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NPSMA 2020 Board of Directors: Slate of Candidates

***Voting for the 2020 NPSMA Board of Directors Election is NOW OPEN. Current NPSMA members check your email for a link to submit your ballot and vote for no more than four (4) general candidates anytime between today and Monday, October 28, 2019, 5:00 p.m. Contact coordinator@npsma.org with any questions.***

Eligible voting members may vote for up to 4 nominees and will receive an e-ballot on October 14, 2019.

Nominees listed in alphabetical order. 

Marcel Blais is the Worcester Polytechnic Institute Coordinator of  Professional Science Masters’ Programs in Financial Mathematics and Industrial Mathematics. He brings a diverse set of qualifications including administrative and leadership experience both as a PSM program director and as the Associate Department Head for the WPI Department of Mathematics Council and co-coordinates the WPI FinTech Collaborative, an interdisciplinary group of faculty and students who focus on work with companies in the FinTech industry.

Marcel has familiarity with PSM students. He developed, modified and managed PSM curriculum, as well as teaching 5 different courses in the program. In addition to serving on the admissions committee, Marcel also advises the master’s students in his programs, including their industry master’s projects.

    He has his own history of industry involvement. In addition to the networking for his PSM program, Marcel was himself an intern and serves on the Board of Directors and as an Investment Manager for a company. He also organizes industry, alumni and professional skills speakers for his professional master’s seminar. His experience with the PSM program taxonomy of financial and industrial mathematics will be useful resources and contribute to expanding Board disciplinary diversity.

    Marcel has been a strong advocate for professional master’s programs. He has been active in the NPSMA and has attended all national conferences since 2008. Marcel has made a total of 5 NPSMA/PSM presentations across the nation. He was an invited speaker at our 2011 spring workshop “Creating Tomorrow’s Mathematics Professionals” and wrote a paper for the proceedings.

    Statement of Interest

    I have been a member of the NPSMA since 2008, when I accepted my position at WPI as Coordinator of PSM Programs in Financial Mathematics and Industrial Mathematics. Since then I have been an active member of the NPSMA, having attended at least one conference/meeting per year, and I am excited to take a more involved role in the organization as part of the Board if elected. 

    Marcel Blais Curriculum Vitae

    Amber Bloechle is the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Director in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. She is a certified GIS Professional who holds a Master of Science in Environmental Science, a Graduate Certificate in GIS, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies (Policy), all from the University of West Florida (UWF). Her primary interests include using GIS and Remote Sensing to make better policy decisions and improve environmental outcomes.

    Amber has worked as a GIS professional in both contract and academic capacities. Recent projects involve employing geospatial analysis to support healthy food resources both here in Northwest Florida and Mozambique, Africa. 

    She is a certified quality online instructor based on the Quality Matters Program. She develops content, instructs, and administers UWF online GIS course offerings.  Professional affiliations include: North Section Executive Board member for Florida Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (FLURISA); Board of Directors, National Professional Science Masters Association (NPSMA); Volunteer, Florida Emergency GIS Response Team, and several local GIS User Groups.

    Statement of Interest

    I have had the privilege of serving on the NPSMA Board for the last three years and am willing and able to dedicate the required time.  Communication with other program directors and others who believe in the PSM concept has been the greatest benefit I’ve personally gained. I would very much like to continue efforts to promote communication resources for our members. It is an exciting time to serve on the board and I welcome the opportunity to contribute the next phase of the NPSMA.

    Amber Bloechle Curriculum Vitae

    Anirudh Chowdhary is the PSM Program's Coordinator and Affiliate Faculty Member at Grand Valley State University (GVSU). He holds a PSM degree in Cell and Molecular Biology – Biotechnology, and a Bachelor of Engineering in Biotechnology. He currently coordinates the four PSM programs at GVSU. As part of his coordinator duties he teaches a class in Professional Science Practice and coordinates all of the internships. GVSU has over 100 students in their PSM programs, so this is a significant endeavor.

    Anirudh most recently served as a Research Biologist and Lab Manager for a Biotech company, a start-up he joined in 2012. The company is now a clinical stage drug discovery company in Alzheimer's, Traumatic Brian injury and Fragile X syndrome in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo area in MI. His work involved research and development activities for treating Alzheimer's Disease and Traumatic Brain injury; and was part of a team to put a novel drug for Alzheimer's into Phase II clinical trials. He was also responsible for collaborating with various vendors and project partners such as National Institute of Mental Health and University of Buffalo, SUNY as part of the NIH Blueprint Neurotherapeutics network.

    He will be a panelist at this year’s NPSMA pre-conference workshop, he attended the NPSMA National Conference in 2018, and is a graduate of GVSU’s PSM program in Biotechnology. He knows the PSM from both the leadership and student perspective and would thus be an effective Board member bringing a different perspective to conversations.

    Statement of Interest

    I am honored to be considered to serve on the NPSMA board. If selected, I am willing to commit to the required time and effectively contribute to all activities of the NPSMA. I am an ardent supporter of NPSMA’s mission and a PSM alumni from the Cell and Molecular Biology: Biotechnology emphasis program at Grand Valley State University.

    Furthermore, my previous experience as a PSM student, my involvement with a start-up biotech company, and my current position, as the PSM programs coordinator for four programs has allowed me to look at challenges from student’s viewpoints; and at the same time having industry’s and higher education management’s perspectives on it. I am looking forward to actively contribute to serve NPSMA’s goals and missions, as well as learn more about its initiatives and connect with NPSMA officials.

    Anirudh Chowdhary Curriculum Vitae

    Meaghan Nappo received her Master of Arts in History, with a concentration in public history, from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. After graduate school, she spent several years working at the University of Georgia where she directed freshmen transition programs and a first-generation student scholarship. She moved to Raleigh to serve as director of the Joel Lane Museum House and then returned to higher education to work at North Carolina State University in 2017. At NCSU, she has participated in teaching, advising, marketing, recruiting, and administration for the PSM degree in Microbial Biotechnology.


    Statement of Interest


    I was pleased to hear of my nomination for the National Professional Science Masters Association Board position; it is of great interest to me.  The NPSMA is entering an exciting new phase and I believe my past experiences can contribute as the organization moves forward.

    I’ve served as graduate program coordinator for the Master of Microbial Biotechnology at North Carolina State University for two and a half years. In that time, I’ve witnessed how the PSM model prepares graduates to confidently enter the workforce. The practical skills established through interactions with industry and professional development modules allow MMB students to determine their career paths while gaining the skillsets valued in industry. I believe more graduate students should be aware of, and have access to, similar training. Serving on the NPSMA Board would provide me the opportunity to have a broader influence on implementing the PSM model beyond the MMB program. 

    The MMB program is 1 of 12 PSMs on NCSU’s campus. They range from Poultry Science, to Nutrition, to Crop Science, to Geospatial Information Science and Technology. In serving on the Board, I would be able to bring the experiences and insights of NCSU’s PSMs to the table, while also helping to bring ideas, issues, and best practices back to the NCSU PSMs. 

    I have a keen interest in program assessment and development. I’ve done so in a range of areas including primary education, undergraduate and graduate programming, and adult continuing education.  I believe those experiences coupled with my time working for the MMB program will allow me to enthusiastically contribute to the NPSMA Board. Thank you for considering my nomination.

    Meaghan Nappo Curriculum Vitae 

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