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Sweet Home Chicago


by SIOP Administrative Office

SIOP Annual Conference Returns to the Windy City

SIOP returned to the city where it held its first-ever conference for a multiday event that shattered all previous attendance records. Industrial-organizational psychologists from every continent except Antarctica convened at the Sheraton Grand Chicago, April 19-21, to take part in the capstone event of the SIOP year.

5,525 people registered for the 33rd Annual Conference, eclipsing the record set at last year’s event in Orlando, which had 4,801 registered attendees. The 2011 Chicago conference holds third place, with 4,637 in attendance. This year’s registrants hailed from as far away as Australia and Singapore. Multiple countries in South America, Europe, and Africa were also represented in the attendee list, along with Canada, the UK, and the US.

Many conference attendees participated in activities outside of the sessions. 55 employers and 343 job seekers participated in the Placement Center, 312 people participated in the Preconference Workshops, 248 in the Friday Seminars, and 142 in the Consortia. 176 hearty souls got up early on Friday morning to participate in the 26th Frank Landy Fun Run.

As always, the conference included new features and developmental improvements on existing offerings, including session types, special events, and innovative ways to help attendees communicate and collaborate. Continue reading for some of this year’s highlights.

Many attendees used the Whova conference app to build their schedules, take notes on sessions, and network with others. 74% of those at the conference, including attendees and exhibitors, downloaded the app, and 81% of them reported finding it useful. There were 1,548 exchanges of contact information, 5,797 notes written, 74,144 profile views, and 176,498 session views. 3,300 attendees used the app to provide session rating feedback to conference organizers.

Although the conference didn’t officially begin until Thursday, a full day of professional development and networking opportunities also took place on Wednesday, April 18.

The daytime offerings included workshops, consortia, and the opening day of the Conference Placement Center, organized by Tim McGonigle and Jacqueline Spencer.

The Preconference Workshops, chaired by Gavan O’Shea, offered 10 half-day workshops on diverse topics ranging from storytelling with data to employee selection and surveys. A new, 2-module Individual Leadership Assessment Course was also offered as part of the day.

The Consortia Committee, led by Wendy Bedwell, also offered full day consortia for early career practitioners, junior faculty, and doctoral and masters students.

The SIOP Visibility Committee hosted a Top Minds and Bottom Lines event, offering practical I-O psychology insights for business leaders, Wednesday night at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. “Executive Talent: Build, Buy or Borrow?” featured Chris Freiburger, Thomas W. Mason, Stephen Steinhaus, and Nancy Tippins. Victoria Mattingly led the organizing group.

At the SIOP Foundation dessert reception Wednesday evening, donors and award recipients mingled while sampling an assortment of desserts and having their photos taken. Posters of award winners adorned the reception room, and the award plaques filled several banquet tables. Foundation President Milt Hakel and reception sponsor Sandra Davis made brief remarks.

As is customary, Conference Chair Daisy Chang welcomed attendees to the opening plenary on Thursday morning, and the program began with recognition of SIOP’s distinguished award winners and newly elected Fellows.Awards Chair Lillian Eby and incoming SIOP President Talya Bauer congratulated the recipients of the distinguished awards, while a video describing their accomplishments played on the five projection screens in the hall.

Two highlights bookended the awards presentation. It opened with the Dunnette Prize, which honors living individuals whose work has significantly expanded knowledge of the causal significance of individual differences and carries a cash prize of $50,000. Thomas J. Bouchard, Jr., leader of the landmark Minnesota Study of Twins Raised Apart, was the recipient. The final presentation was the first-ever award of the Hebl Grant for Reducing Gender Inequities in the Workplace, given to Ashley Membere for her dissertation proposal titled “The Effects of Stereotype Threat on the Performance of Black Female Leaders.”

Following the awards presentation, Fellowship Chair Ken De Meuse joined Talya Bauer on stage to congratulate the 2018 class of SIOP Fellows. The 21 new members bring the total number of active SIOP Fellows to 398. SIOP Fellowship is bestowed in honor of outstanding contributions of performance in I-O psychology through research, practice, teaching, administration, and professional service. This article recaps the Foundation Dessert Reception and lists the 2018 award winners and Fellows. A roster of all active Fellows is available here.

During his “annual 5 minutes of fame” SIOP Foundation President Milt Hakel shared information about the Foundation’s mission and announced that the Foundation is 2 years ahead of schedule in achieving a goal set for 2020, which was to distribute one million dollars in funding. He also shared news about some new awards and grants that are in the pipeline. See his brief presentation here.

Hakel’s presentation was followed by Incoming SIOP President Talya Bauer’s entertaining introduction of outgoing president Fred Oswald. It highlighted his love of science and cats, and his hobbies. Oswald is a nationally ranked Scrabble player and graciously agreed to have lunch with the winner of a word game Bauer created in his honor. Several people accepted the word challenge, and Ida Vogel was the lucky winner of the drawing. Amanda Holland and Jeff Johnson also won some SIOP swag for their participation.

President Fred Oswald discussed the continuity and community of effort that has driven the growth of the SIOP conference and organization. He reflected on his choice of the Team SIOP theme as a celebration of efforts of SIOP members regarding the identity and impact of the field of I-O psychology. He also considered the history of the SIOP Conference. The first conference was held in 1986, under the leadership of Irwin L. Goldstein. The conference offered its 776 attendees 34 sessions, and Oswald invited all audience members who attended to stand as another way to highlight the community that creates Team SIOP. See Fred Oswald’s presentation and Talya Bauer’s introduction here.

The official conference schedule was once again packed with the latest research and practice in I-O psychology. In addition, there were 35 affiliate events, ranging from meetings and memorials to receptions and the I-O Shaken and Stirred event. These events, combined with the 26 SIOP receptions, kept conference attendees mixing, mingling, and learning through all their waking hours. See an album of photos from the conference on the SIOP Facebook page, and members can log into my.SIOP to view additional pictures.

Following the plenary, the conference continued with nearly 1,000 symposia, panels, posters, special events, and presentations on a wide variety of topics. The full conference schedule is available here. Scroll to the bottom of the page for printable/searchable versions. The grouping of several session types under the SIOP select umbrella was a scheduling innovation. Other new events and emphases included the Professional Practice Committee’s Speed Benchmarking event, and the new multidisciplinary sessions.

The Exhibit Hall was bustling with visitors Thursday and Friday, as attendees engaged with representatives at 60 booths. In the exhibit hall, attendees could ask questions, gather literature, test samples, and chat with representatives from some of the leading organizations in the I-O field. In addition, 13 committees took shifts at the Committee Zone, a popular feature that debuted at last year’s event. In the Committee Zone, attendees could interact with members of various SIOP committees and learn more about their committee goals and projects.

Attendees at the closing plenary were treated to an entertaining and informative presentation by keynote speaker Mark S. Squillante titled, “Decision Making Under Uncertainty With Applications in Workforce Management.” Squillante is, among many accomplishments, a Distinguished Research Staff Member and the Area Head of Stochastic Processes, Optimization and Control within the Mathematical Sciences Department at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center (Yorktown Heights, NY).  Watch SIOP media in the coming weeks for a notice that his presentation has been uploaded to SIOP’s YouTube channel.

After Squillante’s address, outgoing SIOP President Fred Oswald passed the ceremonial gavel to incoming President Talya Bauer. After presenting a special surprise gift to Oswald, Bauer reviewed the society’s strategic goals and offered three primary ways she wants to translate those goals into action during her term as president. Throughout her address, Bauer stressed the teamwork required for achieving SIOP’s goals and issued several invitations for members to get involved. She closed with a video summarizing her presidential theme of “I am SIOP.” Watch President Bauer’s brief address here.

The conference closing reception featured live Chicago blues and delicious Chicago eats. Find several photos of the reception on SIOP’s Facebook page an in the conference picture folders on my.SIOP.

The 34th Annual SIOP Conference will take place at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center on the Potomac in National Harbor, Maryland, April 4-6, 2019.

We hope to see you next year as we meet just outside the nation’s capitol!