Home President's Corner President’s Corner – December 2020 – Emily McCarthy

President’s Corner – December 2020 – Emily McCarthy


This is my final president’s corner for SEAoT Houston/Gulf Coast. Congratulations to Dr. Joshua White, our SEAoT Houston/Gulf Coast president-elect. Congratulations also to Sara Buerstinghaus who moves into the vice president position and Daniel Pearson who is stepping into the secretary position. They will form the core for the SEAoT Houston/Gulf Coast board and will lead us well throughout 2021.

I am so grateful I have had the opportunity to serve you all for the past several years, first as secretary, then vice president and finally as president. I leave feeling sad that my time of intense involvement in our local chapter is ending, but I am confident the momentum our board created over the past few years will continue and even surpass my expectations. That is what each board member hopes for and works towards, a robust and involved chapter where all of you find satisfaction showing up and being involved in our chapter events.

This year has been full of surprises and challenges, and for that reason closing out this year seems surreal. When I started 2020 I was excited for our plans to host networking events with other engineering and architecture associations, get our chapter involved in the local sandcastle competition, host our second annual Topgolf tournament, and meet with you all at our monthly meetings. My vision for the year was to expand community involvement in our association, but external events didn’t just curtail that vision, they put a stop to all but virtual interactions. To move beyond the dichotomy of my 2020 vision and our mutual reality, which can be jarring, I need to let go of my past vision and instead hope that Joshua White’s 2021 vision is able to be realized. And by shifting my focus from the past to the potential future, I find hope and am excited to support our new board and cheer their success.

Transitioning between roles or ways of thinking is not easy and takes effort. The mental shift is something we as engineers are particularly trained to do as we progress in our careers. We wear many hats and are sometimes required to seamlessly transition from one to the other, which means we cannot have too firm a grip on any one hat. If you are in a place where a hat change is needed, evaluate the need objectively and make the transition with grace and professionalism. The next hat you wear may be a Stetson and you were used to an Astros ball cap, but you can have pride in wearing both.

Wherever 2021 takes you, I encourage you to stay involved in SEAoT Houston/Gulf Coast, we are a great community because of you.

Be good and stay well.

Emily McCarthy
SEAoT Houston/Gulf Coast