Tuesday, September 10, 2013 | 12-1pm ET
Network Members in Attendance:
Eliza Spaulding (Chair)
Michelle Sullivan (co-Professional Education and Training)
Anisha Gupta (Webinars)
Saira Haqqi (co-Outreach)
Carrie McNeal (co-Outreach)
Fran Ritchie (co-Communications)
Ryan Winfield (AIC Staff Liaison)
Ruth Seyler (AIC Staff Liaison)
Stephanie Lussier (AIC Board Liaison)
Members Unable to Attend:
Megan Salazar-Walsh (Vice-Chair)
Ayesha Fuentes (co-Professional Education and Training)
Kendall Trotter (co-Communications)
Non-Members in Attendance: Daisy Demarche
Meeting minutes from July 1, 2013 were approved.
Discussion of AIC conference:
Eliza -For the 2014, we should think about what activities we could offer our emerging community to incorporate as many people as possible (pre-program, grad students, post grad). Perhaps we could alternate portfolio session every other year so we can add new activities to the conference. Thoughts on the potential ideas listed?
Carrie- Likes the ideas of speed networking, career coaching, and the idea to alternate portfolio sessions, but expresses concern over compensation for those helping with the networking and coaching, etc.
Eliza- Although not specifically discussed yet, these ideas are from the AAM conference that she and Molly attended, where they were all volunteer roles and carefully curated selections. We’d want to do it similarly.
Saira- Agree on idea of having portfolio session every other year— more geared towards pre-program, whereas other programs geared more towards graduate and post graduate, so hitting two different groups.
Eliza- Good points, when thinking about the annual conference, we must meet as much of our demographic as possible. Poster to address digital portfolios could be the portfolio side to it, helping pre-program (and others).
Michelle- There was original discussion over the digital portfolio poster being more effective if paired with a session, but since it’s digital (not traditional portfolio), it takes it beyond pre-program.
Stephanie- Expectations for ECPN at the annual meeting…ECPN has had happy hour and informational meeting, and session (portfolio the last couple years). Unlikely that we could have two programs (one portfolio and one on networking/resume/coaching), so think about crafting a program that meets the needs of all, or alternate years for reaching pre- and post- graduates. With the speed networking and coaching, it’s possible to engage the entire demographic. Emerging post grads can meet with pre program, and then senior conservators can meet with emerging post grads. This can be a customized experience, the big thing would be finding the right people to participate. Seems like there are many willing.
Saira- sounds like Stephanie addressed concerns about reaching out to all demographics. The conference (and our session) is an opportunity for pre-programs to meet other people. Important to reach that demographic as well.
Eliza- Yes. And in terms of the poster on digital portfolio, it seems like the poster can be on its own (not with a session). I would encourage you to continue working on abstract.
Carrie- Reiterate that the digital portfolio poster is something that AIC was interested in having for a talk, so there is interest within the broader community.
Eliza- Also agree that it would be great to have continuity of programs from last AIC’s (so happy hr, info meeting, poster) and then other dedicated program would be coaching/speed networking. Personally leaning towards speed networking because it was a fun and great way to meet other colleagues and practice introductory skills
Ruth- New idea- occurs to me that one idea is that it might be possible to combine networking and coaching into one session. This year there won’t be very many specialty groups doing lunches, so possible to put specialty groups on one day and have this as a lunch session in an atrium space that they can close off very well, but fun open space with lots of windows (huge, but can’t present in it). Perhaps speed network from 12-1, then coaching/resume review after that. Provide to volunteers who do this a boxed lunch on ECPN’s dime. A two hour time block that people are in the space. It will just take time to line everything up. If want to, take those events and put under one umbrella because they are similar and similar in set up. Maybe combine the info. meeting and portfolio? (If possible to do portfolio without a/v equipment.)
Eliza- Great idea to fit in both; the way you outlined it would be perfect.
Ruth- Be in good shape to get volunteers since less formal lunches for specialty groups this year.
Eliza- It would be hard to eat and network, though; we’d have to think about participants.
Anisha- if we played with idea and did, depending on timing, eating during an intro to ECPN, and then go into the other programs. Think about a way to work around it/work in eating.
Ruth- Could do boxed lunches at start, or if divided into two sessions with a break in the middle. And it depends on how many set ups we have…probably in an area where can have lunches/round tables during a 30 min break. For example, one session 12-12:40, then lunch, and then a second session from 1:15-2.
Eliza- That could be a good way to make it work.
Carrie- Good idea to switch up conference programs and people might want to see something new.
Michelle- Sounds like a great idea, rich program with a lot to offer the demographics of our membership.
Eliza- Let’s plan on that; we can start to develop the programs. Anything else for AIC conference, Ruth?
Ruth- Might want to think about it you want a happy hour in the hotel, or outside the hotel, since we’ll be close to so many things. This hotel doesn’t have a fun bar like the one in Indy did. But the advantage to having it in the hotel is that people arriving can see the event based on where bar is. But might be possible to get some space/bar with a water view. We can think about how to put it on the registration form (like a box to check) so we can make people aware of it really early on.
Eliza- I can share with Ruth how AAM ran it and see what she thinks.
Status of liaison program
Carrie- For the regional liaisons… Been in touch with those listed on Writeboard and updated for people who have confirmed that they’d like to stay on and where they’re located. (And where we need to find new ones.) Current concern is that don’t have very many; have large areas covered but need to ramp it up a little bit. May be good to reach out to Facebook community and see if we could get some interest from people in different areas to get them on the list. In the meantime, working on creating a toolkit for them, and after it gets fleshed out, we’ll share. It’s a package of resources, like suggestions for workshops/happy hr/activities, info on ECPN in general, report form for liaison if they do have an event so we can know how it’s going. Once complete, we’ll send toolkit to liaisons and then schedule a conference call with liaisons (Saira and Carrie) to talk about ideas and programs in general; what expecting to get out of it.
Eliza- Sounds good, not just regional, but also specialty groups and graduate program liaisons. Making a list of those we need? Yes.
Saira- For the grad school liaisons… Those from Columbia and UCLA graduated or gone, so asked them for suggestions for new liaisons. Have a list of students from each program. Want to find a way to connect pre-program people with liaisons. What about a pre program “Dear Abby” on the blog so we can send questions to all grad school liaisons and pass around to get answers.
Anisha- Excellent idea. Thinking when I was pre program and don’t want to contact specific person, so just want to know what everyone’s experiences are at different places. Maybe a dedicated gmail account for grad liaisons where people can send e-mails and liaisons check and answer? But column idea sounds better. More fun to get conservation opinions and a range of responses.
Eliza- And having that live on the blog?
Carrie- yes, a sort of Dear Abby post every other month.
Eliza- Curious to see how open people feel on a platform like AIC blog. Could be fun to try and see what response we get.
Carrie- We would definitely be careful about which questions to answer on blog- mostly general questions on how the programs are structured and keep as positive as possible.
Anisha- There has been an interesting discussion on the Facebook page that got several comments. Moving this discussion to the blog would be more formal, but could get the questions from Facebook answered on the blog.
Eliza- Thinking about that, too, that this dialogue already happens on Facebook. What is the advantage of doing it on blog vs. Facebook?
Saira- Well, it seems like the same conversations on Facebook were started by pre program people and a lot of people were responding by saying message me to talk about it. In a private message, the woman said she only knew about the Buffalo program because that’s the only program where she knew people. So if she hadn’t reached out, she wouldn’t know more about other programs. There’s no other way to get that info., plus the blog is searchable, (meaning we don’t have to answer same question multiple times) and read by more people. We will have limitations because there will be questions we can’t answer on the blog. We need both- to put people in touch with private messages and answer basic questions with a general blog.
Eliza- Was thinking the same thing. Good idea, just continue to think about it. We’re also trying to build up written resources that we have, to make a bank of resources that we can link people since we’re often fielding same questions.
Carrie- Agree with idea of blog being searchable and a big advantage. Also, Facebook can be overwhelming and easy to miss things when more activity on the page. Putting it all in blog with searchable fields that people can go look it up would be good. (Facebook isn’t searchable.)
Eliza- And true, blog read by more of the conservation community than Facebook page. At this point, good idea. Can you write up something to envision how it would work? Share with group and then we’ll evaluate once more. And good to involve graduate liaisons more. Do you feel like we have a sense of liaisons we need to find?
Carrie- We have liaisons in places where didn’t know we needed them, so we were thinking it might be effective (or a mess?) to reach out to Facebook to see if people are interested in working with the liaison program. Any more suggestions with how to go about that?
Anisha-Based on experiences from last year, you’d be surprised that if you don’t specify a city, you don’t get as many responses. Maybe try a specific city or ask if someone knows of someone. Announce on Facebook, never know, could be a good way.
Carrie- So reach out to specific cities (for example, Austin), saying if anyone in Austin is interested would be better than a general call for liaisons?
Anisha- Recommend trying anything because nothing was super successful.
Eliza- Anisha, thanks for sharing your experience from last year. Maybe double up efforts to see if people who stepped down have someone in mind?
Carrie- Did get some recommendations that way, but I think that resource may be exhausted at this point. Will try various options to see where get a response.
Eliza- Good to have dedicated liaison call, but we try to include them in every other call, so November call can be a liaison call. We’ll tentatively aim for that and see how it goes. Thanks for all good thoughts on that.
Status of mentoring program:
Eliza brought up the mentoring program from Megan, who could not call in. This will be a big conversation, though, and will be saved for later discussion.
Eliza- Anisha, was just talking to Stephanie about the technology for the next webinar. As things stand, seems like it would only work if Tom initiates google hangout and then go to webinar, putting all tech burden on Tom, not us. Thoughts on switching gears and just doing go to webinar with a straightforward PowerPoint?
Anisha- It would be nice if we had control, and since working with Eric, feels like would be nice to have central location to control it, especially with four speakers. (Thus adding more stress.)
Eliza- So we could email people letting them know this is our plan moving forward (to just use Go To Webinar)? We could ask each speaker for a few photos of their studios/ working with people, etc.
Anisha- Yes, some kind of visual as they respond to the questions. We could put our group questions as text (and to keep us on track)… but it would be nice to have string of photos to go with any topic.
Eliza- We’ll see how many pictures people will share with us; nothing elaborate. Simple slides with some information and visual stimulation. Let’s plan on that. And when are we able to schedule next practice call… next week?
Anisha- Just sent a poll for the next practice call… trying to set it up.
AIC Lead Article
Eliza- AIC lead article. I encourage everyone to read it, as this week is last week to work on it and it’s our first lead article. Thoughts to share on it? Especially the implications and recommendations section, but it will be richer with a diversity of opinion. Eliza will work with Michelle this week to edit.
Michelle- Wouldn’t want to do without other people’s input.
Eliza- Sent article last night to several people for input and asked if they could get back by Friday. The 2 people who have already responded didn’t have substantial comments. This weekend will be big on editing.
Review of roles
Eliza- Anyone have any questions or comments on their roles as we’ve settled in?
Michelle- It has been difficult to catch up with Ayesha, but we’re going to focus on different projects and that should make it easier.
Eliza- Email any questions. Keep in mind that we’re in these roles until next meeting, so next year would be great to have continuity. Think about this as settle into role- would you be interested in continue to work on next year? Just think about it and we’ll discuss mid-year.
Confirm next call: Tuesday, November 12th, from 12-1.
Respectfully submitted by Fran Ritchie