President's Message - Fall 2012
A LOOK AT CEC-DR IN THE 2012-2013 ACADEMIC YEAR
It is with gratitude and humility that I write this November 2012 president’s message for the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division for Research (CEC-DR). As we begin another academic year, I am reminded of a conversation between Tim Landrum (CEC-DR President 2010-2011), Bryan Cook (CEC-DR President 2011-2012), and myself at the CEC 2012 Conference in Denver. At the end of the business meeting, we were reflecting back on our careers, discussing the opportunities and people that positively impacted our professional lives. We all concurred that our participation in CEC-DR was one of the greatest gifts. Each of us volunteered to serve, not knowing we would learn and benefit such a great deal from participation in th division. As we reflected on our initial roles in CEC-DR and those in the field who had mentored us (e.g., Hill Walker, James Kauffman, Mike Gerber, Dan Hallahan, Linda Lewis, Karen Harris, John Lloyd, Marty Kaufman … the list goes on), we were all in agreement that participation in this research-focused group has been and continues to be a tremendous experience. We have broadened our views of special education, learning more about how issues of advocacy, policy, and funding impact past, current, and future endeavors to improve the quality of services and supports for students with and at risk for disabilities and their families. In addition, we have developed strong professional and personal relationships during the time spent on division activities.
Personally, what has impressed me most is the strong commitment to support the field of special education as a whole, with an emphasis on mentorship. I have watched the example of senior members of the division who gave precious time to move CEC-DR’s mission forward while also investing time in the more junior members of the division teaching them, for example, about the role of service; helping them see service as more than 20% of a job scope, but as an important responsibility. In particular, I am inspired by the amount of the time and effort individuals have dedicated to addressing concerns surrounding funding for special education research – watching the struggle, the commitment, and most recently the success of leaders in our field on this issue (see the article by Linda Lewis in this newsletter).
Ways to Become Involved
In the coming months, CEC-DR will be seeking additional support and involve from junior, mid-level, and senior career individuals who are willing to step forward and support the mission of CEC-DR:
Continuing the vision of Past-President Bryan Cook, we will be sharpening the focus of committees and elected positions within CEC-DR. If you are interested in playing an active role or learning more about CEC-DR, I encourage you to contact any of the new CEC-DR officers who assumed their duties on July 1, 2012:
Also, please visit the CEC-DR website (www.cecdr.org) to see a full list of board members and their contact information. I am sure each member would be happy to share their service experiences and make suggestions for your involvement.
A Glimpse Ahead
Although the Fall semester is just beginning as I write this article, board members have been preparing for the 2012-2013 Academic Year.
We look forward to an exciting year to come and hope you will consider serving and extending your commitment to the field of special education through service to CEC-DR!