Younger Chemical Education Researchers Task Force Report, Winter 2012

Prepared by Kim Linenberger, November 19, 2012

Task Force Members

  • Allie Brandriet
  • Thomas Bussey
  • Mike Evans
  • Todd Gatlin
  • Jordan Harshman
  • Kim Linenberger (chair)
  • Jessica Reed
  • Kelly Rush

The task force was very busy at the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education in State College, PA. We had a very successful meet and greet event on the evening of Monday, July 30 at Kildare’s Irish Pub for all CER graduate students, post docs and new faculty. Approximately 60 YCES stopped by to strengthen and expand their network of colleagues. Appetizers were provided with financial support from the IPG received in 2011. During lunch on Wednesday, August 1, 2012, we held a YCES “Birds-of-a-Feather” where we discussed FAQs within the YCES community.

In addition to our own events, task force members also were present and participated in organizing and presiding over several symposia that were of interest to the YCES community. The Chemistry Education Research: Graduate Student Research Forum organized and presided by Task Force member Jordan Harshman and Janelle Arjoon, both graduate students, allowed 14 graduate students an opportunity to present their “works-in-progress” and get feedback from the members of the audience. This symposium was well attended and has historically allowed chemistry professors interested in learning more about CER a “safe place” to learn and allows for constructive feedback and discussion for students from smaller programs. Stephanie Ryan, post doctoral research associate, and Task Force member Thomas Bussey, graduate student, organized and presided over  “Theoretical Frameworks: What Are They, Why Should I Use Them, and Which One(s) Should I Use?” This symposium was also well attended and introduced a wide array of theoretical frameworks to the community.

As mentioned in the Fall newsletter, we had begun talks to start a YCER Blog. This site is currently under development and an inaugural post should appear before the first of the year. This site will address specific questions from undergraduates, graduate students, post docs, and young faculty in CER. Each blog will be written by a guest (person from the CER community) blogger. We will have RSS feed access set up so readers can get automatic updates and Twitter and Facebook links so the blog can be easily shared within and outside the community. If you are interested in becoming a guest blogger or have an idea for a post please contact Jessica Reed (jjreed@iastate.edu) or Mike Evans (evans23@illinois.edu).

The spring National ACS meeting in New Orleans is looking to be quite productive for the Task Force. We will continue to foster networking as the DivCHED representatives at the Graduate Student and Postdoc Reception. Members of the Task Force will also be discussing the possibilities of CER graduate programs with undergraduates at the Graduate School Recruiting Fair and also with those undergraduates presenting at the undergraduate poster session. The Chemistry Education Research: Graduate Student Research Forum Symposium will be held for the fourth year. This symposium will be organized and presided by Daniel Cruz-Ramírez de Arellano and Sarah Wood, both graduate students. Finally, in collaboration with the Younger Chemists’ Committee, Task Force members Thomas Bussey and Alexandria Brandriet, both graduate students, will be organizing and presiding over What is Chemistry Education Research? This symposium will focus on introducing the field of CER to undergraduates and other interested parties through the lens of graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and young faculty in the field.

We will be sure to keep the community posted of the dates and times of the events planned for spring ACS in New Orleans. Also, if you are a CER graduate student and are interested in organizing and presiding over the Chemistry Education Research: Graduate Student Research Forum Symposium please contact any of the Task Force members.

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