We live in very interesting times. Writing this note to you against the backdrop of the verdict in the trial of the man now convicted of killing George Floyd, we approach the end of April with a sense of relief – as well as grief. Our country grows tired of so much violence and brutality, especially that which is directed at people of color, yet there seems no end to it. Or to the waves of pain felt by communities impacted by this violence. The verdict provides some measure of solace and hope – that in the wake of brutality, people who wield the power of the state can be held accountable. For that we are all grateful.
Yet there is so much more work to do that it can feel overwhelming. My hope is for us to maintain our resolve and continue to hold onto the best of what SIM has stood for – for justice, for peace, for doing the right thing.
Against this backdrop, I’d like to especially thank Paul Harper and Robbin Derry for their excellent work in putting together a powerful series of events on Racial Justice. These events have been extremely well done, they have attracted a wide array of important speakers and thought-leaders, and they have provided our community with a rich context in which to talk about these pressing issues. I do hope you will continue to show up for these events (including the last one of the current series, scheduled for May 7 on Racial Justice and Sustainability – hosted by Robbin Derry and Jeff York and find ways to sustain SIM’s engagement with these critical topics for the remainder of the year (and beyond). They could not be more timely or valuable. I also encourage others in our community to look for ways to build on these events and provide leadership that can help us all.
I’m pleased to share with you that we have already done much of the hard work of putting together the program for the upcoming AOM Meeting. There are so many people who have been working tirelessly to create a rich and diverse program – and I’d like to acknowledge a few of them. First, I’m so grateful for Colin Higgins, our Program Chair, and all the effort he has put into crafting our program. For those of you who have been PC, or who know the details of the job, it is a daunting responsibility and a ton of work. He has done an outstanding job. I’m also really pleased with Cristina Neesham and her efforts as PDW Chair. She has also put in a great deal of time and effort to put the program together and to support Colin. Katherina Patit (Incoming Division Chair) has been busy with organizing the Awards and working closely with the committees tasked with reviewing submissions and selecting the entrants we will recognize. Jill Brown has been putting in a lot of time working with the nominating committee and setting up our upcoming vote on incoming PDW Chair and new Representatives at Large (RAL’s). I strongly encourage everyone to please vote!
We are so fortunate to have an excellent Doctoral Consortium and this year Jared Peifer and Elise Perrault will be running the show. We learned a lot last year doing this online for the first time and they have put together another wonderful program for doctoral students – so please encourage folks to attend and provide any help you can if asked to participate. The Junior Faculty Consortium is also coming together nicely. Susana Esper and Vivek Soundararajan lead the program for SIM this year and they are doing great work on our behalf. I strongly encourage anyone who might be interested, or know of others who would benefit from it, to please sign up.
The Membership Committee, and especially Sarah Stephen (the Chair), have played a vital role on keeping SIM connected in this crazy year. I’m especially grateful for their ongoing series of Cocktails & Coffee (C&C) events, providing a fun and dynamic environment for SIMians to come together and enjoy a little time together. We will continue to have more such events and I encourage everyone to attend. Please look for two upcoming events likely to happen before July:
Finally, I would just note that the best, and most humbling, part of being Division Chair is being reminded of how many people are involved in making SIM operate – and to be the thriving community that it is. I’m especially grateful for our Leadership Team and our Governance Committee who have done so much hard work this year and provide me with excellent counsel. Special thanks to our Communications Team (Jae Hwan Lee, Benjamin Alexander, Florian Findler, Daniel Alonso-Martínez, Vincenzo Vastola, Julia Grimm, and Onna Malou van den Broek). our Treasurer (Amelia Carr – who does such great work for us!) and everyone else who works to support SIM and make us such a welcoming and compelling place to be.
I wish you a wonderful rest of your Spring and I’m excited to see you online for our AOM Program end of July!
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