Dear Fellow MAFS Members,
The Hollywood award season started in February, which means movie stars came out for events like the Oscars. For me, the Oscars are the equivalent of the Super Bowl. The hours leading up to the show, I watch the fashion unfold on the red carpet and get drawn into the backstories behind the films. During the show, the moment I most enjoy is the display of raw emotion from the individuals who hear their name called after, “And the Oscar goes to…”.
Seeing Ke Huy Quan accept his award this year for Best Supporting Actor in Everything, Everywhere, All at Once brought me to tears. “Mom, I just won an Oscar!”, he exclaimed as he held his golden statue high. It seems the honor comes not only in winning the award, but by being nominated by one’s peers for the outstanding work they’ve done.
Last newsletter, I shared the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew who attempted a trans-Antarctic expedition only to be stranded after their ship is crushed by ice. Shackleton gets much of the attention as the expedition’s leader. However, as I listened to the story as told by Alfred Lansing in his book Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage, one individual caught my attention: Frank Worsley.
Antarctic travel is difficult, and Worsley’s talents were tested after losing their ship, forcing him to lead all 28 crew members in three small lifeboats to the remote Elephant Island in hopes of rescue. When rescue looked bleak, Shackleton appointed Worsley to captain one lifeboat with a handful of men to return to their starting point, the island of South Georgia. Winds and heavy seas created a challenge when navigational charts became soaked through by icy waters and clouds covered the sun. Thanks to the accuracy of Worsley’s navigation and his spending days without sleep to steer the small boat, they traveled nearly 1300km to their desired destination. This short summary doesn’t justly explain the skill Worsley demonstrated. I venture to guess that if an Oscar was awarded for Best Captain, Worsley would certainly be nominated and win.
Some may say that Frank Worsley was ‘just doing his job’, but he did it well and when he was most needed. Who, from your lab or outside your lab, stands out as going above & beyond to make a difference? Who does all that they are asked to do and more?
During the fall business meeting, MAFS presents awards for New Scientist, Outstanding Scientist and Distinguished Scientist. Just like with the Oscars, my favorite moment happens when the president reads the nomination letter, and the recipient slowly realizes he or she is the subject of the nomination. I’ve seen tears, humble disbelief, and a lot of smiles. Help make this moment happen this year by nominating one of your peers. To learn about the qualifications for each award and to nominate, login to your user profile at www.mafs.net. Navigate to ‘Resources’, ‘Awards’, and then ‘MAFS General Awards Nominations’.
As President, I look forward to the opportunity to acknowledge those MAFS members whose peers recognize the efforts they make.
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