ATE Update: Ending and Beginning

The End of a Chapter, The End of an Era ... and a New Beginning

Kelly Classic, Web Operations Editor in Chief

"Like a seedling, an idea grows into a flower." Anon

Gen Roessler

Twenty years ago, Gen Roessler had a hair-brained idea. What if we—experts on all things radiation—answered individuals' questions personally and put them on the newly built Health Physics Society (HPS) website? Oh, and we could call this Ask the Experts (ATE).

Whoa … what? Many thought this wouldn't fly. This was in the days before other "ask the experts" existed. But 13,000 or so questions and answers later, Ask the Experts has become the Society's greatest public information and education endeavor.

Am I biased? Not at all. (Well, maybe.🙂)

This past March, Gen was the 3rd Thomas Tenforde lecturer at the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements annual meeting, where she spoke about ATE and some of our more intriguing questions. This was a very high honor and a highlight of Gen's career—a career that has led her from being a University of Florida professor of nuclear engineering to becoming the 2nd female HPS president and then to serving as editor in chief of the Health Physics Journal, editor in chief of the HPS newsletter, cocreator of, and inventor of Ask the Experts.

And it is on this high note that Gen has decided to retire from Ask the Experts.

As Gen and I talked, and I thought about it, I wondered what HPS life for me would now look like. I've worked with Gen for at least 20 years—20 years filled with energy, ideas, and excitement. Oh, the meetings we had. I sometimes felt bad for Keith Dinger and Howard Dickson, who lived through many of the exchanges!

I don't doubt Gen has touched many of you in the same way. Always respectful, thoughtful, a good listener, a lover of all things new and exciting, and a highly skilled health physicist—Gen is an esteemed role model for us all.

Her plan is to step down from this role effective 31 August 2019, thus giving each of us the opportunity to thank her in person at the 2019 HPS Annual Meeting for all of her HPS-related work.

And the new beginning …


The Beginning of a Chapter

Genevieve S. Roessler, ATE Editor in Chief

I leave this position with pride and fulfillment because during the past 20 years, many talented topic editors and hundreds of experts have worked with me to bring ATE from a fledgling idea to a successful communication venture. Plus, I am eager to move on to spend more time with my family and to write the story of my ancestors for my descendants.

I am sad though, as I will greatly miss my close and unique association with the many ATE editors and experts, especially the cocreators of the feature, Fred Baes and Kelly Classic. I know the new editor in chief will grow to appreciate and cherish them all as I have.

Emily Caffrey

And with that segue, it is with great enthusiasm that I introduce Emily Caffrey as the next editor in chief of the HPS ATE feature.

Emily has incredible credentials that include a BS in nuclear engineering and an MS and PhD in radiation health physics with a statistics minor from Oregon State University. She has passed Part I of the CHP exam and will be eligible to take Part II in 2020.

She is president at Radian Scientific, LLC, and does health physics consulting with Risk Assessment Corporation, specializing in radiation dose reconstructions, performance assessments, source term development, environmental assessments, and data management and analysis for a wide variety of governmental and industry clients. She is on the adjunct faculty of Oregon State University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Emily is an active member of the HPS Public Information Committee, a past president of the HPS Alabama Chapter, and the narrator on two new videos on the ATE website under Pregnancy and Radiation and under Medical and Dental Patient Issues.

Emily and her husband of eight years, Jarvis, a PhD graduate of Oregon State University, live in Huntsville, Alabama, where Jarvis is a nuclear propulsion engineer for NASA at Marshall Space Flight Center. Emily is from Santa Rosa, California, and Jarvis is from Ashland, Oregon. They enjoy the outdoors, especially camping, hiking, and mountain biking. They have a dog, Apollo, and two cats.

I encourage all of you to warmly welcome Emily and help her with ATE when the need arises.

And, in closing, I want to thank all of you for the continued support you have given me over my HPS career. You are truly a passionate, giving group of people and I am so grateful I have had the chance to personally get to know many of you.