Brandy Armstrong, VP of Professional Activities
It’s been a busy few months in my new role as VP of Professional Activities. Fortunately, I was able to attend the Executive Committee meeting held last December to get a head start on planning for this year. I’ve spent the first part of the year building my team, successfully conversing with motivated members who will continue or join roles in the standing professional activities committees.
Membership Development Committee
In our Membership Development (MD) committee, Farheen Fauziya will continue on as the OES liaison to Women in Engineering (WIE) and Frederic Maussang will continue on as the OES liaison to Young Professionals (YP).
Many thanks to my predecessor, Jim Collins, for his years of service as the MD chair. Due to his recent resignation, I am seeking a motivated member to chair our Membership Development Committee, so please reach out to me if you are enthusiastic about supporting our members. I will happily fill this role until a suitable candidate is found.
Now in its third year, the Young Professionals (YP) Boost program is a resounding success! Several of our YP awardee alumni have already moved into the Administrative Committee and are taking on leadership roles in our standing committees. We can’t wait to see everything that this year’s awardees will do! YP and student memberships are increasing. In light of this success, we are working on developing a similar program to support OES Women in Engineering members.
Student Activities Committee
Jeff Dusek is joining us as the new Student Activities Committee Chair, and as one of this year’s YP Boost awardees. Jeff has some fresh ideas for how to engage and grow our student membership and I am excited to work with him to help these ideas come to fruition.
The number of active OES Student Branch Chapters continues to grow. We are now able to sign up students on the spot at OCEANS and other events with two tablets set up to make the process easier.
Any opportunity to attend OCEANS continues to be the best way to energize student members. Our student chapters are taking advantage of the student branch chapter support available and sending delegates to OCEANS.
You may have noticed the redesigned OES website is ever improving thanks to Steve Holt’s continued efforts as our Webmaster. If you haven’t visited lately, please take a look and give us feedback on what you’d like to see.
Harumi Sugimatsu and Robert Wernli continue to do a great job with our Society newsletter the Beacon. The articles in html format available on the OES webpage make sharing opportunities and information with our members through social media a breeze!
Hari Vishnu (YP Boost 2019-2020), Editor in Chief (EIC) of Earthzine, is working hard with the Earthzine editorial team and collaborating with the Journal of Ocean Engineering (JOE) to bring a wider audience to the technical work the OES is doing. Rajat Mishra (YP Boost 2020-2021) continues to ensure the Earthzine site and submission portal are running smoothly and serving our members and editorial staff.
In its third year, our social media initiative continues to be an effective avenue to share information and opportunities with our members and to reach potential new members. Our online following continues to grow on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Social Media announcements have helped increase participation in opportunities, particularly those aimed at students and YPs.
This year’s initiative, with the help of a new social media coordinator, Manu Ignatius, is to focus on finding opportunities to collaborate with publications whose audiences share common interest and draw new eyes to watch OES for opportunities and technical expertise. As part of the social media coordinator position, Manu is taking over and moving forward with social media efforts to cover OCEANS, previously (and expertly) led by Stephanie Kemna (YP Boost 2019).
See you at OCEANS!
I am actively participating in the Local Organizing committee for OCEANS 2020 Gulf Coast, so I know there will be a lot of opportunities for student members as well as an entire day of sessions devoted to young professionals. There is also an extensive Women in Engineering program in the planning stages, including a breakfast panel and a number of special sessions. Please be sure to get involved at the fall OCEANS meeting and look for me at the Society booth!