AGM 2000

Annual Members' Meeting 2002

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Executive Secretary Candidates' Statements-

Jenna Seehafer


Many of you know me or know of me already. I'm one of the founding members of the World Association for Online Education, and was formerly Treasurer on the Board of Directors and Chair of the Planning and Finance Committee. I'm still an officer on the Ring.

I wear other "hats" too. I've been a Lecturer of English at California State University, Sacramento for more than twenty years. I'm a mother of grown children and an eight year old, whom I home school through a charter school program designed for homeschooling families; I'm a grandmother of a five year old, who is also being homeschooled. I volunteer as a webmaster and teach drama classes and hands-on history classes for K-12th grade students in my children's homeschool program's charter school.

While I do not have the level of expertise in programming that either of our previous Executive Secretaries have had, I've used computers daily since 1983; developed and used computer mediated instruction in basic writing classes, ESL classes, and critical thinking classes since 1987; and used the web to deliver course materials since 1997. Some of my university classes are traditional, but most are hybrid (though materials and activities are online in WebCt, my classes meet face-2-face fairly regularly in computer labs). I 've taken hundreds of hours of training in online pedagogy and computer skills, and have attended and presented at conferences about online education. What I cannot already do as an Executive Secretary, I will either learn how to do or ask for assistance from the programming experts among our members.

I 've agreed to run for the position of Executive Secretary in this year's election, in part, because I've already been doing some of the tasks associated with this position and, in part, because, as WAOE's Agent for Incorporation, I'm interested in helping revise WAOE's Bylaws (and possibly WAOE's Articles of Incorporation), and I hope to participate to some degree in creating more interactivity between WAOE site users and the sites.

One of the revisions to our Bylaws that we clearly need to make is in the description of the Executive Secretary's duties. The Executive Secretary is described as, not only a traditional Secretary on a board of directors, charged with keeping the corporate seal, dealing with Board correspondence, keeping minutes and records, and maintaining web pages, but also as a programmer and server administrator, in charge of all online development of internet scripts, databases, listserves, and forms in an open source environment. Very few of us who have volunteer time to devote can do all that this position calls for, and since WAOE operates on a very small budget, the Board cannot contract out for services that the Executive Secretary either cannot do or doesn't have the time to do. I'd like to see this position split between a traditional Secretary's duties and a Technical Expert's duties so that volunteers who might consider running for these positions can afford the time to participate in maintaining and developing WAOE's infrastructure on both levels.

These sorts of adjustments in response to our experiences so far may help WAOE come closer to its mission to assist online educators to improve education by collaborating with each other and by researching the efficacy of computer mediated education relative to other approaches. Though I'm running unopposed for the position of Executive Secretary, I'd still appreciate having your vote of confidence.

Thank you,

Jenna Seehafer


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