Dear ECNG Members,
It is amazing how time flies when you are having fun, being supported by a team of rising and established leaders in the field, getting our creative juices flowing, and working for a common goal to support early career members of ACRM! It has been an honor to serve as the 2014-2015 chair-elect of the Early Career Development Course (ECDC) Task Force under the leadership of the powerhouse, Stephanie Kolakowsky-Hayner, PhD. Likewise, it has been equally challenging yet rewarding to serve as the 2015-2017 chair of the ECDC Task Force. Now, I am grateful to serve as the immediate past chair, and the opportunity to continue working with our incoming chair, Reza Ehsanian, MD, PhD. He is full of great ideas and passion, and was instrumental in the success of our 2017 Early Career Development Course.
2017 was a year of firsts for the Early Career Development course. We reached record numbers of course attendees in Atlanta. For the first time, we also provided CME/CEU credits for the course. We had representation from all over the United States, as well as international representation of rehabilitation scholars from Brazil, Italy, Sweden, Taiwan, and Turkey!
We were able to invite outstanding leaders in the field: Edward Wirth, III, MD, PhD, Ayanna Howard, PhD, Damien Bates, MD, PhD, W. Scott Selbie, PhD, and Teresa Pape, DrPH. Since the inception of the ECDC, we have been graciously supported by representatives of federal funding agencies, such as NIH, VA, and NIDILRR. For the first time ever, we were able to invite a CDC representative, Dr. Alexis Peterson, to discuss the myriad of career opportunities at the CDC.
I’d like to take a moment to give thanks to all the individuals who supported me during my time as chair of the ECDC. Special thanks to Claire Kalpakjian, PhD and Teresa Pape, DrPH, who have been some of my biggest supporters since I joined the ECDC in 2008, as a Master’s student. Claire, I guess you saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself back in 2008. You told me that one day I will lead the ECDC. You were right. Thank you! I would also like to thank Ralph Nitkin, PhD and Stephanie Kolakowsky-Hayner, PhD for their encouraging words at the beginning of my term and throughout, which helped me have the confidence to assume my new role. I would like to thank both Drs. Cate Miller and Stuart Hoffman for supporting our early career attendees, and your kind words regarding my leadership. An enormous thank you to all the ECDC task force members – Drs. Amit Kumar, Amy Herrold, Brooks Wingo, Dawn Neumann, Deepan Kamaraj, Prue Plummer, Ralph Nitkin, Shilpa Krishnan, and Stephanie Kolakowsky-Hayner! I could not have completed anything without your support and great ideas for the course. I am also grateful to, Megan Mitchell, for advocating for the ECDC and all of the early career members of ACRM!
Lastly, a special thanks to the ACRM staff for putting up with my many requests! Terri Compos has been our glue to make our planning process go smoothly. Special thanks to Cindy Robinson and Signy Roberts for creating amazing marketing materials, our website, and the course evaluations!! Thanks to Amy and Jeff Devine for a great job on handling the logistics and food/beverage planning for our course! Maegan Cicerone and Sarah Barrah – thank you for all of your support with using the new conference system, and keeping us up-to-date on course registrations, respectively.
I am truly excited to see what exciting course programming we will have over the next few years under the leadership of Reza Ehsanian, MD, PhD. Please join me in welcoming Reza into his exciting new role! It will be great working with you again, and I wish you continued success!
Monique R. Pappadis, PhD
ECDC Task Force Chair, 2015-2017