Technologists’ Forum

The Technologists' Forum is free to join and provides a community for those who work in a technical field involving microscope sample preparation and imaging or anyone interested in expanding their skills. The Tech Forum is an MSA Committee with representation on Council by a liaison.

The Tech Forum is headed by a governing Board consisting of a Chair, Vice-Chair (Incoming Chair), past Chair, and a secretary as appointed by the Chair with Board approval. Subcommittee leaders or special program advisors are also chosen by the Chair with Board approval.  The committee Chair has a three-year term in office. Anyone within the Technologists’ Forum membership can be a member of the Governing Board. Meetings are held quarterly through Zoom. Contact the current Chair for additional information.

Tech Forum Activities:

  • The Annual Meeting scientific program includes three Technologists' Forum Sessions that typically consists of a Symposium, Special Topic, and Roundtable Discussion, with the Proceedings published annually. The Tech Forum also has a booth within the MSA Megabooth area at the annual M&M meeting.
  • Professional Technical Staff Awards (PTSA) These awards were created by the Tech Forum to stimulate attendance at the annual Microscopy & Microanalysis conference for professional technical staff who ordinarily might not participate in a national meeting, and to encourage supervisors to support their staff in professional activities. Up to four awards are given annually, based on the quality of a first-authored paper submitted for presentation at the M&M conference. The awards consist of free full registration to the meeting, a copy of the Proceedings and reimbursement up to $600 for travel, lodging and other expenses. Abstracts are judged by the MSA Technologists' Forum Governing Board.

    Applications are received by selecting the PTSA option when submitting a proceedings paper for the upcoming annual M&M meeting.

    Below is a list of requirements for this award:
    • Applicants can have a BS, MA or PhD degree, or at least 1 year of work-related experience, and must be technical staff [no faculty, supervisors, or directors].
    • Students are not eligible. [Other opportunities are available through the society for students.]
    • Must be a member of MSA at the time of application.
    • Must be first author of the submitted paper.
    • Must submit your paper in a physical, analytical, or biological category.
    • Must include supervisor’s name and contact email. Confirmation from the employer of employment status will be made during the applicant review.
    • Must use professional email address (not Gmail, Hotmail, yahoo…)
    • Awardee must present their paper personally at the M&M conference in the year the award is received.
    • Awardees are expected to attend and participate in the entire meeting.
    • Former winners are not eligible for another PTSA award.
  • The Technologists’ Forum participates in the selection of society awards which pertain to technicians. Additional information about these awards and how to submit a nomination can be found at the Awards & Scholarships page.
    • Chuck Fiori Award for Outstanding Technologist in the Physical Sciences
      • This Award annually honors a technologist from the Physical sciences who has made significant contributions, such as the development of new techniques that have contributed to the advancement of microscopy and microanalysis.
    • Hildegard H. Crowley Award for Outstanding Technologist in the Biological Sciences
      • This Award annually honors a technologist from the biological sciences who has made significant contributions, such as the development of new techniques that have contributed to the advancement of microscopy and microanalysis.
  • Tech Forum members participate in the Certified Electron Microscopy Technologist [CEMT] Program. MSA provides the only certification of technologists in biological transmission electron microscopy available in the US. Certification can be important in determining job classification, salary level, and potential for advancement or promotion. Individuals with the requisite educational and/or occupational qualifications can attain certification by completing an application and passing both written and practical examinations. Additional information and other application dates can be found on the CEMT webpage.
  • Tech Forum members are part of a Network – Members are frequently asked to help with other committee events/planning/projects
    • Education committee – online and in person training opportunities
    • Vendor hosted events or webinars
    • Educational outreach opportunities with groups like Project MICRO
    • Work with Local Affiliate Societies to help organize meetings and events

More information on the Technologists' Forum may be obtained by calling (703) 234-4115 or by sending an email to Association Management.

Past through Present Technologists' Forum Chairs:

1982-1987 Deborah Clayton
1988-1990 Jose Mascorro
1991-1993 John Basgen
1994-1996 Sandy Silvers
1997-1999 Bev Maleeff
2000-2002 Jeanette Killius
2003-2005 Cathy Johnson
2006-2008 Valerie Woodward
2009-2011 Frank Macaluso
2012-2014 John Chandler
2015-2017 Caroline Miller
2018-2020 Janice Pennington

Page Baluch, PhD
Research Scientist
Arizona State University
(480) 727-0725