I became an #NSTAGroupie when I joined the NSTA staff as Senior Manager of Chapter and Associated Group Relations back in October, 2010. I was immediately hooked because that was just in time to go to my first NSTA conference, where I met some of the most creative and interesting people I know. The network I began to build at my first conference was strengthened and enhanced as I worked with NSTA’s nearly 300 component organizations (state/province chapters, associated groups, and student chapters). And now my role has evolved, as I recently accepted the role of Senior Director of Membership Development and Chapter Relations where I will continue to work with chapters and associated groups, and will add member development and engagement to my list of responsibilities.
This is an awesome opportunity for me—I have loved science since I was a child and studied mechanical engineering during my undergraduate studies. This was in large part due to the outstanding science teachers who fed my curiosity. I am now honored to count many NSTA members among my friends, and I am eager to continue to support this important profession.
NSTA’s role has always been to provide that support, and that won’t change. But we do have exciting new plans in store to connect with our members, so we can learn how best to serve YOU! We also want to facilitate members engaging and connecting with one another. We know our members (and science teachers in general) love to share – they write articles in our four peer-reviewed journals; they share ideas, challenges and solutions on our 17 topic-driven listservs; they network during our five conferences; and those are just some of the ways they network and learn from one another.
Networking and learning bring me back to the experiences that made me an NSTA groupie in the first place—and much of that began at our conferences. And at those conferences, I haven’t seen many ‘selfies’; science teachers want to share and NSTA wants to as well, by getting to know you up close and personally.
So, in that spirit I am announcing a ‘groupie’ contest for our fall conference season! Starting with our Richmond Area Conference on Science Education (taking place October 16-18), and continuing at our Orlando (November 6-8) and Long Beach (December 4-6) conferences, we will hold a Twitter contest using the hash tag #NSTAGroupie. Conference attendees who tweet a photo of themselves (preferably as part of a group) with the hash tag will be entered into a contest to win great prizes, including airline vouchers, NSTA gear, and gift certificates. For more information about the contest visit the NSTA Twitter Contest page.
This will be the first of many ways I’ll be trying to connect you with the faces at NSTA, and we hope to see lots of your faces, too! I am so excited about my new role with NSTA and will be communicating with our members more over the coming months (and years). I also look forward to hearing from you; please do not hesitate to reach out to me. My contact information is listed below.