Greetings from 2016-17 OCAIR Chair

As per tradition, the OCAIR year of 2016-17 ended when the AIR 2017 Forum in DC closed. That Friday afternoon, when I took the DC Metro back to my office – not far away at all from the conference hotel – my thoughts were still filled with the many wonderful moments from the past week.  I could not focus much on my work; my thoughts drifted instead to the many exciting accomplishments OCAIR had achieved in the past year!

During the past year, five online professional workshops were provided, covering technical tips and student engagement.  The presenters included people from professional fields, such as SAS and Tableau companies, and seasoned OCAIR members.  This was one of the best years in OCAIR history for professional workshops in terms of both the quality and number of participants.  Dr. Chunmei Yao did a wonderful job in contacting the members and professional organizations to ensure that each workshop was successful.

Last summer, OCAIR collaborated successfully with universities in China. Two groups of OCAIR members travelled to China to offer workshops and presentations.  One group went to Tongji University for “2016 Institutional Research, Academic Planning and Educational Quality Assessment Conference.”  The other group went to Hunan University for the Chinese AIR Annual Conference.  A meeting with TAIR was held to discuss long term collaborations in the future.

Since last summer, OCAIR has also set up its own form of online social media through Chinese WeChat.  Through this platform, more than one hundred OCAIR members exchanged short information and conference photos and fostered lasting friendships. As WeChat is mostly used on mobile devices, our members were able to use this app to quickly exchange professional ideas in English or Chinese.  Many colleagues from China and TAIR also joined the group.

We have gained a sponsorship in the last year: one OCAIR founder, Dr. Jing Luan, currently the President of San Mateo Colleges of Silicon Valley and representing his school, graciously donated $1,500 to OCAIR.  We greatly appreciate Dr. Luan for his contribution to and support of OCAIR! Also in this year, OCAIR became an AmazonSmile Charitable Organization, which makes it possible to accept donations through that program.  In both of these new activities, Dr. Meiling Tang was superb in her role as treasurer to ensure both were accomplished.  Thank you, Meiling!

Last year, OCAIR rebuilt its website with a new underlying forum and notice structure.  The website is still in transition, but the new site will become a better platform for the members to communicate and exchange professional knowledge.

I would like to use this opportunity to acknowledge the achievement of many OCAIR members, who not only did excellent work in the offices, but also actively participated in AIR Forum presentations. You really represent OCAIR very well. Particularly, I would like to congratulate Dr. Dai Li for winning the “OCAIR Best Presentation Award” and Dr. Mingchu Luo for winning the “OCAIR Outstanding Service Award”.  OCAIR will flourish because of members like you!

I have been an OCAIR member for more than ten years.  OCAIR is a member-help-member organization, and many members have helped me in many ways in the past.  It is a great honor for me to have an opportunity to serve all the members in 2016-17.  I feel very fortunate to have many colleagues working together with me in the Steering Committee.  Their hard work secured the successful year of 2016-17.  They are: Yan Wang (Immediate Past Chair), Ying Zhou (Chair‐Elect), Chunmei Yao (Member‐at‐Large), and Yuerong Sweetland (Coordinator).  With more colleagues joining OCAIR and more volunteers working for the Steering Committee, OCAIR will definitely enjoy another productive and successful year!

Sincerely,

Eric Yang
Chair, OCAIR 2016-2017

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