International Activities Committee Report, Fall 2018

The IAC works to engage and connect with other networks of chemistry educators with global interests. Through these networks, we will exchange ideas about chemistry education research and practices that promote equity and diversity in chemistry education. We are very interested in learning how we can better assist our Division members to get involved with our committee, please contact DivCHED IAC Chair Resa Kelly if you want to learn more about our committee.

Since we last met at the ACS National Meeting in New Orleans the book: International Perspectives on Chemistry Education Research and practice – ACS Symposium Series was published (https://pubs.acs.org/isbn/9780841233461). Hearty congratulations go to DivCHED IAC members and co-editors Charlie Cox and Wendy Schatzberg!

At the spring meeting in New Orleans we discussed the following topics: 1) Conference work/symposia 2) Creating an International Lounge at future BCCEs 3) Travel award advertisement 4) Outreach to Graduate Students and Postdocs and 5) International Student Chapter Connections.

1. Conference Work/Symposia – we recognize that conference symposia are an important way to involve international speakers with US speakers. For the spring meeting (2019) to be held in Orlando, Florida we plan to organize two symposia that fit with the interests of international members. Chair Kelly has submitted an abstract on the topic of Science Olympiads while the trio of  way We would like to encourage people to contribute abstracts or to direct others to these symposia who might be interested.

Kelly in collaboration with former DivCHED IAC chair Carmen Valdez Gauthier, will represent the DivCHED IAC at the Ibero Americano de Química conference in Lima, Perú to be held in October of 2018. The symposium will focus on the ways that we engage students to learn chemistry concepts that have interdisciplinary connections, and real-world applications or that bridge to advanced chemistry concepts.

Several of our members attended the ICCE in Sydney, Australia – these were: Alison Flynn, Wendy Schatzberg, Hanna Sevian and Roy Tasker.

2. International Lounge – At the BCCE in Notre Dame we have requested a place where international guests can be encouraged to meet and where we can have facilitators to assist international guests. To kick off the conference, Chair Kelly has organized an international mixer and we hope we can begin to brainstorm additional ways that we can better assist international attendees at conferences and promote collaboration. IAC members will be brainstorming ways that we can use the lounging space to promote deeper relations and collaborations.

3. Travel Award – at the BCCE, we will once again be attempting to have a small business card with our travel award application information included in the BCCE bags. We will continue to use social media as a way to reach out too.

4. Outreach to Graduate Students and Postdocs – we would like to put the call out to YCES of both DivCHED and the ACS to find ways to develop international outreach to graduate students and postdocs and exchange students. Akiko Nakamura and Alexey Leontyev attended social events at the ACS in New Orleans and they reported back that there is much interest in learning about international job openings, how to apply and how to be competitive internationally. This area is ripe for our future efforts.

5. International Student Chapters – There are currently 49 international student chapters as reported through the IAC of the Society. Former DivCHED IAC member Dr. Santiago Sandi-Urena attended our last meeting and reported on his efforts to begin a chapter in Costa Rica. He established the need to bring a small team of Costa Rican students to the BCCE and we have worked with DivCHED IAC member Conrad Bergo to offer travel assistance. Bergo has graciously donated a small travel endowment to the committee to assist international members with travel to ACS and BCCE meetings. Sachel Villafane will be interviewing the Costa Rican students on behalf of DivCHED IAC to help us learn more about their vision and goals. We look forward to finding ways that we can collaborate with other international chapters and we hope to find a way to extend our committee size to allow us to add 3 to 5 international student chapter representatives onto the committee roster.

Thank you for reading!

DivCHED IAC Chair Resa Kelly

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