Guglielmino Steps Down as ISSDL Board Chair; New Officers Chosen

Since 1974, the promotion of self-directed learning has been my passion, and it is with great reluctance that I resigned my ISSDL Board chairmanship earlier this summer due to some physical issues which limit my ability to spend long hours at the computer as I used to do. However, I am thrilled to present a team of new officers, who I am certain will lead the organization to new heights.


It was February of 2003, and I had just promised Huey Long that I would manage the next SDL Symposium. We had two major challenges to face, as I saw it: first, some of the professors wanted to publish their Symposium research in refereed journals rather than as book chapters because of promotion and tenure requirements. Second, some individuals were interested in donating books or funds to the Symposium, but because we had no formal organization, they could not write off their donations. The 2003 conferees quickly agreed to a change from publication of book chapters to publication of a refereed journal, so the first issues of the International Journal of Self-Directed Learning came out in 2004. The second issue took longer to resolve. In 2004, with the blessing of the Symposium attendees, I contacted a lawyer to draw up Articles of Incorporation for the International Society for Self-Directed Learning and we began the process. A strong and experienced group of regular attendees drafted and revised bylaws, relying heavily on Pete Zsiga’s previous experience with a nonprofit organization (the YMCA). While we had all of the requirements covered in 2005, including application for nonprofit status, the attorney suggested launching the nonprofit in January, 2006, just before our 20th annual SDL Symposium, which we did.


This organization has grown and prospered through the dedicated efforts of many talented individuals, such as Huey Long, who initiated the SDL Symposium in 1986 and served as co-chair of the Board for several years; Naomi Boyer, who served as Treasurer and also co-chaired the Symposium Planning Committee with me since 2003, Pete Zsiga, who relied on his nonprofit expertise to scrupulously prepare our tax returns since 2005; Terry Redding, who provided technical expertise and assistance numerous times, involving his OLT staff when needed; Bob Bulik, Ralph Brockett, and Pete Zsiga, who reviewed paper and poster proposals for the Symposium; Roger Hiemstra, who served as guest editor for the journal for two years; Mike Ponton, who was selected as IJSDL editor in 2018 for a four-year term and has arranged for the journal to be reprinted in ERIC; Shelley Payne, who stepped in to help put together the program; Joanne Larsen, who has managed the Silent Auction for many years; Kelly Mc Carthy, who has always been willing to help with marketing, who developed the first comprehensive IJSDL index, and has provided minutes of recent meetings; Lila Holt, who with Richard Durr designed our website and now serves as webmaster; and all of those who stepped in to market and prepare our first-ever online Symposium for 2021, especially Ralph Donaghy and Mike Ponton (marketing) and Naomi Boyer, Lila Holt, Shelley Payne, Terry Redding, and Kelly McCarthy (technology). And I must mention Naomi’s Mom and aunt, who regularly come to assist with the Symposium registration! It is always dangerous to create a list like this, and I am sure I have left out many other important contributors. Please excuse! Suffice it to say that throughout the history of the ISSDL, MANY individuals have stepped up to contribute to the success of the organization. It has been a wonderful experience to work with such an expert and caring Board of Directors and group of dedicated members and volunteers.


It is my distinct pleasure to introduce your new officers, who were recently elected unanimously by the Board and will be formally installed at the 2022 Symposium (the 35th face-to-face meeting):


Board Chair: Dr. Naomi Boyer, Education Design Lab

Vice-President: Dr. Shelley Payne, Otterbein University

Secretary: Dr. Kelly McCarthy, University of South Florida

Treasurer: Dr. Pete Zsiga, St. Lucie County Schools


These are all very talented and experienced individuals. The future of the ISSDL is bright!


Thank you for nearly 19 wonderful years—and I’ll still be involved wherever I can.


Lucy Madsen Guglielmino, Immediate Past ISSDL Board Chair

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