Overview | Background | A Typical Session | Upcoming Speakers | Past Speakers | Planning Committee
The WMMW Planning Committee maintains the lecture series. They are responsible for nominating speakers, advertising for events, maintaining the web site, and everything else needed to make WMMW possible.
What Matters to Me and Why's focus on listening and understanding others has been an ideal of the Planning Committee , which runs the speaker selection and invitation process, advertises for the events, and arranges the room for each forum. The team dynamic is characterized by a comparative lack of hierarchy. Rather than having a single "czar," the group is overseen by two "co-worriers," members of the Planning Committee who shoulder the task of making sure that the series runs smoothly. Group discussions, as during the speaker selection process, are lively and engage all the participants.
"The dynamics of the team itself really encourage people. It's a very fluid setup; it allows team members to plug in in different ways and grow to their individual potentials."
Speaker-student interactions have been very rewarding as well. A committee member serves in the crucial role of contact person for each invited speaker. Since most speakers have never given a talk of this nature, it is important to help make the speakers feel comfortable about their upcoming talk and about the topic. And at the time of the presentation, the contact person is also the once who introduces the speaker to the audience and makes sure that the session is conducted in a professional yet friendly manner.
Finally, the makeup of the committee has evolved over time to represent more and more elements within the university community.
"The team has a very cross-disciplinary nature," a committee member observed. "It started out with all grad students, all engineers, but very quickly pulled in staff members and undergrads and people from all departments and areas of the university."