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SIOP’s 26th Conference: Chicago
A Conference Chair Welcome
April 14–16, 2011 (preconference activities on April 13)

Lisa M. Finkelstein
Northern Illinois University

Last year we had a fantastic celebration of our 25th anniversary; it’s time to kickoff our next successful 25 years in style in the great city of Chicago! This year we will follow President Ed Salas’ lead and be celebrating the science and practice that make our society what it is—a group of talented people that make an important difference in the world of work.

We have another extraordinary conference coming up, thanks to the tireless work of hundreds of amazing volunteers and our incredible Administrative Office staff. So get out your calendars or smart phones, and get ready for this sequence of events.

Immediately (as in, right now!)

Make your hotel reservations. The Hilton Chicago is a beautiful and classic landmark Chicago hotel, overlooking Grant Park, located on South Michigan Avenue (close to the museum campuses). Staying at the conference hotel provides you with the utmost convenience for all conference events. You can book online using the convenient link on the SIOP Web site conference hotel information page, or you can call 312-922-4400 (and mention that you are coming for the SIOP conference). You’ll want to stay until Sunday morning if you can so you don’t miss any of the closing conference events.

Register for the conference and preconference activities. To get the best conference registration rate and to receive a copy of the program book in the mail, you will need to register by February 15. The registration process is entirely online now, so you will no longer receive a registration booklet in the mail. And, as the workshops, pre- and postconference events, and Friday Seminars are all first come, first served, you’ll want to get right on this! If you do register after February 15, you can pick up a copy of the program book at the conference while supplies last. Or, for quicker access to the information, use the online program and online conference scheduler to make your own personalized schedule.

Preconference: Wednesday, April 13, 2011

We have a number of wonderful preconference opportunities for you. See below for some brief descriptions.

Workshops. Mark your calendars! The Workshop Committee headed by Robin Cohen has prepared 12 outstanding workshops for the 2011 conference. These professional development opportunities include a diverse selection of innovative topics designed to meet the many different needs of our SIOP members. Check out the extraordinary panel of nationally and internationally recognized experts from both inside and outside of I-O who will be leading this year’s workshops. Be sure to register early to ensure your first choices. Never been to a workshop before? Maybe this is the year to start!

The Placement Center continues to be a one-of-a-kind resource to connect hiring employers with I-O psychologists seeking new employment opportunities. Employers and job seekers get access to a database that features advancements in searching functionality to enhance the efficiency of making matches before, during, and after the conference. Ryan O’Leary and Kevin Smith manage placement activities, including the onsite component that provides meeting space to conduct interviews as well as IT resources to facilitate the interview-scheduling process. Onsite services are provided from April 13–16.

Master’s Consortium. The Master’s Student Consortium will be making its fifth appearance this year. The consortium is designed for students who are enrolled in master’s programs in I-O psychology and OB/HRM. The program includes an impressive lineup of speakers who graduated from master’s programs and have excelled as managers and consultants. This year’s speakers include Derek Berube (Allstate Insurance Company, Illinois State University alumnus), Nikki Blacksmith (Gallup Inc., UNC Charlotte alumna), Chris Cancialosi (GOTHAMculture, Montclair State University alumnus), Nate Dvorak (Gallup Inc., Mankato State University alumnus), and Mollie Kohn (Aon-Hewitt, Missouri State University alumna). Each master’s program may nominate two students per program to attend the consortium. Students will attend two workshops and a question-and-answer roundtable. Nomination forms were sent out in November to each university’s program chair. If you have questions about the consortium, please contact Pauline Velez at

26th Annual Lee Hakel Doctoral Consortium. The Lee Hakel Doctoral Consortium is designed for upper level graduate students in I-O psychology and OB/HRM. Participants are generally third or fourth year students who have completed most or all coursework and are working on their dissertations. Presenters at the consortium will include academic and practitioner experts who can offer unique perspectives on the opportunities and challenges faced by I-O psychologists today, as well as on the key developmental experiences that can lay the groundwork for a successful career in I-O psychology. Doctoral programs may nominate one student per program to attend the consortium. Nomination forms will be sent out in January to the doctoral program directors. For further information on the 2011 consortium, please contact Taylor Poling at

Junior Faculty Consortium. The Sixth Annual Junior Faculty Consortium (JFC) is a forum for learning, sharing information, and developing collaborations. The JFC has proven to be a vital resource for SIOP’s pretenure faculty members as well as those considering a career in academics. Sessions will encourage lively discussion and will cover topics such as research, teaching, funding, dos and don’ts regarding the tenure process, and advice on publishing and serving as a journal reviewer. The 2011 JFC will also include time for discussion, networking, and socializing. The JFC changes from year to year and some participants have found value in attending multiple JFCs. Whether you would be a first-time JFC participant or a JFC regular, please join us for an informative, supportive, enlightening, and fun event. For more information, contact Mark Frame at

New member/new attendee reception. Program Chair Mariangela Battista and Membership Chair Kim Smith-Jentsch invite all new SIOP members and/or first-time conference attendees to attend “How To Get the Most From the SIOP Conference.” This session is held at 5:00 p.m. Wednesday. It will start with a short introduction to the conference with many helpful tips and pointers and will be followed with some great networking and mingling opportunities (accompanied by some cocktails and appetizers!). This is a great way to meet some other new people as well as some seasoned SIOP leaders who will be there to welcome you. In addition, if you are new you may want to consider the Ambassador Program, described below.

SIOP Conference Ambassador Program. Due to the success of the 2010 inaugural year of the Ambassador Program, we are bringing it back! In an effort to welcome first-time attendees to the SIOP annual conference, we are looking for participants for the Conference Ambassador Program. This program allows new professional SIOP conference attendees (“Newcomers”) to select seasoned SIOP conference attendees (“Ambassadors”). The goal is to help the newcomer network with fellow professionals and provide a better overall conference experience for all.

Participation as an Ambassador involves only minimal effort, including the following:

1. Connect with the Newcomer at least once (a month or so before the annual conference) via e-mail or phone.
2. Meet with the Newcomer at least once onsite at the conference (coffee, a drink—whatever you prefer), and introduce him or her to one or two colleagues.

It’s as simple as that! You can sign up to be an Ambassador (SIOP Fellow, Member, Associate, International Affiliate, or Retired and 2 or more years attending the SIOP conference), or as a Newcomer (first time attending the conference) through the general conference registration process. If you have any questions about the Ambassador Program please contact Kim Smith-Jentsch at Kjentsch@mail.ucf.edu.

All conference welcome reception. Finally, everyone is invited to SIOP’s general welcome reception from 6:00–8:00 p.m. Wednesday. This is a great way to connect with other conference goers.

There will still be plenty of time to enjoy the myriad fun activities this wonderful city has to offer. Our local arrangements chair, Annette Towler, is preparing a booklet full of ideas that you will receive in your conference bag. Just don’t stay out too late because I hope to see each and every one of you bright and early at…

The Main Event: The Conference: April 14–16

Opening plenary. The conference officially kicks off with the all-conference opening plenary session on Thursday morning, April 14. After a welcome message (yours truly), the announcement of award winners (Chair Anna Erickson) and the new Fellows (Chair Wally Borman), SIOP’s incoming president, Adrienne Colella, will introduce SIOP President Eduardo Salas. Ed will then present a presidential address you definitely don’t want to miss.
The chock-full-of-great-sessions program. As always, the “meat” of SIOP is the main program. Program Chair Mariangela Battista has been devoting countless hours and juggling many balls in the air to put together a phenomenal conference program. Please see Mariangela’s article in this issue of TIP for the full scoop. A few of the (many!) key highlights of the program include:

  • Thursday Theme Track: “Managing HR for Environmental Sustainability”
  • Saturday Theme Track: “Using Data to Influence Organizational Decisions and Strategy”
  • Special Invited Speakers and Panels
  • Four Friday Seminars with CE Credit
  • 12 Community of Interest (COI) Sessions

Fun Run. Paul and Pat Sackett return as organizers extraordinaire of the Frank Landy 5K Fun Run! Set your alarm early for a 7 a.m. start on Saturday, April 16. The conference hotel overlooks Grant Park and Lake Michigan, and we’ll run a course along the lake shore with the start/finish line an easy walk from the hotel.

The program has been designed to afford multiple networking/socializing opportunities for conference attendees, so please take advantage of them! Some of these include sponsored coffee breaks during the conference (midmorning and midafternoon); general receptions on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday; as well as International, CEMA, and LGBT and Allies receptions. Stop by as many as you can, meet up with old friends/colleagues, and try to make some new ones!

Closing plenary. As a huge fan, I could not be more pleased to announce that the closing plenary speaker for our 26th annual conference will be Dr. Robert Cialdini. Dr. Cialdini is the consummate scientist–practitioner and a spot-on model for our celebration of science and practice. He has conducted over 30 years of research to earn an international reputation as a leading expert in the fields of persuasion, compliance, and negotiation. In fact, in the field of influence and persuasion, Dr. Cialdini is the MOST cited living social psychologist in the world today. In addition to leading a prolific academic career, Dr. Cialdini is the president of Influence At Work, an international consulting, strategic planning, and training organization based on the Six Principles of Influence. This session is sure to leave us with plenty of food for thought as we leave the conference and embark on our next postconference year in our jobs and lives.

Following Dr. Cialdini’s address, President Salas will hand over the official SIOP gavel to our incoming president, Adrienne Colella, who will then give us an overview of her goals and vision for her presidency.

Closing reception. Psssssst...it’s a speakeasy...do you know the password? Pay attention throughout the conference and you will! All are welcome and encouraged to join us in sending this conference out on a high note. You don’t want to miss this.


Historic Downtown: Treasures of Culture and Commerce. Join Local Arrangements Chair Annette Towler on Sunday morning for a Chicago Architectural Foundation walking tour of downtown Chicago. Come see some of the great architectural landmarks of State Street and Michigan Avenue from the late 19th/early 20th centuries. You’ll visit beautiful interior treasures that even many Chicagoans don’t know exist! You will hear the stories behind these architectural gems and the men and women who have added so much to the commercial and cultural life of this city. The tour will be followed by a brunch at Lawry’s Prime Rib, a Chicago treasure housed in a historic mansion on the Magnificent Mile!

Fundraising effort: The House That SIOP Built. Let’s build a house in New Orleans! If every SIOP member donates $20, we can do it! Because of the economy, it’s been another tough year for New Orleans residents with problems of blight still remaining, particularly for those living in low-income districts. Beginning with the New Orleans conference in 2009, SIOP has been coordinating volunteer and charity efforts to contribute to the communities we visit. We continue to raise money for Make It Right in New Orleans, a project to build homes for those who lost theirs during Hurricane Katrina. We have a team-sponsored home: The House That SIOP Built. Thus far we have raised over $25,000 toward the $100,000 needed. Let’s make a big push this year to get this house built!

You can donate to the SIOP team house by going to the following Web site: http://www.makeitrightnola.org/. Click on “Donate,” then on “Request a Team Home” on the right side of the page. Click on “Find a Team/Participant” on the left side of the page, type “SIOP” in the search field, click on “Search,” then click on “The House That SIOP Built.”

Immediately After: Post-postconference

Conference evaluation. After you have returned home and are fully (or at least partially) recovered from your incredible trip to Chi-town and SIOP 2011, expect a postconference survey from new Conference Evaluation Chair Lynn McFarland. We will use your feedback as we go forth with plans for SIOP 2012 in sunny San Diego.

I hope reading this has gotten you as excited for SIOP 2011 as writing it did for me. I look forward to seeing old friends and meeting many new ones in Chicago. See you soon!