SHANNON ROGERS, ALFRED UNIVERSITY
I was encouraged by professors and peers who spoke highly of the PCSA to join because I am fairly involved with outreach events and club projects on campus. The PCSA seemed like a great way for me to expand my efforts to spread the word about ceramic engineering. As someone who attends one of two universities in the United States for a degree in specifically "Ceramic Engineering", I have felt compelled to share with everyone what amazing opportunities and applications there are for ceramic science!
The PCSA is full of wonderful, intelligent people who are just as, if not more, passionate about ceramic and material sciences. Being a part of the External Partnerships Committee, I will have an opportunity to network with people for the good of the ceramics community.
LAVINA BACKMAN, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
I joined PCSA to meet other leading researchers in ceramics and to become more involved with ACerS. I was also interested in the leadership and networking opportunities it provides. I have learned so much about leadership and involvement in the community of ceramics researchers from my fellow PCSA delegates, and have made some great friends in the process!
ANNELIESE E. BRENNER, PURDUE UNIVERSITY
I joined PCSA to become more involved with ACerS and meet ceramic students who are passionate about knowledge and outreach of ceramics. I grew up in a small town and had no idea what materials science was, let alone a ceramic. When I went to college I learned about materials science, which was awesome, but I was under the assumption that investigating ceramics was useless. It was not until graduate school that I found the uses and field of ceramics is vast as well as up-and-coming. When I learned about PCSA I wanted to meet more people who were passionate about ceramics like me. I also wanted to help get the word out that ceramics were cool and used for more than dinnerware and porcelain thrones.
The most rewarding part of being part of PCSA has been getting to know awesome people and learning about their research. I feel truly blessed to know such talented individuals and work with them in PCSA. It has also been rewarding contributing to student events to increase awareness of ACerS and ceramics in general. Seeing students use their knowledge of ceramics for these events is awesome and reassures me the future is bright.
KIMBERLY GLIEBE, PHD STUDENT AT CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY
ACerS PCSA has been a way for me to meet unbelievably talented and passionate students and professionals from around the world. It has allowed me to grow my leadership and organizational skills in an environment of friendly people, but also in a way that greatly influences my community. I have helped to grow the mentoring program, Pitch competition, and webinar series, while reaching out to people in interesting fields who are excited to help materials science students. Being a PhD student can feel lonely at times, especially with COVID preventing me from seeing my peers, but I have been as connected as ever with this group. I am so fortunate to meet motivated and fun people, who I have fond memories of from our board meetings and events. It will be nice to keep seeing my colleagues even beyond PCSA as we continue to collaborate on work and at conferences.
JAMIE CURTIS, PCSA ALUMNA
I joined PCSA as an undergrad to network with ceramics students across the world because I was one of the few in my materials science department interested in glass and ceramics. I had no idea that other delegates in this organization would become both my friends and later my coworkers. It is so exciting knowing that I am friends with almost the next generation of ceramics innovators! The global ceramics community is so small and PCSA helped me find my place in it through the annual business meeting, year-round committee work, and informal networking. It is also exciting looking back at some of PCSA's publications and knowing that I had an impact on them.
DAVID KOK, PCSA ALUMNUS
The PCSA allowed me to find my “tribe” in the ceramics world. I can say some of my most memorable times in graduate school was
attending all the different conferences. Of course, I enjoyed the in-depth sharing of knowledge (with a sprinkle of intense Q&A sessions), but honestly what I enjoyed the most was seeing all of my friends that I only got to see at these conferences. We were from different universities, countries, and cultures, but we were connected by our passion for ceramics research, food, and drinks: these were my “tribe members”, so naturally it was a time for celebration whenever we met! As students, we each carried a tremendous weight on our shoulders. The PCSA allowed us to support and celebrate each other, while also doing our part to help grow the ACerS community.
ANDREW ERICKS, PHD STUDENT AT UC SANTA BARBARA
How would you describe PCSA to those interested in joining our community?
PCSA is a body of enthusiastic, driven students committed to contributing to ACerS’ goal of impactful scientific communication. Through a variety of endeavors (such as humanitarian pitch competitions, student speaking contests, and outreach programs), our students have certainly made an impact over the past 10+ years. PCSA provides a framework for providing students opportunities to make meaningful connections in their professional communities, ultimately training them to become the next leaders of the ceramics community. It’s been a pleasure serving with my peers over the past three years, and I look forward to many more. Thank you, ACerS, for making possible opportunities like this!
JESSE HINRICHER, PHD STUDENT AT MIT
As a first-year delegate, PCSA and ACerS has already expanded my network and exposed me to a multitude of new opportunities and contacts that will stay with me throughout my career.