May 2012
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Leadership Updates
Kim Kenyon, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

Dear ITA colleagues,

As the ITAIS enters its 20th year as an interest section, I am honored to serve as your chair for 2012-13. I would like to thank all previous chairs and all the members of current and past steering committees who have contributed to making the ITAIS such a vibrant and valuable interest section. Our ITA members continuously create and contribute to our thriving and inviting professional community. Special thanks go out to Rebecca Oreto, our newsletter editor, for her outstanding efforts and to the many article contributors this year. I also extend gratitude and appreciation to our outgoing chair, Kathi Cennamo, and past chair, Keith Otto, for helping me ease through the transition from chair-elect. The depth and breadth of professional knowledge, the willingness to share, and the genuine caring of our group have always impressed me. I really appreciate our readiness to raise and research important issues and to cross-pollinate ideas—both on the off-TESOL ITA e-list and at conferences.

As we look back at the 46th Annual TESOL Convention in Philadelphia, we should congratulate our group for another successful conference. We hosted both research- and practice-oriented sessions including teaching tips and posters, discussions, a workshop, and our special sessions: an InterSection in collaboration with CALL and SPLIS and our Academic Session focusing on assessment, accreditation, and program review (see article by Cheryl Ernst in this newsletter). Our annual open meeting was well attended and provided an opportunity to get to know new members. We also discussed TESOL’s new application and training process for proposal readers and addressed how to reach out to new members via the TESOL Community as well as continue to connect via the off-TESOL ITA e-list. The meeting also provided an opportunity for the ITA group to brainstorm ideas for the Academic Session for the 2013 convention. Among those topics, ITA-related research, an ITA retrospective (past, present, and future), leveraging relationships across campus, and assessment issues seemed to carry the most significance. Thanks to Anne Politz for arranging the ITA social, for leading many of us on a lovely historical walk, and for choosing a restaurant with delicious and seemingly endless Chinese dishes. Thanks also to Barbara Wolfe Boockmeier for pulling the ITAIS booth together even in the midst of changing circumstances. And many, many thanks to all the presenters and proposal readers.

Because ITA sessions did overlap, and many of our ITA colleagues could not make the trek to Philadelphia, I am hoping that presenters will post their PowerPoint slides and/or handouts to the ITAIS TESOL Community. If you can also share them via the off-TESOL e-list we can all benefit from the presentations. I know that I came away from the convention with a multitude of ideas and excellent takeaways. I hope to see more of us online and in Dallas next year.

Speaking of Dallas—proposals for 2013 are due on June 1. The number of sessions that we get at the convention is still proportional to how many proposals we submit, so I encourage everyone to submit multiple proposals and to convince colleagues to also submit a few proposals. The rule is that only one person can be the primary presenter on a presentation but can assist with any number of other presentations.

Finally, I want to welcome all of our new members, thank all the volunteers who have offered to read proposals, and thank everyone in our group for their invaluable help.

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Did you attend this year's TESOL Conference in Philadelphia?
Yes, I try to attend as often as possible.
Yes, this was my first TESOL Conference.
No, unfortunately I couldn't make it.
No, and I never will attend a TESOL Conference.