In 2006, I joined MRS as a new member to the materials field with a background in Electrical Engineering. At that time, my research interest required a merging of the electrical and materials engineering fields and I had just covered significant ground with my research findings. I received an invitation to highlight my work as an invited speaker for one of the technical sessions. After my first meeting, I knew that this society would be part of my portfolio for years to come, as I thoroughly enjoyed the various symposia and established a good network in a very short period of time. Shortly thereafter, I joined the Women in Materials Science & Engineering (MS&E) subcommittee where I was able to make an impact as a committee volunteer. I co-chaired four different technical sessions while being involved with the subcommittee, and by 2010, I was appointed Chair of the subcommittee.
Upon completion of my term as Women in MS&E subcommittee chair, I was elected to the Board of Directors, effective January 2017. After being elected to the Board of Directors (BOD), I was able to observe clear differences between the subcommittee and board-level roles. As a director, I was responsible for setting direction for MRS, establishing policy, and providing operational oversight at a much higher level. I was charged with forecasting our 5-year plan as it relates to the direction of the society. Strategic decisions were made to ensure that the society would not only be equipped for upcoming change, but was also prepared to weather the storm during pockets of uncertainty. This was a very engaging and enlightening experience because it forced us (as a BOD) to re-examine our mission, streamline our vision, and also diversify the process going forward to ensure inclusion of the next generation of scientists/engineers.
In January 2020, I was elected to serve as an Officer of the Board of Directors. In this role, I am responsible for determining how the organization carries out its mission through long- and short- range planning and review. I lead periodic assessments of Board performance and Board member participation, provide ongoing counsel to the President and Executive Director on steps to enhance Board effectiveness, and also serve as Chair of the Governance Committee, where I work with Board members and Headquarter staff on society-focused charges. This year’s charges include: 1) planning for our 50th Anniversary with a focus on investing in community Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) action and 2) overseeing the DEI audit with McKinley Advisors of our key governance practices – all efforts aligned with the MRS Strategic and DEI Aspirations.
Why would I like to serve another term as Officer of the Board?
I am interested in continuing my service as an Officer of the Board because I desire to be part of an organization that is committed to influencing the direction of the materials field. There is much to do as we pivot from our previous in-person meeting format, to offering virtual and hybrid meeting content. Although these changes were established as a result of the pandemic, we have an opportunity to expand our technical reach. My exposure thus far has allowed me to contribute to the advancement of the society in ways that I would not have imagined, all while positively impacting the membership. My leadership, technical expertise, and role as an Officer of the Board would enable me to use the knowledge and skills acquired to make an even broader impact in the years ahead.