Dear Family Section members,
Let’s begin this kick-off message with a heartfelt congratulations, and thank you, to the Megan Sweeney for her leadership this last year, and for putting together an extremely successful slate of sessions and activities at the Annual Meetings in Montreal. Thanks are also due to our Secretary Treasurer, Jenifer Bratter (who, thankfully is staying on another year in that role). Megan and Jenifer have done all I could hope for and expect to make my entry into the position as your section Chair as smooth as possible.
At the meeting we also said our thank-yous to outgoing Council members Kevin Michael Roy and Sarah Damaske, and welcomed new members Robert Crosnoe and Kei Nomaguchi. Welcome also to Sharon Sassler, the new Chair-Elect.
In the category of personnel changes, I also extend my sincere appreciation to Gwen Zugarek, from Bowling Green State University, who has done great work as the Communications Director in addition to serving on the Council. This job is vital to our work, and we’ve been extremely fortunate to work with her. Gwen is stepping down now, and I’m delighted to announce that Joanna Pepin, from the University of Maryland, will take over that role. (You can send announcements for the list to Joanna now, at ASAFamilySection@gmail.com.)
Section business and meeting roles. The next order of business for the fall, as always, is to staff up the Section committees, session organizers and chairs. We solicited volunteers at the Business Meeting in Montreal, but before I move to fill these slots I want to make sure everyone has a chance to speak up if you would like to get involved – please do! For this year Joanna has prepared an online sign-up form, which I encourage you to fill out, available at: VOLUNTEER FORM. When we get our session allocation and volunteers lined up, I will work on the slate of positions. Thank you all for your contributions, past and future.
Meeting reception. The 2018 ASA Annual Meeting will be in Philadelphia, August 11-14. High on our list of priorities is arranging an excellent venue for our section reception. This year we hope to collaborate once again with the Population Section. If you have ideas for suitable locations in Philadelphia, or would like to work on the reception, please let us know.
Award policies. At the Council meeting in August we decided to add language to our paper award policies encouraging people to make public their award submissions, though SocArXiv or another non-profit repository. This is an opportunity to disseminate our best work earlier in the research process, and signal our commitment to open access scholarship. Individuals who use SocArXiv to submit their papers for awards will be eligible for a travel award. Look for details in the award nomination announcement.
ASA engagement. The association has a new initiative to increase public engagement with the sections, and asked us to name a Public Engagement Liaison to be available for communicating with media or other interested parties during the year. The Council decided for this year that the Chair would serve in that role, but if it becomes a more involved job we can consider making that a separate position in future years.
I’m excited to start my year as your Chair, and look forward to working with you all over the year and at the meeting in Philadelphia. Please make sure to renew your Section membership (and encourage your colleagues and students to do the same); membership is how we vote for the importance of Sociology of the Family within our association. Feel free to get in touch with me if you have ideas or issues about the section (or anything else!) to discuss: email@example.com.
Philip N. Cohen
[Volunteer URL if link is broken: https://goo.gl/forms/xPNx1X7aBdykuzgB3]