit for him, said Salembier, who will graduate with an AOD degree this month.

“AOD, for me, is about moving into a small or large scale company or organization and identifying factors that could be improved upon — it could be personnel, it could be technology, it could be leadership. The idea is to foster change to keep companies healthy and growing,” he said. “Strategic analysis is an important part of AOD; it’s an excellent way to analyze a company and find areas for improvement. With AOD, there’s also an essential interpersonal approach to it — you need to be able to talk to and learn about people and their needs if you want to learn how to help them.”

Working in Temple University Ambler’s Instructional Support Center and Ambler Campus Technology Center, Salembier said he has cultivated an interest in “helping people one-on-one with technology.”

“I particularly like working with adult learners. I find it very fulfilling,” he said. “The current generation was essentially raised on technology. For earlier generations, or people who simply haven’t kept up with how fast technology changes, even learning the basics can sometimes be daunting. If you’re able to remove the fear, people are absolutely amazed at what they can do — that can be said for a lot of things.”

Salembier’s educational journey wasn’t as simple as going from Point A to Point B, but all the points in between — combined with his nurturing nature — have informed his current educational and career choices.

A transfer student, Salembier, 33, completed an associate’s degree in elementary education at Bucks County Community College fresh out of high school.

“At the time, I was an assistant manager for GameStop. I thrived in the position and was approached to run my own store, which I felt was a great opportunity,” he said. “Over the course of eight years, I ran stores in Doylestown, Montgomery Township, Willow Grove, Richboro and Fairless Hills. During that time, I was involved in the training and development of staff members, which was an aspect of the job I really liked — a lot of the assistants I trained went on to become managers themselves.”

Salembier then hit a plateau. Realizing there weren’t very many more opportunities for upward mobility in his current career, he explored returning to the classroom.

“I knew two years of elementary education wasn’t going to get me very far. After exploring my options, I knew Temple was where I wanted to be and with my background I thought human resource management made the most sense,” he said. “I discovered that I wanted something that focused on human interaction and interpersonal skills. After talking with my advisor, I knew Adult and Organizational Development was a perfect fit — I didn’t just want to get a degree, I wanted to get a degree in something I was passionate about. The unique thing about the AOD program is that it lends itself to many different possibilities.”

After visiting Temple Ambler, Salembier said he “found my place” at Temple.

“There was something about the campus that appealed to me. There is a very friendly, accommodating atmosphere here — you know that everyone cares about your success,” he said. “It’s a suburban setting that connects you to this wide network of resources that Temple provides. I had opportunities to take on leadership roles and I took every chance I could get.”

During his time at Temple Ambler, in addition to working as a senior technical advisor for the Ambler Learning Center Help Desk, he has been vice president and president of the Society for Human Resource Management and a student member of the team that oversees the Ambler Campus Aquaponics Lab. He’s additionally been involved in numerous community service and charitable events, including EarthFest, March of Dimes March for Babies and Habitat for Humanity.

“When I first saw the aquaponics lab, I became immediately interested in what they were doing,” he said. “I’ve been able to learn about aquaculture, hydroponics and producing fresh food in a symbiotic system.”

Salembier is already putting that knowledge to good use.

“I plan on creating a small aquaponics system at home this summer,” he said. “I already do a little bit of farming at home. I grow fresh food for some of my menagerie of pets.”

His fuzzy collection of critters includes a cat, a Russian mouse, a Betta fish , a parrot named Petey, a dwarf hamster named Golf Ball and a rabbit named Tyrion, a rescue from Luv-N-Bunns who has helped students de-stress on campus with a little pet therapy prior to finals.

As far as Salembier’s next stop, if he has his way, he’d like to stay put.

“Near term, I want to get my master’s in AOD but Temple has been my home for the past three years and if at all possible I would like to keep it that way — I’ve applied for a position at Main Campus. I also have excellent opportunities in the Norristown School District in the field of instructional design and the Malvern School District working on teacher training and development,” he said. “Those are the kinds of opportunities that AOD opens up — Temple has prepared me to work with an entire spectrum of people. Whatever I chose, I’m ready for it.”