President's Message

August 31, 2020 5:25 PM | Lisa Gaudette (Administrator)

Approximately five months ago, I finished my last lecture of the day and walked out of a classroom for what I feared might be the last time for the foreseeable future. Indeed, I have not been in a physical classroom with my students since that day and that will not change any time soon.  At this time, I am preparing for a new semester during which I will teach classes via recorded lectures and Zoom technology.  As one who loves teaching, I am not filled with the building excitement to return to the classroom that is normally present as August starts to wind down. There is nothing normal about life right now. There is still uncertainty and instability in so many areas of our lives. Thus, with so many of our members returning to school (as students, faculty, counselors, and administrators) my thoughts are with each of you at this time. Despite the return to school being under very different circumstances, I hope you will experience joy and excitement in being back in your respective halls and e-halls of learning.

As a society, we have tried not to let the challenges of the past few months keep us from moving forward.  In fact, I am grateful for the way we have responded to these challenges in ways that have made us better as an organization and, hopefully, helped us find new and better ways to use our collective knowledge to help others.  In the past four months we have launched ProjectCARE (Collaboration for Action and Resources for Emerging Adults), and formed a new topic network on social justice, equity, and inclusion. I appreciate all those who have responded to our calls to provide leadership, time, resources, and expertise in these efforts.  In the past months, the journal (Emerging Adulthood) experienced a transition of leadership and received an impact factor. I am so grateful to Moin Syed and his entire editorial team for their wonderful efforts at growing the journal, and to Christine Ohannessian and her team for accepting the role of carrying on the work  of the journal. In the last few months, there have been numerous other efforts made to keep the work of our organization moving forward during these times.  Behind the scenes, work continues on the 2021 conference by its organizing committee, and the membership committee has been hard at work to grow our numbers and improve services to members. Several of our topic networks, including the emerging scholar network, have been active and contributing in a variety of ways (including coordinated efforts to contribute to ProjectCARE).  

As I see the work of our society moving forward, I am taught a great lesson. I have watched as people not only contribute despite the challenges facing us at this time but in response to these challenges. We are a better organization now because of your response to hard times.  Thank you. And thank you for showing me that while I may not be returning to one of my favorite places (classroom) any time soon, I can choose to respond to that reality in ways that will make me and my teaching better in the long run so I can better serve my students.
Again, I express gratitude to all who contribute to our organization and wish the entire membership the very best at this time. Above all, be healthy, safe, and well.


Larry Nelson
SSEA President