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2011 National Convention Report

posted Feb 13, 2011, 6:54 PM by President Pi Tau Sigma   [ updated Feb 14, 2011, 10:01 AM ]
Dates: Friday, February 11, through Sunday, February 13, 2011
Host: UIC Alpha Sigma Chapter, Chicago, IL
Location: Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro Hotel and University of Illinois, Chicago campus
 
The Convention began Friday evening with a welcome dinner, introduction and roll call by Dr. Mun Choi, National President, welcoming speech by Dr. Carmen Lilley, UIC Faculty Advisor, a presentation on Robert's Rules by the host chapter, and keynote lecture by Scott Johnson of Caterpillar.
 
Following dinner, the business of the Convention was divided among five breakout sessions:
* Infrastructure, National Officers, Alumni Activities, and New Initiatives (Advisor: Dr. F. Capaldi, Eastern Region VP);
* Vision, Planning, and New Initiatives (Advisor: Dr. C. Wilson, Central Region VP);
* Convention, Site Planning, and New Initiatives (Advisor: Dr. R. Boyd, Western Region VP);
* Finance, Budget, Endowment, and New Initiatives (Advisor: Dr. A. Moutsoglou, Secretary-Treasurer); and
* Honors, Awards, and New Initiatives (Advisor: Dr. G. Wiens, International Region VP).

I was appointed to serve as the Chair of the Infrastructure, National Officers, Alumni Activities, and New Initiatives Committee.  The action items passed by our committee were the nominations of candidates for the three national officer positions up for election and our Chapter's proposal for alumni associations within Pi Tau Sigma as amended by the committee. 

Saturday morning began with the initiation of the University of San Diego Chapter representatives during breakfast.  After breakfast we traveled to the UIC campus for the plenary session of the Convention, at which the Chair of each committee presided over their respective committee's portion of the Convention business.  Highlights of the results are as follows:

* Convention, Site Planning, and New Initiatives:
     - Motion to approve San Jose State as 2012 Convention Host - passed; and
     - Motion to approve Ohio State as 2013 Convention Host - motion postponed to the 2012 Convention at which Ohio State will give a presentation.

* Vision, Planning, and New Initiatives:
     - Motion to include bents within the national initiation fee at no additional charge (currently $7), effective Fall 2011 - passed.
     - Recommendations to chapters:
         * Work with American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE);
         * Give care packages to freshmen during finals week; and
         * Mentoring program for freshmen.

* Honors, Awards, and New Initiatives:
     - Motion to approve chapter awards as outlined by the committee (chapters listed anonymously) - passed;
     - Motion to limit future award applications to maximum of one page front and back and bullet point format - passed; and
     - Motion to create Best Chapter Advisor Award - passed.

* Infrastructure, National Officers, Alumni Activities, and New Initiatives:
     - Motion to elect Dr. Gloria Wiens, current International Region VP, as Eastern Region VP - passed;
     - Motion to elect Dr. Raghu Echempati, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Kettering University, as VP At Large - passed;
     - Motion to re-elect Dr. Alex Moutsoglou as Secretary-Treasurer - passed; and
     - Motion to adopt the proposal (to amend the national constitution and bylaws to allow for the creation of alumni associations within Pi Tau Sigma) as presented by the committee, pending verification of the authority required to amend the constitution and bylaws as outlined by Dr. Moutsoglou - passed.

* Finance, Budget, Endowment, and New Initiatives:
     - National budget presented by Dr. Alex Moutsoglou, National Secretary-Treasurer.
     - No motions presented.

Lunch followed the plenary session, during which a lecture was given by Dr. Lei Shlitz, Vice President of Research and Development of ITW, on the challenges of globalization.  After lunch was a career fair attended by ITW, ITT, GE, Schlumberger, and Navistar, followed by a panel on globalization hosted by Rodica Baranescu of the UIC Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department & Navistar; Scott Johnson, Worldwide Product Manager for Medium Tractor Products for Caterpillar; and a representative of ITT.  Tours of the UIC engineering labs concluded the events on campus.

The banquet dinner was held upon our return to the hotel, during which Dr. Gloria Wiens presented the Outstanding Chapter awards, Dr. Ron Boyd presented the scholarship awards, and Mr. Paul Singer of General Electric presented the keynote speech.  The Convention hosted a social event at Dugan's on Halsted to conclude the evening.  Just prior to the start of dinner, Dr. Moutsoglou distributed a check for $150 to each chapter who registered on time to help defray travel and lodging expenses.

Sunday morning's breakfast included a welcome address by the representatives from San Jose State, the 2012 Convention Host, a presentation by the UC Berkeley chapter as an example of good programming, a report from Dr. Alex Moutsoglou, a performance of "The Thermo Song" sung to the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic, and Closing Remarks by Dr. Mun Choi.  After reviewing the national constitution and bylaws, it was determined that an affirmative vote by the Convention and approval by the National Council constitutes sufficient authority to amend the constitution and bylaws, thus the motion passed during the plenary session is finalized; an annoucement of these results was given at breakfast.

This year's Convention was definitely a success and the weather was not nearly as unwelcoming as I had anticipated.  The host chapter did an outstanding job; my personal thanks go to the members, Co-Chair, and Advisor of the Infrastructure, National Officers, Alumni Activities, and New Initiatives Committee for their hard work and dedication in fine tuning the alumni association proposal such that it passed unanimously in the plenary session after only a couple of clarifying questions.

I enthusiastically recommend that any member of Pi Tau Sigma who is able attend a national convention.


- Bill Johns

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