Jessica P. Houston, Ph.D.

Candidate Statement
I am quite honored to be nominated for the position of ISAC Treasurer. Thank you for reading this statement and especially for your time voting for all open ISAC positions. In fact, as a council member (2014-2018 term), I now appreciate how important it is to remain active within the society, to give back, and to strive to be a strong leader with others who champion our collective, common goal to internationally advance cytometry.

I see the role of treasurer as one that demands a high level of responsibility, dedication, and constant interaction between members, council, society management, and leadership. The treasurer is key to many operational aspects of ISAC and the management of decisions taken by our council, committees, and taskforces. As an ISAC Officer, the treasurer is one of five members on the executive committee and is vital to the monitoring of the society’s overall fiscal health. With many new and exciting changes on the ISAC horizon, a fiscally prudent role is more important than ever. I believe during the 2018-2022 term, our treasurer should maintain a meticulous accounting of the ISAC budget, advocate for flexibility across all new and ongoing initiatives, and mirror the diversity of our members who seek value from ISAC in a way that allows them to share knowledge of and excitement for cytometry at an international level. 

I would work with Council, using guidance from the Finance Committee, to implement financial strategies designed to ensure ISAC's financial stability and attainment of its strategic initiatives. Doing this will require careful and prudent tracking of all funding initiatives that ISAC endeavors to achieve, providing fiscal information when called for during council meetings, at CYTO business meetings, and in partnership with our executive director and her staff. I will insure that the Society's portfolio is diversified, using mutual fund and ETF investments with a mixture of fixed income bond and equities. I will maintain a reserve sufficient to cover the expenses of at least one International meeting, and require budget proposals for all society activities through use of competitive bidding processes for the Society's large expenditures. I plan to be attentive to the value we have placed on partnerships, ventures, and members thus far, and to maintain the critical momentum that we will take under a new strategic plan, while making the tough decisions required to insure financial stability.

I would consider it a privilege to be Treasurer, during this term when we implement a new ISAC strategic plan that focuses on the areas of innovation, member value, education, and globalization. I will very much appreciate the opportunity to lead under a new and innovative management model that positions ISAC in the best possible standing to achieve the goals that strengthen our society’s future. I provide my qualifications and biography below, which I believe place me in the unique position for the role of treasurer.
  • 4 years serving on the ISAC Council (2014-2018);
  • Scholar of ISAC since 2014;
  • Associate Editor, Cytometry Part A;
  • 4 years as chair of the Scientific Communications Committee; I remain chair of this committee and in the past negoiated the new publishing contract between ISAC and Wiley (publisher of Cytometry Part A); negotiated and facilitated the Editor in Chief’s contract for ISAC---both roles involved significant and positive financial implications for the society;
  • 4 years serving on the CYTO organizing and program committee;
  • 2 years serving on the ISAC Marylou Ingram Scholars Committee;
  • 2 years serving on the ISAC Nominating committee;
  • Principle Investigator (~9 years) of major grants (NSF, NIH, USDA, private foundation) that support my chemical & materials engineering research laboratory at New Mexico State University;
  • Advisor of many graduate students where, to-date, 7 have received M.S. degrees and 4 have received Ph.D. degrees (all in the area of flow cytometry instrumentation).
  • Mentor/advisor to over 30 undergraduate students who have been involved in research in my laboratory in flow cytometry since 2009, (several that are underrepresented minorities)
  • Instructor of more than 10 undergraduate chemical engineering classes since 2009 for a department of >300 students. Freshmen to senior level classes taught include Fluid Mechanics, Process Control, Biomedical Engineering, MATLAB, Transport Phenomena, and others. My teaching pedagogy includes active learning, flipped classrooms, project based learning and entrepreneurial-minded learning,
  • Extensive experience with other societies including the programming committee member of CLEO, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and help with the cytometry development workshop.
Brief biography:
Jessica P. Houston, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Chemical & Materials Engineering at New Mexico State University (NMSU) in Las Cruces, NM. She an affiliate faculty at the University of New Mexico Biomedical Engineering Center. She became an Associate Editor for Cytometry Part A in 2017. Her Ph.D. degree was received from Texas A&M University in Chemical Engineering in 2005. She was a Director’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory Flow Cytometry Research Resource from 2006-2009. She has been at NMSU since 2009. Her research interests include flow cytometry instrument optimization, specifically the advancement of fluorescence dynamics measurements using high throughput systems. Jessica has developed a flow cytometry instrumentation lab at NMSU, trained many students, and received numerous research grants for projects that involve novel ways to measure the fluorescence lifetime with a cytometer. She has presented (with mentored students) > 150 abstracts, >35 publications; > 20 invited talks; she holds a patent on lifetime measurements with cytometry, and authors book chapters and editorials. Some of her notable honors include: being named a 2018-2019 Faculty Fulbright Scholar; Best Paper in Cytometry Part A, 2015; a Synergy-One award (NMSU College of Engineering) Outstanding Junior Faculty (NMSU Hispanic Faculty and Staff Caucus); Early Career Award (NMSU Research Council) NSF CAREER grant (National Science Foundation); and ISAC Marylou Ingram Scholar.

Our vision is to advance the impact of cytometry in meeting current and emerging challenges in the life, biomedical, and physical sciences.

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