Posted By Paula Gardner, ICA Presdient (McMaster U),
Monday, December 4, 2017
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We have just completed our annual ICA elections and you will note a great number of new members taking positions in ICA as Division Chairs and Vice Chairs, Divisional Secretaries, Student Representatives, and of course a new ICA President-Elect-Select. Congratulations to all members who threw their hats in the ring and to those who were elected. We would not be a vibrant organization without the commitment and engagement of those willing to run for leadership positions out of a shared conviction that ICA should be a strong, diverse and collaborative organization. We appreciate your willingness to offer your candidacy in support of ICA, regardless of the outcome.
I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage more of you to consider running for office or becoming more involved in ICA. Opportunities have been expanding over the past years. Many divisions have, for example, added divisional leadership positions including student or early career representative to complement existing positions of Chairs, Vice Chairs and Secretary or in some cases Secretary/Historian. Some divisions have added less formal positions including Treasurer, Cybermistress/master or Social Media Coordinator. All of these positions provide opportunities to better engage with ICA’s existing work, to initiate proposals to meet other needs, and to initiate new activities divisionally.
Most of us holding leadership positions in ICA, myself included, did not begin engaging with ICA with a view to holding such a position. We became invested as student representatives, active in division events or in aboard level working group or task force. From that engagement, we discovered the great benefit this work brought--expanding our understanding of the organization but also increasing our knowledge of other areas of communication research beyond our usual pathways.
There are other opportunities to engage in ICA too. Many ICA membershave elected to attend our regional conferences and found new opportunities assist in supporting communication scholarship in areas of the world lesser represented in ICA. Last year, as you recall, we held regional conferences in Nairobi, Kenya and Malaysia, this year a research workshop in Entebbe, Uganda and this month our first regional conference in Mumbai, India! Each of these events has identified a range of ICA activities that require member support, including opportunities to support conference planning or execution, to offer training workshops,to mentor early career faculty, and more. These events of course have benefited all participants by inspiring new research networks and collaborations.
How do you get more involved? Find the organizer of a regional conference, or ICA conference or research event and just reach out—drop an email. You will find that invitations to share your labor and expertise are likely to be met with great enthusiasm. Engagement by members in our broad ICA activities as well as through elected position is crucial to our continuing to diversify, enliven and enrich ICA as a truly international organization.