New President’s Address

Rhonda2Every two years at the end of the Wednesday night Business Meeting during the M&M meeting, a new President of the Microanalysis Society takes over the gavel and beads of office. This year in Baltimore it was my honor to receive those ceremonial tokens from Masashi Wantanbe. When I joined MAS in 2005, the thought of one day leading the society was not even remotely on my mind. I joined because I was asked, by two colleagues whom I knew and respected as experts in materials analysis. Like many in the microscopy community even today, at that time I was honestly a little confused about the different roles played by MAS and our sister society, MSA. But my colleagues needed a new addition to the MAS tour speaker roster, and they thought FIB-enabled coordinated TEM and SIMS analysis of supernova stardust was just the thing to interest the local societies. So I said, “Yes.”

Thirteen years later, the role of MAS in the microscopy and microanalysis community is much clearer to me. MAS is first and foremost a community of problem solvers. We are diverse in our backgrounds, with degrees in materials science, geology, physics, chemistry, biology and more. We are diverse in employment sector, hailing from universities, industrial laboratories, national labs, and commercial vendor corporations. We are united by our common goal of solving materials problems through microanalysis. Our wealth of expertise was prominently on display at this year’s M&M Plenary session, where for the first time MAS inducted society Fellows. There we honoured 28 Legends who, over the first fifty years of the society’s history, pioneered the methods we now all rely on for our microanalysis solutions: WDS, EDS, XRF, SIMS, EELS, FIB and more. Imagine for a moment trying to solve a problem in catalysis, or microelectronics, or art conservation, or planetary materials or pharmaceutical development without applying at least one of those techniques. The ability to obtain answers and provide solutions for materials problems across so many disciplines and applications is exactly our strength and purpose as a society.

Looking to the future, the prospects for the Microanalysis Society over the next fifty years are strong. Our membership numbers are growing (over 550), and our financial position is robust (over $500K in assets). This year MAS leadership will focus on providing even better value to our current and future members. We will expand popular initiatives, such as the Meal with a Mentor Lunch, which brings senior society members to together with student members to discuss microanalysis career options over lunch following the M&M Plenary Session. We will modernize our member communications with more extensive social media outreach, a modern website, and easier “one-stop-shopping” member renewal on the joint MAS-MSA member portal. I hope that each member finds more ways to be engaged with MAS that fit their individual goals and expertise, whether through contributing to micronanalysis-focused symposia at M&M, participating in a Topical Conference (QMA-2019!), applying for a Goldstein Scholar Early Career Fellowship, or even serving as a host and mentor to Goldstein Scholar. MAS is a society of problem solvers, and each member is part of the solution. Thank you to all those who have contributed to making MAS as vibrant a community as it is today. I look forward to seeing you in Portland next summer, if not before.

Sincerely,

Rhonda M. Stroud
MAS President

MAS Past President’s Message: Sayonara

Dear MAS Members,

On August 8, 2018, I passed the MAS presidency to Rhonda Stroud and became one of Past Presidents. I am still in transition process, so that I have not yet felt relief from the heavy pressure being the President. Soon, I will enjoy the relief feeling!

The previous President, Tom Kelly has created new dynamics in the society and I wanted to maintain the dynamics during my presidency. If you notice some of recent MAS activities, I think my primary mission as the MAS President was successfully accomplished. Although I expressed “my” primary mission, I have been strongly supported by various MAS members, especially the executive council members and committee chairs including committee members. Without their dedicated supports, nothing has been completed. I would like to express my sincere acknowledgement to the individuals who supported the society managements (and me!).

In addition, I would like to thank the Presidents of our sister societies: Mike Marko, Ian Anderson, Bob Price and Paul Kotula (MSA), Ric Wuhrer (AMAS), Mike Matthews (EMAS), and Ed Vicenzi (IUMAS). It was great to contribute to the M&M organization together with MSA. We had successful M&M meetings. As I described in the previous Presidential Messages, I was invited to the AMAS 2017 meeting (Brisbane, Australia) and to the EMAS 2017 meeting (Konstanz, Germany) as the President exchange program among the sister MAS societies. It was wonderful experiences to attend to those meetings organized by our sister societies. Furthermore, I was also invited to the EAMC3 (The 3rd East-Asia Microscopy Conference) meeting as one of the key note speakers in November, 2017 (Busan, Korea). This invitation is partially due to the MAS Presidency. It was great to bridge sister societies. Good and strong relationship with the sister societies should be continued.

During my presidency, we had two major events: the MAS 50th Anniversary and launching the MAS Fellow Program. More details of those events can be found in the links above. Prior to the events, I contacted the Previous MAS Presidents and the Legend class of MAS Fellows. It was wonderful for me to exchange e-mails with whom I just knew by name from textbooks and scientific articles when I was a student! I never forget this wonderful experience, which is a gift to me for my MAS presidency!

Now, the situation of MAS is very healthy: over 550 members (the highest in 21st century) and decent finance. New challenge would be to keep this high membership and activities, which is one of the fundamental missions to make the society stronger towards the 75th anniversary and beyond. I have no doubt that the New President Rhonda Stroud and the council members will lead us to the next stage of the society!

Finally, I would like to finish this message by citing a phrase from an old Japanese song:

“Sayonara (Good Bye)” is not a word for farewell but a long-term promise to see you again!

Thank you very much for your tremendous contributions and kind supports to MAS and “Sayonara!”

Masashi Watanabe
Past President