Page 10 - Summer 2020
P. 10

From the President
Victor Sparrow
    How the Acoustical Society of America Works: A Bird’s Eye View in Both Great
Times and Challenging Times
One of the privileges of serving as the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) president is that you get to see the entire organization in action. The
Executive Council, the Technical Council, ASA Head- quarters, and our many, many passionate and dedicated volunteers all work toward making the ASA the best it can be. By the time you read this article, Diane Kew- ley-Port will have succeeded me as president. But as I write this article in late March 2020 and while I am still ASA President, I have a view of our organization that I want to share with each of you. I have seen the ASA in great times (e.g., International Year of Sound, an increasing impact factor for The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America) and in challenging times (COVID-19). And each of you should know how the ASA works and operates on your behalf, particularly considering the astounding and unprecedented events occurring in 2020.
Regardless of the issue of the day, ASA Headquarters, led by our Executive Director Susan Fox, is always on the job making sure that things are running smoothly. If you call the ASA, most likely it would be Elaine Moran, our direc- tor of operations, who will pick up the telephone and talk to you. But the ASA Headquarters also has a larger group of dedicated individuals ready to help members and support them in many ways. The ASA Headquar- ters is responsible for the ASA meetings and all member services, among other duties.
The vice president, currently Peggy Nelson, who will be succeeded by Stan Dosso, leads the Technical Council. The Technical Council is the body of Technical Com- mittee chairs who are responsible for assembling the technical sessions and technical committee meetings.
The technical sessions are the lifeblood of what makes up our meetings, and we applaud the Technical Com- mittees for everything they do.
The Executive Council, chaired by the ASA president, is composed of the elected officers and members who represent you as the ASA policy-making body. Through appropriate councils chaired by Executive Council mem- bers, all ASA administrative committees report through the Executive Council. The Executive Council is a “stra- tegic body” and aims to both think ahead and to react to the world’s changing conditions. A number of other parts of the ASA also report to the Executive Council, includ- ing all ASA publications through Editor in Chief Jim Lynch, the ASA standards program through Standards Manager Christopher Struck, and the ASA executive director. But because the Executive Council is the policy- making body, it delegates the day-to-day operations of the ASA through the editor in chief, the standards direc- tor, and the executive director. And we are very fortunate that they are all doing a fantastic job!
There are a few other special individuals who you should be aware of as well. One is L. Keeta Jones, our educa- tion and outreach coordinator. Ms. Jones reports to the executive director. Another is our Finance Director Mike McGovern who, as an employee, reports to the executive director and, at the same time, works very closely with our elected treasurer, currently Judy Dubno. I would be absolutely remiss if I didn’t also point out how much of what we do in the ASA is led directly by the volunteers serving as chairs and members of our administrative, technical, and meeting committees. The ASA is so very much driven by such volunteers, and this is not typical among today’s large scientific societies.
It takes a team to deal with the day-to-day work of the ASA, and we are fortunate to have such great individuals involved and engaged. I’ll now give you two examples in how the team has responded to very different situations
in the last few months.
January 2020 began a special year, designated the International Year of Sound (IYS) by the International Commission for Acoustics (ICA; see sound2020.org). Realizing that this was a special activity, probably once
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