Dear Members of GEMELA,
I hope that in this time of crisis, you are well and in good spirits.
It is challenging time in higher education, and there is a lot of uncertainty regarding travel funds and our ability to hold meetings safely. It is for this reason that with much regret, the Board of GEMELA has decided to cancelour 2020 bi-annual conference, announced to take place in Valencia, Spain, in the fall. At this point, we are hopeful that we can reconvene face-to-face in 2022, and our wonderful Valencia organizers have made themselves available once again for that future meeting.
Despite this sad news, the Board would like to make several announcements:
- We are happy to announce that we are planning a virtual mini-conference to be held on the weekend of October 3-4, 2020. The Board is presently organizing and sorting out the details. In broad strokes, we will hold virtual poster sessions to be followed by discussion sections, a membership meeting, and virtual happy hours. Although not a substitute for what promised to be an exciting event in Valencia, we hope this mini-virtual conference will offer a positive space to connect and learn of each other’s work. Please be on the lookout for a more detailed official announcement with a CFP for those who would like to submit proposals for presentations.
- Under the leadership of our ex-president, Emily Francomano, GEMELA is launching an official mentorship program! We hope that many members will join this effort either as mentors or as mentees. There will be various areas of focus: graduate students, NNT faculty, and junior faculty mentored by faculty above-rank; associate professors mentored by full professors; beginning administrators mentored by experienced administrators. We are presently formulating a formal announcement and an online fillable form so that we can match mentors and mentees appropriately. We will also provide general guidelines for the mentorship relationship. We hope to build with this program an even stronger GEMELA community and better facilitate one the Association’s main goals and ongoing practices.
- Looking to the future, we continue to plan for the RSA and other national and international conferences. We want to maintain a strong presence and continue to increase our visibility in a variety of venues. As it regards the RSA 2021—to be held in Dublin—we will try to, as best as possible, to reconstitute the panels that were in the program for Philadelphia. We will keep you updated regarding these activities and, when appropriate, send out calls for papers for sponsored sessions.
- Given the present context, the Board enthusiastically welcomes all new and present members to participate in all our events. We will forgo any requirements for payments of membership dues until further announcement.
On a final note, we encourage you to continue to post announcements on our GEMELA Website and to visit the site often. Also, visit and join our official GEMELA Facebook page, where we post announcements and items of interest to members of the Association.
Thank you all for your continued interest and support of GEMELA. Please feel free to contact me or any of the members of the Board with news, ideas, or suggestions.
Un fuerte abrazo,