Earlier this week, a severe weather event known as a derecho occurred in the central Ohio region that is home to the OSU Wooster campus. Overnight on Monday, four EF1 tornadoes touched down in a five-county radius in mere minutes of one another, destroying homes, damaging businesses, and leaving thousands of people without power in the hottest week so far in 2022.
Four days later and many are still displaced or without reliable power, including The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Wooster Campus. Businesses are shuttered and the community is working as quickly as possible to restore livable conditions to their friends, families and neighbors.
All week, the NACTA President’s Council and our partners at CFAES have been watching and praying for speedy progress so that we might be able to welcome you all to our home here in Wooster. Unfortunately, given these extreme circumstances, it seems that gathering as we had originally planned will simply not be possible. Therefore, we must officially cancel all in-person activities planned for the NACTA Annual Meeting next week.
If you have made flight, hotel or rental car reservations for your trip to Wooster, we encourage you to cancel those reservations immediately. Please refer to your individual reservation regarding specific cancelation policies and refunds in the event of a natural disaster affecting the destination.
#NACTA22 to continue virtually!
Even though we will not be meeting in person this year, we have shifted our focus to creating a virtual event that promises to be as educational as you’d expect from NACTA events.
- Workshops – We hope to offer the same synchronous educational opportunities that you had planned to attend in Wooster on Thursday. More information regarding these sessions and their virtual components will be shared next week.
- Poster and Oral Presentations – We hope to provide participants both synchronous and asynchronous opportunities to interact with authors and their content. All poster presentations are already prepared to be shared with attendees next week and we are working diligently to secure a schedule of live oral presentations as well. Many of the planned oral presentations will also be made available next week as part of the updated agenda.
- Abstracts – As with previous meetings, all accepted and presented poster and oral abstracts will be published in a special issue of the NACTA Journal and will be made available digitally to all attendees.
- Awards – All awards normally associated with the Annual Meeting will still be conferred. Individuals will be recognized through online announcements and will be honored live at the virtual award ceremony.
- Business Meeting – Consistent with our bylaws, each June we hold our annual business meeting as a public event to inform members about the current state of NACTA. We will still hold this meeting and will send along more information as it becomes available
I want to recognize and thank so many of our members for the work they have devoted to the 2022 Annual Meeting over the past year. NACTA Leadership is especially grateful to J. Marcos Fernandez, who has led the meeting planning thus far, and to the Annual Conference Committee and the EITI Committee for their work. They have responded graciously to our announcement to transition the in-person meeting to an online format and are in full support of the decision.
I understand that attending the NACTA Annual Conference in a virtual manner may not have been your original intention, but it is my hope that you will join us as we continue a tradition of rich, engaging and worthwhile educational discourse in 2022. Please be on the lookout in the coming days for additional information regarding the conference.
Please take care of yourself and your communities. We are sending positive thoughts and needed energy to our friends and colleagues in Wooster and the surrounding area.
M. Susie Whittington, PhD
2021 – 2022 NACTA President