New Member Committee Report, Fall 2011

The New Member Committee (NMC) met at our usual time during the spring ACS national meeting in Anaheim. At this time we discussed three important goals for the NMC. First was planning for the 3rd New Members Welcome Lunch to be held at the 2012 BCCE at Penn State. Based on feedback from the 2010 Welcome Lunch at UNT we plan to do some restructuring. We will keep only the most popular committee tables (High School Committee, CER, JCE, etc.) and the rest of the tables will be general information and how to get involved with DivCHED; however, we will still be asking for participation from ExComm and the various DivCHED committees. Debbie has been in contact with Dan Sykes at Penn State regarding our space needs and he has indicated that we will have a dedicated location adjacent to a food court area for the Welcome Lunch.

Second, for the 2011 spring meeting in Anaheim, the NMC sent out invitation emails to all of the new members from April 2010 - January 2011, personally inviting them to the DivCHED welcome reception. We feel this is great opportunity for DivCHED to connect with the new members, but given that a number of our members are not able to attend national ACS meetings but may be able to attend regional meetings, the NMC would like to institute a DivCHED welcome event similar to the one held Sunday night of the national ACS meetings. The NMC felt that support of such an event would be a good use of our newly increased committee budget. Frank Creegan, the Regional Meeting Committee chair, indicated that it would work best if we identified a meeting that already had a social event that we could add to and that if it was a future meeting, being present at such a function, posting a Division poster, and answering questions could be added to the duties of the assigned DivCHED representative.

Finally, the NMC discussed alternative ways of communicating with new members and current members, specifically noting the importance of electronic communications and social media. Our Division office manager, Heather Johnson, has made this easier for us as she is willing and able to make updates/changes to the committee websites and send a Division welcome letter to new members. Heather has also agreed to take over administration of the DivCHED facebook site and we think this would be a great way to communicate with new members (see action item 1 below). The NMC plans to maintain a more active presence on this site and post information that we feel would be of interest to new members. Along these lines we also discussed starting a twitter account, and hosting a session on social media and/or a workshop on how to use Facebook and Twitter at an upcoming meeting as future goals for the NMC.

Action Items

  1. We feel that especially the younger generation uses social media a great deal. Heather has done a great job of posting some recent information of interest to members (workshops, job postings, etc.) to Facebook.; however, we think this could be greatly improved. We propose the following. A. All members of ExComm join the ACS Division of Chemical Education group on Facebook. B. Information about upcoming events (registration deadlines, submission deadlines, conference dates for regional and national meetings as well as BCCE, any information about committee meetings, information about Division nominations and elections, etc.) be posted on the Division Facebook site.

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