Biophysical Society Bulletin | April 2022


In 2021, a group of us were awarded one of the first National Science Foundation LEAPS (Leading Culture Change through Professional Societies) grants, and I am a co-principal-inves- tigator on that grant. That is an opportunity I never imagined I would have before I began volunteering as a member of CID, and something I am extremely proud of! Do you have advice for others who might be thinking about volunteering? Do it! It’s a great way to grow your network, and you never know what opportunities will come your way. When not volunteering for BPS, what do you work on? I am a faculty member at a small liberal arts college, where we have a Molecular Biophysics Program—we offer a minor in molecular biophysics, and we have a graduate program with 15 affiliated faculty members from five different de- partments. As a member of this program, I enjoy working to expand our course offerings in biophysics, so that more students can find out about the field earlier in their training. I offer research opportunities to undergraduate students and train doctoral students in my lab. We use total internal reflec- tion fluorescence microscopy to study protein-DNA interac- tions at the single-molecule level. Spring 2022 Call for Virtual Networking Events Are you looking to connect with fellow biophysicists? Do you have an idea for a networking event? BPS can help! BPS is calling for Networking Events to be held in 2022. BPS will support both virtual and in-person local Networking Events—the format will be up to you! We ask that members use their best judgment and follow all local public health guid- ance for in-person events. Past events have included career panels, trivia nights, and programs of short talks from different institutions. The goal is to bring biophysicists together in an interesting way. Benefits of Hosting a BPS Virtual Networking Event: • BPS will provide the Zoom virtual platform for the meet- ing and monitoring assistance on the day of the meeting, if it is held between the hours of 7 AM and 5 PM USA Eastern Time; • BPS will help you advertise the meeting (social media, emails, newsletter, etc.); • You can attract attendees from all over the world to get together on one topic!

Candice Etson Committee for Inclusion and Diversity (CID)

Candice Etson

Is this your first volunteer position for BPS? If not, what other positions have you held? I served as a member of the Committee on Inclusion and Diversity (CID) for two terms from 2013–2019. After a brief break, I rejoined CID in July 2021. I will be stepping into the role of Chair of the committee in July 2022. Why do you volunteer? The Biophysical Society (BPS) has been an essential commu- nity for me throughout my career. Participation in the Annual Meeting really helped me develop my identity as a scientist. I have always felt welcome as a member of BPS and want others to feel welcome in our community. I think it is import- ant to contribute to work that strengthens the communities of which I am a member, and that was an initial motivation for me to begin volunteering. I do feel that I have been able to make a positive impact, and that makes me feel really good! In addition, I have met so many people who share my values through my volunteer activity, and I love being a part of that network. That feeling of connection makes me want to keep volunteering. What has been a highlight from your volunteer experience? Being a member of CID gave me the opportunity to partic- ipate in the ACCESS (Alliance to Catalyze Change for STEM Success) project. This project began with an NSF grant that supported the formation of an alliance among diversity-fo- cused committees from five scientific societies—American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, American Society for Cell Biology, American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Endocrine Society, and BPS. By participating in ACCESS, I have gained a greater apprecia- tion of how powerful professional societies can be in foster- ing equity and inclusion in the broader community of STEM. I have had a chance to work with a group of people who are passionate about removing barriers to participation in STEM and ensuring that everyone who wants to pursue a career in STEM can do so. We have, as a team, written multiple papers sharing ideas about how to foster inclusivity within our sci- entific societies, and that has been a wonderful experience.

April 2022



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