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Student Column:When Virtual Became So Real: Reflections on #ICA20

Posted By Myrene Magabo (UP Open University) and Lara Schreurs (KU Leuven), Monday, July 6, 2020

Especially in the light of the worldwide Black Lives Matter Movement, one of the most thought-provoking workshops of #ICA20 Virtual Conference is definitely the Blue Sky Workshop organized by SECAC on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) for young scholars. The three amazing panelists, Dr. Shiv Ganesh (U of Texas Austin), Dr. Jasmine McNealy (U of Florida) and Dr. María Len-Ríos (U of Georgia), shared their knowledge and insights on internationalization at ICA and the initiatives the organization is working on to advocate this throughout ICA’s existence. 

Sarah Cho (U of Massachusetts, Amherst) did a splendid job of distributing the roles to SECAC Members. Muhammad was given charge to live-stream the session. Cecilia Zhou (U of Massachusetts - Amherst) was in-charge of giving out the student questions to the panelists. Grazia Murtarelli (U IULM) was assigned to host the session. The panelists discussed more specifically the history of internalization at ICA, how starting from this year 2019 each division has an international liaison, how power structure determines inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility and how the task force that is put together at the end of 2019 tackles these issues. As SECAC-members could livestream the panel, an interesting and highly enriching discussion occurred as Cecilia Zhou dished out the questions about internalization issues to the panelists. Also during the conference, a stimulating conversation on these issues took place in the chat-box next to the presentation.


On the whole, the panel provided an open discussion on ICA’s core values and how students can contribute to the development of a more international culture in academia. We would like to thank the panelists again for their talks and insights that proved extremely valuable for all SECAC-members.  

The SECAC’s business meeting was also viewable during the #ICA20 virtual conference. During the SECAC Business meeting, Sarah provided members the role of SECR’s. Lara, on the other hand, shared important visions, and aspirations such as her drive to support interdisciplinary research as Myrene laid out the general plans for 2020-2021. It was also a moment of bidding goodbye to Sarah and thanked her for all the wonderful work she did, and welcomed Lara and wished her good luck as she would commence with her service to SECAC. Muhammad’s vision of supporting the student representative or liaison to regional conferences was noted to be given the best efforts and articulation in order to gain support from ICA leaders. 

Meet the 2020-2021 ICA-SECAC Power Duo 

Lara Schreurs and Myrene Magabo 

Board Student and Early Career Representatives, and Co-Chairs of ICA’s Student and Early Career Advisory Committee (SECAC)  


Officially after the week long #ICA20, Lara Schreurs took on her new role as SECAC Co-Chair (2020-2022) and joined Myrene Magabo who shall be in her last year as SECAC Co-Chair. Myrene served as SECAC Co-Chair with Sarah Cho in 2019 and ends her term by May 2021. Lara wasted no time getting acquainted with her new role and she joined at least two SECAC meetings, took part in the Diversity Talk pre-conference session with the panelists, and took active role in the #ICA20 SECAC Business Meeting. A happy end-of-term SECAC meeting for Sarah Cho and a welcome warm-hearted session for Lara Schreurs was rendered on the last day of the #ICA20 Virtual Conference (May 26th). 

One’s lack of knowledge about the working tasks can easily be augmented and enhanced through one’s natural leadership traits. Both Lara and Myrene are part of the generation of SECAC Leaders that did not have SECAC prior working knowledge. Nevertheless, the duo shall prove promising! Lara’s strong ethical work practices, her smart ideas, visions, collaborative spirit, focus, and communication skills will truly complement and strengthen what Myrene has to offer during her last year of service to SECAC. Joined and strengthened further by Claire Grall, Muhammad Ittefaq, Cecilia Zhou, and Grazia Murtarelli, SECAC can look through ahead for another productive year!  These four SECAC Members have been making waves as they actively engaged in many of the ICA-SECAC and ICA Division and Interest Groups’ undertakings. 

Meet the 2020-2021 SECAC Power Members


            Muhammad Ittefaq                                                                Grazia Murtarelli




                                                 Cecilia Zhou                                             Clare Grall

If you would like to know more about SECAC and what we do, please feel free to contact us! Send email communication to Myrene Magabo (co-chair of SECAC) at mmagabo07@live.com and to Lara Schreurs (co-chair of SECAC) at lara.schreurs@kuleuven.be.  

Join our conversations at facebook.com/groups/386119558234727  and on Twitter @ICA SECAC. We look forward to meeting you where you are (virtually) and discussing how SECAC could make use of those thoughts and ideas you have.


Sarah Cho, Lara Schreurs, Myrene Magabo, and Muhammad Ittefaq: all smiles during the May 26, 2020 Transition Meeting. This is Sarah’s last day as SECAC Co-Chair while Lara begins her first day as SECAC Co-Chair.

Tags:  June-July 2020 

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