Elections Now Open!

The EIR is currently holding our virtual election for 2 open positions on our executive. To cast your vote for Student Director and Vice President, follow the link here: https://forms.gle/BaYinr1E4KBB6rPy7.

We have two candidates for the position of Student Director - Htet Lwin (York University) and Daniel Kimmel (Syracuse University). For more information about these candidates, please see their statements below. We do not currently have any candidates for Vice President, though nominations (including self-nominations) are always welcome!

Voting will be open until Thursday June 23 at 11:59 PM!


Daniel Kimmel: 

I am interested in serving as the EIR Student Director for at least three reasons. First, I recognize the challenges that many scholarly societies are facing in the wake of the pandemic. Academic organizations have had to reformulate their roles and activities in response—for example, by integrating more online components in a changing academic landscape where entirely in-person meetings can no longer be the norm. The work of adapting to these challenges is not over. Graduate students specifically, perhaps especially, are affected by these challenges, and this requires some effort to envision different kinds of professional and personal support adapted to the emergent “new normal” that we face together. I see this as a moment of great potential, and I value the opportunity to work with graduate students and the EIR board to develop the kinds of support and opportunities that today’s graduate students of religion need.

Secondly, I already have some skills and experience that would benefit the EIR and its student population. For example, I have served the past three years as a President of Syracuse University’s Religion Graduate Organization, and I have served as the Vice President of Internal Affairs for SU’s graduate student government (which serves over 6000 graduate students). In those roles, I was able to develop a range of skills that might prove useful, such as: collaborating with faculty and graduate students to achieve policies that benefit graduate laborers and emerging professionals; planning and securing funding for academic events; actively listening to graduate student concerns or grievances and translating them into constructive action plans; developing or reforming graduate student resources; not to mention large organization management, and so on. I have a lot to offer the position as I understand it, then, and am eager to grow with the particular demands of the role in this moment.

Lastly, the timing is just right. I am now entering the dissertation writing phase of my doctoral program, which will take at least two years. And this coming year I am on Fellowship, with no teaching responsibilities, ensuring not only that I will have the time required for the position, but also will greatly facilitate settling into the role.

It would be my honor and pleasure to provide this service to the EIR and to the guild of religion scholars. It would, moreover, be an invaluable opportunity to serve my fellow graduate students of religion beyond (though including) my particular department and university. Thank you.

Htet Lwin:

As a PhD student studying religion in EIR, I believe I bring a rich and diverse personal and academic backgrounds. Personally I come from a conflict-torn country/region of Southeast Asai and I have my formal training in political science and more than five years of work experience in governance of majority and minority relations before I joined PhD program in religion. Academically, I am interested in Theravada Buddhism, religion and politics, postcolonial thought, religious ideology, religious minorities, and Southeast Asia, especially Burma and Thailand. I am confident this diverse, multicultural background and interests will be a valuable addition to EIR and its mission for a rich and diverse academic society.