Students

The Student Council (StC)

Students,

The Student Council (StC) welcomes you to the newest addition to the Microscopy Society of America (MSA) website. The years during which you are a student are a vital time to take advantage of opportunities to interact with peers inside and outside of your field, collaborate, and organize or join student and professional organizations. The student tab has been created to encourage you to do just that. This is a tool for you to find out what is going on, on the student level. We want to help you practice skills as scientists by creating an environment for discussion and collaboration with peers. Taking advantage of student opportunities can set you up for success in your career by providing the opportunity to share and learn while developing crucial leadership skills. The MSA StC was developed with your future in mind. The purpose of the StC is to foster your success, provide a platform to represent yourself, develop relationships and support your peers. If you are interested in getting involved with MSA and the StC, contact us.

Best Regards,

The Student Council
Email: Email

Get to know the Student Council officers. Each year new students will hold these positions to develop new programs and events for students at the yearly M&M meetings. Click on the office title to learn more about the responsibilities involved in holding leadership within the Student Council.

Josh Silverstein

President
Josh Silverstein
Research Assistant
Miami University

 

Jim Kilcrease

Past-President
Jim P. Kilcrease, Ph.D
Applications Engineer
Hitachi High Technologies America, Inc.

 

Janet Gbur

President-Elect
Janet Gbur
Doctoral Candidate
Materials Science and Engineering
Case Western Reserve University

 

Cameron Varano

Secretary
Cameron Varano
Graduate Research Assistant
Kelly Lab, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute
Virginia Tech

 

Ethan Lawrence

Treasurer
Ethan Lawrence
Graduate Research Assistant
Materials Science & Engineering
Arizona State University

 

William Bowman

Program Chair
William Bowman
Postdoctoral Associate
Laboratory for Electrochemical Interfaces
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

 

President

Josh Silverstein

Josh Silverstein
Research Assistant
Miami University

I have earned a master’s degree in geology under John Rakovan at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.  My research focus involved an investigation of gold nuggets from Venezuela found in low temperature fluid environments. The purpose of the research was to determine the depositional origin of the gold and to characterize the mechanisms that create secondary textures in tropical environments. It was not until this experience that I was introduced to electron microscopy. As a graduate student I became involved with MSA.

My first experience with MSA occurred during the M&M 2015 conference in Portland, OR. As I walked into the exhibitor’s hall I remember telling myself, “This is where I belong”. I attended many lectures in fields I was familiar and unfamiliar with. Regardless of the research topic, all of the lectures had something in common: microscopy. This was where people look at worlds within our world. I knew then that I wanted to be a microcosm explorer, observing the collective worlds of the micro scale and beyond. In Portland, I attended all of the MSA meetings, special lectures and social events that I could. While doing this, I found that I could get involved and support this new society I had come to love. The next year I worked as a student bursar during M&M 2016 in Columbus.

My interest in MSA and my enthusiasm to get involved provided the opportunity to be a leader in the society. It is my goal as student council president to create a student group that will provide the same opportunities. Join us to help build a group that supports its peers, creating an opportunity to enhance their skills so that they too can reach a high level of success. 

President-Elect

Janet Gbur

Janet Gbur
Doctoral Candidate
Materials Science and Engineering
Case Western Reserve University

I am currently a Doctoral candidate in Materials Science and Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. I work in the Nitinol Commercialization Accelerator Laboratory and Advanced Manufacturing and Mechanical Reliability Center under Professor John J. Lewandowski and I am also member of the HAPTIX iSens project team under Professor Dustin Tyler in the Functional Neural Interfaces Lab in Biomedical Engineering. My research focuses on the robustness and reliability of wires and cables that are used in biomedical applications. Current investigations include the effects of inclusions on the lifetime performance of fine superelastic Nitinol wire, fatigue behavior of dental archwires, and developing testing schemes for evaluating the interconnects of implantable electrode systems.

My interest in MSA began with attending the M&M 2015 Conference in Portland, Oregon as a member of the Student Bursary Program. The event led to extensive networking with other students and microscopy professionals all with an interest in furthering student potentials and involvement in the society. That positive experience led to attendance at M&M 2016 and an interest to become more involved with the Student Committee. I was encouraged by the level of support provided by MSA to develop programming targeted to students and I wanted to contribute to that initiative. As a Student Council member, I hope to improve the visibility of student-specific leadership opportunities and encourage participation and leadership from students through early career professionals to provide a natural mentorship and transition into roles within MSA.

I am a member of the Microscopy Society of Northeastern Ohio, a MSA Local Affiliate Society, where I served as a Student Board Member and I am currently a Trustee. As a member of the MSA Student Council, I serve as the Inaugural Pre-Meeting Congress Co-Chair for Physical Sciences and I am President-Elect of the Student Council.

Past-President

Janet Gbur

Jim P. Kilcrease, Ph.D
Applications Engineer
Hitachi High Technologies America, Inc.

I am currently an Applications Engineer with Hitachi High Technologies America, Inc. whereby my primary focus is materials and biological aspects 120kV TEM, including ionic liquids. I hold a PhD from New Mexico State University in Plant and Environmental Sciences with a minor in Statistics. My background involves investigation of linkages between sub-cellular physical structures and secondary metabolite production in Capsicum annum (chile peppers) utilizing techniques including SEM, TEM, LSCM, HPLC, FF, Raman, RNA analysis, plant breeding, and statistics. I also have experience in plant pathology obtained during my undergraduate career as well as post-doctoral studies in academia and government laboratories.

I first became involved with MSA during the 2012 Microscopy and Microanalysis conference in Phoenix, AZ. The dedication and drive to inspire young microscopists was apparent from the very beginning and I knew right away that this society was a place to call ‘home’. That year, I was a recipient of a Presidential Student award and went on to also receive a poster award for my research. Within MSA, there is an unparalleled sense of comradery, networking, and encouragement for both new attendees and seasoned microscopy patrons alike. It was these traits, all the wonderful people I met, and the conversations I encountered that drove me to become more involved. In 2013/2014 we formed the Student Committee, which I would chair for 3 years, with an intention to more fluidly bridge the gap between students and the microscopy society. The feedback, ideas, involvement, and excitement generated by the Student Committee grew into the newly formed Student Council and I must say, it is truly an honor to now work with all of the current members of the Student Council as the picture they are painting for the future of the society is very bright. Check out the inaugural PMC and StC events!

As Past-President of the Student Council and current Co-Chair of the Members Committee, I want to continue expanding and building upon the many years MSA has been a vital and integral part of the global microscopy community. Professional development, networking, scientific research development, career opportunities and more - this is the society where microscope users can experience, interact, and grow!

Treasurer

Ethan Lawrence

Ethan Lawrence
Graduate Research Assistant
Materials Science & Engineering
Arizona State University

I am a third-year Materials Science & Engineering PhD student at Arizona State University working with Prof. Peter Crozier. My current research focuses on using environmental in situ transmission electron microscopy to gain a fundamental understanding of carbon deposition on solid oxide fuel cell anode catalyst materials. Observing materials under near reaction conditions can provide insights into the deformation mechanisms which may lead to mitigation strategies. Previously, I attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids, IA where my research was focused on chemical and optical properties of various glass systems.

I began to feel a sense of belonging to MSA at M&M2015 in Portland, OR, the first M&M meeting that I attended. The number of microscopy professionals that made themselves available for discussions with students was astounding. The level of inclusion that I felt within the society inspired me to become more involved. This started with the Student Bursary Program at M&M2016 in Columbus, OH where I was also able to network with other students at the social mixer, the MSA Student Committee meeting, and various other events. Ultimately, this inspired me to become a member of the newly formed MSA Student Council and an organizing member of the MSA Student Council Inaugural Pre-Meeting Congress (PMC). The level of support that I have witnessed from many MSA members continues to reinforce my desire to be an actively engaged member of the Society.

As the Treasurer of the MSA Student Council and the Activities and Social Chairperson of the inaugural PMC for Students and Early-Career Professionals I want to encourage other students to become interested in leadership roles and provide more student networking opportunities. I am looking forward to M&M2017 where I hope other students will become involved after witnessing what the MSA Student Council has accomplished. Make sure to check out the MSA Student Council Facebook page for updates on all the student social events happening at M&M2017!

Secretary

Cameron Varano

Cameron Varano
Graduate Research Assistant
Kelly Lab, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute
Virginia Tech

I am a third-year doctoral student in Translational Biology, Medicine and Health program at Virginia Tech. I work at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute in the laboratory of Dr. Deborah Kelly. My research is aimed at examining the link between protein structure and function in human disease. My dissertation work is predominately focused on the effects of post-translation modification to the BRCA1-BARD1 protein complex in metastatic breast cancer. I combine biochemical assays and cryo-EM to gain insights into the mechanisms of disease progression. The goal is to elucidate how BRCA1, an imperative tumor suppressor, is silenced. The knowledge gained could impact how metastatic disease is both screened and treated.

My interest in service on the MSA Student Council stems of a desire to have a wider interaction with individuals within the world of microscopy. In 2016 I attended and gave a talk at M&M in Columbus, OH. It was an incredible professional development opportunity. It was in Columbus that I had a serendipitous selfie and tweet which connected me to the MSA Student Council. I participated in the many events at the meeting and was extended a formal invitation to join the Student Council. Having benefited greatly from these experiences, I am enjoying the opportunity to help shape the Student Council.

I currently serve as Secretary for the MSA Student Council. I am also serving as the Biological Sciences Coordinator for the inaugural Pre-Meeting Congress for Students and Early-Career Professionals. Our goal is to provide a platform for professional and technical network, while enhancing engagement and involvement in the society. On that note, I hope to see you in St. Louis, MO in August. To see the serendipitous tweet that started it all, follow me @Cameron8283.

Program Chair

William Bowman

William Bowman
Postdoctoral Associate
Laboratory for Electrochemical Interfaces
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

I am a first-year Postdoctoral Associate at MIT working in the group of Prof. Bilge Yildiz under the MIT Energy Initiative. In the fall of 2016 I completed a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering with Prof. Peter Crozier at Arizona State University as part of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. During this time I was also a visiting scholar at ETH Zürich. My current research aims to develop novel nanoengineered oxide coatings to mitigate hydrogen embrittlement of metals, which could impact areas such as nuclear reactor materials, materials for geothermal systems, and infrastructure for a hydrogen economy. Previously, I applied advanced transmission electron microscopy to the study of chemical and electrical properties of grain boundaries and interfaces in electroceramic oxides.

My interest in service has grown out of numerous experiences volunteering and mentoring throughout my time a student, where I have focused on generally promoting STEM through education, dissemination and inclusion. Since attending M&M for the first time in 2013, it has become one of my favorite meetings, which encouraged me to serve in the Student Bursary Program at M&M 2015 in Portland, and as a member of the MSA website redesign committee in 2015.

I was previously a member of the Arizona Imaging and Microanalysis Society, and was Chairperson for the 2016 Gordon Research Seminar on Solid State Studies in Ceramics, which preceded the Gordon Research Conference on the same topic. I am currently serving as the Program Chairperson for the inaugural Pre-Meeting Congress for Students and Early-Career Professionals, which I proposed during the Student Committee meeting at M&M 2016 in Columbus. One of the primary aims of this is to increase professional and technical networking, while enhancing engagement and involvement in the society.