President’s Message November 2021

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President’s Message

Evan Thornberry's headshot
Evan Thornberry, WAML President 2021-2022

Hello WAML friends and colleagues,

I hope that you are all enjoying your fall and looking forward to the remaining weeks of the calendar year.

I’m writing this message still on my post-conference high, which I greatly enjoyed hosting as part of my presidential duties. According to WAML’s list of past conferences, this was our 92nd WAML meeting and our 2nd virtual one. I think we were able to live up to our long tradition of offering a wide range of exceptional presentations and workshops that our community finds important, but also experiment with and try out new themes, technologies, and activities born in our relatively new virtual environment. 

The conference was definitely a highlight of my year as I was able to work alongside so many awesome people who were either presenters, workshop hosts, attendees, or sponsors. Those of you who participated in the planning process either as part of our Executive Board or who were on our conference planning team are especially appreciated. The WAML community stands out to me as one of the most friendly professional organizations I am part of, and it was once again apparent throughout my experience with this conference. It was a pleasure to be part of it. If you were unable to attend, you’ll be happy to know that all of the presentations were recorded and will be made available to view at a later date. Recordings are downloaded and currently being processed before they are sent off to the WAML Archive where they will be preserved and made accessible. 

I’ve heard from many of you that this was an all-around successful conference. I’m also grateful for all of the suggestions from members and conference attendees for how to make future WAML conferences even more enjoyable and worthwhile – whether in-person, virtual, or a hybrid of both. If you attended the conference, you received a post-conference email asking for your feedback via an assessment survey. We’ll use the information gathered to inform how we conduct conferences in the coming years. Thanks to those of you who took a moment to provide your thoughts and feedback.

As we move to close out 2021 and welcome 2022, the Executive Board will be dedicating our time to old and new initiatives we feel will bring positive changes to our organization. These include:

  • Implementing changes to WAML appointed positions based on recommendations from the Appointed Positions Review Ad Hoc Committee. 
  • Establishing an Ad Hoc Committee for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to review WAML’s current status in supporting DEI goals and aspirations.
  • Rethinking membership communication channels and methods in response to improvements to our web infrastructure and new appointed position structure.
  • Soliciting thoughts from members regarding our new standards of virtualness, and what it means for WAML in the future.

You can expect to hear from us again soon regarding some of these initiatives as we look to include your voices, thoughts, and participation. Until then, I hope you all have a happy and restful beginning of winter.

By: Evan Thornberry

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