Winter 2015 Advancing Family Science Section update

Robin Yaure, section chair

As I write this article, we are just a couple of weeks away from the 2015 NCFR conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. However, by the time this issue of the Report comes out, the conference will be over. The exciting presentations and great connections that were newly made, and others that were reestablished, will have slightly faded in our memories as finals and winter loom (or maybe winter is already here for those of you in the more northern climes). Work will be beginning on preparing for next year's conference and the activities of the Advancing Family Science Section for 2016!

As my first year as chair of the Advancing Family Science Section comes to an end I have been looking back at what we have accomplished as a Section and what I have learned as chair. I am pleased to see that one of our Section's main goals for this year is well underway: We have developed a social media presence, with a new blog, a Facebook group, and a Twitter account (@NCFRFamSci). I appreciate how different members of our Section (Eboni Baugh, East Carolina University; Tonya Ricklefs, Kansas State University) stepped up immediately after I sent out an e-mail asking for help with these. It's exciting to see these ideas come to fruition so quickly. I would love to see more members posting and joining so that we can continue to work together as a group throughout the year.

Another goal for our Section was to increase the cohesion of the Section board and provide more opportunities for input from section members. I think the increased social media presence has helped make our members more aware of issues relating to family science, and I hope that members will feel free to share what they can through these sites. I would really love, for example, to see some more information disseminated about SoTL (Science of Teaching and Learning), which was a big topic this year at the conference.

Speaking of the conference, the third goal for our Section was to increase the Section's visibility there, which I am very optimistic (as I write before the conference) that we will have accomplished. From the special session "The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) in Family Science Academic Careers" to the poster session "Family Science: The Art of Teaching and Education," to the concurrent session "Innovative Strategies for Teaching Family Theories" and the other wonderful programs sponsored by our Section, it looks to me that we are fulfilling our mission to "expand, strengthen, and enhance the Advancing Family Science discipline and profession." In addition, enhancing the business meeting to include a resource exchange (organized by Section member Silvia Bartolic, University of British Columbia, with help from Mallory Lucier-Greer, Florida State University, from the Education and Enrichment Section) and a set of roundtable presentations held in conjunction with the E&E section thanks to Deb Berke, University of Delaware, I expect we will see more interactions and exciting exchanges for our section.

As always, I will be looking for feedback about the conference as well as ideas from members for our future as a Section. Remember that this is our Section, and so it will function best as we work together to reach our common goals.