By Kathryn Salucka
The African Studies Association launched the First Time Attendee Breakfast in November 2014 at the 57th Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, IN. This event was an initiative designed to assist new attendees as they navigate their way through the ASA Annual Meeting. More than 60 first time members attended the breakfast, which featured a welcome from ASA President James Pritchett. First time attendees benefitted from the insight of several ASA members, including Ousseina Alidou, Abena Busia, Odile Cazenave, Clifton Crais, Peter Limb, Pearl Robinson, and Ahmed Samatar. The ASA is grateful for these volunteers, and for the generous support of Mary Beth Riner and the Indiana University School of Nursing, without whom the breakfast could not take place. First time Annual Meeting attendee Madoda Ntaka of the South Africa Business Centre, Argentina, noted the importance of this event, saying the breakfast was “a great opportunity to interact with other participants and gain experience and knowledge,” and “[ASA President James Pritchett] furnished us with valuable tips to take into account when attending the panels or roundtables, in particular how to handle and manage the program.” If you were a first time member and attendee in 2014 and missed the breakfast, we encourage you to attend in 2015. If you have any feedback or suggestions stemming from your participation in the 2014 event, please share them with the Secretariat and email us at [email protected].
The ASA is excited to continue the First Time Attendee Breakfast at the 58th Annual Meeting in San Diego, and welcome any members who wish to participate and provide guidance to new attendees. If you would like to volunteer for this event, or if your institution would be interested in sponsoring the breakfast in San Diego, please contact ASA Program Manager Kathryn Salucka at [email protected].