After more than six years and almost 80 board meetings, I will be stepping down as president of NAMLE at the end of this month. It feels so strange to even write that sentence. I came to the board at a time when the organization was transitioning from its original “founding” board members, to a new group of people, with new ideas. I became president while we were still known as “AMLA”; we kept our member list on a simple excel spreadsheet; and all our work focused on the biennial conference.
Times have changed. Now, we proudly call ourselves NAMLE, we keep an online member database and we have expanded beyond the conference to provide a mix of partnerships and resources and events to serve members. But one thing remains the same: my love for this organization and my passion for media literacy. Don’t worry, I’m not going to turn this into some maudlin departure letter. I will be remaining on the board as past-president, and serving as conference chair for the 2015 conference. But to the extent my presidency reflects success, there are many people who stood beside me to help make that happen.
Thank you Michelle Ciulla Lipkin, Renee Hobbs, Vanessa Domine, Amy Jensen, Jane Ballinger, Sharon Sellers-Clark, Paul Mihailidis, Rhys Daunic, Tina Peterson, Cynthia Lieberman, Liz Thoman, Lynda Bergsma, McCrae Parker, Gretchen Schwartz, Cindy Pulley, Brian Cohen, Kelly Mendoza, Deb Parker, Mark Hannah, Andrea Ellis, Annelise Wunderlich, Cathy Leogrande, Theresa Redmond, Jasmine Hood, Ethan Delavan, Carol Tizzano, David Cooper Moore, Emily Bonilla, Faith Rogow, Cyndy Schiebe, Erin Reilly, Elana Rosen, Karen Zill, Renee Cherow- O’Leary, and Jessica Brown. I am sure there are many more and my apologies to anyone I may have missed.
Because of this group of people, and many others, we can count these items as our accomplishments over the past six years:
-The start of the Journal of Media Literacy Education
-Conferences held in St. Louis (2007), Detroit (2009), Philadelphia (2011), and Los Angeles (2013)
-Hiring the organization’s first executive director
-Bringing financial stability to the organization
-Offering numerous webinars on a variety of critical media literacy issues
-Drafting a report on media literacy and the Common Core Standards
-Developing the online Resource Hub
-Revamping and upgrading the NAMLE website
-Increasing our organizational members by 600%! (from 3 to 62!)
-Becoming an affiliate partner of the UNESCO university partnership alliance
-Becoming a member of the Global Alliance for Partnerships in Media and Information Literacy
-Successfully advocating for media literacy with countless elected officials, teachers, school administrators, nonprofit leaders, and the press
It was a gift to be president of NAMLE all these years. I have been proud to represent the organization and I look forward to continuing to do so.
With sincere gratitude,