Division Chair's Message

2020 Division Chair's Message

Dear Fellow OMTers,

I am writing to you in an unsettled time. I’m sure all of you have been and are seeing tremendous changes in your lives due to the recent COVID 19 outbreak. All of us on the executive committee hope that you and yours may be safe and sound in this difficult time.

Beyond the most immediate threats to you and your loved ones and friends, many of you are probably also wondering what the ongoing crisis means for the Academy-related aspects of your life. The Academy’s leadership is following the recent developments closely and while a number of events have been cancelled, for now we are planning as if the Academy Meetings will proceed in August. That said, even if that is the case, it seems likely that many of you will face travel restrictions and may not be able to attend in person. Along with the Academy, OMT will be working on ways to allow for virtual participation and other means to keep the conversation going.

Beyond these challenges, there are also some strategic initiatives that I want to share with you. A key goal for OMT is to develop and sustain quality connections between scholars from underrepresented areas and OMT and AOM in general. The most immediate initiative in this regard is a workshop jointly organized with two Latin American institutions where OMT and local scholars will meet and discuss frontier of knowledge research, theory, and methods, to help all participants initiate, develop, and ultimately publish, high quality research. The workshop is currently scheduled for this fall. The specific topic of the workshop and its content will be co-created with local academics but will be clearly aligned with the purpose of connecting and integrating scholars from Latin America. The ultimate goal is to develop a "template" that can be used multiple times in different regions and institutions, thus allowing the current project to become scalable.

Another OMT initiative led by our Communications Chair Hovig Tchalian and Social Media Chair Deborah Anderson aims at better connecting to our members by extending our communications capacity to connect people in AOM and OMT across the globe and especially in traditionally underrepresented groups. We plan to substantially supplement and extend our two current channels, social media (including on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram) and the OMT website, including our new OMT Podcast series. We further hope to improve the user experience on these platforms and increase engagement through the creation of discussion forums, visual media, and blog posts. As part of this, we hope to get you as our members involved and will invite you to blog posts and create social media discussions before and after events such as OMT workshops and the Annual Meeting.

At the recent OMT Executive Committee meeting we further discussed how we can continue to lessen the environmental impact of the Division and its member, including by means of virtual meetings, by supporting the Organizations and the Natural Environment (ONE) Division’s Organizations initiative to figure out ways in which we can reduce the carbon footprint of our annual meetings, and by developing our own environmental impact policy for OMT. More on that and other initiatives hopefully soon.

As noted, we are proceeding with our planning for the 80th Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC. We will soon send out Part 2 of the Spring Newsletter, which will contain the usual information that helps you plan the OMT part of your Summer, including information regarding our OMT consortia and the dissertation proposal workshop, our New and Returning Members Forum, and so forth.

For now, here are some further updates:

Program Chair Martin Kilduff provides his report on what promises to be another superb Program in Vancouver this August.

PDW Chair Eva Boxenbaum gives you the details of the Pre-Program, including all of our PDWs & Consortia.

Also, keep an eye out for a message from Renate Meyer that elections for the volunteer OMT executive board are open. Please vote!

Finally, our activities would not be possible without the generous financial support of all of our sponsors. We keep the details of all of our sponsors online and updated all the time, and I encourage you to have your organization join in supporting OMT.

On behalf of the entire executive board, thank you for continuing to make OMT The Place to Be!


Best wishes,



Peer Fiss

OMT Division Chair