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From the Executive Director | Susan E. Fox
 Early-Career Initiatives
Last spring, Acoustical Society of America (ASA) Past Vice Presi- dent Lily Wang gave a presenta- tion at the American Institute of Physics (AIP) Assembly of Offi-
cers meeting describing the initiatives of the ASA in support of our early-career members. These initiatives evolved from the work of the ASA Strategic Leadership Plan for the Future ( Task Force 2, Member En- gagement and Diversity, which she chairs. As part of our effort to keep members informed of the progress from our strategic planning initiative, I thought it important to share this with you. What follows draws heavily from her presentation.
The plan’s Membership Engagement and Diversity goal is stated as follows:
ASA membership reflects societal diversity and the evolving multi-disciplinarily of acoustics, ensuring its continued relevance to academics, industry, government and practitioners across the globe and engaging acousti- cians throughout their entire careers.
This goal has two priority objectives. One is to expand the promotion and participation of early-career members (de- fined as before tenure, principal, or senior status). The sec- ond objective is to increase remote connectivity to ASA meetings. The Executive Council approved $50,000 in fund- ing to support these objectives in 2016.
The reason that early-career membership engagement be- came a focus of the strategic plan resides in the numbers. A snapshot of our membership data reveals that out of a total membership of 6,476 acousticians, 5,626 report their age. Of that group, 170 identify as being “early career,” which means that they are 40 years old or younger and not student members. This equals approximately 3% of our membership, about the same percentage of early-career members who at- tend our spring and fall meetings.
At the Spring 2016 meeting in Salt Lake City, the Education Committee and others helped organize an early-career mem- ber booth and took on the task of organizing an Early-Career Acousticians Retreat (EAR) that was recently described in the
Winter 2016 issue of Acoustics Today by Tessa Bent (http:// The retreat began Friday evening after the ASA meeting with a dinner presentation by Execu- tive Council member Ann Bradlow, “What is ASA and How Can ASA Work for You?” The participants then broke into a World Café ( breakout ses- sion to discuss how best to serve early-career needs within the Society. The evening concluded with a reception with the ASA leadership in the president’s suite. The next morning, attendees participated in a leadership workshop presented by Dr. Greg Northcraft, University of Illinois Urbana-Cham- paign, who talked about “Management of Information, Man- agement of Motivation,” and concluded with lunch.
There is clearly a need for retreats such as this within the ASA, as evidenced by strong demand for participation. The ASA received 126 applications for the 30 all-expense-paid slots, with an additional 15 invited to participate at cost. The retreat earned strong postmeeting evaluations.
• The information presented in the workshops helped prepare me for future leadership roles: average rating 4.3 (from 1 strongly disagree to 5 strongly agree).
• Attending EAR changed the likelihood of my attending future ASA meetings: average rating 3.8 (from 1 much less likely to attend to 5 much more likely to attend).
• The World Café discussions also yielded good evaluations with four key results, two of which are currently under- way and the remaining two under further consideration.
• Increase networking at ASA meetings, e.g., through speed-dating networking sessions (underway).
• Establish a permanent ASA Early-Career Committee (under consideration).
• Live stream and record meeting sessions (underway).
• Develop more local chapters (under consideration).
To assist early-career members in attending ASA meetings, the Executive Council approved on a trial basis for 2017 funding for early-career travel grants. The Executive Coun- cil allocated $15,000 each for the spring and fall meetings, which resulted in 30 awards of $500 each. To be eligible, a member must be within 10 years of his/her last degree, with priority given to those who present a paper, chair a session, and/or hold a leadership position within the Society.
8 | Acoustics Today | Fall 2017

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