From the executive director.
I have been privileged to serve the WHA for nearly a full calendar year. After going through the annual cycle, my vision about what we need and why we need it has been thoroughly clarified. I appreciate the continued feedback and questions from members who have high expectations (rightly so!) and as a result, move our organization in the best direction possible.
As a reader of the World History Bulletin, my knowledge about specific pockets of history highlighted in our publication keep me connected to my favorite academic subject. Currently, I am still working through the Spring 2015 edition and am grateful that the topic is preparing me for landing in Ghent 2016 for the 100th anniversary of World War I. This edition focusing on Encounters and Religions seems timely with the close of Pope Francis' visit to the USA last week. Over the winter, I collaborated closely with Denis Gainty and now look forward to working with him consistently as he has taken the reigns as our new Editor. Congratulations Denis!
This fall, the WHA has welcomed our new Graduate Assistant, Olivier Schouteden, in his thirdyear as a Ph.D. student in World History at Northeastern University. His academic interests are European colonialism, Vietnam and Southeast Asia, the place and role of modern France in the world and the history of exploration and travel. Coming from a small port-town in Northern France, Olivier has pursued the study of history at a variety of institutions on both sides of the Atlantic, including Lille III for his undergraduate degree, La Sorbonne Paris-IV and UT Brownsville for his graduate studies. Olivier considers the field of World History to have transformed the way he looks at his topic and at history. Olivier states, "I look forward to becoming more established with the WHA, meeting other scholars in the field and benefitting from the quality publications and programming."
Just during September, Olivier has reached out to members, worked on issues concerning our website, fall outreach and has already made a meaningful contribution. There is additional news about our Boston team--our student worker, Cathy Tripp, remains with us for the fall semester. She returns with one full year of university completed, including a trip to China this past summer where she explored the ancient tombs and ventured through the rich history embedded in the land. Thinking about the WHA, Cathy states, "I am eager to continue working for the WHA this year, and am glad to have found an organization whose mission and focus drives me to be a more worldly scholar-in-progress."
Our office has remained actively engaged with external groups as well, allowing us to stay focused on current trends. The World History Association belongs to an important umbrella organization called the American Council for Learned Societies (ACLS). From this group, we gain valuable insight from experts and other associations about programming, best practices and other important topics. This fall, I have already attended a leadership seminar with our incoming president, Rick Warner and will benefit from the Executive Director's Conference later in October. Remaining frugal, these opportunities cost the WHA pennies in relation to the valuable knowledge these sessions bring.
This past weekend, I participated in a very memorable affiliate meeting with the Midwest World History Association (MWWHA) Conference at Wabash College. Entitled "Feast and Famine in World History" this conference satisfied both my palate and intellectual curiosity. As with good conferences, I fervently jotted down notes, understanding fully that the cliche, "the more you learn, the more you realize how little you know" was applicable in that very moment.
The WHA has experienced a transition under the team leadership of President Craig Benjamin and Vice President Rick Warner. While their partnership has focused on fiscally conservative ideas, they have laid a stable foundation for us. As Rick Warner transitions to president in January, the next two years will allow us to expand our reach and create some new initiatives for our group. This WHA Governance has been a positive model for teamwork, so thank you to Craig, Rick, Maryanne and Carolyn. The Executive Council (EC) involvement has driven us to where we are now as well, and fostering their ideas has kept our office detail oriented and accountable for important considerations. I am excited about what awaits us in 2016.
Our office objectives remain the same--to serve the WHA effectively and consider the feedback from our members. Feel free to contact me with suggestions and ideas. We can be reached at 617-373-6818 or info@thewha. org.
Admin Coordinator/Executive Director