By Ernest L. Hall, MSA President
My year as President of the Microscopy Society of America began on January 1, and most of the month has been filled with preparation for Winter Council, one of two times during the year that MSA Council meets face-to-face to review and plan the activities of the Society.
Our meetings began on Friday, January 25, with the Executive Committee (President, Vice President, President-elect, Secretary, and Treasurer) meeting with our professional staff (Managing Director Liz Kasabian, Meeting Manager Nicole Guy, and Exhibit Manager Doreen Bonnema) to have a discussion about the past year and our objectives for 2013. In the afternoon, we met with our Publications Committee, a large team that includes the editors of the Microscopy and Microanalysis journal, Microscopy Today, our meeting publications, and with our publishing partner, Senior Editor Aaron Johnson from Cambridge University Press These meetings were very fruitful and allowed us to begin the year with great momentum.
Winter Council officially began on Saturday, January 26. At the beginning of the meeting, which was held in Reston, VA where our Society headquarters is located, I gave a State of MSA? summary, which felt appropriate in January, so close to the nation's capital! In preparing my remarks, I had the advantage of having been away from the leadership of the Society for about 10 years. I had previously been on MSA Council for 6 years and on MAS Council after that, ending in about 2003. It was clear to me that there have been many changes to MSA during the past 10 years.
I can tell you that the state of the Society is very strong, much stronger and more impactful than any time in my memory. This is a tribute to the good leadership and dedicated volunteers over the past decade and before. Our yearly meeting, Microscopy & Microanalysis, is the largest meeting in the world dedicated to our field, and is successful by any measure: nearly 1000 scientific papers, ~120 exhibitors, ~2700 attendees, with tutorials, short courses, and workshops. It is a great meeting place for researchers, vendors, and students. Our flagship journal, Microscopy and Microanalysis, has been wildly successful, and is now the #1 impact factor journal in microscopy, publishing about 30 science papers every other month and reaching 6000 institutional subscribers as well as all MSA members. Our newsmagazine Microscopy Today goes to 18,000 subscribers and is full of science, news, helpful tips, and even humor. Other activities of MSA also serve the needs of our community: we support 34 active Local Affiliated Societies; our International Committee reaches out and connects globally; our new Placement service connects candidates with jobs; the Education Committee organizes our tutorials and courses at the M&M meeting and reaches out to K-12 educators; and we offer a Certified Electron Microscopy Technician credential. Our professional staff is of very high quality and keeps all of our major activities on course. And finally our finances have never been more robust, as we close in on the goal that we set several years ago of having adequate reserves in case of emergency.
Clearly, the role of Council is now to strengthen and build upon this success. I hope you will agree with me that the Society is making an impact and doing the important work to achieve its mission to promote and advance microscopy and microanalysis. I hope you will continue to support this work with your membership and participation in our activities.
At Winter Council, we set some goals for the upcoming year. I'll talk more about those in my next blog. Let me know what you think.
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