Jennifer R. Wies
I’ve been thinking a lot about the many tomorrows before us, and how we will collectively sustain anthropology and the applied social sciences in the immediate future. As we approach the 2024 Annual Meetings in Santa Fe, participants will see the many ways that volunteer leaders are working to ensure the Society’s success. In this column, I’ll share one way that the Board and the membership are working to support and improve the SfAA Fellows program.
The SfAA Fellows process is documented in the SfAA bylaws and has not been revised for many years. Throughout recent strategic planning discussions and discussions about inclusivity, the SfAA Fellows program became a possibility for improving access to SfAA leadership positions and a mechanism for fostering a more inclusive membership. In sum, the SfAA Fellows program should be supportive and enlisting, rather than a barrier, for people seeking to share their time and talent with the organization.
After many months of dialogue, the membership voted on bylaws changes that reflect these values in the SfAA Fellows program, shown here (newly approved language underlined):
Candidates for membership as Fellows of the Society may be proposed in writing by a Fellow of the Society, by nomination by the Board of Directors, or by self nomination. Proposals for such membership shall be submitted to and acted upon by the Board of Directors. Majority approval by the Board of Directors shall constitute election to Fellowship membership.
In reviewing nominations for SfAA Fellows, the Board will focus on service to the SfAA and professional accomplishments in practice and academics. We recognize that service to and engagement with SfAA starts with membership and builds as an individual becomes involved with TIGs and committees. In addition to service, engagement with the SfAA is a criterion visible in demonstrated experience and skills and a commitment to applying those skills and experience to the SfAA. The SfAA Fellows process will also evaluate contributions to the field of applied anthropology and social sciences beyond the SfAA.
As the revised SfAA Fellows process is launched, members will find a description, instructions, and a rubric on the SfAA website. Look for a call for SfAA Fellows twice a year, and additional promotion of the SfAA Fellows program at the Annual Meetings and on the SfAA social media pages.
Many thanks to those who informed this next era of the SfAA Fellows program, including Gemmae Fix, Michael Duke, Michael Paolisso, Heather Schacht Reisinger, Sunil Khanna, Nadine Bendycki, Alejandra Colom, Nikia Grayson, Kendall House, Lauren Johnson, and A. Rey Villanueva.