Interview by Matt Kushin, Shepherd University
Your name and Position on the Committee
Chair: Lan Ni
University of Houston
Vice Chair: Nathan Gilkerson
- Primary responsibilities of the committee within the PRD:
Our committee’s primary responsibility is the management and coordination of the annual conference research paper process. Key tasks include preparing the call for papers, recruiting reviewers, making decisions related to paper disqualifications (based on PRD submission rules), assigning papers to reviewers, and making accept/reject decisions. Our work also includes selecting the top papers (based on reviewer data and feedback), forming paper sessions by themes, notifying authors of acceptance or rejection to the conference, and evaluating paper reviewers for reviewer awards. We also help to create and submit a report on research for the PRD’s broader annual report to AEJMC.
- Big Wins For Last Year (i.e., something accomplished in 2015-16):
We’ve had a long-term research goal of improving the quality of the reviews for the papers in our division. For our 2015-2016 objective of decreasing the number of reviews that do not provide comments (from 8% to 5%), we made some progress. In the open competition, the “no comment” rate dropped to 7.1%, but we hope we can continue to improve as a division next year.
We also awarded, for the first time, incentives to those who submitted high quality reviews on time. And this helped enhance the quality of reviews.
We made some progress toward fully endowing the Susanne A. Roschwalb Grant for International Study and Research. We raised $400 – specifically, $250 for this year’s award and $150 for the endowment.
- Goals for 2016-2017:
We have set the following goals and objectives for the upcoming year:
- Improve the quality of the reviews for the papers in our division.
2016-2017 Objective: Reduce the number of reviews without comments to 5%.
- Encourage reviewers to complete their reviews on time or early.
2016-2017 Objective: Have 90% of reviews submitted to AllAcademic by the deadline.
- Make progress toward fully endowing the Susanne A. Roschwalb Grant for International Study and Research, which provides $250 toward a graduate student’s research outside the United States.
2016-2017 Objective: Once again, raise $500, half of which would be allocated to the endowment and half of which would pay for next year’s award.
- Start a tradition of offering PRD members the chance to participate in the AEJMC Midwinter or Colloquium.
2016-2017 Objective: Program at least one panel at either the Midwinter or Southeast Colloquium.
- Top Memories from Your Experience on the Committee
Lan: I thoroughly enjoyed working with Weiwu, the executive committee, and everyone else on the paper competitions. I learned so much about the process. A most interesting part on the committee, something I didn’t know in the past, was that we got to walk around the poster sessions and evaluate the artistic design of those posters. We even gave out awards for the Best Poster Design!
Nathan: I’m looking forward to learning the ropes from Lan, and am excited about gaining an inside understanding of how the PRD’s research paper review and competition process works. There is so much that goes into the planning and coordination of the annual conference each year. It’s also been a lot of fun to meet new people within the division!
- Fun question! If the committee was a TV sitcom (either current or from anytime in the past), it would be:
Lan: “Friends,” since Nathan and I have been supporting each other’s work.