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News & Press: AAALetter

A Message from Peter de Costa

Wednesday, September 14, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Peter De Costa
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I am pleased to join the Executive Committee (EC) of AAAL, which supervises our organization’s affairs and sets policies that allow our organization to grow from strength to strength. As someone who has served in various leadership roles in several professional organizations, I am fully aware that things do not just happen serendipitously. By the same token, AAAL’s accomplishments are the result of our members’ enduring commitment to the organization’s mission and their investment in its future. As a newly minted Member-At-Large, I am excited to continue the good work of my predecessor, Agnes He, by supporting existing programs and services, working on AAAL’s strategic plan, and creating the necessary infrastructure to support emerging issues and opportunities. I would like to give a shout out to the nimble AAAL leadership that has taken on new initiatives such as the various awards committees that were set up over the past two years. These standing committees serve as powerful steering engines, and as part of my new portfolio, I am delighted to be the EC member of the Research Article Award Committee. I will perform this role in conjunction with my other role as an elected member of the Book Award Committee. I take these tasks seriously because both committees are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the publications of our colleagues are duly recognized. Equally important to me as a Member-At-Large is the need to represent the perspectives of AAAL members in ways that facilitate the dissemination of knowledge, and promote understanding of language-related issues in order to address real world problems. We live in a time when much falsehood and ignorance are circulated in the media. As applied linguists, we are morally obligated to carry out AAAL’s mission of serving society with ethical integrity and educate the general public about issues such as the politics surrounding immigration. Most of us would agree that being a citizen scholar is a collective effort. To realize this endeavor, I intend to engage in constructive dialogue with both our domestic and international AAAL members. On your part, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any concerns. Finally, I would like to add that the effectiveness of my stewardship is dependent on your support. In the next 18 months, I look forward to being your voice in the EC. I am also excited about working with the other members of the EC as well as the AAAL Managing Director, Sarah Berke, and her amazing team (Jessica Atkinson, Ellen Shea and Karen Lowe). Have a good academic year ahead of you, and see you in Portland in March!

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