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Greetings,  reader!  Please  allow  me  to  take  a  few  moments  of  your  time  to  introduce  myself  and  explain  why  I  am   an  excellent  candidate  to  serve  as  2018  BEA  Convention  Program  Chair.  I  will  offer  some  biographical  information   that  includes  my  career  path,  and  then  move  on  to  addressing  specifics  about  how  I  fit  the  responsibilities  of   Program  Chair.  Finally,  I  will  wrap  up  with  some  thoughts  on  what  the  2018  Convention  might  be  like.

I  have  been  attending  BEA  regularly  since  2006,  my  first  year  as  a  fully-­‐credentialed  academic  after  completing  my   PhD  in  Communication  (Media  Studies)  at  the  University  of  Pittsburgh.  Prior  to  earning  my  PhD,  I  completed  a   Masters  Degree  in  Communication  and  Information  Systems  while  working  as  Station  Coordinator  for  RMU-­‐TV  at   Robert  Morris  University  in  Pittsburgh  PA.  My  career  in  local  television  spanned  most  of  the  decade  before  that,   starting  as  production  technician,  moving  through  producer/director,  and  finishing  as  Operations  Manager  at   WTOV-­‐TV  in  Steubenville,  Ohio,  department  head  for  the  Program,  Promotion,  and  Production  departments.  I  am   currently  an  Associate  Professor  of  Broadcasting  and  Chair  of  the  School  of  Communication  at  Point  Park  University   in  Pittsburgh,  PA.     I  have  been  part  of  the  leadership  of  the  Research  Division  since  my  initial  year  at  BEA  –  first  newsletter  editor,   then  webmaster,  then  Vice-­‐Chair,  currently  Chair.  This  year  I  also  oversaw  the  Research-­‐in-­‐Progress  submissions   and  the  New  Faculty  Research  Grant  judging.  This  will  also  be  my  second  year  assisting  with  the  non-­‐poster-­‐poster-­‐ session.  As  I  step  away  from  the  Research  Division  at  the  end  of  my  term  this  year,  I  am  looking  for  new  ways  to   serve  –  and  this  opportunity  seems  like  it  has  come  at  a  fortuitous  moment  in  that  regard.

I  will  be  the  first  to  admit  that,  as  I  have  not  been  a  regional  leader  yet,  I  may  be  not  completely  tuned  in  to  the   political  and  logistical  areas  of  the  conference  and  the  organization.  This  is  not  a  new  situation  for  me  to  be  in  –  I   typically  charge  ahead  at  a  challenge  and  learn  as  I  go,  relying  on  those  with  more  knowledge  than  I  to  fill  in  gaps   where  I  can’t  figure  it  out  for  myself.  I  envision  taking  the  same  approach  here,  if  selected  –  to  mine  the   experiences  of  previous  chairs  for  as  much  knowledge  as  possible,  and  then  bring  my  own  talents  to  bear  in   maintaining  those  things  that  are  already  excellent  and  making  some  contribution  towards  bringing  those  things   that  are  not  yet  excellent  up  to  that  level.

Those  skills  that  serve  me  well  in  my  position  as  faculty  chair  more  or  less  cover  the  rest  of  the  requirements  –  I  am   a  communicator,  team-­‐builder,  coach,  leader,  representative,  worker  bee,  and  whatever  else  is  needed  at  any   given  moment  by  my  department  or  my  University.  I  see  the  majority  of  these  skills  as  being  essential  to  the   person  in  the  role  of  Program  Chair.

I  believe  that  we  need  to  continue  emphasizing  the  areas  of  pedagogy,  assessment,  and  industry-­‐relevant   outcomes  in  our  conferences,  because  they  are  so  vitally  important  to  the  success  of  our  students  and  higher   education  as  a  whole.  Further,  I  believe  that  we  need  to  continue  putting  professionals  in  proximity  to  academics   at  our  conferences,  because  that  is  where  the  latest  innovations  find  their  way  into  our  classrooms.  Finally,  I   believe  that  we  need  to  continue  drawing  current  students  into  the  fold  by  keeping  the  practice  of  programming   sessions  especially  for  them,  so  that  we  can  ensure  the  relevance  of  BEA  in  the  decades  to  come.

My  early  thought  on  a  spotlight  or  convention  theme  would  be  something  about  looking  to  the  future,  and  could   include  sessions  on  new  technology  and  platforms,  programmatic  buying,  operating  partnerships,  etc.  This  is  an   exceedingly  preliminary  idea,  and  I  would  want  to  find  out  how  it  complements  the  2017  theme  before  settling  on   it.  I  view  the  conferences  an  ongoing  and  highly  engaging  conversation  about  the  many  industries  that  make  up   the  media  among  those  who  are  learning,  teaching,  and  doing  –  in  all  of  the  overlapping  roles  that  we  all  share.

In  summary,  I  believe  I  have  the  skills,  and  I  am  very  willing  to  serve  in  this  capacity,  should  you  choose  to  give  me   the  opportunity.

See  you  in  April!     thom  baggerman