The Younger Chemistry Education Scholars (YCES) is a committee dedicated to the recruitment and networking of graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and early faculty members in chemistry education research. This population is vital to the long-term goals of chemistry education research and we hope will be the future leaders and contributors to DivCHED. The field of chemistry education research provides rich opportunities for many, but we hear from a lot of people that they can feel isolated due to the smaller community (as compared to the more traditionally available divisions like organic, physical, etc.). Our primary goal in YCES is specifically to identify the younger members and ensure that they have a support group where they can talk about research, career development, and other topics related to our unique world as chemistry education researchers.
Activities and Highlights
Over the years, YCES started as a grassroots organization to a permanent committee in DivCHED with several staple events that seek to bring people together. These include events related to networking, professional skills development, career materials development, and recruiting/outreach efforts to attract more people into the field of CER. At the 2018 BCCE, our social event brought more than 115 young researchers together for informal social gathering with a few professional activities mixed in. These events help researchers feel as though they have a community to go to when they have questions about their research.
Additionally, YCES has sponsored a blog featuring articles from the community about research, professional development, and work-life balance for those in chemistry education research. This blog is one of our staple tools in informing people about what life is like as a young chemistry education researcher.
Because YCES does so many things related to chemistry education research, we frequently collaborate with the Chemistry Education Research Committee (CERC). The two committees have co-sponsored professional events and an annual poster competition at the national ACS meetings. We look forward to future collaborations with this and other DivCHED committees. Additionally, we also have collaborated with the ACS Division Younger Chemists Committee (YCC). This organization clearly has some overlap with the goals of YCES and we have been known to co-host events with them as well.
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Jordan Harshman, Chair