By Dawn O. Braithwaite, President–
I do hope you are planning to join us in Coeur d’Alene in February. I trust you have seen President Elect’s Sandra Petronio’s convention program on the WWW. It looks terrific! Many thanks to all of you who submitted papers, panels, workshops, and volunteered as chairs, respondents, and paper readers. Local Host Betsy Bach and colleagues have planned many terrific activities for the outdoor types and those of us who prefer our leisure indoors. This is truly a beautiful site, hotel, and very reasonable room rates.
Looking back over my years with WSCA, I remember well my early conferences when I knew few people…standing around, hoping to find someone to talk with. That changed quickly, as I found WSCA members to be friendly, and the programs intellectually stimulating. I soon became involved by submitting my own papers, volunteering to join in on panels, and attending the convention luncheon, social events, and interest group business meetings (one of the best ways for new people to get involved). I soon felt very much at home at WSCA.
For you new (or newer) members, please do attend our convention Newcomer’s Reception (come meet the officers and other new members) Saturday at 4:15 PM, followed by the Convention Kickoff and No-Host Reception. For those of you who are WSCA veterans, please do make a special effort to meet the new folks at Coeur d’Alene and include them in your plans for the 2001 convention.
Become a Leader!
I sometimes hear people say that they do not feel involved in a large organization. With WSCA, there are so many ways to be involved, some of which I mentioned above. Of course, our central mission is dedication to teaching and research. Attend the conventions regularly and submit your papers, put together a panel, or volunteer for a panel through the interest group chair or at interest group business meetings.
The other way to be involved is to volunteer or run for leadership positions in the organization. Let me give you some ideas: (1) Each interest group holds elections for offices such as chair, secretary, and paper readers; (2) volunteer to be your department’s representative to the Legislative Assembly; (3) several elections for association positions are held at the Legislative Assembly each year, including Nominating Committee and Executive Council Members at Large. Contact a member of the Executive Council and volunteer for a committee appointment during the convention (these committees appear on the web page and in the convention program); (4) If you are interested in serving as a reviewer for Communication Reports or Western Journal of Communication, contact the editor and talk with them about this; (5) Finally, I will be chairing the association’s Nominating Committee during summer 2001. We will be nominating for First Vice President, Second Vice President, and ten Delegates at Large to the Legislative Assembly (many of these delegates are newer members!). Please think about becoming involved. We need you and it is the best way to feel at home at WSCA.
WSCA has the reputation for being one of our discipline’s best scholarly conferences and also the most friendly and lively as well! Some of my best friendships began at WSCA, and I have found my association with WSCA to incredibly rewarding. I wish the same for all of you. Thank you for the great honor of serving as your President.