|Student Leadership Council Activities|
The MCEER Student Leadership Council (SLC) has been very busy in the past few months. Recently, the SLC members participated in the annual NSF Site Review in Buffalo, on June 6-8. SLC students played a key role in demonstrating MCEER's achievements and progress in the three major program areas funded by NSF. The SLC activities in the previous year as well as plans for the current year were summarized by chairperson Ani Natali Sigaher.
As was mentioned in the last SLC column, the council put together its own research accomplishments volume for the first time, which was debuted at the NSF site visit. Entitled Student Research Accomplishments: 2000-2001, the volume contains 20 articles 9 long papers and 11 abstracts submitted by students about their research projects (see http://mceer.buffalo.edu/publications/stuResAccom/0001/ default.asp). This volume turned out to be a great success and received very positive feedback. Hence, the SLC and MCEER are planning to repeat this volume in years to come. Gauri-Shankar Guha of Pennsylvania State University edited the volume and should be congratulated on an excellent job. On a side note, Gauri has accepted a faculty position at Arkansas State, where he will be starting in August 2001.
During the site visit, the SLC members also presented posters on their research projects and answered questions for the site review panel. This was an excellent opportunity for the students to face a review panel and also to receive valuable feedback about their work. Following the poster session, the SLC members had a chance to interact with the NSF review panel during the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of MCEER (SWOT) analysis, led by Ani Natali Sigaher. The SWOT session provided the students with the opportunity to voice their opinions on how MCEER is doing in its mission to develop earthquake resilient communities. It is the authors' opinion that the SWOT went very well and that the SLC was most helpful in telling how well MCEER was doing in achieving its mission.
The SLC also took the student gathering at the NSF visit as an opportunity to have a productive meeting regarding its future plans.
In the meantime, three SLC students, Diego Lopez-Garcia, Michael Kiley-Zufelt, and Gauri-Shankar Guha, have finalized plans for the SLC retreat - thanks to much hard work. The retreat will be held August 10 - 12 at Penn State University in State College, Pennsylvania. All submittal dates will be passed by the time of this publication. SLC students will give brief presentations about their work followed by valuable peer review. They will also attend a guest lecture by MCEER researcher Dr. Adam Z. Rose, Penn State, and will have plenty of time for socializing with each other.
Following the retreat, the SLC will meet in late October during the annual Principal Investigators' Meeting to discuss the council's future activities.
--Submitted by Jeffrey W. Berman, University at Buffalo