Category Archives: Chair’s Corner

Updates from the Chair – November 2023

There was a lot of SIGUCCS Activity going on this past week.

I  attended the first in-person annual SGB (SIG Governing Board) meeting since before the pandemic, and the SIGUCCS Executive Committee met for two whole days to discuss various topics related to the SIG.

Some updates from the SGB include an overview of the state of ACM Special Interest Groups provided by the president of ACM, as well as information from ACM about Open ACM (their new publishing program), ACM Financials and SIG Overhead, and the services provided by ACM to the SIGS.

From the ACM president’s presentation, it was interesting to see that some of the issues that we see in our SIG are also common in other special interest groups, including declining membership and lack of volunteers. The president of ACM also talked about looking for ways to reach younger professionals and diverse populations, and how to use different modalities to perform different conference functions (presentation, publication, and interaction were the terms he used to describe the benefits of conferences).

The second most interesting thing to come from the SGB meeting was the information about Open ACM – their new publishing program. In 2020 they announced that all content would be open access starting in 2026. Since then, they have been working to create a program (Open ACM, see that will go into effect January 1, 2026. This program could impact the future of publishing papers as part of the SIGUCCS conference, so you should be aware of this program.

Turning to SIGUCCS business, the board was able to view the location for the 2024 conference and discuss logistics for our meeting in April.  We are excited to be returning to Chicago at the other end of the Magnificent Mile. Within walking distance of the Westin where we spent the 2023 conference, the Embassy Suites location opens up a new set of opportunities for exploring dining and attractions at the end of the day. The hotel also offers breakfast every day and a reception every evening. The meeting spaces are perfect for our small conference and presentation information will soon be available for review. We think you will be excited to attend!

We also began to review sites for the 2025 conference. No news yet. But we have some prospects.

Another topic of discussion was the Affinity Groups that were begun after the last conference and their viability. While attendance at these is not large, and it is sometimes difficult to decide on topics, we feel that these are a valuable opportunity to reconnect and stay engaged between conferences. We plan to continue these meetings but we need your help.


If YOU have ideas for a short presentation (10-15 minutes) that can be part of the Affinity Groups sessions, where you provide your expertise, followed by a discussion and conversation with your colleagues, please reach out to Miranda to schedule something! We’d love to showcase your expertise in this safe environment.

If YOU have ideas for a topic you would like to attend, please reach out to Miranda with that topic idea. We want to make these sessions something that is helpful and useful to you.

Lisa Brown (she/her)

SIGUCCS Board Update – October 2022

Thank you for your support!

In late summer, the executive committee asked the ACM SGB (SIG Governing Board) and the SIGUCCS Community to allow the current board to extend their positions for another term of three years. This passed approvals and the executive committee is happy to continue our journey through June 2026. This will allow this group of individuals to host the 2023 conference, begin planning a 2024 conference, and work through the SIG Viability review that will happen in December 2023 without an interruption or disruption to the team. It will also allow us to begin to put into place some plans now for expanding appointed positions on the board to assist with all of these future plans.

SIGUCCS Executive Committee • Chicago • 2022

In looking at a 2024 conference, the board is beginning to solicit proposals for a location for another in-person conference in the spring of 2024 and hopes to have the location and dates available at our 2023 conference.

And speaking of appointed positions, the 2023 awards cycle will be the last term for Kathy Fletcher and her management of the Communication Awards.  Becky Johnson has agreed to take on this role for the next award cycle. Becky has been an active Communication Award nominee and winner so she is perfect for taking over. We also want to thank Kathy for six years of service in this position. She has done an excellent job!

Lisa Brown
Chair, SIGUCCS Executive Committee

January 2022 – Updates from the Chair

Happy New Year to all! The tenure of this executive committee is about halfway over and yet it feels like we have just begun. All of our energies have been focused on finding ways to keep the community engaged during a pandemic. And it has not been easy.

SIGUCCS 2022 Conference logo

It was with great sadness that we decided to move the 2022 conference in San Diego to a virtual event. With the pandemic continuing, and travel budgets at institutions in a state of flux, we decided that while some might be able to attend in person, that it would be better for the overall health of the community to be inclusive and do another virtual event. Additionally, we wanted to be respectful of the conference planning committee and make sure that they had enough time to plan a well-run virtual conference. We are taking what we learned from the 2021 conference and doing that work now! Watch for announcements in the coming weeks on schedule, sessions, and other activities.

Continue reading January 2022 – Updates from the Chair

August 2021 – Updates from the Chair

Update from the Board – August 2021

ACM Senior Member Award

It is with great pleasure that we announce that Laurie Fox, past chair of SIGUCCS, was honored as an ACM Senior Member this past month. This award recognizes Laurie’s dedication to both SIGUCCS and ACM over the years. For those not aware, in addition to serving on the SIGUCCS executive committee, Laurie has been on the SIG Governing Board of ACM and holds the position of New SIG Advisor.

Continue reading August 2021 – Updates from the Chair

January 2021 – Updates from the Chair

As we move into the second half of our first year as a new board, we are excited to share the following updates.


Preconference seminars have been announced and a full schedule for our conference seminar series will be published soon. The program will consist of both presentations and social activities spread out over 6 weeks. I hope you will plan to join us for some or all of these great events. Check out the conference information here.


Scenes from one of Lisa’s many fall & winter walks in Rochester, NY

Since September we have initiated a hangout in Zoom every month. For one hour SIGUCCS friends gather, just to gather. We have had conversations about the current remote work situation, how classes are going, funny and scary support stories… whatever people want to discuss. We plan to continue this over the coming year in order to remain connected. We invite you to join us. The next hangout is themed “New Beginnings” and will be held on January 21 at 3pm Eastern – Mark your calendar now and register here to get the Zoom link.


On behalf of the Awards Committee, the Executive Committee is proud to announce the new inductees into the SIGUCCS Hall of Fame. Please join me in congratulating the following: Mathew Felthousen, Chester Andrews, Dan Herrick, Rebekah Lineberry, and Chris King. Read more about these extraordinary SIGUCCS members.

We would also like to congratulate all of the winners of the Communication Awards. It is always exciting to see how other universities are sharing information with their constituents. The winning entries are recognized on our website.  Additionally, there were 48 submissions from 18 different institutions this year and we would like to thank everyone that submitted! We hope that the feedback that you received was helpful for your future work.

~ Lisa Brown

October 2020 – Updates from the Chair

The first quarter of the new board’s term has been interesting.  A lot has changed, and a lot has remained the same.

2020 2021Conference

As conference planning for March 2021 continued, the public health situation with COVID-19 showed signs of worsening. The board had another major decision to make. The decision to go virtual for 2021 did not come easily. We understand how much the success of our conference relies on networking and being together in person. We also understand that trying to attend virtual events while working a regular day will not be stress-free or uninterrupted. That being said, we want to acknowledge the people that have put work into presentations and give them a chance to be published in 2021. Planning for this virtual event is underway and we hope that you can join us!


Zoom window with participants
SIGUCCS Spooky Stories Hangout October 2020

In order to maintain the community that is SIGUCCS, we have initiated a series of hangouts. These occur monthly, and we started in September. The topic in September was remote work and its advantages and disadvantages. In October, we went with a Halloween theme and shared Scary Support Stories. Each time we have had a great group of SIGUCCS friends join us. We’ll have another in November and again in December and we hope more of you will join us for those!


Another way that we are planning to keep SIGUCCS together is through a seminar series, starting in November. Register now for the November 10 topic: Life Beyond the Lab. This session will feature short presentations about topics associated with moving from worker bee to manager and include time for questions and discussion. (


There is still time to nominate a SIGUCCS colleague for a Penny Crane or Hall of Fame award for 2021. Visit to learn more or make a nomination. The nomination period ends December 1.


Finally, our mentoring program will be starting up again in January, so if you are interested, take a look at our site to learn more ( We are looking for both mentors and mentees to join the program that will run January 2021 – November 2021.  Applications are open now!

~ Lisa Brown

March 2020 – Updates from the Chair

I rarely write these updates far in advance, and that’s a good thing for this month! The changes in our professional and personal lives during this health crisis are monumental, unprecedented, and several other big vocabulary words.

Dan Herrick's Home Office
Dan Herrick’s Home Office

You all continue to inspire me, working hard to ensure your campuses are running smoothly while changing your own work environment. If you have not yet joined the Slack discussions in our workspace, I encourage you to Join our SIGUCCS Slack Team. We are sharing our successes and even a few laughs!

Continue reading March 2020 – Updates from the Chair

April 2019 – Updates from the Chair

April showers are here, and I know the May flowers are coming because my allergies are in full swing! This week, I purchased my flights for the SIGUCCS 2019 Annual Conference and made my hotel reservations. The first draft of our conference papers is due soon – we will be together in NOLA before you know it!

The Executive Committee (EC) has been springing forward on many activities as well.

Continue reading April 2019 – Updates from the Chair