Monday, May 21, 2012

Reflections from the outgoing 2011-2012 PUMA Officers

President: Layc Brock
It has been an honor being the President of PUMA for the 2011-2012 school year!  I want to thank my fellow officers for all the help, patience, and effort they put into the club.  I also want to thank all the members (new and old) who contributed to the success of our growing club.  I feel that we get stronger each year and wish next years officers all the best.  Transitioning from "EAS" to the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences is an exciting move for next year.  Since my research is in Planetary Sciences, I hope that PUMA can incorporate this into the mix!  There are exciting opportunities at Purdue for atmospheric science majors (especially with the future addition of new faculty members that specialize in planetary atmospheres).  I will, of course, be here to help for my senior year and am excited to watch PUMA continue on and reach even more success.

Reflecting on my personal experiences, I reached my highest accomplishments this year!  As I previously mentioned, I work with the Planetary Science research group here at Purdue under Dr. Jay Melosh.  I began my project this past August looking at impact ejecta exchange in the exosystem Gliese 581.  This research allowed me to present a poster at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas in March.  Not only was it my first time flying alone, but it was my first time attending a conference!  This experience gave me a whole new perspective on succeeding in college and continuing on to graduate school.  My research got a lot of media attention which was not only exciting but a bit overwhelming!  As an added bonus, I got to meet Bill Nye the Science Guy!  I recommend everyone attend at least one conference at some point in their college careers.  I'm excited to continue on with my research and write an article for (hopefully) publication this summer.  It just goes to show you anything is possible if you are determined and work hard!  Good luck to everyone and please never hesitate to contact me if you need anything :)

Vice-President: Alyssa Hendricks
Looking back, I can't decide if this year has gone by ridiculously fast like I once thought, the beginning of the year actually seems so long ago! I have been more than impressed with PUMA this year. Fall semester was definitely the most successful semester I had ever seen, thanks to not only dedicated officers but active general members as well. We can plan and plan events all the time, but they're nothing if we don't have members attend and take interest in what PUMA does.

Missing second semester has been bittersweet. Although I would have loved to be at Purdue with my classmates, being abroad has been by far the greatest adventure of my life. I have learned and experienced more than I ever thought imaginable while in England and am sad that my time here is coming to an end. Studying abroad was something I had planned on doing for a good majority of my life and finally being able to go has been a dream come true. With that, I am excited to return to Purdue for senior year. I look forward to seeing how PUMA continues to grow next year and wish the incoming officers the best of luck!

Secretary: Juan Crespo
This has been quite the year for me, especially within the EAS Department. Going from just a member to an officer was quite the jump and taught me many lessons, but I would do it again in a heartbeat! (Hence why I will be Vice President next year!). The two big things for me this year would have to be the NWS Road Show in November and going to my first AMS Conference in January down in New Orleans. I attended the Road Show both Freshman and Sophomore years, but actually planning it was quite interesting. Having to contact the speakers a full month in advance, scheduling the room, vehicles and making dinner reservations, I never realized how much planning went into it. Though there was some criticism leading up to the Road Show this year, it ended up being a success and larger than the previous road shows I had been on. Then going to AMS in January not only gave me the chance to fly for the first time in almost five years and the first time as an atmospheric science major (allowing me to go crazy with my camera), it also gave me the chance to interact with so many other students and professionals in our field, as well as present my research from the University of Michigan. It was a great year, and I am excited to repeat it again next year!


Treasurer: Kristen Fischer
I will be graduating this May, and this year has brought big changes for me.  This year was my first time at the AMS Conference, and I wish I had not waited until my senior year to go.  Also, the classes really focused on what I want to do as a career, which made the real world seem so much closer.  But, by far the largest thing that I did this year was to begin looking for a real job.  Job searching is very difficult.  It is hard to find the job that is the right fit.


I guess the biggest "Reflection" I can give, is what I had wish I had known before I started looking for a job.  First and foremost, I wish I had given up my summer job, and done more than one internship a summer.  Internships are how you get your foot in the door in the type to job you want.  Also personally get to know each of the people you work with.  People who truly know you are much more likely to help you out in the future.  And stay in contact with the people you worked with at your internship.  Graduation is scary,  but its exciting too.  And I hope a job offer is in my future.

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