NYSCAA Home Winter/Spring 2004 Newsletter
Candidate Bios

President-Elect [duties]

Secretary [duties]

Treasurer [duties]

Board of Advisors (two positions open) [duties]

Candidates for President-Elect

  • Janell Lovelace (MO 1986)

    My name is Janell (Lehmann) Lovelace and I was a delegate from Missouri in 1986 and then went to Duke University. After graduating, I was on staph in 1990 and helped out with the computer lab and the caving program and taught about half of the camp to juggle. I've been to several alumni reunions over the years, and organized the 2002 reunion in the Research Triangle area of NC. I worked as a software engineer for eleven years, but quit in 2001 to become a full-time homemaker and mom for at least a few years. I have experience as an officer in other organizations, including the Odyssey of the Mind program. Science Camp has been very important to me over the years, and I believe that the alumni have a lot to offer each other. I'd like to do all I can to help us all become and stay connected.

  • Jay Blanchard (LA 1977)

    Howdy! I am Jay Blanchard (LA 1977) and a current member of the BOA. You know, the NYSCAA is one of the most unique alumni groups on our fair planet. If the combined braintrust of the group could be focused what a powerful force it could be. Imagine the support for future camp projects including the endowment. Imagine the good that could be done through mentoring programs. Imagine the fun that could be had relating the experiences of 40+ years of campers and staph and teachers!

    All this and much, much more is what drives me to want to serve the vast array of alumni in our midst. I'd like to be a catalyst for a more coheshive and communicative association. I am privileged to be a member. I am currently the chief applications developer for nii communications, inc. in San Antonio, Texas. My wife Brenda and I live in the beautiful Texas Hill Country with our Yorkie (Gumbeaux). My daughter Kaitlyn is the apple of my eye.

Candidate for Secretary

  • Terran Lane (KY 1990)

    After my camp summer in 1990, I ventured off to the wilds of north central Indiana to attend Purdue University with starry-eyed enthusiasm to study computer engineering and artificial intelligence (AI). I found the summers too hot and humid, the winters cold and bracing, the corn fields depressing, but the education stimulating and mind-expanding. I ended up staying at Purdue quite a bit longer than I had intended, achieving not just bachelor's but also PhD there. My extended tenure (10 years!) at Purdue was in large part because of hooking up with a fantastic advisor who introduced me to the field of machine learning -- my dissertation topic and my current area of research. I was lucky enough to find my way into a wonderful postdoctoral position at MIT, where I learned a great deal more about AI and machine learning, as well as falling in love with the Boston area lifestyle and falling in hate with the Boston area housing market.

    After two years there, I felt it was time to look for a little more stability in my life, so I looked around for a longer-term job than a year-to-year postdoc. In August of 2002, I found myself to be a shiny new assistant professor in the department of computer science at the University of New Mexico, in Albuquerque NM. The Southwest is quite a change after the midwest and the East coast, but I'm really enjoying it. It's a beautiful and different place. I have a greater appreciation, now, for Georgia O'Keefe and the colors of the sky and earth under the intense New Mexico sun. I'm enjoying my job here, though the work of a tenure track professor is never done. The students are a joy, and the research is fascinating. But perhaps most importantly, I'm sharing my time here with my wife Susan -- the love of my life, whom I met while I was a grad student at Purdue, and whom I married in October of 2002.

    It's been an intense time since I was at camp, to be sure. 13 years seem to have flown by so quickly. And yet ... Camp has been a part of me ever since that summer. It's a powerful memory that lingers with me, fading in some details with time, the way that a treasured book does after too many readings. Yet still just as moving as when first read. It was a time that affected me nearly as much as any other in my life. One of my greatest regrets over the years is that I haven't really had the chance to come back and give something of that experience back to a new generation of campers. There are many things that interfered -- some small and some large, including some personal family issues for a number of years. And now that I find myself in a high stress and high effort job, it's hard to find three or four weeks in the summer to return and give as much back to the camp as I would like. But Erica tells me that there is opportunity to help in some ways now, so I would like to take the chance to contribute something back. And who knows -- maybe if I make tenure, you might even see me back at camp some summer staphing and helping corrupt a whole _new_ generation of campers. ;-)

Candidate for Treasurer

  • Liwen "Lee" Mah (CA 1989)

    Before starting school at Boalt Hall in Berkeley, I had the fortunate opportunity to be a Unit Leader in 2002, ten years after I had last been on Staph. Despite my high expectations, the summer surpassed those expectations. The delegates of course were as unique and inspiring as we have come to expect every year. What continues to impress me most, though, is how Staph, alumni, and the West Virginia community are perennially able to produce magic. I was gratified to discover that this group effort was as strong in 2002 as I ever remember it being.

    For any group effort to succeed, trust, a shared understanding, and leadership are critical. NYSC alumni know and respect each other both as scientists and as human beings. NYSC alumni also have a shared understanding, not only of four bizarrely wonderful weeks in the woods of the Monongahela, but also of a passion for science. I hope to see the alumni association strengthen its sense of community. By building on the foundation of trust and shared understanding, we should support each others' endeavors, honor each others' achievements, stimulate each others' curiosity, and encourage the latest generation of bright minds. We should celebrate each others' lives. By continuing to provide ways for alumni to connect with each other and with camp (such as reunions), and by creating new ways too (such as blogs or conferences), the alumni association can provide an invaluable and relevant service to its members.

Candidates for Board of Advisors (BOA)

  • Taylor Clark (Directed Studies Faculty 1997-2003)

    I am an attorney who handles a wide variety of business issues, including trade secrets, intellectual property, contracts, and unfair competition. I obtained a JD and an MBA from Pepperdine University, as well as an advanced law degree from the University of Paris II on European Community intellectual property law and unfair competition. For the past seven years, I have led directed studies at NYSC on bioethics and trade secrets (and other topics where the law, science and ethics overlap). I whole-heartedlly embrace the nurturing and support that the NYSC Alumni Association provides former campers as they pursue their careers and would feel honored and privileged to be part of the leadership for such an outstanding organization.

  • Travis Fisher (NE 1995)

    Back in 1995 I spent several weeks hanging around a cluster of mint green cabins in the middle of a big forest. That summer I met something over 100 of y'all (and learned to use the word y'all. too). You know what that experience was like -- awesome, incredible, life-changing, etc. Since then I've been back on staph 4 times (plus the NYSC-sister camp NAYSLI once) and made it to several reunions. I'd really like to see the NYSC continue to be the wonderful thing it has been for so many years, I'd like to keep in touch with old friends and meet new folks who share that connection. This is what the NYSCAA is for, so I'm happy to try to help out on the BOA.

  • Omar Ahmad (FL 1982)

    Vice President Operations & Infrastructure,
    Grand Central Communications San Francisco, CA

    I have served a few different roles for the NYSCAA including one of the first BOA members. I have tried to make all the annual meetngs and have truly enjoyed meeting campers from many years and making new connections that made the NYSC experience so important for many of us. I hope to add some new energy to the BOA and in turn to the NYSCAA in the hope to make our group vital and relevant for all NYSCAA members.