Renowned psychologist Abraham Maslow had this to say about humans: “A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.”

Maslow then followed up with this haunting quote: “If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.” In light of Maslow’s work on self-actualization and our quest to find the meaning of work in our lives, I decided to interview a colleague who has taken a non-traditional route to Instructional Design, as this seems to be a discipline that professionals encounter on a whim—even “falling” into the field quite by accident. This interview focuses on unpredictable results from what could be considered a predictable path.

Roberta Niche is someone who has peace with herself—living what she must be, happy all the days of her life. Her 25 years of experience in K–12 classroom teaching and staff development has led her to an instructional design faculty position with the International Institute for Innovative Instruction. Prior to her career as an educator, Roberta was an officer in the United States Navy, where her assignments included directing training for a 400-person aviation squadron. Roberta earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Syracuse and a master’s in educational technology from California State University.



Document Type

Blog Post

This post is also available at



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.