Page 66 - Spring 2018
P. 66

Student Council
History of the Acoustical Society
of America Student Council
Before the 1990s, students attending ASA meetings were treated just like any other Society member. Limited student transportation subsidies were introduced in 1986 but only if a student lived within 500 miles of the conference, and de- spite the low-cost student registration fee, many students sim- ply could not afford to attend the conference. This began to change in the 1990s as travel subsidy rules were relaxed and individual TCs began holding receptions specifically for grad- uate students to meet with senior society members. By 1999, most TCs offered a student reception, often paired with an- other TC or two, and the Students Meet Members for Lunch program had just been implemented. Janet Weisenberger of the 1999 ASA Executive Council saw potential in the bur- geoning student activities and decided that the time had come to streamline the needs of students at ASA meetings.
The first ASA Student Council met at the 139th meeting of the ASA in Atlanta, Georgia. Present were one student per TC and an Executive Council advisor. Their first order of business was to organize all of the multitudinous student re- ceptions into a cohesive event. Although students were still sorted by TC at the beginning of the reception, they naturally mingled by the end.
Over the next few years, the Student Council honed student events to both simplify activities and expand student oppor- tunities. Brian Anderson, the 2003-2004 Noise Student Coun- cil representative, has stated that the purpose of the Council was to “provide a place for students to get to know one an- other and feel more welcomed within the Society.” And that is exactly what happened. The Student Reception became an all-TC event with students and Society fellows attending. An informal student outing was organized to facilitate a social, relaxed environment, and a website and email newsletter were established to easily disseminate student information. TCs gave out Student Paper Awards and a Mentoring Award was established, with David Blackstock as the inaugural recipient.
The first student chapter was officially approved in spring of 2004 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and soon stu- dent chapters were started at Brigham Young University, the University of Kansas, and the University of Hartford. Stu- dent participation in the ASA began to thrive as the Student Council continued to focus on “disseminating information of concern to students, advocating participation of students in Society activities and meetings, and promoting Society membership benefits to potential student members.”
Over the last 10 years, the Student Council has continued to promote the interests of students at the ASA as well as the benefits of the ASA to the students. The number of student chapters nationwide has swelled to 15, and the “Students Meet Members for Lunch” program has grown every year, with students and senior ASA members taking the oppor- tunity to mentor and be mentored (Blackstock, 2015). A raffle was instituted to award students a spot to attend the Society Luncheon with a Society fellow from their TC. More and more opportunities have become available for students to discover the impact of attending ASA meetings and how their lives can change as a result. In fact, two-thirds of the for- mer Student Council representatives are still active members of the ASA and former members Preston Wilson, Micheal Dent, Tyrone Porter, and Joshua Bernstein have become ASA Fellows. Although not every Student Council representative has gone on to an acoustics career, it is clear that strong par- ticipation in student activities and utilization of networking and other ASA opportunities has been proven to build ca- reers for many participants.
Current Work of the Acoustical Society of America Student Council
Activities offered by the ASA Student Council exist to serve three primary objectives: (1) to promote awareness of the ASA to up-and-coming undergraduate and graduate stu- dents; (2) to support these students with social, academic, and professional development events during the biannual meetings of the ASA; and (3) to prepare students for future careers in acoustics. Additionally, the Student Council serves as a liaison to the various TCs and subcommittees, providing a voice for student needs and concerns. In doing such, the Student Council aims to bolster a community for students to learn, share, and enhance their experiences within the broad- er acoustics community.
Promoting Awareness of the
Acoustical Society of America
The ASA Student Council promotes awareness of the ASA through a number of channels, both during and outside ASA Meetings. The most prominent of these channels is the ASA Student Council website. On this website, students find resources detailing the structure of the ASA and the role of its 13 TCs, links to various graduate programs spe- cializing in acoustics, an updated listing of job opportuni- ties ranging from internships to full-time appointments, and general news from the acoustics community. And although the Student Council website is the best place to
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