I want to re-introduce myself as the new chair for the section. I was chair 10 years ago- how time flies! I joined the ACS Maryland Section shortly after I moved to Baltimore for employment almost 20 years ago. I used the ACS Maryland Section to get to know people, to network, and to learn the scientific interests and issues of the area. I volunteered to chair the exhibition for the 2001 MARM meeting held at Towson University. In 2012, I co-chaired the MARM held at UMBC. I went from Section secretary, worked my way up to chair and then to councilor. Now I am back as chair. It has been surprising that our Section has had to ‘recycle’ prior chairs for the past three years. In my role as chair, I want to re-introduce members to the Section and hopefully get them excited to participate.
I have found the Maryland Section to be a strong and longstanding section. However, like most scientific society groups, the core set of volunteers is aging and approaching retirement. Because of this, it is very important that our Section begin to attract new, energetic chemists willing to serve as volunteers. Now is the time to learn from the older members so that we can continue the traditions of the Maryland Section. With more Section volunteers, the amount of work should be less per person; I know that we have increasingly busy lives. I would like to spend time this year to increase communication with all members, but especially with groups like this have seemed to fallen away from Section participation. One example is community colleges. They are increasingly vital to the role of education and job creation for the community and both the Section and these groups can benefit from more interaction. I have seen that the Maryland Section has a very strong Outreach Program; this is an important function for our community. There needs to be continued support of these programs and recognition of the hard work from volunteers by the section to maintain these programs. Finally, I would like to improve the interaction with Student Member groups. Not only are the young chemists the future of the Section, they are the key to new ways to communicate with all members, like using SnapChat, WhatsApp and other apps!
In summary, the following is an outline of my Goals for 2017:
Increase Communication with Members
- Focus on community colleges: develop ways to improve interaction (and try with other local universities). To start, simply hold meetings on their campus
- Continue to work with local industry via site visit programs
- Rethink 50/60-Year Luncheon
Improve Section Outreach
- Focus on middle schools and high schools: survey teachers (when to survey to get the best response?) -How can the Section assist them?
* Develop a program for professional development. When is the best time for training sessions?
- Continue a student outreach event—like the Baltimore City water plant trip
Improve interaction with Student Member Groups
- Outstanding NCW event competition
- Career event using modern technologies, e.g. Snap Chat, WhatsApp or develop a YouTube Video
I look forward to increased contact with all members!
Stephanie S. Watson 2017 ACS MD Section Chair