Message from the Chair, Dawn Del Carlo, Fall 2020

Greetings DivCHED Members!

I hope this newsletter finds you all in good health and peace of mind. 

I can honestly say that both personally and professionally, little of the past 6 months was easy.  In that time, we faced tough decisions about the BCCE, National ACS meetings, budgetary issues within the Division from lost National meeting programming revenue and the cancellation of the BCCE, and facing the necessary and difficult conversations about racism, implicit bias, diversity, and inclusion in our classrooms, institutions, and society. For me, intellectual growth, self-awareness, and mindfulness have all been critical in working through these (and other) issues and hopefully, making me a better professional, leader, educator, and human. I hope you all have found similar growth and resolve.

One thing that I have become particularly aware and appreciative of over these past months is the fact that, with a few specific exceptions, the entirety of DivCHED leadership and committee positions are filled on a volunteer basis.  This is not a minor undertaking in “normal” circumstances; the fact that this organization has continued making progress on our goals with the budget, programming, diversity and inclusion, and countless other initiatives during a global pandemic and national social unrest should not be discounted nor taken for granted.  If you are involved in any of these achievements, on behalf of the Division, I sincerely thank you for your service and leadership. 

Not surprisingly, and on a more positive note, our experiences in shifting lived experiences to a virtual space has also allowed us to get creative with how we approach business meetings and social events that normally would have taken place in person at the Fall National meeting. The schedule of DivCHED events, committee meetings, and registration can be found here. Although many of the meetings and the social are open, there is a short registration process required. Registration for meetings is due no later than Thursday, Aug 13th (sooner for the CER meeting) to allow sufficient time to send the appropriate information to registrants. The virtual meeting format is a great opportunity for members to attend and get involved who might not have been able to otherwise; I encourage you to check out the schedule! 

The Division Business meeting and Social will be held via Zoom on Sunday, Aug 16th, 4-5:30 pm PDT (note the shift in time to accommodate multiple timezones). Division announcements, awards, and recognitions will occur in the first 30 min or so after which, attendees are welcome to hang out in the main Zoom room and chat OR request to be assigned to one of several “Birds of a feather” breakout rooms.  Suggestions for birds of a feather topics will be solicited during registration process.  To provide me enough time to set up the rooms, please register and suggest your topic no later than Saturday, Aug 15th. You can still register and attend the social up though its completion and I am sure there will be several breakout room topics of interest. So grab your favorite food and beverage and join us for the first ever (that I know of) virtual DivCHED Social!

Additionally, in case you haven’t noticed the NEW website is now up and running! If you have not yet seen it, definitely check it out here. Thanks to Heather Johnson, Jon Holmes, and all the committees and individuals who contributed info and feedback.

Finally, while my preference would have been to meet you all in person in San Francisco (both because I really like that city AND because I miss seeing everyone), I am equally excited to see new faces at our meetings since the virtual space makes them that much more accessible to members.  Despite the current state of the world, I am still optimistic for the future and grateful to be weathering the storm with as many wonderful colleagues and humans as I am. Peace and grace to you all.