Younger Chemistry Education Scholars Committee Report, Fall 2015

In my last Chair’s report, I presented the planned activities for the Denver ACS meeting and I’m happy to report that we had a very successful week. Here are a few highlights along with some sneak peeks of what you’ll find at the Boston ACS meeting!

The YCES open meeting brought in a few friends of the committee and most of our committee members were attending the meeting in person. We took a moment to thank members whose terms had ended and to welcome our newest members. David Wren, Sonia Underwood and Jennifer Duis join us this year as very active contributors to the committee. The group had productive discussions about our blog, future events, and future conferences. The committee voted to co-sponsor a student poster award for chemical education posters with the Chemical Education Research committee. Jordan Harshman is taking the lead and working with Renee Cole (Chair of CER Committee) to develop a rubric for poster judging. YCES members, CER members and friends of both committees can judge posters and up to three $50 prizes will be awarded. The first poster awards will be awarded at the Boston ACS meeting. If you are interested in helping judge the posters from 2-4pm on Monday August 17th, please email Stephanie Ryan! We can use all of the judges we can get! Either way – we encourage you to stop by Hall C in the convention center to see student posters!

We decided as a committee that as long as the chair was at Fall meetings for Executive Committee reporting, we should hold open meetings to reach the most people in our target community. If committee members cannot attend, every effort will be made to have them virtually attend. The YCES Open Meeting will be held from 4:30p-5:30p on Sunday August 16th in Cambridge 2 of the Seaport World Trade Center. We hope to see you there! This is a great place to meet graduate students and postdocs from other institutions and to learn more about our committee’s work! It is also a great place to get your feet wet with committee work as non-committee members can still volunteer to help at events. At this meeting we will specifically be talked about the following: What blog posts would you find interesting? How can we better advertise events for greater attendance? What technical programming do you find interesting as a younger chemistry education scholar? How can we better reach undergraduate students both at conferences and on campuses?

We had a booth at the undergraduate recruitment fair again this year and met with several undergraduate students. This year we had a banner made with the CER map of the US for reference. In referring to the banner, we decided that a future map with names of schools would be useful for this event. Questions that the committee is considering as we continue down this avenue: How best to advertise that we will be there? What information should we send students after they sign up? We have decided to have a booth at this event during both the Fall and Spring meetings to reach more undergraduate students. You can find us at the Boston ACS meeting at our booth on Sunday August 16th from 2-4p! It is located in East Registration of the conference center.

WebAssign sponsored our CER social at the Spring ACS meeting in Denver and we had a nice turnout for the networking event despite several scheduling conflicts. Thank you for the pizza and soda/water WebAssign! PASCO donated probeware and ACS Education donated several symposium series textbooks as prizes for winning Networking Bingo. We find that Networking Bingo is a great way for attendees to meet members of the committee, other attendees, and sponsor representatives. We learned an important scheduling lesson from this event: Events that are held during breakfast or after the last session are less likely to conflict with other meetings and should see an increase in attendance. We will be taking this ‘Lesson Learned’ forward at future meetings to hopefully increase attendance at events. There will be two networking events at the Fall ACS Meeting. The first is a Networking Breakfast sponsored by the YCES Committee from 7a-9:30a on Monday August 17th at Barrington Coffee (346 Congress Street). The second is a Networking Social that will be held from 5:30p-7:30p on Tuesday August 18th at Sam’s (60 Northern Avenue).

We have had such a great turnout at past events and we want to maintain that momentum! We are working to make our events more modular for future use by the committee. For example: The “CV Speed Dating” event was a success and rather than reinventing the wheel each year, Kelli Galloway is going to create a set of documents to help others recreate it at future events.

We are in the process of seeking sponsors for future events at ACS and BCCE meetings to help offset costs of social functions and to offer raffle prizes. If you work for a research group or company that would like to sponsor an event or donate a raffle prize, please contact Stephanie Ryan at sryan@air.org. We can include logos on our flyers, advertise sponsorship via social media accounts, and pass out promotional materials at the events. It is a great way to reach a wider audience and to support professional growth in our community. Sonia Underwood, Justin Carmel, and Thomas Bussey have all volunteered to help secure prizes and sponsors this year.

Speaking of social media – we are working to increase our presence online! We created business cards with our blog link on them and passed them out to undergrads, graduate students and postdocs. Our most recent post is “What’s Behind Door Number Two? Other Chemistry Education Research Career Options – Part 2. If you have an idea for a blog post that would be interesting to you, it is probably interesting to others too! Please submit any ideas to Mary Beth at anzovime@miamioh.edu. Justin Carmel handles our twitter account @ACS_YCES – check it out for posts at conferences and throughout the off-season for news. We also have a facebook group – find us at https://www.facebook.com/groups/YCESCommittee/. We will soon have a LinkedIn group page – David Wren is currently working on that! Heather Johnson has been working with our committee to update our website so that we have profiles of each member. The intent is for undergrads, grad students and recent grads to know our faces so that they feel comfortable approaching us at conferences or emailing us. We also bring the “Ask me about Chemistry Education” buttons to every conference and get volunteers to wear them through the listserv at each conference.

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