September 2011
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Leadership Updates
NOTE FROM THE CHAIR
Duysevi Karan-Miyar, VDMIS Chair 2010-2012, duysevi@nova.edu

Dear VDMIS Members:

As I begin my second year as chair, it is a great pleasure to welcome our members and friends in this newsletter and to update you on what’s been happening with our interest section. It has been a busy year, with many new developments and exciting events to report.

For those of us who were able to attend the 2011 TESOL Convention in New Orleans in March, our interest section had a full schedule of sessions. In addition to the regular sessions, we also had one Academic Session called “Step-by-Step . . . Making Movies and Digital Media for Instruction”;the session was organized by the 2010 chair-elect Laura Lau and the other presenters were Lisa Pontoppidan, Nicolas Gromik, Johanna Katchen, Constance Eide, Robert Elliot, and Jennifer Lebedev. Unfortunately, due to funding issues from their institutions, Laura Lau, Constance Eide, and Nicolas Gromik were unable to attend the 2011 convention. Hence, one of our members Kenneth Chyi, also past newsletter editor for VDMIS, stepped in at the last minute to take up Laura Lau’s role and coordinated the session very smoothly. I would like to thank Ken for taking on this responsibility. Not only did Ken coordinate the session, but he also had presenter Johanna Katchen join us live on Skype from Taiwan; this was a great success and we definitely are all going to have more of this in the future! I would also like to thank the other presenters―Robert Elliot, Lisa Pontoppidan, and Jennifer Lebedev―for their contributions to our Academic Session this year.

Our business meeting unfortunately was not very well attended. Some of the topics discussed were as follows: the topics for the Academic Sessions and InterSections for next year’s convention, the need for revising the governing rules, and the need for increasing active membership and participation. The new 2011 VDMIS leadership was introduced: Duysevi Karan-Miyar, 2011 chair; Tony Miyar, 2011 chair-elect; and Kenneth Chyi, 2012 chair-elect and 2011 newsletter editor. Other topics were raised as well, and some of those will be distributed to our membership through our e-mail distribution list.

Social media and networking tools have become an integral part of our lives and help us network more efficiently and socialize as well. Our community benefits from the contributions of its members and we are only as good as the voices of those who contribute. So, please make an effort to increase your involvement with VDMIS, perhaps by contributing to the newsletter, consulting with colleagues through the TESOL communities (this is the replacement for the e-lists), submitting teaching materials to the TESOL resource center and to the VDMIS library, or simply sending me an e-mail with comments or suggestions for how we might continue to grow and improve. I take great pleasure in hearing from you. My e-mail is duysevi@nova.edu.

In order to enhance networking, we have created a VDMIS group on Facebook that we would like all our members to join. So please click on and join our group. Besides Facebook, as mentioned above, TESOL has created a site at http://community.tesol.org/vdmis, which will allow us to network as well, so if you have not created your profile yet, please click on the above link and do it now! We look forward to collaborating and sharing a lot of great ideas and tools with you on these sites.

Moreover, if you or a colleague you know would like to attend the 2012 TESOL convention but cannot fund the travel to Philadelphia, consider applying for special travel grants and awards through TESOL. At the 2011 convention leadership meeting, it was announced that the grants and awards were not paid out fully last year because not many participants applied for them. So please do take advantage of this as there is a TESOL award for everyone!

Several people reviewed proposals for the 2011 convention, and I would like to thank them for helping me complete this very important process that can be difficult to manage over the summer months. It is a privilege to serve our interest section and I thank you for giving me the opportunity to do so. I hope that 2011 has been a good year for all of you as it has been for our interest section. I look forward to communicating with all of you and hearing your ideas on how we can grow and learn from each other. Here’s to another great year!

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