Greetings from 2022-2023 Immediate Past Chair

Dear OCAIR members and friends,

It was my honor and privilege to serve OCAIR as the 2021-2021 Chair and partner with volunteers on the Steering Committee and in our community to journey through a challenging time together during the pandemic.  The pandemic brought us the “new normal” of meeting virtually via zoom meetings.  During the 2021-2022 academic year, the OCAIR Steering Committee met exclusively via zoom, and we hosted several events also via zoom.  Despite the unprecedented challenges we have faced, we have moved forward together to restore some normalcy in our activities as a community.  

Working together as a team, volunteers on the Steering Committee and from our community were able to accomplish the following activities during this past year for our community:

  • OCAIR Newsletter Vol. 25: led by Lan Gao, Wendy Lin, and Qinming Shi (Co-Editors)
  • Reading Club on AI and ML: led by Hongxia Fu and Henry Zheng, with great participation from a large group of OCAIR members.
  • Wednesday Wisdom Series and Learning Opportunities (Professional Development Resources): led by Helen Qi (our Member-At-Large and OCAIR’s chair-elect for 2023-2024)
  • OCAIR Website and Membership Directory Update: led by Amy Yang (our Webmaster and Listserv Manager)
  • Holiday Fun Trivia Game: supported by Timothy Chow and Zhe Jiang
  • OCAIR Soft Skill Panels: developed and hosted by Helen Qi and Lucy Dai and with panel participation by Drs. Lei Wang, Faxian Yang, Hui Xiong, and Henry Zheng (Panel 1) and Drs. Qing Mack, Bing Ning, Yang Zhang, and Ying Zhou (Panel 2).
  • OCAIR Election: led by Yang Zhang (our 2022-2023 Chair)
  • OCAIR Best Presentation Awards: led by Timothy Chow (our 2020-2021 Chair).

In addition to the named members above, I would also like to take this opportunity to recognize the support and contribution by the 2021-2022 Award Selection Committee for their help with our OCAIR Awards Program (Best Presentation Award and Young Professional Travel Grant):

  • Xiaoyan Liu
  • Kang Bai
  • Lucy Dai
  • Bin Ning
  • Song Yan
  • Eric Yang
  • Timothy Chow (Chair)

At OCAIR’s Annual Business Meeting in June 2022 in Phoenix Arizona, we have had the wonderful opportunity to recognize and celebrate the achievements and successes of the following members:

  • Best Presentation Award First Place: Yuhao Liu and Bin Ning (Kansas State University)
  • Best Presentation Award Runner Up: Xiqian Liu and Erin Mulligan-Nguyen (Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi)
  • Best Presentation Award Runner Up: Enyu Zhou (Council of Graduate Schools)

Although we continued to operate in a virtual environment and relied mostly via zoom calls to collaborate in 2021-2022, our members and friends have reached out to their colleagues and friends to invite them to be a part of our OCAIR community.  We would like to recognize and welcome the following colleagues as our new members:

  • Hong Jiang, Georgia State University
  • Xueliang Lu, University of Central Missouri
  • Shannon Shang, University of Tulsa
  • Linli Zhou, University of California Los Angeles
  • Xia Peng, ECPI University
  • Alan Nong, Loyola Marymount University
  • Shulin Zhou, East Carolina University
  • Hong Gao, Kean University

Reflecting on the focal areas of activities for the past year, again with support from our dedicated and talented Steering Committee members, we have been able to identify and continue to offer professional development opportunities on timely topics, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, leadership skills, and relationship building on campus, to our membership.  Behind the scenes and with help from Amy Yang, we have also spent additional resources on updating our web content management system for our website.  We hope that the OCAIR’s website will continue to serve as home of our virtual organization and a key communication channel, in addition to our OCAIR Listserv and WeChat Group, to share our major events, news, and updates with our community into the future.

In closing, I would like to congratulate everyone in our entire OCAIR community for celebrating the significant milestone of a Silver Jubilee—25 years of friendship, caring support, and collaborations among members in our community!  At our celebration at Phoenix, Arizona, AIR leaders including Christine Keller, Karen Weber, Junelyn Peeples, Health Kelly, and Jonathan Gagliardi attended our celebration and pointed OCAIR as a model affiliate of AIR.  It is with excitement and great anticipation that I begin my third year serving alongside with our talented members who have stepped up and volunteered to serve on the Steering Committee under the leadership of our 2022-2023 Chair Yang Zhang.  Continuing with support from our membership, I know that our community is in good hands for many years to come.

Henry Zheng