February Officer Meeting

We opened the meeting with Assistant Dean Aisha Owusu giving us some more information about the DEI training. She shared some information about what Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion truly mean. 

After Aisha was done, Leia went through our new constitutional amendments and we voted on them.

The first amendment we voted on was the Social Media amendment. The text is as follows:

E. As a student leader and officer within OU SCAN, all OU SCAN officers must comply and uphold creating and providing an inclusive environment for all. OU SCAN does not tolerate bullying, injustice, bigotry, discrimination, etc., which is included on ALL social media platforms, including but not limited to: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, GroupMe, Snapchat, Slack, Discord, etc.

  • If an OU SCAN Officer breaks this rule and amendment:
    • First time: 1 warning and mandatory training and/or meeting with the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences (A&GS) Assistant Dean.
    • After 1 warning, the officer will be dismissed from the organization and the vacancy will be filled by either appointment or special election.
      • The incident will be reported to A&GS and will be at their discretion to officially determine if the amendment was violated.

This amendment passed with 11-0 with one board member absent due to class obligations.

The next amendment was the Required Yearly DEI Training for Student Leaders within OU SCAN. The amendment text is as follows:

D. As a student leader and officer within OU SCAN, all OU SCAN officers are required to attend mandatory yearly Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training. At the beginning of the academic year, once the organization knows the amount of DEI trainings that are available during the semester, we as the board will vote on the required meetings for officers.  If an officer is unable to attend these scheduled DEI trainings due to an unforeseen circumstance, the officer is required to be in contact with A&GS Assistant Dean to meet and discuss, and/or make up the missed training(s). If an officer refuses to make up the missed training(s), then the officer will be dismissed as a student leader within OU SCAN and cannot run for re-election for any position the following year.  The vacancy will be filled by either appointment by the President or special election.

  • If an officer cannot attend a meeting, they must contact the OU SCAN President, OU SCAN Vice President(s), and A&GS Assistant Dean via a formal email to explain why they cannot attend the training.

This amendment passed 15-0 with three symbolic votes from the three appointed board members that do not usually have voting privileges. This amendment will be effective starting May 2022 (2022-2023 administration).

The third amendment that was voted on was the Addition of the OU SCAN Vice President Position and Division of Responsibilities. The text is as follows:

B.1. Vice President of Internal Affairs – The duties of the Vice President of Internal Affairs are to advise and assist the President in overseeing the activities of the organization that pertains directly to the internal affairs of OU SCAN and additional duties that correspond to the position will be given from the President.

B.2. Vice President of External Affairs – The duties of the Vice President of External Affairs are to advise and assist the President in overseeing the activities of the organization that pertains directly to the external affairs of OU SCAN and additional duties that correspond to the position will be given from the President.

  • Both (2) Vice Presidents will serve as the liaison to the National Weather Association.
  • This is not considered to be a co-position and each Vice President will get their own vote.
  • If the current OU SCAN President is unable to complete their duties, a vote from the current OU SCAN Officer Board, will take place immediately following the vacancy of the President’s position.  If both Vice Presidents would like to be candidates for the President position, then they will get the opportunity to give a speech to the board and a vote will immediately follow both (2) speeches.  The two (2) candidates will not be allowed to vote during the special election.

This amendment passed 12-0.

The next amendment is the OU SCAN Officer Active Status Amendment. The text is as follows:

F. All OU SCAN Officers are expected to and must maintain an active status within OU SCAN (See Article III: Membership and Dues, Section A).  In addition to an active member status, an officer shall also attend four-fifths (80%) of all OU SCAN Officer Board Meetings. If the officer has had prior communication at least one week prior to the meeting with the OU SCAN President and OU SCAN Vice Presidents regarding being tardy/absent for the OU SCAN Officer Board Meetings, then they may receive an excused absence, which does not count towards the 80% attendance requirement.  If an active status is not maintained throughout the duration of the elected term, then the officer in an inactive status (under 66% attendance, no service requirement, no paid dues, and does not attend 80% of all OU SCAN Officer Board Meetings) is stripped of any and all voting rights until active status is once again met. The inactive officer is also required to meet with the OU SCAN President and Vice President(s) to determine the best way to move forward and continue in the organization.  If the officer is not an active member by the beginning of election nominations, the officer cannot run for re-election on the OU SCAN Officer Board for any position.

  • If studying abroad as an OU SCAN Officer, active status of the previous semester will be maintained; however, officers shall attend officer meetings within reason (time zone differences) to keep up-to-date on OU SCAN information and keep in contact with the OU SCAN President regarding OU SCAN business.
  • If the officer misses the first 15 minutes of the Officer Board Meeting, their attendance will be noted as absent.

This amendment also passed 12-0.

The last amendment we voted on during this meeting was the Allocation of Fundraiser Funds amendment. The text is as follows:

E. Any funds allocated for fundraising towards disaster relief and aid that is not used prior to the end of April 30th will be forfeited back to the organization’s general funds and may be used for other organizational purposes.

This amendment passed 12-0.

In summary, all of the amendments we voted on tonight passed and all of these amendments have been added to the Constitution. We also introduced another amendment regarding the VP position which we will vote on during our next officer meeting.

After we voted on the amendments, Leia went over the calendar for the next few months. We decided to move the social event and general meeting in April back one week due to the Easter holidays. 

Next, we talked about our February social event with PSU. This event will be a social meet and greet via zoom.

For our February general meeting, we are still working on finding a guest speaker. We will be having Chipotle. The attendance prize will be a Valentine’s Day themed item. 

We also discussed our Officer Social Event which will be an Escape Room. 

Leia closed the meeting by giving us some little reminders.

January Officer Meeting

Leia opened the meeting by showing us the calendar for this semester. 

  • Feb. 9th: Officer Meeting
  • Feb. 18th: Social Event
  • Feb. 21st: General Meeting
  • March 9th: Officer Meeting
  • March 25th: Social Event
  • March 28th: General Meeting
  • April 2nd: Big Event
  • April 13th: Officer Meeting
  • April 15th: Social Event
  • April 18th: General Meeting

Next Leia went over the budget, which was unanimously approved by the attending board members.

For the February general meeting, we plan to have a Climate Research Scientist from Columbia University or NASA. For food, we will have Chipotle and the attendance prize will be Valentine’s themed.

Our March general meeting will be with Landon Aydlett who is a Tropical/Risk and Crisis Communication Expert. We will have Olive Garden for food, and the prize will be a spring break party pack (glow sticks, beach ball, frisbee, snacks, etc).

For the April general meeting, we want to have someone from the private sector or NOAA Corps. For food, we will have Pickleman’s. We will have a “best attendance” prize which will be a weather-themed gift basket, and the regular attendance prize will be a Galileo thermometer or a storm glass.

Our February social event will be a joint event with another AMS chapter (FSU or Penn State). 

Our March social event will be a game show night! We will be playing family feud.

The April Social event will be another trivia night like last semester. We will do meteorology, pop culture, Disney, OU, etc. We will use either Kahoot or BanjoBug.

This semester Asst Dean Owusu has asked us to participate in monthly DEI training along with other student leaders.

We also want to have OU SCAN Alumni social media taker-overs. We could do this once a month, and have OU SCAN Alumni post about why they joined SCAN, how it helped them, what they’re doing now, advice for current students, etc. 

We could also have local restaurant fundraising nights either once a month or twice a semester at Baked Bear, Chipotle, or even Pickleman’s.

November General Meeting

Our guest speaker this month was Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier. He is the former Director of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and currently resides as the Regents’ Professor of Meteorology here at OU. 

He gave a brief overview of his background in meteorology and talked about some of the jobs he has had. He then gave a history of how some of the weather tools we have today came to be. He then went on to discuss his work while at The White House. He then opened up for questions. 

We then had our attendance giveaway with 4 winners!

November Officer Meeting

Leia opened the meeting with a reminder of all the upcoming events. Trivia night will be this Friday from 6-8 PM. The first hour will be Kahoot trivia, and Bingo the second hour. The November general meeting will be with Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier on November 15 from 6-8 PM. The attendance prize will be a holiday-themed gift basket. We will be catering Picklemans, but we do have a few other options as a plan b. 

Our officer holiday party will be some time at the beginning of December from 5-8 PM. 

We then discussed our AMS poster and brainstormed some ideas for it. Leia also walked us all through registering for the AMS conference. 

The OU SCAN apparel fundraiser ends tonight. We will be ordering some extra shirts as well for normal shirt sales throughout the year. 

Bruce gave a final update on the Hurricane Relief Fundraiser. We raised over $3300! This may have been the best fundraiser we’ve ever had as an organization. We will be donating to Imagine Water Works – a mutual aid response network. 

We ended the meeting by brainstorming some ideas for next semester.

October General Meeting

We opened the meeting with our guest speaker, Dr. Kodi Berry from the National Severe Storms Lab. She gave a brief overview of her educational background, work experience, as well as some notable events throughout her educational and professional career. She talked a little bit about KPHI-TV and then went on to discuss FACETs. After this, she answered questions that members in attendance had. If you have any questions you would like to ask her about her work with FACETs or anything else, you can email her at kodi.berry@noaa.gov

After Dr. Berry was done with her presentation, Leia gave a reminder about OU’s Storm Chasing Policy. Marcus then gave the final results of the food drive. We had 325 items donated from 28 people. Bruce gave an update on the Hurricane Relief Fundraiser. We have raised over $700 so far, and we still have quite a bit of time left to raise more money! Dr. Martin is currently in first place, followed by Dr. Redemann, and then David Stang. 

The next social event is the OU Ghost Tour on October 22nd from 8-9:30 PM. You should plan to get there about 10-15 minutes early.

On November 4th we will have an REU/Hollings Resume and Application Workshop. This will be from 5-7 PM and will include Rick Dubler and Daphne LaDue, some past Hollings Scholars, as well as a few other guest speakers. 

The November General Meeting will be on November 15, from 6-8 PM. Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier will be speaking on research that he is currently working on as well as his experience as the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. 

Lastly, Kaitlyn and Marcus talked about Big Event/Little Event. 

The winner of the Baked Bear gift card was Joshua Brock.

October Officer Meeting

Leia opened the meeting with a review of the upcoming events for the semester. Our October general meeting will be on October 18th, 2021. The speaker will be Dr. Kodi Berry who works at the National Severe Storms Laboratory. We will be catering pizza from Dominos and giving away a $20 Baked Bear Giftcard.

The REU/Hollings Resume Workshop will be on November 4 from 5-7PM. The First hour will be with Career Services – Rick Dubler, as well as Dr. LaDue who is the head of the REU program here at OU. The second hour will be a resume workshop where people can ask questions and get help with their resumes. This is a bonus event, so it will not hurt member attendance, but it can help your attendance.

Next, we discussed the budget and how much money we have in the account.

Marcus discussed the Little Event which will take place on October 23rd. We have 19 signups in our group we formed with OWL. Ethan Schaefer (from OWL) will be the leader of our group on the day of. Marcus also gave an update on the food drive. We collected 325 items from 27 people and will be handing out prizes accordingly.

Catering at the meetings will take place after the meeting is over and members can take their food to go if they choose.

Bruce gave an update on the Hurricane Fundraiser. We have raised over $500 in the first week! Last year we raised about $600 during the entire course of the fundraiser, so we are doing really well. Dr. Martin is very firmly in the lead right now.

The October Social Event will be the Ghost tour on October 22 from 8-9:30 PM.

Our November Social Event will be a joint event with another chapter (TBD).

We briefly discussed AMS and started brainstorming ideas for our chapter poster. The AMS Poster theme for this year is Environmental Security: weather, water, and climate for a more secure world.

September Officer Meeting

We opened the meeting with introductions for our new board members. Leia gave a brief overview of each committee and then gave some general expectations for the SCAN board members. Katie also gave some expectations for board members and their roles. Leia then went over our member distribution and then went over the SCAN calendar for the remainder of the Fall semester. We discussed the AMS conference. There will be a breakfast for all chapter officers, and Leia asked which members would likely be in attendance at the conference. 

Hunter discussed the SCAN budget. It has been very tricky to get in contact with the bank, but he did finally get access to the account. We discussed the amount in the account, and how much money we earned at the Joint meeting with OWL. He then went on to discuss the budget for this Fall and the board voted on it. It was unanimously passed. 

Next Bruce discussed the upcoming Hurricane Relief Fundraiser. It is a coordinated fundraiser between SCAN, OWL, and SAC. Professors will be asked to temporarily dye their hair if they are the top finishers of the fundraiser which will run during the month of October. Details are subject to change while the 3 organizations finalize the details. The board also approved to donate $200 to the Tennessee flooding as a separate donation.

Marcus discussed the OU SCAN Food Drive Contribution. This runs from September 27th to October 8th. It is not a SCAN-only event, as we are supporting the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences (AGS) in this. There is a reward system for donating food items that give certain prizes such as a shirt, wooden plaque, or even checking off a service requirement.

Next up we discussed the SCAN/OWL Little Event. This will take place on October 23rd from 9 AM-12 PM. Members that participate can count this as the service requirement. We are working on forming a group for members to sign up with in order to volunteer together.

Leia went over the options for our Fall general meetings and some of the different people we could have speak at them. We also discussed some catering ideas for our general meetings and how our meetings will run. We then discussed some social event ideas. We also discussed some extra meetings such as the resume workshop and an REU/Hollings/Pathways workshop.

The next social event will be the Ghost Tour on October 22nd from 8-9:30 PM. It will start at Reynolds Performing Arts Center (North Oval Entrance). 

Sara discussed the Weather Friends at the National Weather Festival on October 29th. They will be there from 5:30-7 PM to pass out candy, trading cards, etc. There will also be a double feature movie of Coco and Twister.

Graduate Information Session

September 9th, 2021

The School of Meteorology Coordinator of Graduate Programs, Ms. Danika Hines-Barnett, gave an overview of the Meteorology Graduate Program and answered questions that students had.

The first question she answered was how do you know that graduate school is right for you? Hines-Barnett suggested that you start by thinking about what your dream job is, who currently has that job, and what their background is. The next questions to think about are whether or not you like to research and academics and are you considering graduate school for your own goals?

If you decide to apply for graduate school, there is an application process that students should follow. The first step in applying for graduate school is to research graduate programs. You should answer the following questions: What type of program is right for you? What type of research are you most interested in? Where are others with your same goals going to grad school? What things are specific universities researching or going to research within the next few years? As you do your research, she pointed out that you should not be afraid to ask questions for more information. After thinking about these questions, the next thing to look into is the type of admissions that certain universities have early on, so that you know when you need to apply and what type of programs they offer. She explained the difference between deadlines and rolling admissions. A deadline can be either soft or hard. A soft deadline is a deadline with a recommended date to submit the application, but applications can still be accepted after the suggested date. However, if you submit an application close to when offers are sent out, you might not get an offer. A hard deadline means the application closes on a specific date. She strongly recommends having all your application materials together about 15 days before the deadline. On the other hand, a rolling admission means that you can apply at any time during the year.

The next part of the application process is to ask for recommendation letters. She went over who you should ask and who you should not ask. You should not ask family members for letters of recommendation, but you should ask a faculty member that you do know and regularly interact with. You should start building relationships with faculty members early on by talking with your professors and going to office hours on a regular basis. You want a letter from somebody who knows what you are passionate about. She also suggested that you should ask the faculty member for advice about graduate school to break the ice so they can be aware about your grad school interests before you formally ask them for a letter. When asking for a letter, you should be formal, reintroduce yourself, and explain what you’re interested in. You should ask them about 6 weeks before you want the letter to be submitted and give them your resume so they can be better aware of what your research interests are. A student asked how they should build relationships with people we are working with virtually due to the pandemic? Hines-Barnett suggested that you ask them if you can have a covid safe in-person meeting with them. She stated that there are several faculty members that understand this concern and would love to help students build their professional careers even with the ongoing pandemic. Another question was asking if you can ask a professor that has retired, and she stated that it is perfectly okay to ask them because many are still in their offices or active in their committees.

Another component of the application process is the personal statement. OU provides some guidelines on what to include in your personal statement, but some universities do not. It should be around two pages long and thought of as a cover letter and an opportunity to introduce yourself. You should address the past, present, and future of your research. Why you want to go to grad school, what your long term goals are, and related research you’ve done in the past should all be mentioned in your statement. You should not be vague! If you had a bumpy time that is reflected in your transcript, you should explain what was going on and how you overcame it – this shows resilience and determination. Things to avoid include starting your letter off with a cheesy story of a storm that got you interested in weather. Instead, you should hit heavy on your involvement, passions, resiliency, time management, etc. A student asked about if it is okay to mention a specific advisor or specific area of research in the school you are applying to. If you already have a close relationship with an advisor, then yes. Keep in mind that it won’t necessarily hurt your chances of getting in, but it may limit areas of research that you may not even know about yet. If you are unsure, you might leave out mentioning a specific advisor. Some final recommendations included having at least 3 people proofread it and remember your audience.

For CV and Resumes, Hines-Barnett suggests using career services because they are there for YOU and all they do is help students with their resumes. She mentioned that you should start building your resume now by volunteering, looking for research opportunities during undergrad, and offering to do something when someone asks for people to help. She also suggests that you should have at least 2 people proofread your resume.

Some advisors will not accept people that have not reached out to them prior. To connect with potential advisors, you can look at their social media, especially twitter. They will sometimes post if they are looking for a grad student. They may also post about the research they are working on, grants that went through, and you can see if this is someone you’d want to be your advisor. You can also reach out to them via email. You should include some information about yourself including your educational background, what you’re interested in, etc. You can also ask them questions about their program to show that you are interested. If they don’t respond, that is okay. It doesn’t mean they won’t accept you. Some advisors will not talk to you until after you have submitted your application. Remember, no one is ever going to get mad at you for reaching out.

The next few minutes of the meeting talked about qualifications and application review. Do grad schools look primarily at GPA, or do they look at a more holistic view of the application? The answer is that it depends. Some graduate programs will have a minimum GPA, especially competitive programs, and GPA does matter for some larger institutions where there are hundreds of applicants. She also mentioned that many universities are getting rid of the GRE.

If you receive multiple offers you might wonder how you should decide which offer to accept. She recommends that you ask a lot of questions from the potential advisor and other graduate students in the program. It is important to know that your advisor will be a good one – so you should get to know them! Take a look at your admissions package, what are the stipends, tuition waivers, fees, opportunities, etc. You should also know the cost of living in the area you will be moving to because not all programs pay for the cost of living. If your potential advisor is pressuring you to accept earlier, take some time to think about it because you do not need to accept any offer until April 15th. Always remember, trust your gut.

The meeting concluded with some tips from others who have been through the process before. During your undergrad, you should find out if you actually like research, make connections, volunteer for undergrad field campaigns, be involved in professional organizations, and learn how to network. For the application process, you should apply early, be open-minded, and ask a lot of questions. You should also apply to realistic programs, as well as dream programs. Don’t sell yourself short and think you won’t get into your dream program. Also, keep in mind that your relationship with your advisor is more important than your topic.

Danika Hines-Barnett’s contact information is:
Email: danika@ou.edu

July Officer Meeting

At the beginning of the meeting Leia went over the result from the poll she sent out. The top three meeting topics were as follows: National Severe Storms Laboratory, Oklahoma Mesonet, and Academia/Research. We also had several people that are interested in learning more about the Accelerated Meteorology/MBA program. Our number one social event idea was the OU Campus Ghost Tour. We have scheduled this for October 22nd. The rest of the ideas on the poll were all pretty much tied including another joint social event with another SCAN Chapter, a Meteorology/NWC themed escape room, and a couple others.

The President of OWL, Claire Doyle, joined us to discuss our meet and greet/joint meeting ideas. We decided to go ahead and have one event the second week of class from 5PM to 8PM. The first hour will be our presentation and elections, and then we will go outside for yard games, food trucks, raffles, and much more fun!

We discussed whether we want to participate in the student involvement fair on August 17th and the consensus was that it sounds like a good idea if we have enough officers that can be there, but we would like to have some more information about it before we decide for sure.

There will be a Graduate School Information Event sometime between August 30th and September 10th. Ms. Danika Hines-Barnett will be leading this event and is planning on having It in person as long as it is safe, and people are comfortable with that. She will be discussing the application process (including the timeline from start to finish), an overview of the Meteorology Graduate Program, as well as some tips and tricks to apply successfully.

Hunter gave an overview of the budget and while some of the amounts are still estimates, we believe that we will have about $2,000 for the next SCAN board to use. We are going to prioritize SGA funding as well as member dues and we will be able to have several catering events and even have an AMS travel fund scholarship!

We discussed how we want to run our merchandise shop this year. We have decided that we will open an Etsy shop so that we can organize it a little bit more, as well as get rid of some of the extra steps that were required with the previous set-up. It will also make it easier for people to purchase items. We will be including thank you cards with all our orders – the design of these is still up in the air. We had a couple ideas consisting of ordering a professionally made card as well as hand making our own.

May Officer Meeting

We opened the meeting with a moment of cuteness to help relieve us from the stress of final grades being posted. Leia shared some pictures of her dog!

Once each officer had introduced themselves to the rest of the board, Leia discussed her plan for better organization within the board. Since having two Vice Presidents is uncharted territory for OU SCAN, we are going to have committees within the board this year. The Committees are as follows:

  • Representative Committee
    • Leia Otterstatter (President)
      • Graduate Representative (TBD)
      • Ben Kassel (Senior Class Rep.)
      • Joseph Rotondo (Junior Class Rep.)
      • Savannah Southward (Sophomore Class Rep.)
      • 2 Incoming Freshmen Representatives (TBD)
  • Internal Committee
    • Katie Giannakopoulos (VP of Internal Affairs)
      • Preston Roesslet (Secretary)
      • Hunter Martinez-Buehrer (Treasurer)
      • Kaitlyn Edelmaier (Historian)
      • A possible new position: OWL/SCAN Liaison (TBD)
  • External (Outreach) Committee
    • Marcus Ake (VP of External Affairs)
      • Peyton Galyean (Publicist)
      • Brady Fox (Deputy of Media)
      • Sara Raffel (Outreach Coordinator)
      • New Position: Apparel/Fundraiser Chair (TBD)

Leia discussed her expectations of the new board including effective communication, accountability, and leading by example. She then discussed ideas for apparel with us. We have a couple options for ordering apparel – we can simply make a bulk order, or we can do a fundraiser through Custom Ink. We are also thinking about having some options only available to officer’s that will include their position on the SCAN board.

We had one Constitutional Amendment to vote on tonight which was adding the position of the Apparel/Fundraising Chair. This will be an appointed position, and the person in this position will be responsible for fulfilling orders from the OU SCAN Website, making designs for apparel, and organizing fundraisers. Everybody in attendance voted yes, which means this amendment passed and we will have an Apparel/Fundraising Chair on the board!

At the end of the meeting, we took 10 minutes to meet with our committees and discuss our goals for the upcoming year. Here are the goals we all came up with:

  • Have more attendance (especially the class of 2024 and 2025)
  • Have a Freshman Meet and Greet
  • Have a wider spread of speakers/meeting topics
  • Have in person social events with proper guidance
  • Have Officer/Committee Events
  • Social media takeovers
  • BIG Event volunteering
  • Get Weather Friends back in action and have more community engagement