Brandy Armstrong, VP Professional Activities
Roberto Petroccia, YP Liaison
Hari Vishnu, Earthzine Editor
As I begin my second term as your VP of Professional activities, I am proud of all of our accomplishments during these trying times and extremely thankful for our resilient volunteers. Despite COVID and restrictions, the OES teams working in the Professional Activities area have been very active in order to provide members with the ability to enhance their professional, social, economic and ethical status.
Different and novel activities have been organized, bringing OES Young Professionals (YPs) into all spheres of Society’s activities. OES has been giving particular importance to including the YPs in its leadership, via an award program called YP-BOOST aimed at promoting YPs involvement in Society leadership and events (https://ieeeoes.org/young-professionals/ ). Two new YP-BOOST Laureates, Dr Amy Deeb and Dr Mehdi Rahmati, were just enrolled in the program and will be fully included in the leadership of the OES for the following two years (2022-2023). Amy and Mehdi will take active roles in supporting the Society activities with special focus to the IEEE OCEANS Conferences where they will have the opportunity of networking/mentoring/tutoring (just to cite a few opportunities). They will participate in Society meetings, and the UN Ocean Decade among other activities. The IEEE OES YP Committee was also awarded in 2021 with the “IEEE Young Professionals Hall of Fame Award 2021” for the outstanding achievements that Inspire, Energize, Empower, and Engage Young Professionals.
The “IEEE Young Professionals Hall of Fame Award 2021” recognizes OES YPs active engagement in the Society, which encompasses many activities. YPs are writing and editing for our science outreach magazine, Earthzine (earthzine.org), which publishes articles on ocean and Earth science awareness, education and careers. YPs contribute articles to the Society’s publication, OES Beacon, and support the ongoing UN Decade of Ocean sciences, targeting the next generation of early career professionals. YPs engaged with the community to contribute to the Virtual ECOPs (Early Career Ocean Professionals) day celebrations and performed a video testimonial campaign to encourage membership and participation in Society activities. Campaigns and panels are organized to encourage participation of women in engineering, to engage and support future YPs and ECOPs, to contribute to awareness on the importance of ocean science. Finally, OES YPs maintain the Society’s social media handles and regularly contributed publicity material and graphics for the Society’s events, helping spread awareness on the Society’s thrust areas and upcoming conferences.
Emulating our successful YP-BOOST program, the Society has developed a program for Women in Engineering (WIE) called PROPEL. The Society has received initiative funding to start our WIE-PROPEL program in 2022. The first two Laureates, Dr Giulia De Masi and Dr. Lu Ma, have been selected for the program and will be fully included in the leadership of the OES for the following two years (2022-2023). The program will provide an opportunity to the WIE-PROPEL awardees to represent and advocate for WIE at OES events, giving them exposure and experience, and opportunity for career advancement.
The selected candidates will develop their relationship with the WIE Liaison, Executive and Administrative committee members, and other professional and student members, expanding their network and providing an opportunity for mentorship and career growth while increasing support of all Women in Engineering within the Oceanic Engineering Society.
Candidates chosen for 2022 will attend and participate in OCEANS 2022 Chennai, India (virtually), and OCEANS 2022 Hampton Roads, USA. In their first year the 2 chosen candidates will also attend the Women in Engineering International Leadership Conference (virtually) to develop leadership skills, which will aid them during the remainder of their term.
OES leadership is excited to get this new program started with such motivated and experienced candidates. Candidates will work with Society leadership to:
- actively implement the WIE pledge to work toward “gender-diversified panels at all IEEE OES meetings, conferences and events.”
- actively participate in OCEANS including working with the WIE Liaison to plan a WIE panel and networking event
- compile a list of existing resources for planning inclusive scientific meetings for use by IEEE OES volunteers when organizing conferences, workshops and symposia
- proactively promote women’s participation in Ocean Engineering
- give or organize two talks a year in a geographic region of the candidate’s choice promoting WIE
- submit at least one article per year to either the Beacon, Earthzine or an IEEE publication where they highlight their experience as a WIE-PROPEL candidate.
It is exciting to see these programs take off and be successful. Previous YP-BOOST Laureates are actively engaged in several areas of OES leadership. We look forward to the 2022 class of YP-BOOST and WIE-PROPEL Laureates adding their energy and creativity to our volunteer leadership team. Again, please join me in welcoming Amy, Mehdi, Giulia and Lu as new leaders engaged in improving our Society’s support for Young Professionals and Women in Engineering.