A Welcome Note from the New Executive Director, J.P. Gutierrez

J.P. Gutierrez

If I close my eyes, I can almost see it.

My father, held in his uncle’s arms, crossing from Mexico into Texas in 1953. My mother marching at the Chicano Moratorium in 1970. I see this, I see movement.

This personal history has shaped me into the leader I aspire to be. My entire career has been spent with these images in mind, inspiring me to apply my values to my labor. When the opportunity arose to join HSS, it was a natural move.

I bring to HSS 15 years of experience in scholarly publishing, communication, and society management. This is all academic. What I hope that I can bring to HSS is a spirit of ingenuity, openness, and inclusion. These elements take the mission of this professional organization and strengthen the intellectual heft it has provided the academy for almost 100 years.

What you’ll see in the next year and beyond is transition. Things will change. How you’ll interface and communicate with the Society will be transformed. These changes will help set forth a culture of service to the needs of our ever-changing membership, in an ever-changing academic world. My hope is to establish a foundation of systems and benefits that will create touchpoints for the life cycle for each member.

There will be ups and downs. We face the uncertainty of a pandemic that has devastated communities and leaves the Society in a constant state of pivoting. We face a waning job market for new PhDs, shrinking departments, political strife. We will get through this. Together, this community endures, and it has moved through decades, as a supportive and caring community.

HSS moves forward. Forward to the next 100 years. I see it in all facets of the Society, a movement that touches social justice, public engagement, and dissemination of knowledge. And I want to hear from members about your needs. I am only the shepherd of our community’s vision: feel free to email me whenever you have ideas or questions, jp@hssonline.org.

We’ll move forward, as a community, presenting the ideals that are the foundation of our scholarly society. A movement towards inclusion, internationalization, openness, and scholarship. The forward movement I have seen through my personal history.

My eyes are open. I can see it.

More from the October 2021 Newsletter