Webinar on “Improving Student Experience and Boosting Membership”

Pranav Raikote, Content Writer, Media and Publicity Subcommittee, IEEE R10 Student Activities Committee

The main aim of organizing the Webinar was to connect Students and Region 10 Leadership for interaction and sharing ideas and be a voice of student representatives from 4 main sub-regions namely South-East Asia, South Asia, Oceania and North Asia. The webinar was conducted on 19th July 2020 on the Cisco WebEx platform and also live streamed on Facebook Live. Prof. Binh, IEEE R10 SAC Chair; Ms. Saaveethya Sivakumar, RSR, IEEE R10 and Ms. Tharushi Natasha, IEEE R10 SAC were the moderators for the Webinar. This is the first regional webinar which had the Past, Present and Future Directors of IEEE Region 10.

The speakers for the webinar were 3 eminent personalities in IEEE Region 10 – Prof. Akinori Nishihara, IEEE Region 10 Director for 2019-2020; Prof. Kukjin Chun, IEEE Region 10 Director for 2017-2018; and Mr. Deepak Mathur, IEEE Region 10 Director-Elect for 2019-2020. Prof. Nishihara spoke about the IEEE organizational governance and gave insights into the Structural and Operational Bodies of IEEE such as Membership & Geographic Activities, Technical Activities Board, Educational Activities Board, Student Activities, and IEEE USA. He gave insights into the IEEE R10 as an Organizational Unit and discussed the Benefits of being a Student Member in IEEE such as Student Branches, funding & awards opportunities, mentoring & educational support, and IEEE YP, to name a few. The volunteering opportunities, IEEE membership dues, and IEEE policies were also discussed.

Prof. Kukjin Chun spoke about the Membership Development and Retention from the IEEE MGA Perspective, Membership Distribution in the top 10 countries i.e. India, USA, China, Canada, and Bangladesh and an overall Snapshot of IEEE Region 10. He spoke on the Membership Benefits – IEEE Potentials, IEEE Xtreme, IEEE TV, IEEE Day, IEEE Collabratec, and Campus experience. He discussed what’s new in 2020 such as Virtual Speakers Bureau, Live Streaming of Webinars, Extended Volunteering Opportunities, new Webinar series in technical and non-technical topics, easy hassle-free way of inviting speakers without any cost involved and many more. He also educated everybody on the Professional Awareness (SPAx) – Professional Development Topics on Finance and Planning as they were often not given the importance they should be getting. The important aspect of this Webinar was to instill a common goal and plan for successful operation of IEEE Region 10 activities, which was addressed by Mr. Deepak Mathur.

Mr. Deepak Mathur spoke about the IEEE Strategic Plan (2020-2025) and his vision and initiatives for 2021-2022. He mentioned about various resources in IEEE for an effective and improved student membership experience and boosting the membership retention. He also discussed about improving the quality and introducing new flagship conferences, high member satisfaction at Section/Chapter level, promoting Industry-Academia partnership, specifically curated YP programs and promotion of sustainable Humanitarian Technology Projects under his vision for 2021-2022. He enlightened the audience about the 2021-2022 Region 10 ExCom Structure and Officer Positions and new working plan for increased focus on YP, WIE and SAC Programs. He also stressed on student activities and the role of RSR and SSRs working together in a much enhanced collaborative direction. A Panel was organized to obtain insights from volunteers in leadership positions from various OUs across Region 10.

The Panel Discussion consisted of representatives of various Sections under IEEE Region 10. Mr. Amesh Gomas, IEEE South-East Asia; Ms. Dimple Khilwani, IEEE South Asia; Ms. Honey Shirly, IEEE Oceania and Mr. Zheming from IEEE North Asia contributed actively to the panel discussion and brought out important suggestions and discussed key aspects like enhancing membership experience, retention, volunteering opportunities, and best practices. The Webinar was attended by 163 attendees via the WebEx session and around 930 participants via the FB Live Stream. Click here to view the Webinar Recording.