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During the summer and fall of this year, students in MCEER’s Student Leadership Council (SLC) held an exclusive meeting, and took part in a variety of events held throughout the country.
The SLC’s major activity was its third annual retreat, where members discussed current issues facing the SLC, communicated with each other about their research progress, and agreed upon several future activities. The retreat was hosted by the University at Buffalo, on August 2-4, 2002 at the University Inn.
The retreat commenced with an icebreaker and evening meeting at the University Inn followed by dinner in the city. This was a good opportunity for students to bond, get familiar with the new faces and have casual talks.
On Saturday, the official schedule of the retreat began with opening remarks by Jeff Berman, SLC president, followed by presentations by the members on their research and plans for further continuation of their work. The presentations were divided into short, five-minute presentations by students who had just begun their research and long, 15-minute presentations by the other students. Time for questions was included.
The diversity of research programs supported by MCEER and the universities hosting these projects was well projected in the presentation topics. Overall, 12 students from five different universities made presentations. A pleasant addition to this year’s retreat was presentations by three REU students. Robert Payne, Nishadi Karunarathne and Dan Fenz provided the SLC members with the results of their work and in return, obtained valuable feedback and encouragement (see REU Symposium Held in Colorado).
Following the presentations, attendees discussed upcoming events and updated everyone on the status of current issues, such as the 2002 Student Research Accomplishments (SRA), edited by Diego Lopez Garcia (see New MCEER Reports), and open positions in SLC after some of the current officers graduate.
Also discussed was the 2002 NSF Student Retreat (see 2002 National Science Foundation Student Retreat), the 2003 MCEER Annual PI Meeting, and the 2003 SLC Retreat. The meeting concluded with a presentation by guest speaker Dr. Oguz Cem Celik on “Lessons Learned From the Recent Turkey Earthquakes.”
Finally, a number of students attended the 7NCEE in Boston, held on July 21-25 (see MCEER Cosponsors Seventh National Conference). The students, all of whom participated in the poster sessions, presentations, and other conference activities, found time to join a group of MCEER researchers and staff, past and present, for a dinner at Skipjack’s Seafood Restaurant. The dinner gave students the opportunity to socialize with colleagues from other schools, as well as the various MCEER researchers in attendance.
The SLC students are keeping in touch with each other through the SLC group e-mail list or contacts with Jeff Berman, the president of the SLC.
--Submitted by Seyed Ali Ashrafi, New Jersey Institute of Technology