This is the first in a four-part series spotlighting the candidates for the upcoming 2021 ANS national election. Seven leadership positions are on the ballot.
Today we feature statements from the nominees for vice president/president-elect. The nominees are Steven A. Arndt, an ANS Fellow and member since 1981, who is a senior technical advisor with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and Corey McDaniel, an ANS member since 2008, who is chief commercial officer at Idaho National Laboratory.
Ballots will be sent electronically on February 22 and must be submitted by 4 pm (ET) on Tuesday, April 6.
The first-ever ANS vice president candidate discussion forum will be held Wednesday, Feb. 17 from 6:00-7:00 pm EST. Register now for the event to hear directly from candidates Steven Arndt and Corey McDaniel.
Steven A. Arndt
We stand at a critical point in history, where nuclear science and technology must play an expanded role in changing the world. As a professional society, ANS provides a place where we can discuss the unique opportunities the use of nuclear science and technology makes available. We must be willing to continue to challenge the status quo, be more proactive and inclusive, while not forgetting what it means to be a professional society. ANS has both traditional products and services, such as meetings, publications, and standards, as well as newer efforts, like advocacy for education and policy changes. If elected, I will work with students, young members, and the divisions to continue to improve our services and outreach activities, as well as provide opportunities for all our members to influence the future of nuclear science and technology in the world.
One key to our success will be improving the impact of our meetings, publications, and standards. We produce great products, and we must continue to leverage these products both to support our members and to increase our influence with policymakers nationally and internationally. The better and more well-known these products are, the more effective our advocacy effort will be. Another key to our continued success will be our ability to lead the world toward greater use of nuclear science and technology. We must be the first place that members and policymakers go to understand what needs to be done. In the past few years, ANS has increased our advocacy efforts, and I will continue this work by proactively updating our policy statements and empowering our members and staff to advocate for the use of the best science in the regulation and use of nuclear technology.
It has been my privilege to be an active member and leader in ANS for 40 years. I first became involved in ANS as a nuclear engineering graduate student at Ohio State University. There, I served as chair of the 1984 ANS Student Conference. Later in my career, I had the opportunity to be general chair of the Nuclear Plant Instrumentation, Control and Human-Machine Interface Technologies (NPIC&HMIT) topical meeting, and I have also served in leadership positions in numerous divisions, local sections, and committees.
In my professional life I have worked as a researcher, consultant, educator, and regulator. This diverse background has given me a unique understanding of how important it is for all members of ANS to play a role in our success. I have had the opportunity to support ANS as chair of the Publications Steering Committee, chair of the Standards Board, and national treasurer. For example, the ANS publication function is first and foremost a service to our members and to the entire technical community, but many members are concerned about the cost of publishing our meeting proceedings and journals. As treasurer and chair of these committees, I was able to increase efficiency and develop new products that have increased revenue and provided more benefits to our members. My work in all the major areas of ANS has given me a comprehensive understanding of the service ANS provides to our members and to the wider nuclear community. I have learned what is most important; ANS needs to find ways for everyone to make contributions in areas where they have a passion.
As your vice president/president-elect and then president, my mantra will be, “Nuclear is the Future,” and I will work with all of you to continue to improve the services and outreach activities that enhance ANS membership. In addition, I will provide opportunities for our members to influence the international debate on the future of nuclear science and technology. We must strive to be the most diverse, inclusive, and proactive voice that we all know we can be.
I am very excited and honored to be a nominee for vice president/president-elect of our professional society. I have been fortunate over the past decade to have been engaged in ANS as a chair of committees and meetings and most recently as a member of the Board of Directors. In preparing this statement, I read statements from past nominees, and I noticed that the issues I care about are the same issues often identified by past nominees:
- Enhancing the value of meetings and membership.
- Modernizing and recruiting more diverse members.
- Positioning ANS as a global leader among professional societies.
These are goals we can all get behind. For my candidate statement, I would like to describe how I would support these objectives based on my most recent experiences.
Value: While most are thankful to put 2020 behind us, in hindsight I think we will see it as a year of both challenges and opportunities. ANS conducted our first virtual Annual Meeting, then our first virtual Winter Meeting. The most unique benefit of ANS is the opportunity to interact with our professional peers in person, but this was lost in 2020. On the plus side, the two virtual meetings cost less, had more attendees, and featured more high-level and diverse content than any previous ANS national meeting. I was fortunate to help organize both meetings by recruiting sponsors and speakers, which was aided by the virtual platform. My vision for the future of ANS meetings is to enhance the value to our membership by providing both in-person and virtual options to attend national meetings.
Modernization: I credit the Young Members Group for setting the bar high with virtual renditions of the Student Conference content only a few weeks after the meeting became ANS’s first COVID-related cancellation, paving the way for further ANS successes on virtual platforms. Another benefit of the virtual platform was the ability to attract new members at a time when the Society dropped below 10,000 members for the first time in recent memory. The “organizational registration” platform that I helped create allowed new audiences to attend ANS meetings for the first time. Instead of sending only a few senior staff to an in-person meeting, at great expense, many organizations were able to register hundreds of virtual attendees for a fraction of the cost—resulting in hundreds of new members who increased ANS membership back above 10,000 after the Winter Meeting. My vision for the future of ANS membership is to retain a balance of traditional members as we recruit more diverse members who are not as likely to travel to in-person meetings in the future.
Global leadership: I spent most of the past decade living abroad for work in India, China, and Canada. During this time, I represented ANS in discussions with nuclear societies from more than a dozen countries and concluded that there was no more respected nuclear society in the world than ANS. I also concluded that we were not doing enough to engage with our international peers, which led me to chair the ANS International Committee, found the ANS India Local Section, and serve as program chair of the 2018 Pacific Basin Nuclear Conference. Also, recently I was elected vice president/president-elect of the Pacific Nuclear Council. My vision for the future of ANS global leadership is for us to set the standard that other societies aspire to.
This is my vision. If you agree with what I am proposing, then I hope that you will take the time to vote when ballots are emailed this month. Thank you for your consideration.