SAS 2024 Board Elections
On behalf of the SAS Executive Committee, we are pleased to announce that we have identified two outstanding candidates to run for the open leadership position of President-Elect of SAS. You may read about each candidate’s past experiences in affective science and SAS below, alongside their visions for our Society’s future. SAS members will be invited in an upcoming email to cast their vote. As an expression of our collective gratitude for these candidates’ willingness to volunteer their time and energy toward the continued growth and improvement of our Society, we encourage all members to vote. An email with the voting link will be sent to current active members.
Maya Tamir, SAS Past-President 2022-2023
Please note that voting opens on Tuesday, January 30 and closes on
Friday, February 9, 2024 at 5:00pm PDT
Nominees for President Elect
Rachael E. Jack, PhD
University of Glasgow
I’m Professor of Computational Social Cognition, Head of the Centre for Social, Affective & Cognitive Neuroscience (cSCAN), and Director of the Facesyntax laboratory at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. We study how emotions are communicated via facial expressions within and across cultures by building 3D models of dynamic facial expressions. We use an interdisciplinary approach that includes social perception, vision science, data-driven methods, dynamic computer graphics, and computational modelling. Our results inform both fundamental psychological theories and the design socially interactive virtual agents in Artificial Intelligence. The SAS community has been integral to our success, warmly embracing our work and providing internationally visible platforms that have launched several careers.
I’ve been part of the SAS community since its inception, first attending the conference, then taking up roles as Program Committee member, Head of Abstract Submissions, Chair of the 2021 Program Committee, and now as Member-at-Large. I’m extremely grateful to all who have given me these opportunities and supported me throughout. Working with exceptionally dedicated, smart, collegial, candid, ambitious, generous and good-humored people—all in the name of community building to benefit affective scientists across the world—was for me a rewarding, humbling and transformative experience. This also made it clear to me that the SAS’s values and ambitions closely mirror my own.
My commitment as SAS President to you and our community is clear: to uphold our unique environment and core values of interdisciplinarity, creativity, openness, and blue-sky thinking combined with integrity and rigor, all delivered through community building, education, and outreach that’s founded on accessibility, diversity and inclusivity. Having lived these values with and through SAS, including growing internationally and turning the adversity of the pandemic into new opportunities, my commitment is heartfelt and deep-seated.
Where do we go next? The world is changing rapidly. In these challenging times, affective science has never been more important in understanding all forms of life on earth, including humans, animals, and AI/virtual agents, and must remain central to addressing these fundamental and exciting challenges. My goal would be to establish SAS as the international go-to society by (1) extending our community both globally and across disciplines and (2) building new relationships with key international organizations I’m involved with (e.g., Global Engagement Committee of the Association for Psychological Science—APS, Affective Computing & Intelligent Interaction—ACII).
Finally, the success of SAS is only ever made possible by the people who make up our community and, as SAS President, my core commitment is to welcome and support all those who wish to join us in building it.
Ethan Kross, Ph.D.
University of Michigan
Emotions. I’ve been interested in the seemingly magical way they take hold of us, often for better but at times for worse, since college. Back then, scientists interested in these issues were scattered across different societies and disciplines with few places to call home. The Society for Affective Sciences (SAS) changed that. It provided emotion-minded researchers with a common space to explore their interests, refine their ideas, and collaborate to translate their discoveries for the world. I’m honored to be considered for the role of President of this organization.
When I think about the job awaiting the incoming SAS President, three challenges emerge. First, to continue the extraordinary work begun by their predecessors to expand the scope, diversity, and impact of affective science research. From its inception, the Society emphasized its multidisciplinary and international nature. These efforts established SAS as a first-rate, inclusive organization. They must continue.
Second, to catalyze new efforts to broaden the organization’s impact. We are living through an age of enormous technological advancements that is providing us with new tools to study emotion such as AI, big data, and machine learning. Affective Scientists are ideally poised to capitalize on these developments to deepen our understanding of emotion-related phenomena (e.g., the nature of emotion, emotion regulation, interpersonal and cultural dynamics to name just a few topics).
Third, the world is also undergoing rapid social change and confronting profound challenges. Emotion lies at the center of their causes, consequences, and trajectory. Opportunities abound for Affective Scientists to leverage the methods and frameworks we have developed to understand how these dynamics impact society and illuminate their etiology and sequela.
A little bit about me. I’m currently the Faculty Lead for Innovation at the Eisenberg Depression Research Center and Chair of the Social Psychology Area at the University of Michigan. I have devoted the past twenty-five years to studying how people manage their emotions, striving to know how self-control works and discover ways of enhancing it in daily life. I’ve contributed continuously to service and leadership activities throughout my career at the Association for Psychological Science, American Psychological Association, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, the University of Michigan, and several other organizations. I am ecstatic about the prospect of continuing to do so as President of SAS.
SAS has already established itself as an organization at the vanguard of the field. I look forward to working with my colleagues to maintain this admirable position and broaden SAS’s impact and accessibility in the future.