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SIOP’s annual conference 2013



SIOP’s annual conference closes out in Houston as preparations begin for next year in Hawaii

The 28th Annual SIOP Conference April 11-13 in Houston was, by all accounts, a resounding success for the more than 3,800 members who attended. The conference, always a highlight of SIOP’s year, was held at the Hilton Americas Hotel and offered attendees a wide array of presentations, including poster sessions and an impressive lineup of invited and keynote speakers.
As always the conference was preceded by a variety of workshops, attended by 263 people, looking for in-depth insight on specialized topics. In all there were 12 preconference workshops, including sessions dealing with validation evidence, legal risk of assessments, performance management, coaching, organizational climate and culture, branding, and the most impactful I-O research developments in the past 5 years
Also, a new event was held prior to the conference. On Wednesday business and HR leaders from the Houston area took part in a session on strategy driven executive talent management. The intent was to introduce non-I-Os to the capabilities of I-O that can provide deliverable benefits to them. Jolene Skinner moderated the discussion, which included presentations by Allan Church, Lorraine Stomski, and Jeff Facteau.
The SIOP Foundation held its annual reception Wednesday evening, which included the presentation of Foundation awards, fellowships, scholarships, and grants.
The opening plenary kicked off the conference Thursday morning with Conference Chair Robin Cohen welcoming attendees and then introducing Awards Chair Leaetta Hough, who presented this year’s recipients. (See the SIOP member page next week for a listing of award winners.)
Fellowship Chair Jerry Hedge presented the 23 newest Fellows, elected to the honor for their outstanding contributions of performance in I-O psychology through research, practice, teaching, administration and professional service. (The SIOP Fellows are listed on the Fellow Page.)
Foundation President Milt Hakel brought members up to date on the Foundation’s Building for the Future activities. He said its total assets now stand at $2,370,000, which is $292,000 more than last year. He also announced the HRM Impact Award, a joint offering of SIOP and SHRM to honor organizations with outstanding evidence-based HR management practices. (More details are available at www.HRMimpactawards.org)
Tammy Allen Doug Reynolds Incoming president Tammy Allen announced the presidential address of outgoing president Doug Reynolds with a well-done and sometimes humorous overview of his career and accomplishments.

Reynolds’ presidential address, “Extending Our Influence,” included three challenges for I-O and SIOP. The first focused on how I-O psychologists should brand themselves as a Society and as a profession. The second challenge was to engage our partners, and the third was to take advantage of the opportunities facing the field, such as making use of Big Data and becoming involved in prosocial activities,. (Click here for an account of Reynolds’ talk.)

Following the plenary and the always-popular coffee break (there were nine of them during the 3-day conference), the conference continued with more than 600 symposia, panels, posters, and presentations on a wide variety of topics including coaching, mentoring, leadership, legal issues staffing and strategic HR. Also, Thursday offered five Theme Track sessions focusing on “Bringing I-O Innovations to Life: Making Our Work Stick.”
The rest of the conference continued with hundreds of sessions, including invited speakers, panel discussion, master tutorials, Communities of Interest, Friday Seminars, and poster sessions.
A highlight of any conference is the opportunity to network, greeting colleagues, and meeting new friends, and SIOP offered plenty of venues for those exchanges, including several receptions for everyone as well as interest groups like international members, and LGBT and alumni groups.
The Exhibit Hall was always full of people looking over 53 booths of vendor products and samples, poster sessions, and an Exhibitor’s Showcase where current and new research and products were presented. There was even a booth featuring Hawaii, the site for the 2014 SIOP Conference.
Another popular spot was the Wi-Fi lounge and my.SIOP booth outside the Grand Ballroom on the fourth floor. The conference also included several professional development opportunities, such as CE sessions, the always-busy Placement Center, and the fourth annual speed mentoring event, where a waiting-list-only group spent half-hour sessions talking about various topics.
Saturday morning a bright sunny day greeted more than 100 runners taking part in the annual Frank Landy Fun Run. Mikki Hebl made arrangements for the race to be run on the Rice University campus. Filip Lievens was the male winner, and Christy Wittarer captured the female title. As he has for a number of years, Paul Sackett was the race coordinator.
The conference closed with a keynote address by Father TJ Martinez, the founding president of the highly successful Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Houston.

Formed in 2009 to serve students from low income families and situated in a depressed area of the city, Cristo Rey started with 80 students and now has 480 with another 400 applicants. A key to the school’s success is the integration of learning and doing so that every student is provided a job with one of 111 sponsoring companies. There the students are mentored and learn basic business skills.

In an area where the high school dropout rate is 60%, there are no dropouts at Cristo Del Rey. When the first class graduates next month, there will be a 100 % graduation rate, and all have been accepted into college.

Although it is typical for plenary sessions to have speakers from the scientist–practitioner mold, Martinez’ talk was met with enthusiasm and a standing ovation from SIOP members.

Then Reynolds passed the ceremonial gavel to incoming President Tammy Allen, who outlined her goals for the coming year. (Allen’s address will be covered next week on the SIOP webpage.)

Conference chair Cohen closed out the 2013 SIOP Conference by thanking the many people who made it a success, including Program Chair Eden King, members of the Conference Committee, the many volunteers and the SIOP Administrative Office.
She also presented a short preview of next year’s SIOP Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii and urged members to begin making their plans.
The conference concluded with an energetic Western-themed closing reception that featured line dancing.