We are now in the midst of a most unusual period in section and national history. In an effort to stem the contagion of COVID-19, the U.S. has instituted a national emergency and essentially gone into lockdown. A great portion of economic activity having been suspended, corporate losses are mounting, personal investment portfolio valuations have plummeted, and, for many, perhaps, financial security is at risk. What is more, there are still a great many unknowns. While it is certain that we will, at some time in the future, emerge from this dark period to resume our normal lives, we do not yet know when that will be.
I would suggest two thoughts to help center the soul. First, this is a chance to engage in some personal reflection. Are you on the right path personally and professionally? Are you tending to your families as you ought? Are you being a good neighbor in this time of collective hardship?
The second thought is more secular and relates directly to you and the rest of the entire worldwide membership of IEEE. You are a technical professional. The primary mission of IEEE is to harness technology in the service of humanity. As we work our way through this crisis, we will undoubtedly observe technologists of all sorts leading the way. You can take pride in that. What is more, it should serve to inspire in you a desire to improve your capabilities to match your capacity. In this way, you will not only enhance your personal ROI, but you will strengthen our technical community’s ability to contribute in responding to any such challenges we may face in the future.
Now, as for regular section business, this situation has forced some changes on us. We will be refraining from our normal section meetings for the time being. At the very least, this means postponement of that for March. Dr. Gunsch had a fantastic presentation on the ethics of AI prepared for us. We will undoubtedly work to reschedule him. The April meeting is typically devoted to a “best of team projects” presentation by local engineering students from the UC and MiamiU student chapters. (The NKU chapter may get involved starting next year.) All schools have essentially closed their campuses and have adopted remote learning models to close out the school year. Even if we are clear to host an April meeting, I am uncertain as to how this change on campus might affect such an event. Be assured that the section’s Executive Committee will work diligently to bring things back on line at the earliest opportunity. We will keep you posted as the situation evolves.
Take care, do everything in your power to do, and let God take care of the rest.
Section Chair, IEEE Cincinnati