Welcome! Although it often feels like we as younger chemical educators work in a vacuum, in truth we are a community of scholars and professionals. We hope this blog will help younger scholars in the chemical education community support one another, share ideas, and exchange advice.

The blog is regularly updated with guest posts from chemical education researchers across the community. Of course, we welcome your feedback as well! Leave your remarks or questions in the comments section to become part of the conversation.*

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by Jessica Reed, Iowa State University

Hello Younger Chemistry Education Scholars!

Welcome back to a new school year and a new adventure. I hope you had a productive summer, and are thinking ahead to what goals you want to accomplish this school year. With that in mind, I wanted to get your feedback about the YCES’ Blog.

CER in Teacher Prep Positions

by Michelle Dean, Kennesaw State University

I am now three years into a position as an Assistant Professor of Chemical Education and taking on teaching, research and service activities I absolutely love and three years ago would have never imagined I would be doing.  Upon completing my undergraduate degree I changed my career trajectory from secondary education in chemistry to that of a chemical education university faculty member.  This change was not initiated by a horrible student teaching experience, but rather simply learning that such a profession existed.  I graduated with my undergraduate degree from an institution where if chemical education research was taking place it did not readily involve student researchers or shared with students, and therefore I was clueless about this alternative career path which blended two things I had a passion for: chemistry and education.

Navigating the Two-Body Problem

by Marilyne Stains, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Two years ago, my husband and I started our tenure-track assistant professor positions in chemistry at the same institution. Although it may seem impossible to many of you, (it sure seemed impossible to us at times), the two-body problem is solvable!

The life of a chemistry education research (CER) graduate student

What does a graduate program in CER look like and how do you find one?

by Allie Brandriet, Miami University, OH

This blog is based on a presentation that I gave in the What is Chemistry Education Research (CER)? symposium at the 2013 spring ACS National Meeting. The purpose of this symposium was to offer an introduction to the field of CER for those who may not be familiar with the discipline. My hope for this blog is that it can be used as a tool for students interested in pursuing graduate level degrees in CER. Please pass it along to students who may be interested!

If you build it, will they come? Reflections on working with undergraduate researchers

by Nathaniel Grove

It has now been a little over three years since I accepted my current position at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.  It was a time filled with great excitement, and concurrently, great stress and anxiety.  One of my recurring nightmares involved research: sure, I had all of these big ideas – and perhaps even a notion or two about how to pursue them – but would anyone actually be interested in working with me to help execute those plans?  Three years later, it has been gratifying to see many of my fears allayed, but the build up of my research group certainly wasn’t something that happened overnight, and in the process, I have come to rely heavily on the involvement of undergraduate researchers.  Although many of us are passionate about undergraduate education and are equally keen to involve undergraduate students in our research, it has been my experience that as a group, undergraduates have very different research needs and goals than their graduate student counterparts.  What I offer below are some reflections on my experiences working with undergraduate research students.

Using Chemistry Education Research in a Teaching-Centered Position

by Seth Anthony

I'm going to start out with an odd statement for a blog aimed towards a community of chemistry education researchers: I've never loved research. Liked it, sure. But it’s never gotten me up in the morning excited to go to work.

Teaching is what gets me up in the morning, and even before I started graduate school in CER, I wanted to pursue a position centered around teaching, not research. But during my first year-and-a-half as a faculty member at a teaching-oriented, primarily undergraduate institution, I’ve found that my training in CER impacts much more of my job than I expected.

10 Tips for a Successful Academic Job Search

by Dr. LaKeisha McClary

I have been fortunate to complete within one calendar year an academic job search and sit on the other side to hire a new colleague. Mentors prepared me well for my successful academic job, but I know that not everyone is fortunate to have advisers and friends in the academy keep it real. So, I was excited to be asked to write a blog post on job searches. Since my only interest was in academic positions, I will limit myself within those boundaries. I present 10 tips for a successful academic job search.

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