Nicholas Thomas is Director of Education for ICHRIE.
Greetings from the windy city of Chicago! Last week I was fortunate to attend the I-CHRIE conference in New Orleans. It was nice to see colleagues and friends from around the world in the spirit of professional development and celebrating hospitality. As your new ICHRIE Director of Education, I look forward to continuing the work my predecessor Catherine Curtis (Oklahoma State) began to implement initiatives (such as the “campfire sessions”) related to the conference and general benefits of membership. Thank you, Catherine, for all your efforts, and I look forward to continued collaboration in your new role as Secretary on the ICHRIE board.
I particularly welcomed the candid feedback from attendees related to a variety of topics, including the conference format (what works, what doesn’t, constructive ideas for the future, etc.). A common theme throughout these discussions was a desire to see ICHRIE continuously evolve to the changing needs of our members and academia as a whole. While what may have worked a decade or more ago was valid (and VERY helpful), we, as an association, must continue to evolve to the changing needs of our membership. I was inspired to hear passionate stories of what educators are doing to engage their students and industry and realized that we must strive to showcase these best practices.
In my role of Director of Education, I’m excited about the upcoming two years of my term. In the short-term, stay on the lookout for several Communique issues dedicated to innovative teaching-focused topics. Further, I look forward to engaging members of our Education Committee, as well as the Professional Development Sub-committee. In case you’re wondering, yes, you’re welcome to join either! Simply email me and I’ll provide details. I’m pleased that conversations have already begun about new programming for the next ICHRIE conference in Phoenix (22-24 July, 2020), and then Washington D.C. the following year as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of ICHRIE.
Thank you for all you do to support ICHRIE and please feel free to contact me should you have questions, are looking for ways to get engaged, or have feedback.