How could SRA be most relevant to you?

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In this first blog as new President of SRA, I want to ask for your input.

But first the context: SRA is in a strong position looking toward the coming years. Our membership is growing; our conference is popular; our journal is strong. So what should we be thinking about in the coming years?

In my term as President I’m very interested in thinking about ways that SRA can be a resource for members. SRA will continue to be vibrant if members perceive it as relevant to their work and field. So I’d like to hear from you about that: How could SRA be most relevant to you?

For example – did you know that most professional societies have many more members than attend an annual conference? Yet we are unique in having as many or more conference attendees than members. That is interesting: our conference is outstanding and clearly a draw. Why aren’t the non-members becoming members? And does that even matter? I don’t think that increasing our membership will necessarily make us stronger. But what is the benefit of attending our conference – and how does that compare to the benefits of being an SRA member?

What’s in it for members?

The Executive Council has been working on answers to that question for several years. For example, SRA can be relevant to members through:

  • Seed funding: We are excited about the revitalized Study Groups Committee and the funding allocated for small grants.
  • Recognition and Awards: Each biennium the Society acknowledges member achievements through several major awards.
  • Emerging Scholars Opportunities: There are multiple opportunities here, including the Young Scholars program at the conference, the International Young Scholars Program, Emerging Scholars activities, and the fantastic joint EARA/SRA Summer School. These are benefits for new scholars – but also for those of us who are concerned about linking our mentees with field-level opportunities.
  • Communications: The goal of the website is to be a vibrant place to communicate our work, including new research opportunities and the results of members’ work. The Media and Communications Committee is identifying ways to build the capacity of members to communicate the results of our work to the public.
  • Publication: Our journal is not limited to members; however, we are considering additional strategies to provide publication outlets for members.
  • Leadership: All of this work happens through SRA committees. We need your participation and leadership.

What do you think? What are we missing? How do you see yourself involved in SRA?

Right now we are seeking volunteers for SRA committees. Don’t be shy – you don’t need to already have expertise in the topic of the committee – in fact, the point is to build the experience of SRA members to provide this leadership.

Finally, I want to say that it is an honor to be President of SRA. I am excited to be in this role, and look forward to hearing from you about how SRA can be most relevant to you.

Contact me at: strussell@arizona.edu

Comments

Adolescent Health

 i've just returned from the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) 2012 annual meeting.  As a long-time member of SRA and past-president of SAHM, I would like to see our two organizations work together more closely, and address issues on a larger scale.  Two of the best SAM (back then we did not have the word "health" in our name) meetings that I have ever attended werer linked with the SRA meeting, in Vancouver, BC and in Atlanta, GA. Thinking globally and acting locally in partnership, I believe that great things can happen. 

Rich Kreipe, University of Rochester Medical Center