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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The first quarter of the new board’s term has been interesting. A lot has changed, and a lot has remained the same.
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!
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. (https://siguccs.org/wp/seminar-series/)
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 (https://siguccs.org/wp/learn/mentoring-program/). We are looking for both mentors and mentees to join the program that will run January 2021 – November 2021. Applications are open now!
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.
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!
As we look back on our 2019 accomplishments, there are many things to celebrate in our SIGUCCS Community. I am also looking forward to things to come in the next year, including elections for a new Executive Committee and the SIGUCCS 2020 Annual Conference in beautiful San Diego California!
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.
For those of us in higher education, January is a crazy month – mid-year for our academic calendar, and a very busy time preparing for and starting a new semester. The weather in many areas also adds the challenges of bitter cold, snow, and ice. I am certainly missing Orlando on days like today!
The SIGUCCS Executive Committee (EC) had a great series of meetings at the 2018 Annual Conference in Orlando. While we “see” each other once a month during our regular meetings, our in-person meetings are always productive and enjoyable. I also appreciate the opportunity to host an Open Board Meeting where we welcome input from the community.