Dear SIMians,As some parts of our lives seem to be going back to “normal” (or however we want to describe the “moving out of the worst of the Pandemic” state), it is hard to shake the feeling that we are not going to get a significant break in the foreseeable future. One moment I enjoy eager anticipation of seeing dear colleagues in person in August and the next I worry about the well-being of those in the areas affected by war, continuing virus outbreaks, and ongoing social justice struggles. On top of that, the students in our classrooms need us more than ever to be their supporters and champions while they are struggling to find meaning and envision a future that is more hopeful.With this persistent backdrop of challenges on a small and grand scale, I find motivation in the many acts of kindness and support from colleagues, friends, and family that remind me that community is what will sustain us in the important work each of us is doing. In this spirit I would like to thank the many, many volunteers that are keeping SIM going, even as our individual reserves are dwindling:There are the many reviewers who dedicated precious hours to review conference submissions; there are our new representatives-at-large, Jo-Ellen Pozner and Julia Roloff, who stepped in on very short notice to lead the doctoral consortium with Jared Peifer’s support (please consider participating if you are asked to be a mentor or presenter); there is the membership team with Sarah Stephen at the helm who helps us stay in touch with various events and initiatives, and the communications crew under Jae Hwan Lee’s guidance who keeps us informed about those opportunities.And of course there is our indefatigable leadership team – Michelle Westerman-Behaylo leading PDW programming, Cristina Neesham in charge of the conference program, Colin Higgins working on recognizing excellence though the various SIM awards and getting ready to take over as our next division chair, Andy Wicks securing leadership for SIM for the future through elections (please vote when the call comes out!!), and Amelia Carr, our treasurer, who has been essential in helping us plan scholarship support for conference registration. It is an honor to work with this groups of colleagues.And, despite significant odds, we will be able to see many of our cherished colleagues and say thank you for all this work in person in Seattle in August! Just a quick preview of what the team is working on: 42 symposia, 234 papers, and 12 PDWs on the schedule; add to that networking with a luncheon, junior faculty consortium in a hybrid format, doctoral consortium, a social (finally) and more! Stay tuned for more information about conference activities in the coming weeks as the program gets finalized.In connection with the conference, I want to take the opportunity to note a couple of important things. First, we will be offering a limited number of scholarships to help offset the cost of conference registration. As you have probably seen, the registration cost has increased significantly, mainly to reflect increased costs of offering a hybrid conference experience. The registration scholarships will be funded from SIM division reserves that were accumulated over the two years of virtual conferences. Information about the criteria for eligibility and the application process are included below in the newsletter. Second, after inquiries from members, we have addressed concerns about attendee safety with AOM leadership and have received information from AOM about the things that are being done to ensure a safe conference. Some information about this is also included in the newsletter below. The SIM leadership team is focusing this year on figuring out the best approach to the new hybrid conference format and onfinding meaningful avenues for our members to connect safely and collaborate across the various virtual, hybrid, and in-person venues.In lead-up to the conference, there are two upcoming events that I want to draw your attention to as well: There will be a job market event put together by the junior faculty consortium team and membership committee on May 17 th (details to come soon). It will include a discussion with panelists from recruitment committees and those who got hired in the recent past and include time for Q&A. The goal is to provide tips and insights into the job-market process, which has changed somewhat in the pandemic environment (Zoom-Interviews are perhaps here to stay!) The coffee & cocktail event in June (stay tuned for the specific date/time) will allow for some traditional social conversations alongside an opportunity to highlight the AoM program and field any questions about the conference. I hope to see many of you there!Please take good care as you finish the Spring term – it is only a few short months before we hopefully see each other virtually or in person in Seattle.Best,
SIM Division Chair, 2021-2022
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