Students

The Student Council (StC)

Students,

Welcome to the Microscopy Society of America (MSA) Student Council (StC) website! We are excited to provide a platform for students, postdocs, and early career professionals to network, share experiences, discuss research, and simply get involved with the most dynamic group of young professionals that microscopy and microanalysis has to offer! Undergraduate and graduate students, now is the time to take advantage of opportunities to meet people from your discipline and others to develop collaborations and begin to build your professional network. MSA StC is a great place to get started. Our Inaugural Pre-Meeting Congress (PMCx60) in St. Louis was an overwhelming success bringing together medal winners and decorated student scholars to share their work and their pathways to success across a weekend of presentations, posters, and social activities. The PMCx60 is the premier event for students, postdocs, and early career professionals – unlike any other, unmatched by any other society! We provide opportunities for leadership through the growing StC and PMCx60 planning committee and we are working to develop mid-year programming to enhance professional skills. As a growing community, and an international one, we hope to take advantage of electronic communications and social media platforms to connect students and young scientists world-wide. Postdocs and early career professionals, we value your experience and insight and hope to foster mentorship opportunities for our emerging students in the field. Involvement in MSA StC builds more than just your professional network, it fosters friendships and bolsters your professional skills. Consider membership in MSA and get involved in StC – We need you to help our community grow! Email StC for more information on leadership opportunities and follow up on social media for updates on events.

Best Regards,

The Student Council
Email: Email

Get to know the Student Council officers. Each year new students are elected to these positions to develop new programs and events for students at the yearly M&M meetings. Click on the office title to learn more about the responsibilities involved in holding leadership within the Student Council.

Janet Gbur

President
Janet Gbur
Doctoral Candidate
Materials Science and Engineering
Case Western Reserve University

 

Josh Silverstein

Past-President
Josh Silverstein
Research Assistant
Miami University

 

Cameron Varano

President-Elect
Cameron Varano
Graduate Research Assistant
Kelly Lab, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute
Virginia Tech

 

Jie Yang

Secretary
Jie Yang
Doctoral Candidate
Physiology & Biophysics
Boston University School of Medicine

 

Ethan Lawrence

Treasurer
Ethan Lawrence
Graduate Research Assistant
Materials Science & Engineering
Arizona State University

 

William Bowman

Program Chair
William Bowman
Postdoctoral Associate
Laboratory for Electrochemical Interfaces
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

 

President

Janet Gbur

Janet Gbur
Doctoral Candidate
Materials Science and Engineering
Case Western Reserve University

I am currently a Doctoral candidate in Materials Science and Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. I work in the Nitinol Commercialization Accelerator Laboratory and Advanced Manufacturing and Mechanical Reliability Center under Professor John J. Lewandowski and I am also a member of the HAPTIX iSens project team under Professor Dustin Tyler in the Functional Neural Interfaces Lab in Biomedical Engineering. My current research focuses on the robustness and reliability of wires and cables that are used in biomedical applications with emphasis on the effects of nonmetallic inclusions on the lifetime performance of superelastic Nitinol wire.

I first became involved in MSA while attending the M&M 2015 conference in Portland, Oregon as a member of the Student Bursary Program. I enjoyed the extensive networking opportunities with other students and microscopy professionals as well as learning more about various microscopy techniques through participation in vendor tutorials. I attended M&M 2016 and I was encouraged by the level of support provided by MSA to develop programming targeted to students and I wanted to contribute to that initiative. I enjoyed being a part of the planning for the Inaugural PMCx60 and development of Student Council and I am continually energized by the outstanding leaders focused on contributing to our success. I hope to improve the visibility of student-specific leadership opportunities and encourage participation and leadership from students through early career professionals to provide a natural mentorship and transition into roles within MSA.

I am a member of the Microscopy Society of Northeastern Ohio, a MSA Local Affiliate Society, where I serve as a Student Board Member. During 2016-2017, I served as the Inaugural Pre-Meeting Congress Co-Chair for Physical Sciences and President-Elect for Student Council and I am currently the 2017-2018 Student Council President. Whether you are an undergraduate student just learning about microscopy or an emerging young scientist, MSA Student Council is a place to share, grow, and learn – Why wait, get involved now!

President-Elect

Cameron Varano

Cameron Varano
Graduate Research Assistant
Kelly Lab, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute
Virginia Tech

I am a fourth-year doctoral student in Translational Biology, Medicine and Health program at Virginia Tech. I work at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute in the laboratory of Dr. Deborah Kelly. My research is aimed at examining the link between protein structure and function in human disease. My dissertation work is predominately focuses on the effects of post-translation modification to the BRCA1-BARD1 protein complex in metastatic breast cancer. I combine biochemical assays and cryo-EM to gain insights into the mechanisms of disease progression. The goal is to elucidate how BRCA1, an imperative tumor suppressor, is silenced. The knowledge gained could impact how metastatic disease is both screened and treated.

My interest in service on the MSA Student Council stems of a desire to have a wider interaction with individuals within the world of microscopy. In 2016 I attended and gave a talk at M&M in Columbus, OH. It was an incredible professional development opportunity. It was in Columbus that I had a serendipitous selfie and tweet which connected me to the MSA Student Council. I participated in the many events at the meeting and was extended a formal invitation to join the Student Council and serve as Secretary. Having benefited greatly from these experiences, I am enjoying the opportunity to help shape the Student Council.

At the 2017 Student Council meeting, I was elected to serve as President-Elect for the MSA Student Council. Our goal is to provide a platform for professional and technical network, while enhancing engagement and involvement in the society. On that note, I hope to see you in Baltimore, MD in August. To see the serendipitous tweet that started it all, follow me @Cameron8283.

Past-President

Josh Silverstein

Josh Silverstein
Research Assistant
Miami University

When I first sat down at a microscope I said to myself, “people need to see this”. With microscopy we are able to observe worlds within our world. Investigating the microcosm leads to an aesthetic experience, one that begins with joy and ends with wisdom.

As StC President it was my goal to create an opportunity for students to utilize their leadership skills, network with their peers in a professional and social environment, all while being a member of a wonderful scientific community. With the development of the Inaugural Pre-Meeting Congress (PMCx60) for Early Career Professionals in Microscopy and Microanalysis, the StC was able to reach that goal. The PMCx60 is now a definitive program of the StC. As part of the StC I was privileged to work with an excellent group of individuals to develop this signature event. Because of them the StC has set a precedent in the society and for the student community. The new StC leaders will without question continue to pave the way for the success of the student community.

I encourage all students to get involved with the StC. As Past-President of the StC I will continue to support the goals of the StC and encourage the next generation of students to get involve with MSA and be a part of this wonderful society. Come join us and spread the joy!

Treasurer

Ethan Lawrence

Ethan Lawrence
Graduate Research Assistant
Materials Science & Engineering
Arizona State University

I am a fourth-year Materials Science & Engineering PhD student at Arizona State University working with Prof. Peter Crozier. My current research focus is on using environmental in situ Transmission Electron Microscopy to gain a fundamental understanding of carbon deposition on solid oxide fuel cell anode catalyst materials. Observing materials under near reaction conditions can provide insights into the deformation mechanisms which may lead to mitigation strategies. Previously, I attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids, IA where my research was focused on chemical and optical properties of various glass systems.

I began to feel a sense of belonging to MSA at M&M 2015 in Portland, OR, the first M&M meeting that I attended. The number of microscopy professionals that made themselves available for discussions with students was astounding. The level of inclusion that I felt within the society inspired me to become more involved. This started with the Student Bursary Program at M&M 2016 in Columbus, OH where I was also able to network with other students at the social mixer, the MSA Student Committee meeting, and various other events. Ultimately, this led me to become a member of the newly formed MSA Student Council and an organizing member of the MSA Student Council Inaugural Pre-Meeting Congress (PMCx60). The level of support that I have witnessed from many MSA members continues to reinforce my desire to be an actively engaged member of the Society.

As the Treasurer of the MSA Student Council and the Activities and Social Chairperson of the inaugural PMCx60 for Students and Early-Career Professionals I want to encourage other students to become interested in leadership roles and provide more student networking opportunities. PMCx60 was a huge success and I hope to inspire other students to become involved with the MSA Student Council after seeing what we accomplished at M&M 2017! I am extremely excited to help create an even bigger and better PMCx60 at M&M 2018. Be on the lookout for updates on our Microscopy Society of America – Students Facebook page!

Secretary

Jie Yang

Jie Yang
Doctoral Candidate
Physiology & Biophysics
Boston University School of Medicine

I am currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine, working with Dr. Esther Bullitt. My research focuses on using cryo-electron tomography along with biochemical analyses to study a novel transmission pathway utilized by non-enveloped positive-sense RNA viruses. The knowledge gained through this project could shed light on how viruses interact with and evade the host immune system, even with the presence of viral vaccines.

My interest in service on the MSA Student Council began with me attending the M&M 2017 Inaugural Pre-Meeting Congress for Early Career Professionals in Microscopy & Microanalysis, St. Louis MO, organized by the MSA Student Council. I was really impressed by what the MSA Student Council had accomplished within a year. More importantly, there was a strong sense of inclusion, networking, encouragement, camaraderie among students and early microscopy professionals that inspired me to get more involved in the Student Council. Later at M&M 2017, I gave a talk and continued witnessing the huge support from seasoned microscopy professionals to students. Ultimately, as an advocate in STEM education and career development for young professionals, I expressed my desire to join the MSA Student Council, and was elected as Secretary for the Council at the first MSA Student Council Meeting where over 80 student members attended. The feedback, ideas, excitement generated at the first Council Meeting was incredible. It is truly my honor to work with all of the current members of the Student Council towards the bright future of the society we are picturing together.

One of our main goals is build a platform where all members at different stages of their earlier career can benefit from various professional development opportunities, leadership practices, scientific research connection and mentorship support. As the newest member of the current Student Council, I want to encourage other students to take advantage of this opportunity through actively participating in the various MSA Student Programs. Make sure to check out our upcoming programs and skill enhancing resources!

Program Chair

William Bowman

William Bowman
Postdoctoral Associate
Laboratory for Electrochemical Interfaces
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

I am a Postdoctoral Associate at MIT working with Prof. Bilge Yildiz as part of the MIT Energy Initiative. In the fall of 2016 I completed a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering with Prof. Peter Crozier at Arizona State University, during which time I was also a visiting scholar at ETH Zürich in Switzerland. My research focuses on developing nanoengineered oxide coatings to mitigate hydrogen embrittlement of metals used in nuclear reactors, geothermal systems, and infrastructure for a hydrogen economy. Previously, I applied advanced transmission electron microscopy to the study of chemical and electrical properties of grain boundaries and interfaces in electroceramic oxides.

My interest in service has grown out of numerous experiences as a volunteer, mentor, and mentee, throughout my time a student and postdoc. I have generally focused on promoting STEM activities through education, dissemination and inclusion. Since attending M&M for the first time in 2013, it has become one of my favorite meetings, which encouraged me to serve as a Student Bursar at M&M 2015 in Portland, and a member of the MSA website redesign committee in 2015.

During the Student Committee meeting at M&M 2016 in Columbus, I proposed the Inaugural Pre-Meeting Congress for Students, Postdocs and Early-Career Professionals in Microscopy and Microanalysis (PMCx60), which was a day-long conference organized by the MSA Student Council for early-career professionals, and was held at M&M 2017 in St. Louis. The aims of this event include facilitating technical and professional development, encouraging networking and recruiting, and enhancing engagement and involvement in the society.

I was previously a member of the Arizona Imaging and Microanalysis Society, and the Chairperson for the 2016 Gordon Research Seminar on Solid State Studies in Ceramics, which preceded the Gordon Research Conference on the same topic. I am currently serving as the Editor of the MSA Update, and the StC Program Chairperson for PMCx60 for M&M 2018 in Baltimore.