The 2017 ISA West Annual Conference was held at the Westin Hotel in Pasadena, CA, September 22-23. It was coordinated by region Program Chair Cameron G. Thies and President Amy Below. The conference drew over 150 attendees, representing almost all of the Western states, a dozen U.S. states outside the region, and a dozen other countries. The region’s Executive Board was pleased with the sustained amount of interest in the conference resulting from having grown our number of proposals and attendees in recent years.
Our Friday evening reception included a talk by ISA President Brett Ashley Leeds on “Interests, Institutions, and Foreign Policy Change,” featuring the results of her new data collection efforts on changes in leadership support and its effects on foreign policy issues like sanctions and alliances. Our Saturday luncheon featured J. Ann Tickner, who received the Ole R. Holsti Distinguished Scholar Award for her contributions to scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and service to the ISA West region.
The region also continued its tradition of offering the Emerging Scholars Forum professional development program wherein sixteen advanced graduate students and junior faculty were paired with senior scholars in Friday morning panel sessions. ISA West would like to express its gratitude to David Lake, Ashley Leeds, Ann Tickner, and Carol Wise for their time and mentorship.
ISA West also added the first ever regional Pay-It-Forward program, bringing together junior and senior women for more informal mentoring conversations over a breakfast on Friday morning. This was paired with a more formal roundtable later in the program.
The Program Chair would also like to thank the Executive Board that helped with various aspects of the conference organization, including Lui Hebron, Gigi Gokcek, Amy Skonieczny, Veronica Ward, Douglas Becker, Jennifer Rogla, and Therese Anders. Therese Anders was particularly helpful in organizing the graduate student volunteers from Arizona State University and the University of Southern California. Finally, we would like to thank our sponsors, the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University, the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California, Pepperdine University, and the ISA Active Learning in International Affairs Section (ALIAS) for their generous contributions.
- Cameron G. Thies, ISA-West Region President, 2017-2018