Dear VASEM Members and University Partners,

Since our charter in 2013, the primary focus of VASEM has been to establish its identity, refine its core mission, and develop working relationships with Commonwealth agencies, industries, and university partners. VASEM has made great strides in establishing a strong reputation and demonstrating the value of having a state-level academy as a technical and independent resource.

Looking ahead, the Board of Directors began discussing how to grow VASEM’s service to the state of Virginia. Recognizing that some of the emerging science, technology, and medicine needs are outside the scope of the current membership, the board appointed a working group to discuss the idea of growing the membership through a careful, but efficient selection process. It became apparent during the working group discussions that the goals for growing membership are directly connected to the mission of VASEM.

The benefits of expanding VASEM membership were already anticipated when the VASEM bylaws were drafted in 2013. A provision was made to consider those individuals who are not members of one of the National Academies in accordance with the criteria: “In selecting nominees, the Nominating Committee shall consider a nominee’s outstanding record of scientific accomplishments, national and international recognition, and willingness to participate in the activities of the Corporation.”

As you know, Virginia is home to many scientists, engineers, and medical professionals who meet and exceed these criteria. VASEM and the Commonwealth would benefit from having greater access to the talent and energy of these individuals. Further, inviting these individuals to VASEM membership would increase the disciplinary scope of expertise available to serve, as well as providing an endorsement of their candidacy for election to one of the National Academies.

With this background, I am pleased to announce that the Board of Directors has approved a process to nominate and evaluate qualifications of outstanding individuals for possible membership who are not current members of the national academies but would make valuable contributions to VASEM. The nomination process for 2018 that was developed by the working group, and modified with feedback from many of you, received Board approval at the April meeting.

The first cycle of electing new members will begin soon. Nominations open on June 1 and new members will be announced at the Summit on November 7, 2018. Although the timeline for this first cycle is relatively short, I hope you will promote a worthy colleague. For your convenience, the process is given below and also provided at http://www.vasem.org/nomination-and-election-process-2018/.

We look forward to growing VASEM excellence and the ability of this state-level resource to serve Virginia. Many thanks for your efforts on behalf of VASEM and the future social and economic well-being of Virginia’s citizens.

Sincerely,

Patricia M. Dove (Trish)

President, National Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine
National Academy of Sciences (2012)
University Distinguished Professor
C.P. Miles Professor of Science
Virginia Tech

Author Andrew Densmore

Andrew Densmore is the Executive Director of the Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.

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