BCA News: Winter 2017
2016 Year in Review
Happy New Year! The beginning of a new year encourages us to look forward. Yet, to understand where we are headed, it’s valuable to look back and take stock of where this past year has led us. 2016 was a very busy year for the BCA. Progress of the last year will hopefully set us on even more successful course in 2017.
2016 saw the beginning of a new “structure” for the BCA. It began with Nancy Hurtgen’s retirement and ended with four greatly expanded roles; Directors of Member Services, Communications, and Conferences, plus that of Secretary/Treasurer.
Charlene Baron FBCA, in her first year as Director of Member Services, has worked diligently as “concierge” helping us with member related needs. She also took on the task of updating all of the BCA forms (application, nomination, etc.) to give them a consistent look and make them easier to use. She even managed to find the time to “wear other hats”; continuing her IT role in maintaining the internal workings of the BCA website and BCATalk, partnering with Karen Hensley to produce BioImages, and finally, staying involved with the Honors Committee throughout the year.
Karen Hensley FBCA, as Director of Communications, started the year off overseeing a major upgrade to the BCA website. Along with a cleaner design, much of the content was updated, and new content such as more “Tips and Techniques” was added. Karen also transitioned our newsletter to an improved format. You are now reading the fourth newsletter with this new look. She also continued her work with BioImages this past year (over two hundred submissions by the way!). If you received feedback from the judges on your salon submission, you can thank Karen for that.
Adam Cooper RBP, FBCA, probably had the most upfront role this past year as Director of Conferences. If you joined us in New Orleans last June, then you know firsthand what Adam has accomplished for the BCA. BIOCOMM 2016 was a very successful meeting. Even before then, Adam started planning for our 2017 meeting. He has since secured the meeting site and our keynote speakers and is pulling together what looks to be another exciting program for us.
I don’t want to forget our two committee chairs; Danielle Edwards FBCA, for EFFE and Keith Bullis for Certification. They and their committees continue to work diligently. Daniel and her committee established a new grant for BIOCOMM attendance and 2016 was the first year the award was granted. Two members benefited from this grant. They in turn presented at BIOCOMM 2016 and submitted articles for our website. The committee awarded one EFFE grant this year as well. The Certification Committee has also been busy, with five active applicants currently in the works.
Two very important positions that were needed this year was a BCA Editor for the Journal of Biocommunications (JBC) and a member to represent BCA on the JBC Management Board of Voting Members. Both positions have been successfully filled. Matt Breitbart, one of our new members, has stepped up to serve as BCA editor for JBC and Jim Fosse, RBP, FBCA, has volunteered to serve on the JBC Management Board. Thank you to both Matt and Jim for stepping up to the plate.
The Journal of Biocommunications (JBC) launched Volume 40, Number 1, the first open access format journal for JBC. Articles and content published by BCA and AMI in the JBC will have higher visibility. JBC is now publicly available (without a password) and hosted at the University of Illinois. JBC continues to further clarify and define its new publishing model. Being publicly available and being open access have important distinctions for authors. JBC publishes fully sharable open access articles by means of OA Creative Commons licenses, and also publishes those more restricted (non-OA) traditionally licensed articles by those authors/photographers/illustrators that request a traditional copyright and the associated protections to their creative work. That's why you see an orange OPEN ACCESS icon included in some of the articles, while in other articles that icon is omitted. The end of each of the articles also contains information relevant to this. The new JBC environment is a "mixed publishing" model that combines open access publishing with full traditional publishing. It's this mixed (or hybrid) model that the JBC now supports. As the content for the next JBC issue is still under development, JBC plans to publish three issues in 2017.
Two important projects of note were started in 2016. First and foremost, Nancy Hurtgen and Tom Hurtgen FBCA spearheaded our journal scanning project. All print BPA/BCA journals starting with the first issue from 1931 have been scanned and delivered as searchable PDFs. This is an ongoing project and we now await the next phase; proper key wording and cataloguing to make the entire journal collection easily accessible to all. We are looking for people to step up and help with this final phase of the project. A fine example of the scanning project included, The Biological Photographic Association, Its Half Century, by H. Lou Gibson, RBP, FBPA, Hon. FBSA, covering BPA’s (BCA) history from 1931 to 1981. You can view it here.
Secondly, our YouTube channel really took off this year, thanks in part to our BIOCOMM presenters who agreed to be video taped and the hard work of Ken Meats, RBP. He is still editing and uploading presentations from BIOCOMM 2016 and they are proving to be very popular. As of this writing we have over 170 subscribers and counting! Of course there is always room for your tutorial on the BCA channel. Remember, BCA is still offering $300 for your submission. Need some assistance editing? BCA can help!
Financially, our investments have managed to weather the tumultuous ups and downs that this past year wrought. While we continued to experience positive growth, we have spent far more this past year than in previous years to fund our programs. This means tapping into our “principle” which in turns lowers our investment potential and reduces our dividends and interest income. Unfortunately we’re not out of the woods yet as we are still in danger of losing our non-profit status. Though it may sound counter intuitive, in order for us to continue as a non-profit, we have to raise our income. That’s why membership and other donations are so crucial to BCA. The income we derive from our investments is not nearly enough to maintain the Association and still provide important programing. If we do lose our non-profit status, then BCA becomes a private foundation. I know little of what that entails other than this; we begin paying taxes on our investments. Thus, losing investment income that could be used for BCA programs.
Regardless of our investments and maintaining our non-profit status, our most valuable assets are our members. We say it over and over again, BCA will not sustain without the support and input of its members. So, please GET INVOLVED in BCA. To list a few ways to be involved, renew your membership, volunteer to serve on a committee, present a webinar, submit an article for the newsletter or JBC, run for office, attend BIOCOMM, present at BIOCOMM, produce a YouTube tutorial, make a donation, join BCATalk, post on BCA Facebook. In short, get involved, spread the word and support your BCA.
Happy 2017 all!
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