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September 2019 President’s Corner

Well, we’re at that time of the year based on the standard academic calendars where we should be getting very focused on making good things happen in the coming year.  For me, as BEA president, here are some ideas on my mind. I’ll keep the list brief, because I am also, with this President’s Corner, asking you to brainstorm a bit and offer some ideas, because we are at our best when all our membership is engaged and has their voices heard.

One: Find new means to help the organization continue its progress to fully embrace diversity and inclusion, and include more conference content that includes diverse people and voices. That might include a particular call for creative work that covers topics of diversity, a particular call for research that covers topics of diversity, arranging more diverse speakers and more. It might include inviting groups like NABJ, NAHJ and similar organizations to have a presence at the BEA conferences. It also of course includes continuing the current initiatives and nurturing them. I would like to see if we can invite industry companies to participate in Career Fair, specifically connected to their internal diversity initiatives, in addition to the standard recruitment process. I would like to explore developing Spanish language categories in the BEA Festival that do not require English subtitles, as a connection to our BEA Latin America initiative.

Two:  Develop new resources for revenue enhancement.  BEA is financially sound, but resources to provide even more services to members is always important. We could have one of these be focused on revenues directed toward growing BEA’s support of research: supporting new scholars, more graduate student research awards, funding for research, and more.

Three: Continue to improve the robustness of Student Media Clubs.  We have a unique ability to be not only the premiere media organization for faculty, graduate students and researchers as we are now, but also provide an equally enriching experience for undergraduate students in terms of some undergraduate research initiatives and other programs supporting undergraduate media education. Currently our involvement with undergraduate students is mostly through the Festival, but we can offer so much more.

Four: Explore new areas of appeal for BEA that will bring in new members and keep us moving forward in engagement with all forms of modern media and media experiences—gaming, VR & AR, social media, the music recording industry, the movie industry, corporate media and others. Perhaps you have a connection to an area that might also be connected to BEA, and you can help us make that connection.

These are just some ideas. To keep this short I won’t go into others, but please think of these and other issues and get engaged with your organization to help us keep being the most useful and engaging for our membership as we can be. Always feel free to contact me directly with any ideas, but of course your first line of communication should be through your District Representative: Thom Baggerman for District 1, Pat Sanders for District 2, Max Grubb for District 3, Suzy Smith for District 4, Glenda Balas for District 5, Kim Zarkin for District 6, Tom McDonnell for District 7 and Kim Fox for District 8. If you’re working through issues for divisions, your first contact might be Nancy Dupont, our Interest Division Representative.

We would love to hear from you and have you tell us what’s important to you. I also hope you have a great academic year and are working on submitting panel ideas (soon!) and/or creative work or research later this semester for BEA2020.

Tony DeMars
BEA President
Tony.DeMars@tamuc.edu