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Inaugural RWU Symposium was “phenomenal”

Niceville, FL (5 November 2020) – The Doolittle Institute hosted the first-ever RWU Symposium over three days last week, from October 28 through October 30, 2020. Dr. Darnell Diggs, Chancellor of RWU and AFRL/RW’s Enterprise Learning Officer, described the event as “phenomenal.”

The theme of the RWU Symposium was “Designing, Constructing, and Unleashing the Power of Workforce Development.” The event officially rolled out RW University, the Air Force Research Lab Munitions Directorate’s (AFRL/RW) new internal learning management organization, and provided the workforce with new avenues of professional and personal development.

The agenda included keynote speakers and panel discussions, with over 100 people tuning in for the Designing a Powerful Workforce Panel Discussion. Based on the feedback received, many members of AFRL/RW stated they felt a renewed sense of excitement for work and look forward to seeing what RWU will offer in the future.

Among the speakers were Cal Newport, author of the book Deep Work and professor at Georgetown University; Simon Sinek, motivational speaker and author of Leaders Eat Last; and Garry Ridge, author of Helping People Win at Work and longtime WD-40 CEO. Newport’s speech alone garnered 146 participants.

The Doolittle Institute handled all event planning, coordination, and execution. Amanda Southern, the Doolittle Institute’s Training Coordinator, spearheaded the event. She met weekly with Dr. Diggs well in advance of the event, set an action plan into place, contracted all speakers, and ran the RWU Symposium according to its agenda.

“I am ecstatic with how the first RWU Symposium went,” Ms. Southern said. “There was a lot of hard work put into this event by a lot of people, and to hear the feedback we have been receiving—about how people feel ‘reignited’ and excited to take on new challenges at work—that makes it all worth it. That’s the reaction we had hoped to receive all along.”

The symposium exceeded Dr.Diggs’ expectations, especially after the COVID-19 outbreak forced the originally in-person event to a virtual one. He exclaimed he was impressed by all the support DI’s team provided to make this event a successful one.

The Doolittle Institute, an AFRL Innovation Institute, supports the Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate by working to license and commercialize AFRL/RW technologies in the private sector, enable rapid technology delivery to the warfighter, identify and foster new R&D partnerships and develop AFRL’s current and future workforce. The Doolittle Institute is a member of the Defensewerx Family.

For more information about hosting your next RW training session at the Doolittle Institute, please call us at (850) 842-4393 or email us at

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