Winter 2016 Advancing Family Science Section Update
By the time this newsletter comes out, the 2016 NCFR Annual Conference in Minneapolis will be just a memory, and my time as section chair will have come to an end. The good news is that although the conference will already be something we are thinking of in the past tense, the reverberations from the contacts we have made or renewed, the presentations we attended that inspired us in our teaching and scholarship, and the plans we have made for future work for NCFR and our own organizations will still resonate and will help us feel invigorated as we finish the semester and calendar year.
The challenge for many of us is to keep track of all the ideas we have and plans we have made. Sometimes we get bogged down in the details of our daily lives, and it is hard to recall what we had decided to do in the future. I keep a pile of papers I collected at the conference on my desk for free moments, which may be few and far between. I look at my notes and comments and remember the excitement I felt when I wrote them down. I may make additional notes, send out an email or two to a colleague, or look up some research to follow up on whatever struck me during the conference. I often refer to something I learned during the conference during one of my classes, and I love that the information is so current.
Planning for the conference goes on year-round, I have found. I have been impressed when I received inquiries about special session ideas that were spawned during the previous year's conference or heard about proposals already in the works before the new year was upon us. For example, this year's workshop "Case Studies in the Family Science Classroom: Write and Use Them to Promote Learning About Families, Ethics, Sustainable Development, and More," presented by Deb Gentry, came about, in part, as a result of discussion at last year's section member meeting on goals for the section. The session "Academic Administration and Leadership: Experiences of Five Women in Family Science" was submitted well before the proposal deadline as a special session for the section.
So, follow up on something from the conference that you had planned to do but forgot about or put off, planning to wait until you had more time. Remind your colleagues of something you had talked about doing for the next year's conference. Ultimately, take this message as encouragement to look up your own notes to renew your excitement and remind yourself of ideas that arose at the conference.
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