Chemical Education Research Committee Report, Fall 2012

At the 243rd National Meeting of the ACS in San Diego, CA, Gautum Bhattacharyya and Cianán Russell organized the Chemical Education Research (CER) symposium. There were presentations in 5 sessions at this Spring meeting involving 30+ papers. The CER committee sponsors this symposium at every national meeting.

At the 2012 Biennial Conference on Chemical Education (BCCE) in University Park, PA, The CER Committee is sponsoring two symposia: The CER symposium is under the direction of Douglas Mulford and Dawn Del Carlo. The Peer-Reviewed CER Symposium is organized by Diane Bunce, Deborah Herrington, Jessie Vanden Plas, Vickie Williamson. This is the second time that the Peer-Reviewed symposium as been offered. The presentations in the Peer-Reviewed Symposium will be about twice as long, allowing for in-depth presentations of completed chemical education research studies that have undergone blind peer review by members and friends of the Chemical Education Research Committee. To be considered for this symposium, authors submitted a 1000-word abstract by January 15, 2012. The abstract included: the study’s theoretical basis or rationale, the research questions posed, a brief overview of methodology and data analysis, and summary of findings. Individuals selected for participation in this symposium were notified by February 1, 2012 and invited to submit a 125-word abstract online through the normal BCCE submission (2/28 deadline). After a double-blind review, those not selected for this symposium will be encouraged to submit abstracts to the regular CER symposium. Graduate students and post-docs were encouraged to submit. The CER committee has voted to hold the Peer-Reviewed CER symposium every Spring.

At the 244th ACS National Fall Meeting in Philadelphia, the CER symposium will be organized by Chris Bauer and Don Wink. Tom Greenbowe and Sam Pazicni will be the organizers for the 245th ACS Spring Meeting in New Orleans. The CER committee welcomes the abstract submission of all kinds of CER.

The CER Committee seeks to increase the number of quality nominations for the ACS Award in Achievement in Research for the Teaching and Learning of Chemistry, which requires a minimum of ten nominations per year. Nominations are active for a period of three years. Renee Cole serves as the CERC liaison to the ACS Canvassing Committee for this award. The Canvassing Committee will work to ensure that candidates will be nominated and asks that anyone who is nominating a colleague for this award to send a courtesy e-mail to one of the Canvassing Committee members (Michael Abraham, Tom Greenbowe, and Michael Sanger) so they can adequately track the number of candidates nominated for this award.

The CER committee is working on a number of other projects. A sampling of these include: improving the interface with teacher education, updating the CERC website, improving the guidelines for the Peer-Reviewed Symposium, exploring the possibility of joint symposium with other divisions to focus on putting research into practice.

The CERC meetings are held on Sunday afternoon at the National ACS and BCCE meetings. These are open to the entire chemical education community. The CERC is an equal opportunity committee, and we are continually working to make it an open and welcoming environment for the sharing of ideas and opinions of all ACS members—from graduate students in chemical education to faculty who are new to chemical education research and would like some guidance to junior- and senior-level chemical education research faculty members. Approved meeting minutes are posted on the CERC page on the DivCHED website. Our next meetings will be at the 2012 BCCE in University and the 2012 BCCE. This committee will not meet at the Fall Meeting in Philadelphia.

The members of the CER Committee for 2012 are:
Vickie M. Williamson (Chair), Texas A & M University
Gautam Bhattacharyya, Clemson University
Diane Bunce, Catholic University of America
Renee Cole, University of Central Missouri
Melanie Cooper, Clemson University
Tom Greenbowe, Iowa State University
Nathaniel Grove, University of North Carolina Wilmington
Willie Hunter, Illinois State University
Greg Rushton, Kennesaw State University
Cianán Russell (Secretary), Georgia Institute of Technology
Marilyne Stains, University of Nebraska
Jessica Vanden Plas, Northern Arizona University
Ningfeng Zhao, East Tennessee State University

Members of the CERC serve for a term of three years, with the terms of four members expiring each year. Perspectives from those who are experienced researchers and who are new to chemical education research are valued. Those who would be willing to serve on the Chemical Education Research Committee should contact Vickie Williamson ( Please include one sentence to describe what you would hope the committee can accomplish and one sentence about what skills, ideas, and energy you would bring to the committee to accomplish the goals. A list of those interested will be forwarded to the CPN committee for membership appointments beginning Jan 2013. The CERC is looking for hard working individuals who want to promote chemical education research.

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