Message from the Chair - Looking Outside Our Comfort Zone
I would like to thank the EDGD membership for allowing me to serve as your Chair. It has been interesting, fun and nerve-wracking!
At the Mid-Year Conference in Norfolk, VA, the EDGD Executive Committee took a hard look at where the Division is. Bottom line: we are not attracting as many new members as we would like and a majority of our committees are no longer reporting any activity for valid reasons; we need to restructure. Between the Mid-Year Conference and the Annual ASEE Conference held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, there were several flurries of EDGD list-serve email discussions concerning the future of the Division. Do we stay as we are; focused strictly on engineering graphics, or do we open our doors and embrace all forms of graphics? To be the best in our field, we must look outside our normal comfort zone or we will miss the exciting, changing world of graphics around us. If we limit the Division to only engineering graphics we will never grow as a Division, or on a personal professional basis. We would miss opportunities to partner with colleagues who have skills we don’t possess. Most of us have been teaching for many years, but still strive to improve our teaching methods – especially with today’s students having different expectations than students twenty years ago. If we move backwards to focusing only on engineering graphics, we will miss information that can help us become better professors.
With the introduction of computers into our classrooms our world continues to change. One trend I see locally is the move from supplying tool and die workers, machinists, etc., with computers and 3D CAD models for dimensions instead of 2D drawings. The Division can no longer afford to have tunnel vision and isolate itself in our comfortable engineering graphics world. This means exciting changes are in the works for the Division! Here are a few: several of the Directors are revising their committee charges, an on-line journal ad hoc committee was created to select the software we will use, and several members are brainstorming a new Division and Journal name that will reflect our willingness to embrace all forms of graphics.
Serving as your Division Chair has been a great experience! The members are what make the Division so special! I would like to extend a huge thank you to those of you that volunteered your time to help with the Division and participated in the Division discussions. A special thanks to Nick Bertozzi for doing a great job as this year’s ASEE Annual Program Chair, Judy Birchman for designing a striking one-page EDGD information card, Steve Schroff and Marie Planchard for distributing the new EDGD information card, Bob Chin for pursuing our status with ERIC, Moustafa and Company for a great Mid-Year conference, La Verne Abe Harris and Nancy Study for the smooth running of the Journal, Alice Scales and Mary Sadowski for answering my endless list of questions, and Tim Sexton for guiding me through this year.
Hope to see you in Berkeley, CA for the 63rd Mid-Year Conference January 4-7, 2009.