Mary Lou Dunzik-Gougar, the associate dean of science and engineering, was recently named the U.S. At-Large Director of the American Nuclear Society.
Dunzik-Gougar, who served on the society’s Board of Directors as a graduate student and wrote the bylaws that allowed a voting student representative to be elected to the Board, said she is excited for her new role in the society. She has also previously served as an officer in the Idaho Section of the ANS and as the faculty advisor to the ISU student section.
One of Dunzik-Gougar’s primary goals will be to increase membership in the society.
“As with many professional organizations today, ANS is working to remain relevant as new generations of nuclear professionals enter the field,” she said. “How do we change as a society to provide value to the newer generations, thereby leading them to join and carry us into the future? My goal is to answer that question.”
Dunzik-Gougar said there’s many reasons she would encourage students studying nuclear disciplines to join the society, including its annual student conference.
“[The conference] is great opportunity for the hosting university to gain the experience of conducting such a meeting and a great opportunity for students from other schools to present their projects/research to, and generally interact with other students and professionals in the field,” she said. “ISU facilitates students to attend the student conference each year and all those who have participated agree that it is a very valuable experience, exposing them to aspects of the community not seen in the classroom.”
As the U.S. At-Large Director, Dunzik-Gougar will help establish society policies and provide feedback to each of the society’s technical divisions on how best to support the overall mission of the society. She said her biggest challenge, however, will be “operating in a fiscally responsible manner while meeting the needs of [the society’s] members.”
However, Dunzik-Gougar said there are also many aspects of the role she is excited for, one of the biggest being the opportunity to have a broader view of the society.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the big picture of the opportunities and challenges of the society in order to see where I can make a contribution,” she said.
And, according to Dunzik-Gougar, her new role in the ANS will also be beneficial to ISU and its students directly.
“Any national level position held by an ISU faculty member will bring more recognition of ISU and what it contributes to the educational and research communities,” she said. “In turn, as more recognition develops, more accomplished students and faculty will seek to come to ISU, and graduates from ISU will have more recognition from potential employers, thereby creating more opportunities for them.”