Friday, February 22, 2013

Leadership and WORMS -- Women in Operations Research and the Management Sciences

Leadership comes in many forms -- scientific, political, intellectual, academic, business and industry, professional, artistic, and societal from the individual to the familial levels and beyond.

Great leaders have courage and integrity and, through their vision and ability to capture the imagination and support of others,  can elicit fundamental change.

Being a great leader is never easy and one can experience isolation, marginalization, and even discrimination -- it is the work and novel ideas that matter and the documentation of them.

Great leaders care about others and, under what, at times, may seem to be too many constraints, create opportunities and long-lasting effects. You may become a great leader even if your own organization, for whatever reasons,  does not understand or appreciate your contributions.

Leaders help to build communities. 

There is a lot of renewed interest in women and leadership lately with the new PBS production that starts airing next week entitled: Makers: Women Who Make America to Sheryl Sandberg's forthcoming book, Lean In, with a provocative article in The New York Times: A Titan's How-To on Breaking the Glass Ceiling. Sandberg is the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook.

One of my favorite communities is WORMS -- Women in Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

WORMS is a forum of INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences).

According to the WORMS website, the goals of WORMS are to:

  • To encourage interest in the field of operations research and the management sciences;
  • To encourage discussion and interaction among individuals having interest in the issues facing women and its relationship to the profession of operations research and the management sciences;
  • To advise the INFORMS Board on aspects of issues facing women in the profession of operations research and the management sciences and to keep the INFORMS Board apprised of developments in this area.
WORMS organizes great activities and also recognizes those who have contributed significantly to the advancement and recognition of women in the field of Operations Research and the Management Sciences (OR/MS) through the awarding of the WORMS Award.

Recently, we received the message below, which announces the immediately past and incoming new WORMS Officers.

Dear WORMS Members, 

As the outgoing WORMS President, I wanted to write and officially welcome the incoming WORMS Officers. Our "new" officers as of January 2013 are:

President Laura McLay, Virginia Commonwealth University,
President ElectSusan Martonosi, Harvey Mudd College,
Past President Esma Gel, Arizona State University,

SR VP of Meetings  Mary Beth Kurz, Clemson University,
JR VP of Meetings Erica Klampfl, Ford Motor Company,

SP VP of Communications Anna Nagurney, University of Massachusetts, Amherst,
JR VP of Communications Lisa Yeo, University of Alberta,

SR Treasurer Guzin Bayraksan, University of Arizona,
JR Treasurer Muhong Zhang, Arizona State University,

Secretary Renata Konrad, Worchester Polytechnic Institute,

Please remember to renew your membership for 2013 and let us know if you have any questions/concerns/comments! 

Esma Gel 
Past President, WORMS 

Coincidentally, the past several days there have been several professional activities that I have been involved in from the Dynamics of Disasters Symposium that I organized for the 2013 AAAS Annual Meeting in  Boston that took place Sunday, February 17, to the hosting of Professor Tina Wakolbinger for a talk at the Isenberg School, with the great help of our award-winning UMass Amherst INFORMs Student Chapter. 

In the former,  the new President of WORMS, Professor Laura McLay, was a panelist and also blogged about the experience, and Professor Tina Wakolbinger, who traveled all the way from Vienna, Austria, where she is a Professor at the Vienna University of Economics and Business,  was a discussant (our photo at AAAS Boston is above).

When we hosted Professor Wakolbinger for her seminar this past Tuesday, Professor Ana Muriel of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at UMass Amherst, who is a past President of WORMS, came to the lunch, reception, and presentation, along with a nice group of her students.

And, I might add, Professor Wakolbinger is a past Senior VP of Communications of WORMS!