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So Long, San Diego!



27th Annual SIOP Conference Shows Strong Attendance and Impressive Speakers

SIOP descended upon San Diego more than 4,000-strong April 26-28 to celebrate what is always the culminating event for members.
The 27th Annual Conference was held at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, and was attended by more than 4,100 I-O psychologists from 44 different countries, and as far away as Australia and India. Attendees had more than more than 800 presentations to choose from, including poster sessions, and an impressive lineup of invited and keynote speakers.
The conference activities actually started before the conference began, Wednesday the 25th, with pre-conference workshops. This year, nearly 300 people attended workshops on topics such as Innovations in Computer-Based Testing, Beyond the Misery of Change Management, and Engaged Employees in Flourishing Organizations. Workshop attendees enjoyed a lunch as well as an elegant evening reception where they could continue conversations they had started throughout the day’s sessions.

SIOP also welcomed arriving attendees Wednesday night with a welcome reception that included culinary specialties from the San Diego area.

The conference program officially kicked off Thursday morning at the opening plenary session, where Conference Chair Lisa Finkelstein welcomed attendees and then introduced Awards Chair Leaetta Hough, who presented this year’s award recipients. Incoming SIOP President Doug Reynolds greeted the winners with their plaques. (See the SIOP member page next week for a listing of award winners!)
After the awards were presented, Fellowship Chair Wally Borman presented the newest inductees into SIOP’s elite group of SIOP Fellows. This year, SIOP welcomed 23 new fellows into the society. (For a complete list of the new SIOP fellows, see the story on the member page!)

After the awards and fellows were announced, Foundation President Milt Hakel presented a briefing on the SIOP Foundation, which as of December 31, 2011 has assets totaling $2,178,000. Hakel also announced forthcoming awards as well as a new designation called SIOP Scholars, which includes all winners of SIOP Scholarships and Awards given for their pre-doctoral work. The SIOP Scholar designation now includes 141 current and former award and scholarship winners.
Next, incoming president Doug Reynolds announced the presidential address of outgoing president Adrienne Colella with a funny and touching overview of her life and accomplishments. Reynolds highlighted Colella’s professional roles at Tulane and Rutgers University as well as her roles on various committees and in elected office. Reynolds alsoutlined the evoluition of Colella’s research intrerests throughout her career as well as commenting humosously on her peraonls intersts and friendships at SIOP.
After her introduction, Colella took the stage to give her final address on the topic of her presidential theme, “The Impact of I-O Psychology.” During her address, Colella explained the results of an effort she orchestrated to define “impact” as an I-O psycholgoist and gather examples of impact amongst fellow SIOP members. Colella collected responses through email and the SIOP Exchange blog and then presented her favorites during her presidential address. Learn more about Colella’s project on the Impact page on the SIOP website. You can also read more about her project here.
During the opening plenary, President Doug Reynolds also unveiled SIOP’s new online member-only commmunity, my.SIOP. Found at my.siop.org, my.SIOP is a member portal build like a social network, with member profiles, groups, wikis, forums, calendar, a Google mat, tag clouds, and more. Attendees were encouraged to logon to my.SIOP and complete a profile, complete with photo and bios, to be entered to win a SONY bloggie video camera. SIOP also made it easy to complete your profile by hiring a professional photographer to take photos of attendees all day Friday. By the end of the confernece, my.SIOP had nearly 1,000 engaged users and counting! Find out more about my.SIOP by reading the introductory article here.
After the opening plenary session Thursday morning, the SIOP conference swung into full gear, with its impressive and diverse program taking center stage. Attendees were free to choose form several concurrent sessions on topics from testing and assessment, to legal issues, team, coaching, and more. Attendees were invited to attend the “conference within a conference,” the Thursday theme track, on the topic of “Science and Practice Perspectives on Contemporary Workplace Discrimination.” Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Jacqueline Berrien, gave an interesting and engaging theme track keynote address.
The rest of the conference continued with hundreds of sessions, including invited speakers, panel discussions, master tutorials, communities of interest, Friday seminars, and poster sessions.
During the day, attendees relaxed and conversed at several coffee breaks and continued their conversations over drinks and appetizers at several elegant receptions held at the hotel, including a Friday night Networking Reception that involved a networking scavenger hunt.
When they weren’t in sessions or receptions, attendees had the chance to relax and take in the sights of many nearby San Diego attractions, such as the Gaslamp District, right across the street from the hotel. Participants in the Frank Landy FunRun were treated to wonderful views of downtown San Diego. Preconference tours were also offered at Petco Park, a Naval Leadership and Midway Tour, and a tour on Sustainability, Change, and Energy.
This year’s exhibit hall was also buzzing, with a sold-out exhibit hall and a successful Exhibitor’s Showcase where exhibitors were able to present their newest research and products.
The conference also included several professional development opportunities, such as several CE sessions, Placement Center, and the third annual Speed Mentoring event, where attendees had a chance to sit down with leaders in the I-O field and discuss pre-determined topics of interest in a small group setting.
The conference closed with a keynote address from one of the most influential psychologists in the world, Dr. Albert Bandura. After Dr. Bandura’s widely attended address, the audience witnessed the ceremonial passing of the gavel from Adrienne Colella to incoming President Doug Reynolds, followed by Reynolds’ presidential address. (For more information on Doug Reynold’s presidential address as well as his goals for this new year, read the feature story next week on SIOP.org!)

After the closing plenary, the SIOP conference ended with a San Diego celebration, a beach party-themed closing reception. Attendees enjoyed beach party food and live music from a local favorite.

If you are looking for more conference follow-up, check SIOP’s Facebook page and The Exchange for photos and videos as well as the July TIP for several stories from conference chairs and more.
It’s also never too early to plan for next year. The 28th annual SIOP conference will be held April 11-13, 2013 Houston, Texas at the Hilton Americas-Houston. Learn more on the SIOP future conferences page!
We hope to see you in Houston!