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The 26th Annual Industrial Organizational Organizational Behavior (IOOB) Conference:  Surfing the Waves of I-O Psychology

Elizabeth McChrystal, Abhishek Gujar, Carrie Harmon
Florida Institute of Technology

The industrial-organizational psychology program at the Florida Institute of Technology hosted the 26th Annual Industrial Organizational Organizational Behavior (IOOB) Conference on February 2527 at the Radisson Suites Oceanfront in Indialantic, Florida. The students and faculty at Florida Tech successfully surfed the waves of I-O psychology!

What is the IOOB Conference?
Milt Hakel
is the founder of the IOOB conference. In 1980, Ohio State University served as the first host and unfolded a long-standing tradition for graduate students in the fields of industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology, organizational behavior (OB), and human resource management (HRM). This tradition involves the conference being passed to different universities to serve as hosts. 

The goals of the IOOB conference are to provide students (both graduate and undergraduate) with the opportunity to present their research and research ideas in a noncompetitive environment, interact with each other and create a professional network, and interact with and learn from prominent practitioners and academics in our respective fields. To ensure these goals are met, each host university provides several keynote speaker presentations, an array of guest speaker presentations, symposia, workshops, and student presentations in an effort to accommodate the variety of interests within I-O psychology, OB, and HRM. 

So, what did we do?
Our first step in planning the conference was identifying a theme that would fit the local history, the conference, our respective fields, and our I-O culture at Florida Tech. Surfing the Waves of I-O Psychology was the perfect theme for our conference. The waves represented the local area that 

  • Is home to the diverse wildlife native to the east coast of Florida such as sea turtles, bottlenose dolphins, manatees, a variety of exotic birds, and a variety of sharks 
  • Are responsible for shaping our local shoreline and communities 
  • Have produced many famous, professional surfers!

Surfing the Waves of I-O psychology represented the field and our program by

  • Showing support for the diverse areas of I-O psychology, OB, and HRM in that all areas of the fields were covered
  • Describing Florida Techs I-O culture that embraces and respects the wide array of thought, research, and education
  • Describing the ways I-O, OB, and HRM shape the corporate culture, climate, and practice

With the theme in mind, we began planning our conference. The planning process was both exciting and challenging. It involved gaining support from organizations, students, and speakers. Several organizations and universities sponsored IOOB 2005, resulting in almost $22,000 in monetary support and many free products and services such as gift certificates and Web site development/maintenance. Our sponsors provided us with the resources necessary to make this a very successful conference. To view the list of the sponsors, please visit the IOOB 2005 Web site at www.fit.edu/ioob2005.

Students from universities all over the United States demonstrated exceptional levels of interest and excitement for this conference. This is evident in the numerous presentation and poster submissions with a total of 87 accepted submissions. In addition, the invited speakers also supported our efforts. Twenty-seven speakers, from both applied and academic settings, accepted our invitation and provided informative presentations, workshops, and symposiums, thus imparting to the students an unforgettable learning experience. To view the list of speakers, please visit the IOOB 2005 Web site at www.fit.edu/ioob2005.

The most significant challenges involved Hurricanes Francis and Jean. These natural disasters thwarted many of our original plans. They significantly hurt the community as a whole, our local fundraising efforts, and destroyed our original conference venue. Many of our planning committees had to revise plans and identify the last functional beach venue for our conference. With the quick work of dedicated students, we reserved the only hotel on the beach that withstood the damaging winds, storm surge, and rain brought on by these hurricanes.

So, who gets all the credit?
Every student in the I-O psychology program at Florida Tech deserves to be recognized and credited for planning and executing a successful conference. Honestly, every student in the program helped in both the planning and execution of the conference. All the students should be commended on their commitment and dedication to planning a truly exceptional conference. 

The faculty and staff in the Department of Psychology at Florida Tech are also recognized and thanked. They provided the students with the necessary support, guidance, and resources to execute an exceptional conference.

All the hard work, commitment, and dedication provided for a successful 26th Annual IOOB Conference in 2005.

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