A Heartfelt Goodbye
By Julie Escurignan
At the end of the DC Conference, I will be stepping down as Board Member and Chair of the SECAC to let Sarah Cho and Myrene Magabo lead the Student and Early Career Community.
The past two years have been an incredibly fulfilling challenge. I am extremely grateful to have been entrusted by the members of ICA, and I have done my best to increase the voice and presence of Early Career scholars within ICA.
I know raising one’s voice as an Early Career is not always an easy task – especially when one is surrounded by such renowned academics as ICA members are. However, this is what I would like all of you to keep doing. Indeed, academia needs to hear from its Early Career scholars! During my term, I have spoken up, argued, debated, pleaded, presented and fought for more presence and more opportunities for Early Career academics – and especially for the ones we hear less of, such as our members from the Global South. I have put myself forward, ready to find resistance, but instead have found people ready to push young scholars to the fore. ICA is full of opportunities for Early Career academics. No matter one’s origin, research topic or ambition, this organization is a place to grow and blossom for the ones who dare, speak up and get engaged. Don’t sit back waiting for people to give you the opportunity to speak, take this opportunity! Don’t wait to be introduced, go introduce yourself! Don’t wait for someone to push you up, climb the ladder! Get engaged as a Division or Interest Group Student Representative, join the SECAC or become a Board Member: there are plenty of possibilities to get engaged within ICA, serve the Early Career Community and gain priceless experience. Serving ICA comes with responsibilities and work, but it gives you the chance to do something that matters. You will have the opportunity to change things and be a part of ICA’s evolution. You will shape the organization and bring the change you want to see in the (academic) world! What better contribution could there be than helping shape the future of one of the greatest Communication Associations?
I am proud to have served ICA and the Early Career Community during the past two years. I hope I have represented you and brought you what you needed and wanted from ICA. Of course, I couldn’t have done it without the invaluable help of our past chair, Tamar Lazar, and of our current vice-chair Sarah Cho, nor without the members of the SECAC and the Divisions and Interest Groups Student Representatives who have carried out our initiatives to the wider ICA community. I could not have done it either without the continuous support of ICA’s past and present Presidents, its Executive Committee and the members of the Board. And of course, I couldn’t have done without you – dear members of the Student and Early Career Community. Thank you all for your trust and your support, it has truly meant the world to me!
There will be plenty of events for the Student and Early Career Community in DC this May and I hope to see you all there. Do not hesitate to come say hello during the conference – and to send Sarah and I an email if you have any question. As usual, we’re here to help and we’re here to serve – Valar Dohaeris.