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News & Press: From the President

From ASTR President Marla Carlson

Friday, October 4, 2019   (0 Comments)
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Our organization had a productive summer and the academic year is getting off to a busy start. ASTR and ATHE welcomed Dr. Aimee Zygmonski to the newly created role of Executive Director in September, and she has been working closely with leadership as well as interim management. Nancy Erickson is continuing as our management transition consultant through the end of November, and I am sure that many of you look forward to greeting them both at our annual conference in Arlington, Virginia, November 7-10.

Dr. Zygmonski and a small part-time staff cannot do all of the work involved in organizing the conference or the other business that continues year round. In addition to the elected officers and members of the Executive Committee and Committee on Conferences (all of whom are volunteers), numerous committees evaluate award and fellowship applications, plan different activities at the conference and beyond it, and work to help the Society better serve its membership and the field. View a list of committees and their members. Information about volunteering is on our volunteer page. When you contact us, please tell us something about yourself and feel free to indicate areas of particular interest.

Since ASTR strives to balance representation on its committees whenever possible, we also appreciate receiving information about your current affiliation (within or beyond the academy). And if you’re interested in serving as an officer or on an elected committee, please visit our news page for more information. All ASTR committees proactively welcome members from communities that have been historically excluded or marginalized from leadership roles within academic organizations, as articulated by the call for nominations, and appointments comply with ASTR’s longstanding non-discrimination policy.

As part of ongoing efforts to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in our organization and our field, the Executive Committee has drafted a new bylaw for your approval. Please keep an eye on your email for the text of this and other proposed amendment to ASTR’s bylaws that will improve the structures supporting our conferences and bring the bylaws fully into line with our nominating and elections practice over the decade or so. The Annual Business Meeting will include a discussion of these revisions, after which we will ask you to vote by electronic ballot.

Finally, I must ask for financial help from those of you who are able to donate. ASTR has come through the challenges of this past year in better shape than one would have expected after the cancellation of the 2018 conference and consequent loss of revenue. Donations provide funding for ongoing activities such as the awards and fellowships that enhance our members’ important work. Membership dues and conference registrations do not cover all of our annual operating costs, so please consider a tax-deductible donation to support the mission of ASTR. You can donate online.

Marla Carlson
ASTR President, 2018–2021


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