SIOP members turned out by the thousands April 8-10 to attend SIOP’s 25th annual conference in Atlanta.
The anniversary conference had the third highest attendance in SIOP conference history with a total of 3,938 people registered for this year’s conference. Attendees chose from more than 300 presentations to attend.
After a full day of preconference workshops, the conference officially began with the opening plenary on Thursday, April 8. Conference Chair Julie Olson-Buchanan led the plenary with a welcome and introduction of conference activities.
After the introductions, three organizers of the very first SIOP conference—Irv Goldstein, president and Conference Committee member; Rich Klimoski, the first Program chair; and Stan Silverman, the first Conference chair—gathered onstage to share with the crowd some of their memories of the first annual event.
Awards Chair Anna Erickson announced this year's award winners and Fellows Chair Ann Howard announced SIOP's new Fellows. Following the announcements of awards and Fellows, SIOP Foundation President Milt Hakel gave an update on the status of the Foundation’s funding.
Current President Eduardo Salas introduced Past-President Kurt Kraiger, who gave his final remarks.
“I must admit, I have been looking forward to this since I was elected president,” Salas said of introducing Kraiger. He then proceeded with a PowerPoint presentation of Kraiger, including his family life, education, and contributions to the field of I-O.
Kraiger provided an overview of his last year as president, complete with SIOP’s first music video, a montage of the past year’s events set to the song “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay.
Kraiger specifically noted SIOP’s new wikis, which launched in beta version at the conference after being developed over the last year. (More information about the SIOP Wiki project can be found in the “Featuring…” section the SIOP Web site.)
“The immediate goal (of the wikis) is to bring together resources that will help you do your job better,” Kraiger said to the audience.
After his overview, Kraiger continued to present a history of I-O psychology over the last 25 years. He presented several studies from the very earliest SIOP conferences and also explained the differences in several key areas of I-O from between then and now.
“One of the most exciting things for me is that we have moved toward more evidence-based research,” he said. Kraiger noted specific areas of I-O psychology that have robust research today but had little or none in 1985, such as teams and work-life balance.
“We’ve done so much; we’ve learned so much in the last 25 years,” he added. “We have a lot to be proud of.”
Kraiger also noted some specific research and other initiatives SIOP members have been undertaking that have improved society both locally and internationally.
“We are changing the world, we are having an impact,” he concluded.
Scroll through this post to see photos of this year's conference!