Dear friends and colleagues,
As you will notice I’m the most junior candidate running for a position on the Council this year. I decided to run because I want to give voice to the youngest tier of the Society and represent those individuals who, like me, are at the beginning of their careers. All of those striving to find a place in their fields. As difficult as this is, there are ways to make that journey easier. ICON·S is an excellent platform to accomplish this goal.
ICON·S has a networking feature with great potential to help us building our career paths. For me, as a Mexican woman pursuing a doctorate in the U.S., being a member of ICON·S has been life-changing. I’ve met academics from all over the world with whom I’ve built strong professional networks that have often translated into research projects. Thanks to ICON·S I’ve met professors who are now my mentors. Clearly, my experience is not necessarily the same for everyone else but it should be.
The networking feature of ICON·S should be exploited further for and by young scholars. As a first step, it is crucial to better integrate this important tier of the Society so that their experience as members of ICON·S is as fruitful as possible. For instance, if I get elected, I will push for the creation of an open data-base that will include the name of all members, affiliation, position and the topics they work on. This will make it easier for members to reach out individuals with similar interests, and foster inclusiveness and diversity in the panel-assembling process before submitting candidacies for the annual conference. It will also be a helpful resource to build professional networks. Crucially, it could also be a great resource for female scholars to build ties among their female peers.
Mariana Velasco Rivera