From periodic surveys and ongoing comments, we recognize the importance of the annual conference to the NACTA membership. As a long-time member myself, I know the value the annual conference holds for me. In these unprecedented times, the Executive Committee discussed ways that the membership could benefit from shared ideas, how to conduct the business of the association, and how to celebrate the best among us in the absence of our traditional annual conference. I appointed an ad hoc committee, chaired by Dr. Marcos Fernandez, NACTA president-elect, to develop imaginative ways for us to hold a virtual conference during the same proposed dates of our in-person event. I hope that you will be pleased with the results they have proposed.
Beginning June 16, 2020, NACTA will make freely available:
- An online repository of poster presentations in PDF format
- Virtual oral presentations available on-demand
- Virtual Business Meeting, awards ceremony and officer installation to be held on Zoom on Thursday, June 18th at 2pm EST.
- Annual Program Abstract Book and Awards Book
More information, including how to access these items and how to join the business meeting, will be shared as it becomes available.
Through the generosity of Iowa State University, funds generated from the 2018 NACTA conference held at Iowa State were placed in the NACTA Foundation to provide travel grants for three years. Since travel is out of the question this year, Dr. Ann Marie VanDerZanden, NACTA immediate past-president and Iowa State University representative, recommended that travel grants designated for distribution this year be redirected to underwrite the cost of the virtual conference.
Given the disruptions on each of our campuses created by the COVID-19 crisis, we believed eliminating registration fees this year would benefit the membership participating in the virtual conference, mitigating potential issues with the transfer of fees from your respective universities to NACTA. Please join me in thanking Iowa State for this generous contribution. We know that nothing can take the place of the human and personal interaction we will miss at our meeting in New Mexico but I am excited to still be working to offer so much of our proposed program. We hope that you will take part in these activities with us.
Foy Mills, Jr. Ph.D.