DivCHED-CERC Webinar Coming This March

**POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE - The ACS DivCHED-CER webinar planned for this coming March will feature Stacey Lowery-Bretz (CER) and Mike Klymkowsky (BER) having a conversation and discussing strengths, limitations, and challenges of using concept inventories in research and practice. We would like their conversation and discussion to be guided by questions of interest to the community of chemistry and biology educators (researchers and practitioners). What questions do you have that you would like them to address? You can post your questions here or email them to Alena Moon (amoon3@unl.edu) or Vicente Talanquer (vicente@arizona.edu). Help us enrich and motivate this conversation!


Positions available at Northern Arizona University


Message from the Chair, Dawn Del Carlo

Greetings DivCHED Members!

Well, I have to say, it’s been a VERY eventful start to my time as Chair. As I’m sure you all know by now, we will not be meeting in Philadelphia for the Spring national meeting and like many of you, I am currently in the process of trying to figure out how I can reasonably (and hopefully effectively) teach chemistry on-line. That being said, DivCHED leadership, including our many committee chairs, have been working diligently behind the scenes to try to maintain or reschedule all the great work, events, and symposia that were planned during the Spring meeting. If you’re involved with any of our committees be on the lookout for emails and virtual meetings (if you haven’t been inundated with them already) and THANK YOU for all you do for the Division!

View From The Past Chair

Irvin J. Levy, Past ChairI write on the day that I had originally planned as a travel day to Philadelphia for our national meeting. Of course, everything has changed. It is no longer the International Year of the Periodic Table and the ACS has cancelled a national meeting for the first time in its history; sadly, it will take over 100 years for ACS to break its record of uninterrupted meetings that ended this spring. Many people are in my thoughts as the meeting-that-will-not-occur nears. I feel especially sad for the undergraduates who come to a national meeting and are often blinded by science and energized in their trajectory for a very fulfilling career. I also have special empathy toward the many organizers whose countless hours of, mostly volunteer, effort have now been laid waste by a novel virus. After spending 10 years as the program chair in the division, I am fairly well acquainted with the seemingly endless myriad tasks that fall upon the organizers.

Congratulations to the 2020 ACS Fellows

The American Chemical Society named 53 members as ACS fellows in 2020. The following list includes those named who are DivCHED members. Congratulations!

Penny J. Beuning, Northeastern University
Deborah H. Cook, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey (Retired)
David J. Malik, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (Emeritus)
Ajay Mallia, Georgia Gwinnett College Zaida
Cecilia Morales-Martinez, Florida International University (Emeritus)
Sarah E. Morgan, University of Southern Mississippi
Michael A. Morgan, Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School, Los Angeles
John M. Newsam, Tioga Research
MaryKay Orgill, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Erica A. Posthuma, University High School of Indiana
Sherri Conn Rukes, Libertyville High School
Margareta Séquin, San Francisco State University

Notes from the Ledger

This will be my last message to the Division as Treasurer. My term is up, and I will not be running for the post again. So I want to take a few moments to make some final comments and send my appreciation to those who have been such a big help during my term.

When my term started, the Division had a budget deficit that threatened the health, and perhaps even the viability of the Division. As a result, I have had to take a very hard line on expenses, and ask everyone to help us make cuts. Of course that is never a popular thing to have to do – the person in charge of cuts always takes the blame. But, I have to say that everyone in the Division has responded with understanding and helpfulness. So all of you deserve my appreciation.

The budget that ExComm will vote on at the Fall National Meeting will have a deficit nearly equal to the expected returns on our investments. Thus, we expect to spend only the money that we expect to receive. Technically, the budget is not yet balanced, as it will require a withdrawal of earnings from the investment accounts. However, what is the investment account for if not to help fund the programs of the Division?

Message from the Chair, Dawn Del Carlo, Fall 2020

Greetings DivCHED Members!

I hope this newsletter finds you all in good health and peace of mind. 

I can honestly say that both personally and professionally, little of the past 6 months was easy.  In that time, we faced tough decisions about the BCCE, National ACS meetings, budgetary issues within the Division from lost National meeting programming revenue and the cancellation of the BCCE, and facing the necessary and difficult conversations about racism, implicit bias, diversity, and inclusion in our classrooms, institutions, and society. For me, intellectual growth, self-awareness, and mindfulness have all been critical in working through these (and other) issues and hopefully, making me a better professional, leader, educator, and human. I hope you all have found similar growth and resolve.

Biennial Conference Committee Announcement, Fall 2020

The Biennial Conference Committee encourages any individual or institution interested in hosting a BCCE to contact MaryKay Orgill (marykay.orgill@unlv.edu) or Dan Sykes (dgs12@psu.edu) or any member of the BCC (www.divched.org/about-divched/committees-boards/biennial-conference-committee). Currently, we are identifying hosts for the 2026 and 2028 BCCEs.

Planning for the 27th BCCE at Purdue University is under way. Updates will be provided in subsequent newsletters. Please contact the General Chair, Marcy Towns (mtowns@purdue.edu), with any questions.

Report from Secretary Dan King, Fall 2020

Greetings! I hope everyone is staying safe during these difficult times. After a challenging spring term for many of us, I know that we were hoping that things would be improving by now. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The uncertainty associated with the return to classes (however that will look for you) creates a tremendous amount of stress. If the Division can provide any help or support, please let us know.

During the month of September, the Division election will be held. As we did last year, we will be using Survey Monkey for the election. We hope that it will run as smoothly as it has in the past. Please be sure to let me know if there are any problems with the ballot or the election process. Here is the slate for this year’s election.

Chair-elect: Robert (Bob) Pribush and Vicente Talanquer

Treasurer: W. Gary Hollis, Jr. and Rick Moog

Councilor/Alternate Councilor: Roxie Allen, Marty Perry, Clarissa Sorensen-Unruh, Steven Fleming

Best of luck and thanks to all of the candidates for volunteering to serve the Division.

2020 Outstanding Service to the Division Awardee, Marcy Towns

Dr. Marcy Towns, Purdue University

Dr. Marcy Towns, Purdue University, was awarded the 2020 Outstanding Service to the Division Award. Marcy's service includes:

  • Division leadership includes Chair succession, Program Chair, Alt. Councilor
  • Associate Editor, JCE
  • Member of the Exams Institute Board of Directors
  • Key member (sometimes chair) of several committees including CER, program committee, strategic planning, CPN
  • Organizing committee for 2006 BCCE and General chair for 2022 BCCE
  • Strong promoter of the Division, Chemistry, and Chemistry Education Research in the US and internationally.
  • Congratulations, Marcy! Thank you for your division service!

Congratulations to the appointed and reappointed board members

The following members were elected to be appointed and reappointed to the ACS Exams Institute Board of Trustees or the Board of Publication during the Fall 2020 Executive Committee meeting . Congratulations and thank you for your service!

Exams Institute Board of Trustees

Dr. Alex Grushow, Chair, 2015-2017, 2018-2020, 2021-2023
Rider University
Professor & Chair, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Dr. Thomas José, Member, 2015-2017, 2018-2020, 2021-2023
Blinn College
Professor of Chemistry

Board of Publication

Congratulations to the winners of this year's DivCHED officer election

Chair-Elect: Vicente Talanquer
University Distinguished Professor
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of Arizona




Treasurer: Rick Moog
Professor of Chemistry
Franklin & Marshall College









Roxie Vought Allen
St. John’s School
K-12 Independent School
Houston, Texas









Clarissa Sorensen-Unruh
FT Chemistry Faculty
Central New Mexico Community College






Alternate Councilors

BCCE 2022 - Save the date!

BCCE 2022


Save the Date: July 31 – August 4, 2022

Location: Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

We look forward to welcoming the chemistry education community to Purdue University to meet face-to-face at BCCE 2022! Save the dates in your calendar. The website will be opening soon with further information about conference themes that align to “New Approaches to Modern Challenges” and timelines for submission of symposia, workshops, and abstracts.

Message from the Chair, Stacey Lowery Bretz, Spring 2021

Stacey Lowery Bretz, 2021 DivCHED Chair

Greetings from Ohio! As I write this, the last of the snow has melted away, and spring may well be just around the corner. Given that we’ve now endured this pandemic for a full year, spring and its renewals are more meaningful than ever before. Some of you may have already gotten your vaccine(s), and others of us are still waiting. But your elected leaders for the Division of Chemical Education have been working hard throughout the pandemic to stay engaged with our members and to reckon with what seems like ever-changing fiscal realities. Below is a summary of just some of the happenings since our last newsletter – highlights of what our members and leadership have been moving forward, congratulations, and thank yous. Please be sure to read the entirety of our newsletter for more detailed updates on many of these!

Stacey Lowery Bretz

From the Secretary/Councilor, Dan King, Spring 2021

As we move past one year of the pandemic, we are starting to see some glimmer that the end might be in sight. For most of us, that end can’t come soon enough. This has been a challenging year on many levels. That said, there have been many examples of people who have donated their time, energy and expertise to help others who are struggling. For example, AACT and ChemEd X made materials freely available for people who had to transition to remote instruction. Similarly, a Facebook group (Strategies for teaching chemistry online) was created to facilitate the sharing of resources and ideas. Members of our Division have been invaluable contributors to these and other resources. I hope that this spirit of collegiality and collaboration will be one of the good things that come out of these difficult times and continue once we move into the “new normal”, whatever that looks like. I encourage all of our members to share the expertise of our Division with anyone who needs and/or requests it.

Safety Committee Comments, Spring 2021

Amid the ongoing educational adjustments associated with COVID-19, safety continues to be an aspect of chemistry instruction. We need to think about current issues, such as “what are the safety issues associated with encouraging remote experimentation?” or “how do we modify our labs for different enrollment and interaction restrictions?” If we have time and energy, there are also issues where a little thought now might prevent safety issues later, such as “are our instrumentation and chemicals being maintained in safe conditions?” or “with our decreased lab usage, are excess quantities of expired chemicals or waste being stored?”. One high school teacher came back from about six months of being kept off-campus to find their lab filled with boxes of chemicals brought to the school by a retiring middle school teacher – an extra challenge to getting the space ready for instruction. We also know that, in upcoming years, we may see an even wider spread of preparedness in the students coming in to our classrooms – for academic work, hands-on work, and group interactions.

Message from the Treasurer, Rick Moog, Spring 2021

The past year has been one of transitions in many ways, and for me one of the biggest transitions was to move into the position of Treasurer that David Licata has so admirably filled over the past three years. Many thanks to David for all of his efforts to keep the Division moving in the right direction financially throughout his term. He provided me with a very detailed document describing what I needed to do and how it had been done so that the transition would be as smooth as possible. Best wishes to David in his retirement!

This year also brought a transition in our financial support team. For the past three years, Patty Lawrence and Heather Good of TurboExecs provided financial and business management support to the Division and the Board of Publication in an efficient and reliable manner. We greatly appreciate their work in establishing more standard and consistent Division financial practices and helping members of the Finance Committee and the Executive Committee better understand our financial situation. As of January 1, Mike Dolence of Blue Moon Consulting has taken over these responsibilities. We are very pleased to welcome Mike to our team!

From the Immediate Past Chair, Dawn DelCarlo, Spring 2021

It’s difficult to believe that almost exactly one year ago, many of us simply had no idea what awaited us.  I certainly had not anticipated my time as Chair to be mostly consumed with managing the necessary adjustments to Division business due to a global pandemic. I cannot express the amount of gratitude I feel toward everyone who helped continue to move the Division forward during this time. 

Proposed Changes to ACS Division Funding

Proposed Changes to ACS Division Funding The spring 2021 ACS Councilors’ meeting will include a vote on changes to the formula used to allocate a portion of ACS dues out to the 32 technical divisions, including the Division of Chemical Education. We encourage you to read the summary below of the proposed changes and reach out to not only our CHED Councilors (Roxie Allen, Sally Mitchell) and Alternate Councilors (Laura Anna, Rachel Morgan Theall, Steven Fleming, Marty Perry), but also to your Local Section Councilors to let them know whether or not you support the proposed changes to the allocation formula. The DivCHED Executive Committee (“ExComm”) will be discussing this proposed change at the Open Session of our meeting on Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 1:30 pm CST. 

What has been the historical allocation formula for technical divisions?

2021 Middle Atlantic Regional Meeting of the ACS (MARM 2021)


MARM 2021 MARM 2021 is going virtual! Co-hosted by the University of Delaware and the Delaware ACS, MARM 2021 will showcase the richness of chemistry in the Middle Atlantic and beyond. Bringing together scientists in a virtual format, MARM will be a premier event for scientific discussions and networking. The conference is June 9–11, 2021. Chemagination will be on June 12, 2021. MARM is dedicated to equity, justice, diversity, and inclusion. We strive to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone. All communication should be professional.

Here are a few symposia that will be of particular interest to members of the Chemical Education division: