December 2021 Beacon

Hybrid is the New Normal

Brandy Armstrong, VP for Professional Activities

Dr. Jyotika Virmani of Schmidt Ocean Institute, IEEE OES President Christopher Whitt, VP for Professional Activities Brandy Armstrong, and Marine Technology Society ECOPs Chairperson Joshua Baghdady at the Women Leadership in Ocean Science and Technology luncheon at OCEANS 2021.

The year is almost finished, where did the time go? I am already in the last few months of my first term and looking forward to my second term as your VP for Professional Activities. Thanks to AdCom for entrusting me with another two years!

The third year of our Social Media initiative is coming to a close. As part of the initiative, we continue to add great content to the IEEE OES YouTube channel. Please subscribe so you never miss an update. Check out one of our latest videos on Science outreach by Early Career Ocean Professionals of IEEE OES.

As we get ready to judge the Young Professional (YP) Boost applicants for our fourth cohort, we are also gearing up for our first year of the Women in Engineering (WIE) Propel program. Open to members who identify as women, as well as those who support Women in Engineering, we hope that WIE Propel will be successful in bringing more women into society leadership and ensuring IEEE OES is an equitable and inclusive professional home.  Please check our WIE page in January for details on how to apply.

Despite the ongoing global pandemic, I made it to a couple of hybrid events this year to greet people at the IEEE OES booth, of course fully vaccinated and masked up when necessary. I thoroughly enjoyed the face-to-face time at OTC Houston and OCEANS 2021 San Diego – Porto, as well as the increase in outdoor social events. We held successful live and hybrid events for Young Professionals and Women in Engineering, which focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.  I even helped to judge the student poster competition for the first time, both live and virtually. I am a big supporter of the way that virtual participation has expanded who can participate at OCEANS, but I also thought it was much easier to judge a poster presenter and ask questions face to face. These hybrid experiences are helping us improve our inclusivity and clarifying how we can best connect at OCEANS.

Student Poster Competition judging during OCEANS 2021.

For those of you who could not make it to OCEANS 2021, you can catch our WIE breakfast panel and the IEEE OES awards ceremony on the  IEEE OES YouTube Channel. The WIE panelists will really get you thinking about the role you play in ensuring diversity, equity and inclusion in your professional space. I hope that 2022 sees us finding more ways to connect responsibly and work towards diversity, equity and inclusions at OCEANS and in all levels of our Society.