The 2019-2020 academic year has been a lesson in acceptance and flexibility, as well as understanding and compassion. Energy has been refocused amid life's pandemic-driven whirlwind to highlight core values and guiding principles. I can say that this is true for ASFW and that this state of reflection has proved to be heartening.
While COVID-19 propelled us faster and further in the reflective process, the Executive Board of ASFW actually began thinking deeply about its mission and goals during the annual leadership retreat in July 2019.
After receiving feedback and guidance from various institutional stakeholders, we recognized that the fundamental values of ASFW needed to be articulated more forthrightly. As Dr. Deborah A. Ballam noted in her remarks that were shared via email on April 3 (also here), ASFW has been a partner in the unyielding pursuit toward equity for faculty and staff as a whole at The Ohio State University for decades, but our previous mission statement did not fully capture this long-standing objective.
My fellow board members and I worked closely with Equitas Health Institute to undergo a structural competency review. We did so with the aim of building ASFW's capacity to demonstrate its commitment to equity in the broadest sense and become more adept at creating inclusive and welcoming environments.
This journey helped us craft a more robust mission statement and I am excited to unveil it below.
ASFW’s Mission: A Reintroduction ASFW exists to promote and support the professional development of university faculty and staff whose paths are affected by marginalization and structural barriers due in part to sex and/or gender identity at The Ohio State University. All individuals who are employed as faculty or staff at Ohio State are welcome to join and help advance this mission.
ASFW’s Impact ASFW dialogues with and leverages resources from several partners across campus, including the President and Provost’s Council on Women, The Women’s Place and the University Staff Advisory Committee. These relationships, along with input from members and ideas from ASFW’s board, shape the content that we deliver each year.
For instance, based on a shared concern about pay gaps and overall inequity in compensation, ASFW hosted a Lunch & Learn event featuring Dr. Joyce Chen (AEDE) to foster discussion in October 2019.
In November we focused on self-care and learned evidence-based strategies for managing stress from Dr. Megan Amaya (CHES) during her “Weight of Stress” program.
In December, ASFW hosted a conversation with Bertha Obayuwana (YMCA of Central Ohio) and Dana Mack (WOSU Advancement) about intersectionality in the workplace and how to navigate adversity through this lens.
We kicked off 2020 with a panel that discussed ways to explore new career opportunities and how to leverage the university’s tuition benefit for professional growth. The panel included representatives from admissions and distance education as well as individuals who have pursued degrees while working at Ohio State.
Our February 2020 Winter Luncheon equipped attendees with the tools and information we all need to help combat human trafficking. Two Wexner Medical Center nurses – Candace Miller and Ashley Wilson – encouraged us to own our power to make a difference in our communities and to speak out.
In March, Dr. Tanya Menon (Fisher) was slated to share tools for responding to disrespect at work with strength and dignity, and ASFW Past President Rachel Kaschner (Engineering) was going to lead a coffee chat on flex work schedules. However, due to COVID-19, both events were postponed. Additionally, many of the planned elements of the 2020 Ballam Symposium are under consideration for 2021.
Thanks to the hard work of this year’s Board, Symposium Committee volunteers and amazing speakers who donated their time and expertise to support the personal and professional growth of ASFW’s members, we had a standout year filled with innovation, influence and inspiration!
ASFW’s Future In the 2020-21 academic year, I will transition into the role of Past President, which means that Rachel Kaschner will be rotating off the Executive Board after several years of outstanding service. ASFW also owes a tremendous amount of gratitude to Katy Arenschield, Shadia Jallaq and Brooke Olson, who served as Secretary, Conferences/Symposium Chair and Programs Co-Chair, respectively, during this year. They will be rotating off the board as well. It has been an honor to work with each of them!
On July 1, Wendy Karavolos will become the President of ASFW, and the organization is sure to grow leaps and bounds with Wendy at the helm.
While we could not introduce the full incoming Executive Board during the Ballam Symposium, as is our tradition, I am grateful for the chance to do so here. Please welcome the 2020-21 leaders of ASFW:
2019 Ballum Symposium
On May 8, more than 100 attendees joined us for the annual Ballam Women’s Symposium at the Ohio Union. It was an energizing and thoughtful conference, with amazing speakers. As always, there were many opportunities to connect with women across the university.
This year's conference kicked off with award presentations. Congratulations to our winners.
Thank you all for attending! And thanks to our sponsors, who are indispensable in helping us make the conference so engaging every year.
We want to plan programs that matter to you, so we're inviting you to provide feedback about this programming year to help us plan for the next. If you want to join or review your membership, now is a great time to get set for next year.