Committee Chairs

Committee Chairs and Members are appointed by Executive Council “as it considers necessary or helpful in managing the affairs of the society,” as outlined in Article VII.


Heather Lowers
12296 W 34th Pl
Wheat Ridge CO 80033
president -at-

The nominations committee is responsible for soliciting the membership to identify at least one candidate to fill each open office position for Executive Council. Canvassing begins in early April with the final slate of candidates presented to the Council at the Summer Business Meeting and the membership at the Annual Business Meeting. The nominating committee is composed of the President-Elect, the two senior Directors and the Commercial Director, and at least two Regular Members who are not members of the Executive Council.

Committee Members: Andrew Herzing, Anette von der Handt, Keana Scott, Nestor Zaluzec, Pat Camus

Computer Activities

Anette von der Handt (2020-2023)
University of British Columbia, Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
2020-2207 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
Email: webby -at-

The Computer Activities Committee is responsible for administering the MAS’s Internet presence. The committee works with the Finance Committee, the Membership Committee, the Awards Committee, the Topical Conference Organizing Committees, the Council and other MAS groups to ensure that the Internet services they require are available.

Committee Members: Nicholas Ritchie, Abigail Lindstrom, Emma Bullock, Yoosuf Picard

Anette von der Handt is a Research Associate in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences and runs the Electron Microprobe Laboratory at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She is involved in the MAS as a past-Director, member of the Strategic Planning Committee and is the current Computer Activities Chair. She hosted and co-organized the QMA 2019 Topical Conference, served as Program Co-Chair for M&M 2023 and received the Heinrich-Award in 2023. She is also a Past President of the Minnesota Microscopy Society.


Mary Scott

Mary Scott (2022-2024)
UC Berkeley
316 Hearst Memorial Mining
Berkeley, CA 94720-1700


The MAS Education Committee organizes the annual ‘Meal with a Mentor’ event at M&M and the prestigious Goldstein award (honoring the memory of Joseph Goldstein) that enables our student scholars to advance their careers through increased interactions within the community and advancing state-of-the-art microanalysis measurements.

Committee Members: Abigail Lindstrom and Keana C. K. Scott

Mary Scott is a faculty member in the Materials Science and Engineering department at University of California, Berkeley as well as a Faculty Staff Scientist at the National Center for Electron Microscopy, part of the Molecular Foundry at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.  Prof. Scott’s research program focuses on combining electron microscopy with modern mathematical approaches for data handling and interpretation.

International Liaison

Heather Lowers (2017-2023)
Heather Lowers
12296 W 34th Pl
Wheat Ridge CO 80033
Email: president – at-

The International Liaison communicates the business of MAS to international microanalytical societies and reports the business of these societies and their international meetings to MAS Council.

Heather joined MAS in 2001 as a student and continues as a regular member.  She has served in the Society as Director, Secretary, and MicroNews editor, and is currently International Liaison.  She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Geology at Mount Union College, Alliance, OH (2000) and a Master’s Degree in Geochemistry from the Colorado School of Mines (2005).  She specializes in microanalysis of rocks, minerals, and other materials from a wide variety of applications.  As  Director of the Denver Microbeam Laboratory, an analytical facility operated by the USGS Mineral Resources Program, she is responsible for a) developing and improving methods of electron beam microanalysis techniques as needed to address a broad range of earth science issues, b) work with colleagues to interpret the microanalysis data in the context of geologic processes, c) instruct scientists in the theory and operation of electron microbeam instruments and assist in data reduction, and d) development and maintenance of software for data reduction and operation of the electron microprobe and scanning electron microscope.  While most of her research supports the Energy and Minerals USGS Mission areas, her knowledge of microanalysis and electron beam-based instruments and software has allowed her to tweak existing methods, or create new methods to help collaborators in the Water, Climate and Land Use, Natural Hazards, and Ecosystems mission areas, and other Federal and State agencies such as US EPA, EPA National Enforcement Investigations Center (NEIC), Center for Disease Control (CDC), Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), US Public Health Service, FEMA, US Department of Justice, NASA, US Air Force, US Army, US Department of State, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, State of California, and the State of Colorado.

Microscopy and Microanalysis Editorial Board


Donovan Leonard  (2017-2023)
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Materials Science & Technology Division
One Bethel Valley Road
PO Box 2008, MS 6064
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6064

Donovan N. Leonard has been a member of MAS since 1998. He has served on the MSA Executive Program Committee (2015, MAS Co-Chair) and is now serving on the Microscopy and Microanalysis Editorial Board (20017-2019). He has been an active member of his local affiliated society, the Appalachian Region Microscopy Society (AReMS), since 1998 and served as President (2012-2014) and webmaster (2008-2014).

Donovan is currently a Senior Technical Staff Member in the Materials Science & Technology Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering from North Carolina State University in 2002 and joined ORNL in 2007. Before ORNL he was tenure-track faculty in the Physics & Astronomy Dept. of Appalachian State University and had worked for IBM in microelectronics packaging applications. His research now involves daily application of advanced microscopy and microanalysis methods to energy-related materials at length scales from the atomic level to the macro scale. More specifically, aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) of quantum materials in addition to EPMA/WDS, EBSD and EDS analysis of materials critical for vehicle lightweighting, fossil, fusion, and solar applications.

Affiliated Regional Societies & MAS-Sponsored Speaker Program

Clarissa Wisner (2022-2025)

Missouri University of Science and Technology
Email: AReS-Speaker -at-

The Affiliated Regional Societies (AReS) and MAS-Sponsored Speaker Committee was established as an information resource for the AReS and to provide, at no charge, a renowned speaker for one technical meeting per year for an AReS.

Since obtaining a BS in Chemistry ‘81 I have had the good fortune to work in sample characterization in one way or another. I started my career with the defunct US Bureau of Mines (USBM). During my time with the USBM I was introduced to electron microscopy. Not having any microscopy background, I returned to school to learn about microscopy in the Geology department.  That lead to obtaining a MS in Geology ’94.  In 1997 I left the USBM to work as a Development Chemist for The Doe Run Company. After a short stint there, I went to work at Missouri University of Science and Technology or S&T, formerly University of Missouri at Rolla (UMR).  Since hiring on at S&T I have since acquired a MS in Materials Science and Engineering ’07 and a PhD in Chemistry ’14 with a thesisGraphite Aerogels and the Formation Mechanism of Unusual Micron-Size Rod and Helical Structures”. I currently work as a Senior Research Specialist where I teach, maintain, and operate electron microscopes.  My main interest in microscopy is the teaching of the basics so that students understand the physics of the whys to electron microscopy.  I have over 30 publications and presentations in microscopy.


John Fournelle

John Fournelle (2010-2023)
University of Wisconsin-Madison
306a Weeks Hall for Geologic Science
1215 W Dayton Street
Madison WI 53706
Tel: +1 608 262 7964

I have redefined my mission in line with my interest in preserving the history, particularly in terms of conducting oral history interviews of early pioneers in EPMA and in the development of our society. I work closely with Mike Marko, who is the archivist of the Microscopy Society of America. We conduct oral history interviews of both pioneers as well as individuals who have made significant advances in our fields. These are archived and made available via MSA, though MAS ones will in the future be available via a link on the MAS website. I have interviewed over a dozen individuals, including several in France who worked Castaing, as well as Peter Duncumb in the UK. With assistance from the family of David Wittry, inventor of the ARL microprobe and a founder of Electron Probe Analysis Society of America (EPASA), the first name of our organization, I accessed his files which were in themselves an archive of EPMA in the 1950s. And I have been bequeathed by the previous archivists with some documents from the early years of the society, many of which have been scanned and will also be available online.

After dropping out of college at the height of ‘turbulent 60s’ and then spending many years as an arc-welder and union gadfly in a shipyard, John returned to school and become a geologist. By 1983, he had gotten his B.S. in Geology at the University of Maryland, and soon after was at Johns Hopkins, spending 2 field seasons in the Aleutians studying Shishaldin Volcano. Around 1985, he became acquainted with the MAC probe at the Geophysical Lab in DC, spending many nights straining his eyes trying to see the microscope’s image of the sample surface and punching commands on the teletype (“surely you jest”) and being warned by David George “do not touch the PHA dials”. He did a post-doc at the Smithsonian in 1989 studying anhydrite inclusions in the Nevado del Ruiz pumice, using the Smithsonian’s 9 spectrometer ARL-SEMQ under the eyes of Gene Jarosewich and Joe Nelen. He next analyzed anhydrite in Pinatubo pumice with the new Hopkins JEOL 8600, before being hired to run the probe lab at Wisconsin. There he babysat the ARL-SEMQ while waiting for a new CAMECA SX51 to come. He is now the proud father of a CAMECA SXFive FE. His oddest objects of study have been metal found in Oscar Meyer hot dogs and white crystals on cheese. He has 59 publications and 143 abstracts. He is also a historian, the archivist of MAS, and has been an amateur radio operator (WA3BTA) since 1964.

Finance Committee

Peter McSwiggen (2021 – 2023)
McSwiggen & Associates
2855 Anthony Lane S, STE B15
St Anthony, MN  55418
Phone: (612) 781-2282
Email: finance @

The Finance Committee has overall responsibility for the operation and administration of the MAS investment fund portfolio, currently housed at Charles Schwab, using Committee guidance consistent with the MAS Investment Policy Statement.

Committee Members: Peter McSwiggen, Donovan Leonard, Vincent Smentkowski, Rhonda Stroud, James McGee David Tomlin, Heather Lowers

Peter McSwiggen has been a member of MAS since 1994.  Pete’s professional career includes geological research, development of microanalytical techniques, and training and support of electron microprobe laboratories.  He has worked for the Minnesota Geological Survey, University of Minnesota, JEOL USA, Inc. and McSwiggen & Associates.


Topical Conferences

Anette von der Handt (2024-2025)
University of British Columbia, Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
2020-2207 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
Email: webby -at-

The Topical Conferences committee supports MAS member-initiated organization and hosting of events that address specific and timely microanalysis topics and/or techniques of interest to the MAS membership.

Anette von der Handt is a Research Associate in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences and runs the Electron Microprobe Laboratory at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She is involved in the MAS as a past-Director, member of the Strategic Planning Committee and is the current Computer Activities Chair. She hosted and co-organized the QMA 2019 Topical Conference, served as Program Co-Chair for M&M 2023 and received the K.F.J. Heinrich-Award in 2023. She is also a Past President of the Minnesota Microscopy Society.

Social Media

Daniel M. Ruscitto, Ph.D.  (2018-2021)
Materials Scientist, Structural Materials
GE Global Research, K1-D39A
One Research Circle
Niskayuna, NY 12309
Email: social-media -at-

The social media committee is responsible for maintaining the MAS social media feeds, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Dan is a senior scientist in the materials characterization organization at GE Research specializing in quantitative electron microscopy. Dan is also proficient in a variety of other techniques including mass spectrometry, infrared spectroscopy, and image analysis. He holds a PhD in Geology from the University of Oregon and an MS in Geology from the University of Minnesota. From 2013 to 2015, Dan was the President-Elect and President of the Capital District Microscopy and Microanalysis Society. Currently, Dan is an Editor for the Microscopy & Microanalysis Journal.

Awards Committee

Brad de Gregorio

Brad De Gregorio  (2020-2023)

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

Email: awards -at-

The Awards Committee is responsible for recommending candidates for the MAS society’s various paper, service, and science awards.

Committee Members: Donovan Leonard, Abby Lindstrom, Andy Herzing, Stephen Boona

Bradley De Gregorio is a geologist in the Materials Science and Technology Division at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. His research is focused on understanding the origin and alteration history of nanoscale organic and inorganic phases in asteroids, comets and other planetary bodies. His expertise in advanced characterization of nanoscale materials at hard/soft matter interfaces using TEM and synchrotron-based X-ray microscopy has also been applied to barnacle biomineralization and novel device platforms. Dr. De Gregorio received his Ph.D in Geological Sciences from Arizona State University, where he had to convince David Smith that analyzing ancient microbial organic matter from Australia wouldn’t ruin his TEM. Dr. De Gregorio first joined the Naval Research Laboratory as a NRC Postdoctoral Fellow and then worked at NASA Johnson Space Center as a curator of their collection of cometary dust collected by the Stardust spacecraft. He returned to NRL in 2012, where he works on NASA- and Navy-related projects. He is also custodian of a Helios G3 FIB inside the NRL Nanoscience Institute.

Membership Services

Emma Bullock  (2020-2024)

This committee updates the membership database, informs Society Management of members who renew subscriptions to M&M journal, coordinates elections, and verifies which people are members of MAS in good standing (i.e., have paid membership dues for the year).

Committee Members: Emma Bullock

Strategic Planning

Angela Halfpenny (2023-2025)
Director, Integrated Shared Laboratory Management
Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability
Email: halfpeny -at-

The purpose of the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) is to coordinate with MAS council to identify key objectives that best fulfill the mission of the society, and to create long-term plans and action items that will achieve these objectives. Currently, there are two key objectives the SPC is focused on. These are: 1) to develop a sustainable solution for retaining and effectively utilizing institutional knowledge and 2) enhance membership retention and participation in society functions.

Committee Members: Tom Kelly, Elaine Schumacher, Mike Nagorka, Anette von der Handt, Yoosuf Picard, Heayoung Yoon, William Nachlas, Julien Allaz

Angela Halfpenny has been a member of MAS since 2018, after moving to the US. She earned a Masters degree in Earth Science (2002) and a Ph.D. in Structural Geology and Microscopy (2007) both at the University of Liverpool, UK. She then performed postdocs in structural and economic geology and microscopy at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia and at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Perth, Australia before becoming the Laboratory Manager for the Microscopy & Microanalysis Facility at Curtin University, Perth, Australia.
In February 2017, Angela moved to the United States to manage the Murdock Research Laboratory at Central Washington University before moving to the Stanford University Doerr School of Sustainability in 2022 as the director for integrated shared laboratory management. She has used and managed a variety of instruments including optical microscopes (RL, PPL, XPL, CL, Automated), XRF (portable, benchtop, Synchrotron), XRD, SEM (SE, BSE, CL, EBS, EBSD), TEM, Microprobe, ICP-OES, LA-ICP-MS, STA, IRMS, TOC, Isotope Analyzer, Clean Labs and sample preparation facilities.
Throughout her career, Angela has utilized advanced analytical instruments to explore the crystallography, mineralogy, chemistry and texture of rocks to determine their paragenesis. She has taught undergraduate and graduate level classes, supervises undergraduate and graduate level student’s research projects, and collaborates with a wide variety of disciplines including Geology, Chemistry, Physics, Civil Engineering, Environmental Studies, Geography, and Anthropology.
Angela works on developing new ways to prepare samples and develops/improves methods to broaden the capabilities of the existing analytical instruments and improve coincident data collection allowing the same area to be analysed via multiple techniques to provide an improved interpretation.

Sustaining Membership and Corporate Liaison

Pat Camus (2018-2021)
Director of Engineering, EDAX
91 McKee Drive
Mahwah, NJ 07430
Tel: +1 201 529-6252

The Sustaining Members Committee promotes MAS by facilitating membership from industrial/corporate/university partners. The committee also acts as liaisons between the sustaining members and MAS council, advocating on the SM behalf.

Fellows Committee

Vincent S. (Vin) Smentkowski (2022-2025)
General Electric –Global Research Center
1 Research Circle
Building K1 1D41
Niskayuna, NY 12309
Tel: 518-387-5467

The MAS Fellows Committee was established to recognize eminent scientists, engineers, and technologists in the field of microanalysis of materials and related phenomena to serve as ambassadors for the Society. Members of MAS who have distinguished themselves through outstanding research and service to the microanalysis community are eligible for this recognition. Relevant career pursuits include, but is not limited to, technique development, applications, theory development, and distinguished service to the society. The MAS Fellows Committee has created a process for soliciting and judging nominations on an annual basis. Election as a MAS Fellow will be highly selective but should represent a broad cross-section of the MAS membership.

Committee Members: Mary Grace Burk, Lucille Giannuzzi, Jon McCarthy, Dale Newbury

Vin is a Senior Scientist in the Functional Materials Organization at General Electric Global Research (GEGR) where he performs surface analysis to support research programs at GEGR, GE businesses, and strategic partners. Vin obtained a B.S. degree in chemistry from Marshall University in 1987 and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry (1994) from the University of Pittsburgh, under the guidance of Prof. John T. Yates, Jr. After completing his degree, Vin accepted a post-doctoral position at Argonne National Laboratory where he was part of a multi-laboratory team that designed, built, and tested a novel reflectron analyzer for real-time, in-situ, studies of surfaces during film growth at mTorr pressures using pulsed ion beam techniques – the work resulted in a 1997 R&D 100 Award. Currently. Vin’s research is focused on the applications of ToF-SIMS analysis, emphasizing how multivariate statistical analysis tools facilitate data reduction. Vin is also working with external laboratories in order to evaluate advanced microstructural characterization techniques such as Atom Probe Tomography and Helium Ion Microscopy and show the benefits these techniques have for industrial materials. Vin holds 6 U.S. patents, more than 90 publications in refereed journals, more than 140 GEGR internal manuscripts, numerous contributed and invited talks. Vin has co-authored 3 book chapters and edited one book “Surface Analysis and Techniques in Biology” (Springer, 2014). He serves as a mentor to many researchers. Vin was named a Fellow of the American Vacuum Society (AVS) in 2010. Vin served as the MAS co-chair for the 2012 and 2013 Microscopy and Microanalysis meetings, has organized a bi-annual Surface Analysis symposium since 2006 and is a 2017 MAS tour speaker.