Younger Chemistry Education Scholars Committee Report, Spring 2015

The YCES Committee had a productive conference season. At the BCCE meeting in Allendale, MI, we had a strong program to foster networking and professional growth. Jordan Harshman and Thomas Bussey created a flyer that we posted on social media and circulated through listservs for visibility. We obtained sponsorship from WebAssign to host a CV Speed Dating event on the Sunday afternoon prior to the start of BCCE where graduate students and recent graduates learned how to transform their current resume or curriculum vitae into an attractive document for potential employers. Kelly Galloway and Jessica Reed organized the event to be a round-robin “speed-dating” event with a panel of faculty member experts. Faculty were given the CVs in advance so that they could provide feedback and each graduate student met with at least three faculty members. One lucky winner won a leather padfolio for them to use throughout their interview process. We would like to thank all of the faculty and students that participated in this event.

On Tuesday, we hosted a YCES Social at a local restaurant. Attendees received a Networking Bingo card that had blank spaces along with the names of committee members. The goal of the ‘game’ was to have them meet people, discuss their research and get signatures. Throughout the event there was a slide show showcasing both professional and friendship photos of members – to highlight the relationships that were fostered through the Graduate Student conferences and the YCES committee. ACS Education donated several copies of a variety of symposium series for us to raffle off so that friends of the YCES committee could build their professional libraries. We had over 40 people in attendance.

On Wednesday night, we piggy-backed our event with the Al.D.Hyde and the Ketones concert to encourage networking outside of the YCES committee. Each person who networked with at least three people turned in a completed card for a leather business card holder donated by Element Learning. We had over 100 participants in this event! Attendees and ‘friendly faces’ were designated using buttons that were donated by the ACS Exams Institute. Justin Carmel designed ‘chemistry pun’ buttons that were a big hit. We advertised them as “Pieces of Flair” and attendees received a different button at each event they attended along with raffle tickets to enter to win a Smart Pen donated by LiveScribe. Overall, we received very positive feedback from the attendees and the larger chemistry education community. We received some feedback of how to discuss networking dos and don’ts in the future that we will incorporate into future events.

We also have a busy Denver ACS meeting planned with a lot of events to continue our outreach and recruiting. We have created a flyer and will be sending it to all active student chapters via email, posting on social media, and through the listserv. Planned events include:

  • YCES Open Meeting: We are encouraging graduate students and post docs to attend open meetings before the conference starts to become more involved in the chemistry education community. The open meeting will be held on Sunday, March 22nd, 2015 from 11:30a-12:30p.
  • Undergrad Recruitment Fair: We will have a booth again at the Undergraduate Recruitment fair. We will pass out the remainder of the “Pieces of Flair” along with flyers directing them to the CER program map and our blog. This event will be held on Sunday, March 22nd 2015 from 1:00p-5:00p.
  • DivCHED Social: We are encouraging networking at the DivCHED Social. We will have members and friends of the committee wearing “Ask me about Chemistry Education” buttons to indicate a friendly face if new graduate students are shy. This event will be held on Sunday, March 22nd, 2015 from 5:30p-7:30p.
  • Poster Sessions: This year we created a poster to highlight what our committee does, recruit students into the field of chemistry education, and to broaden our community. Our poster is being presented in two sessions – on Sunday, March 22nd, 2015 from 7:00p-9:00p and at the Sci-Mix Monday, March 23rd, 2015 from 8:00p-10:00p.
  • Undergrad posters and Successful student chapters: Members of our committee will visit with undergraduate students at these events as part of our recruitment efforts.
  • CES Social: WebAssign has sponsored a networking event where we will again play Networking Bingo for prizes donated by ACS Education, PASCO, and LiveScribe. All prizes are intended to help younger chemistry education scholars to build their own labs, libraries, and research groups. This event will be held on Monday, March 23rd, 2015 from 3:00p-5:00p.
  • Grad Student/Post Doc Social: We will have representatives at a table at this annual social to discuss chemistry education. This event will be held on Monday, March 23rd, 2015 from 7:00p-8:30p.

Graduate Student Research Forum: This symposium is organized and hosted by graduate students for graduate students. It will be held on Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 from 8:30a-11:20a.

Our blog has recent posts by Jordan Harshman (Considerations for Choosing Stat Packages in CER) and Daniel Cruz-Ramirez de Arellano (Why I chose an instructor position after graduation) and we continue to seek out new topics for posts. Jessica Reed has done an excellent job with the blog and has handed her responsibilities to Mary Beth Anzovino. If you have an idea for a blog post that would be interesting to you, it is probably interesting to others! Submit any ideas to Mary Beth at 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 new facebook group – find us at We post updates as they come in!

We are also updating our website to introduce our committee members. Our intent is for undergrads, grad students, and recent grads to know our faces and feel comfortable approaching us at conferences or emailing us.

Thank you to Kim Linenberger, Jessica Reed, and Emily Moore for their service on the committee. We are looking forward to working with our new members: Sonia Underwood, Jennifer Duis, and David Wren.

If you are a CER graduate student and are interested in organizing and presiding over the Chemistry Education Research: Graduate Student Research Forum Symposium at a future meeting, please contact any of the committee members.

Please feel free to contact me ( if you have ideas for future YCES sponsored events.

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