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acers spotlight Back to school: Revived EIC boosts Society’s education efforts By Geoff Brennecka, Education Integration Committee chair, and Kevin Fox, EIC member-at-large Brennecka Fox Frequent readers of the Bulletin, particularly the annual student-led June/ July issue, are probably familiar with the high value that The American Ceramic Society places on student activities. The student- and educationrelated activities of the Society are not limited to just those organized by the students themselves. There is a veritable army of volunteers who work hard behind the scenes on a number of other endeavors ranging from accreditation and curriculum improvement to student competitions and travel stipends. They collectively help to assure the vitality of our profession for generations to come. The ACerS Education Integration Committee (EIC) was conceived several years ago as a mechanism for improving coordination of the various education-related activities of the Society and has recently been reinvigorated. One of the goals of the EIC is to serve as a central hub for collecting and disseminating information about the wide variety of education-related activities across the Society. As one step in this direction, articles such as this one will become regular features in the Bulletin. These articles will focus on the education-related efforts of various Society-tied groups. For example, the April 2013 article will discuss the efforts of the Ceramic Education Council (CEC) to enhance student–industry and industry–curriculum ties. Future contributions will look at the accreditation and licensure responsibilities of the National Institute of Ceramic Engineers (NICE) and the coordination of ACerS activities with the rest of Material Advantage through the Student Activities Committee (SAC). There also will be contributions from Keramos, ACerS’s Young Professionals Network (YPN), and ACerS’s President’s Council of Student Advisors (PCSA) as well as articles highlighting the student-focused activities and opportunities of the Society’s Divisions and Sections. This kickoff article introduces the Bulletin article series, and the new and improved EIC itself. At the behest of then-president George Wicks, during the 2011–2012 year, we served as cochairs of an advisory committee focused on issues related to education and young-professional activities. One of the tasks associated with this advisory committee was to review the current state of affairs of the Society’s “Classes” (e.g., NICE and CEC) and their interactions with other entities having a vested interest in education issues. We were amazed at the number and diversity of student-focused activities within the Society, in terms of volunteered time, activities, leadership opportunities, and financial assistance. The only disappointing aspect of this endeavor was seeing how many of these opportunities are underutilized, presumably because of a lack of awareness of their existence. We concluded that an excellent mechanism for improving the visibility, impact, and efficiency of alreadyexisting activities and opportunities was already in place, although it had been essentially dormant for a few years: the Education Integration Committee. The EIC consists of representatives from NICE, CEC, SAC, Keramos, YPN, and PCSA. The EIC also will have at-large representatives who will be members from industry and the international community. Although not explicitly represented on the EIC, we also acknowledge that each of ACerS’s Divisions and Sections obviously has strong interests in students and education as well, and the EIC is working with all of them to help in any way possible. The role of the chair of the EIC is not to dictate in any way the activities of these—or any other—groups, but instead its job is to help identify and implement ways of working more closely together, leveraging efforts, and increasing overall visibility and impact of the education-focused activities. Such efforts are not limited to ACerS. Through the SAC and its interactions with the Material Advantage Committee, we collaborate with our colleagues in ASM, TMS, and AIST. The YPN and PCSA also are engaging their counterparts in other materials societies. It is critical for any professional society to provide a supportive and welcoming environment for its future members and to support educational programs, activities, and initiatives that help to ensure the continued and future success of the society. As we hope to show readers throughout this series of articles, our ACerS is doing just this. And, with a little luck and some hard work, the EIC will help to make the collective impact even greater than the sum of the individual activities. n Education Integration Committee Subcommittees Representatives CEC reps NICE reps SAC reps EIC Chair Staff Liaison Keramos (Pres.) PCSA (Chair) YPN (Senior Cochair) At-Large (Optional) 14 www.ceramics.org | American Ceramic Society Bulletin, Vol. 92, No. 2


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