Thoughts of Being on the Board

Richard Doherty's picture

As the IECA Vice Chair, one of the cool tasks I have is to encourage members to self-nominate for the Board of Director positions. I would like to encourage you to do that now.  Here are a few thoughts you might consider:  

- My late husband could always find the good in something. When I would get frustrated and say how I hated something (say, the way the media reported on the environment) he insisted I say five things that I loved. Sometimes it was hard to find five related things that I loved. It made me realize how much we can focus on the negative and it makes us blind to the positive things.

- Right now I am teaching an LAS class to first year students called The Forest Through the Trees. It focuses on our connection to nature and the human responsibility for it. We go outside to explore the forest half of each class and they write essays about their thoughts on forest issues. I recently had them write a short piece on what they thought the future for the environment was. At least two thirds of them had a negative outlook with little if any hope. I asked them if this is what I was communicating in class and they said no, it was what they learned throughout high school and from the media. It is hard for them to see the "good" and have hope. I'm of the mind that hope breeds action.

- Living in a country dominated by capitalism, it can be hard to do something that appears to offer little benefit. My time given to professional organizations feels like that every once in a while. At those times I think of what my husband would say. For the IECA I am helping 400 members benefit by helping run and guide the organization. I'm indirectly helping the students, consumers and clients of the members and their institutions and organizations. I'm helping myself by learning how to do this and by building a set of colleagues and connections. I'm learning more about the field of EC, and how to use digital tools to communicate, organize and archive my work. I even get a line on my CV for it.

If you are considering self-nominating for a Board of Director's position for the IECA, I can say that I think you'll find it is worth it. You might say "I don't have time" and I get that, and it's true for me at times. But I make time for the IECA because the earth and people are worth it. If you have not considered self-nominating for a Board of Director's position for the IECA, I hope you do. My attempt to persuade you is my action based on hope. I have hope that good people will join the board.

Richard Doherty
IECA Vice Chair
ICA ECD Past Chair
Part-time Faculty, New England College

About the Author: 

Richard is an environmentalist, educator, academic, gardener, baker, artist and guitar player as well as the current vice chair of the IECA.