Freshman Recruitment Campaigns or Contests. Obviously, in order to have an active chapter you need students. The minimum membership requirement for a TMS or joint TMS/ASM International student chapter is 15 joint TMS/ASM student members (or ten TMS student members for international chapters). To be certain that your chapter grows and continues when active students like yourself have moved on to pursue higher achievements, you will need to identify upcoming leadership in your fellow classmates--hold at least one activity where freshman engineering students are invited to learn what materials science and metallurgical engineering are all about. Share with them the fun (not to mention educational) activities that go on within the TMS student chapter and sign them up! Each year TMS offers prizes to student chapters for recruiting a certain number of new members (see your faculty advisor for details).
Invite Speakers. Here is where your faculty advisor can come in handy. As TMS members, both of you have hopefully taken the opportunity to network with other materials science and metallurgical engineering students and professionals. From these contacts, you and your advisor can identify potential speakers on varying subjects for mini-seminars throughout the academic year.
If you have a topic in mind, but do not know a potential speaker, you may want to consult the TMS Speakers' Bureau. This service is published in a directory format and is electronically accessible via the World Wide Web at http://www.tms.org/Society/SpeakersBureau.html. Speakers are listed by geographic regions. Also included are the speaker's address, telephone, fax, e-mail (if available), topics, keywords, and travel preferences. Give it a try--it's a free service from TMS!
Host Socials and Mixers. Nobody wants to go to an activity where they don't know anyone, so try to remedy that problem right away. Hold a barbecue, picnic, or even a golf outing with department faculty and students at the beginning and throughout the year.
Create an Identity. How do students at your university know about your TMS chapter or the materials science and metallurgy departments? How do other TMS chapters know about you? The University of Florida, Purdue University, and University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa, for example, have created and sold chapter t-shirts. The Ohio State University (http://kcgl1.eng.ohio-state.edu/mse/tms/tms.html) and Auburn University (http://www.eng.auburn.edu/organizations/AMS) chapters have established home pages on the World Wide Web. If you need assistance getting your chapter onto the web, please contact TMS OnLine Supervisor Mark Munson at email@example.com.
Assist the University with a High School Student Outreach Project. What better way to encourage high school students to continue their education in mathematics and science than to show up, talk to the students, and do a few experiments? Your university may already have an existing program in which you can participate. This is a rewarding activity that you should look into!
Schedule a Field Trip. Have the students of your chapter seen a working casting plant or visited an automobile manufacturer's laboratory? With advance warning and some planning, many industries are willing to take interested students on tours. Try to visit different industries throughout the year so that students can see processes from all areas of materials.
Enter TMS Contests. Let's face it, activities cost money. One way to get money is through fundraising projects, but you should also know that TMS supports chapter activities financially through the Chapters of Excellence Contest. Each winning chapter receives $400. Five chapters are selected each year. For details, contact Nellie Luther at the address listed at the end of this article.
Participate in TMS Career Forums, Roundtables, and Mixers. If you've done all the above suggestions and need more, attend the TMS Annual Meeting or Materials Week career forums, roundtables, and mixers. The opening of every TMS meeting begins with a series of activities, now coined Student Night, that were developed specifically for the TMS student member. At these events, you can find more than 200 students and faculty with whom you can network for new, creative chapter ideas. (See the September Professional Preface for details on Materials Week '95 student activities.)
If you have any more suggestions, let us know by contacting the Education and Professional Affairs Department at TMS, 184 Thorn Hill Road, Warrendale, Pennsylvania 15086; (724) 776-9000, ext. 213; fax (724) 776-3770; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck on improving your student chapter!
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