From the Editor
The Journal takes another forward step in its quest for quality, and contribution to our disciplines with the debut of this issue dedicated to the annual conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education. The need for and value of a special conference issue is predicated on the assumption that a record of the conference is valuable both from a temporal and archival standpoint, as well as for enhancing the international stature of the Association. Capturing and disseminating the ideas, events and activities provides a snapshot of the conference for readers of the Journal within the Association, as well as in agencies, organizations and institutions engaged in development and education. In the long term, the accumulated information will serve as a historical record of the growth of the Association.
This year's conference was held in Arlington, Virginia, April 4-6, and 87 persons representing 19 countries attended. The theme of the conference was "Communications Technology Linking the World". The program consisted of concurrent paper and poster sessions, an awards ceremony, a workshop on writing and reviewing for professional journals, and business and committee meetings of the Association.
We have included in this issue activities we thought would be significant and interesting without becoming burdensome for those who attended.
The Association has a tradition of recognizing outstanding achievement and service. The awards ceremony on the last day was a fitting climax to the animated discussion and dialogue, and the friendship and social interaction of the first two days. This year's ceremony was embellished by the wisdom of Bruce Lansdale and his Hodja stories, Don Meaders' continuing reports on the history of the Association, and Association awards for outstanding leadership, service, young professional, and paper and poster presentations.
The challenge of reporting paper and poster presentations was daunting. Authors work hard to put these together for a conference. To do justice to their work and dedication, therefore, is a serious responsibility. The approach we took was to focus on major current and emerging issues undergirding the presentations, and to organize and synthesize the ideas presented around these issues. It was felt that this approach would be more interesting to readers than individual abstracts. About one-half of the paper presentations and most of the poster presentations have been included in these syntheses. Conference proceedings contain the full papers and posters, and are available for $30 a copy from Jan Henderson.
Five papers received an outstanding presentation award. They are reproduced as full articles in this issue.
The idea of organizing a workshop at the conference on writing and reviewing for professional journals had been raised several years ago. This is the year that the idea bore fruit. Excerpts from the workshop presentations will give readers a flavor of the workshop.
The piece on the Association's history is an amalgam of three reports provided by historian Don Meaders, Professor Emeritus, Michigan State University. We call this writing "a selective history..." to signify that there are gaps in our knowledge of the Association's past. We look to members of the Association and others who may have this knowledge to share with us or with Don.
A significant business decision made was the creation of an affiliate membership category and the establishment of dues for affiliate and institutional membership. Information on these and other business matters are included in the Association's business report.
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Committees of the Association meet face-to-face at the conference and then continue their dialogue through the year. Much thought and work goes into the different committees as reflected in their annual goals.
Looking ahead, the 1998 conference will be held in Tucson, Arizona, April 16-18, and the 1999 conference at the University of West Indies in Trinidad. Conference details are included.
As we were wrapping up this special issue of the Journal, news came of Dr. Miley Gonzalez’s appointment as Under Secretary of Research, Education and Economics in USDA, effective August 5. To members of AIAEE, his appointment to this important position of overseeing four USDA agencies with a budget of $1.7 billion, is special because of his relationship with the Association in its formative years. In fact, Dr. Gonzalez was President of the Association in 1993-94, the same year that our Journal began publication.
Dr. Gonzalez brings to the position of under secretary a diversity of skills and insight grounded in a sound academic background, and teaching, research, extension, international, and administrative experience in the university setting combined with some early association with the private sector. He worked most recently for the last six years at New Mexico State University as associate dean and director for academic programs in the College of Agriculture and Home Economics, assistant dean and director of the Cooperative Extension Service, and head of the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education. Before that he was assistant director for international agriculture programs at Iowa State University from 1988-91, and a state 4-H specialist at Penn State University in the early 80s.
Dr. Gonzalez received his BS and MS in agricultural education at the University of Arizona, and the Ph.D. in agricultural and extension education at Penn State.
The Association is proud of Dr. Gonzalez for this well-deserved recognition and extends best wishes for success in his term as under secretary.
In putting this issue together, invaluable assistance was provided by two individuals. Cathy Hamilton, graduate assistant and Ph.D. candidate in the School of Vocational Education, prepared the writings on the awards ceremony, the history of the Association, synopses of the paper and poster presentations, and the writing and reviewing workshop. Sandra Sanders, administrative secretary in the Cooperative Extension Service, has helped me all along with the Journal, and did so again. I am personally indebted to them, and convey the appreciation of the Association and the Journal’s editorial board.
We present this conference issue to our readers hoping it will give them greater insight into the Association and its annual conference. We would be interested in readers' reactions and suggestions to make improvements for next year. We hope you will be in touch.