In this message, I’d like to continue in the spirit of my first message by sharing some highlights of what’s been happening in the organization over the past few months. If you have questions or comments about any of the below, I hope you’ll reach out to me or any other members of the Executive Committee.
It’s my pleasure to get to write to you in my new role as POD Network President to share some updates about the organization, including some decisions made at the recent Core Committee business meeting.
I am still riding high from all of the great energy from both the online and in person conference experiences. We had a record-breaking number of participants at the two conference venues—1266 total, with 813 in Seattle and 435 online.
Navigating the complex landscapes of higher education as educational developers requires trustworthy compasses we can use to guide our work, inform our career paths, and support the ways we maintain a healthy work-life balance.
I’m pleased to report that the Core Committee of the POD Network has responded to the call in academia (and society as a whole) for authentic reflection and action regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion by laying the groundwork to engage in an in-depth review of our own organization and processes.
It seems hard to believe that my time in the presidential role has come to an end, and this is my final email to you all. I would be untruthful if I said this hasn’t been a tough year to have held this volunteer role, for so many reasons. But it has also been a very rewarding year.
In February, I wrote to you about being optimistic, but then I fell silent. I’ll admit I’ve struggled the past couple of months to keep up my positive outlook. In Ontario, we are under a full stay-at-home order until June 2 due to the continued rise in COVID cases. Vaccine roll-out has been slow here (I finally got my first shot on May 1!), and it’s unclear when our students will get their turn. Nonetheless, Fall planning has begun for a return to campus despite all the uncertainties like building occupancy limits and variants. I can’t quite believe it, but I think I was busier at work this March and April than during the same timeframe last year.