OCDC symposium at the SACNAS conference- Prof. Sarpong Abstract

Richmond Sarpong was born in Ghana, West Africa in 1974. He received his B.A. degree from Macalester College (St. Paul, Minnesota, USA) in 1995. During that time he carried out research with Professor Rebecca Hoye. He conducted his Ph.D. research with Professor Martin F. Semmelhack at Princeton University (Princeton, New Jersey, USA) and completed his degree in 2000. After three and a half years as a postdoctoral fellow with Professor Brian Stoltz at Caltech (Pasadena, California, USA) he began his independent career at the University of California, Berkeley in 2004 where he is currently a Full Professor. His current research interests include the development of new strategies for the synthesis of complex natural products.

Professor Isiah M. Warner of the Louisiana State University, recipient of the 2013 ACS Stanley C. Israel Regional Award

Professor Isiah M. Warner of the Louisiana State University (right) receiving the Dr. Kofi Lomotey Trailblazer Award. In 2013 Prof. Warner was honored with the ACS Stanley C. Israel Regional Award. Photo from the official webpage of the Louisiana State University.

Professor Isiah Warner of the Louisiana State University is a distinguished scholar recognized for research in the field of analytical chemistry and for his leadership in creating mentoring programs that promote inclusiveness in science and engineering. For his mentoring efforts, Dr. Warner was recognized with the Stanley C. Israel Regional Award, Southwest region, in 2013.

Dr. Warner discussed his “hierarchical mentoring” model  at the San Francisco ACS National Meeting (2014). This mentoring model fuses research, education, and mentoring to give undergraduate students an opportunity for advancement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. This model has transformed the Louisiana State University Chemistry Department. Before its implementation, the LSU chemistry department produced few African-American chemists, and an even smaller number of these students pursued a Ph.D. degree. Today, after implantation of the mentoring program, LSU is now ranked first in the nation in the production of African-American PhDs in chemistry. At any given year more than 30 underrepresented minority students are enrolled in the LSU Chemistry Graduate Program.

The impacts of Dr. Warner’s mentoring efforts go beyond statistics; many of his past students praise his guidance. Dr. Chanel Fortier described Dr. Warner as a mentor and a role model during her undergraduate years at LSU. Dr. Fortier described her mentor as “one of the great impacts of my life still today in terms of my career choice and pursuit of excellence in chemistry.” She believes that Dr. Warner “has touched the lives of many chemists in the past and present regarding recruitment, retention, and graduation of a diverse set of students”, and counts herself as one of the lucky ones to be guided by his mentoring. Dr. Marsha Cole, a recent graduate of the LSU Ph.D program, described Dr. Warner as a “shepherd of scientists”, guiding graduate students like herself into rewarding careers in chemistry. Dr. Krystal Fontenot described Dr. Warner as a global mentoring figure at LSU who “expected the most and the best” from all students, not just the ones in his research group. Dr. Fontenot described the LSU environment as one that encouraged personal and professional growth -very nurturing- thanks in great part to Dr. Warner’s mentoring initiatives.

His success as a mentor has been widely recognized with a number of awards, including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring; the AAAS Lifetime Mentor Award; and the American Chemical Society Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences.

Dr. Warner is highlighted in the fifth episode Spellbound titled “A Born Chemist: Isiah Warner, Ph.D.” Spellbound is a video series produced for the 2011 International Year of Chemistry. http://youtu.be/AFUmN__aHCE

As part of this series of blog posts the Committee on Minority Affairs will highlight past Stanley C. Israel award recipients. For a full list of past awardees and more information on the award visit the Stanley C. Israel Award page. http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/funding-and-awards/awards/other/diversity/stan-israel-award.html

SACNAS conference diversity in chemistry symposium

Symposium at the SACNAS conference
One highlight of the SACNAS conference held recently in downtown Los Angeles was the symposium titled: Diversity in Chemistry: Uniting our Differences for a Brighter Scientific Future. The symposium was hosted and co-sponsored by The Organization for Cultural Diversity in Science (OCDS) and the Center for C-H Functionalization (CCHF) in an effort to provide the best aspects of the SACNAS conference to the community without the registration cost.
The SACNAS national conference is an annual event dedicated to engaging students pursuing education and careers in the STEM fields. There are outstanding networking opportunities with world-class scientists and numerous lectures to attend on cutting-edge research. However, the registration costs can be prohibitive for many students to attend, which is where OCDS saw their opportunity to provide a similar event to those unable to attend or afford SACNAS.
The symposium featured three outstanding chemists from top universities: Professor Richmond Sarpong from UC Berkeley, Professor Javier Read de Alaniz of UC Santa Barbara, and Professor Hilary Coller from UCLA. Each distinguished professor described their research projects and their scientific interests, but it did not stop there. Each professor shared stories of personal setbacks and delved into the human aspect of what it is like to assist in building their students’ own chemistry careers. This unique opportunity to mingle with renowned professors in an intimate setting is the embodiment of the SACNAS conference.
We had an outstanding attendance, with 75 students whom signed-in and more afterwards, despite our timing on a Friday evening.
Thanks to substantial donations from CCHF and the Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC), the symposium was provided free of charge to the community. LATTC generously provided the auditorium, refreshments, and free advertising to their students and faculty. CCHF provided financial support as well as organization sources to host the event.
I am grateful to all that continue to support OCDS and the Committee for Minority Affairs (CMA) in our common mission to diversify STEM. A special thanks to Dr. Monya Ruffin, the Director of Diversity, Education, and Outreach at CCHF. She has been extremely supportive throughout the planning of this event. The overwhelmingly positive response to our symposium sets the groundwork for this to be a permanent event, taking place off-site but during SACNAS or ACS conferences. Widely accessible events like this will hopefully inspire more community members to pursue a career in STEM.

CMA luncheon from the perspective of an ACS Scholar alumnus

The CMA luncheon was an excellent experience, both as a member of the Committee on Minority Affairs and as an ACS Scholar alumnus. This was my second luncheon, and notable for the opportunity to meet Madeline Jacobs and Zaida Morales-Martinez, better known as “Mama Z”. Both women are tremendously successful and inspirational in their commitment to diversity.
This CMA luncheon also recognized several of my colleagues in the ACS Scholars program for their early accomplishments in chemistry. The various cultural and geographical diversities of the invited guests were particularly impressive. The ACS scholars shared their personal stories of how the program has prepared them to overcome obstacles. It clearly fulfills the program mission of increasing the numbers of scientists from URM groups throughout the United States.
I am more motivated than ever to continue carrying forth the mission of the Committee on Minority affairs as part of the communications subcommittee. I envision that this can be accomplished by continuing to connect with other committees within ACS, such as the Younger Chemists Committee and engaging ACS local sections.

ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences: Symposium in Honor of Rigoberto Hernandez: Advancing the Chemical Sciences Through Diversity in Participation (Afternoon Compilation)

The American Chemical Society Committee on Minority Affairs is hosting an all-day symposium on Tuesday, August 12th 2014, entitled:ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences: Symposium in Honor of Rigoberto Hernandez: Advancing the Chemical Sciences Through Diversity in Participation.”

This post will introduce you the speakers for the afternoon session. The session will start at 1:45pm and will finish at 5:00pm.


This is our honoree’s presentation, Rigoberto Hernandez. He is the director of the Open Chemistry Collaborative in Diversity Equity (OXIDE) Program at Georgia Tech. We have dedicated a post to this distinguish professor. Click here for more information about Rigoberto Hernandez.

Shannon Watt

Dr. Watt combines her training in conjugated polymer synthesis and characterization and experience in academic diversity administration in her position as OXIDE Research and Program Manager. She founded the Georgia Tech Women in Chemistry Committee to provide support for, raise awareness of, and propose/implement solutions to the challenges faced by female chemistry trainees. She holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She continued her conjugated polymer characterization research as a National Science Foundation Discovery Corps Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Michigan, where she served on the University-wide President’s Advisory Commission on Women’s Issues.




2:30 pm Social Psychological Research on Factors Shaping Institutional Climate in STEM

Denise Sekaquaptewa, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology, and Faculty Associate at the Research Center for Group Dynamics in the Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Dr. Sekaquaptewa current research is focused on stereotyping, prejudice, stereotype threat, and effects of category salience on test performance. One line of research concerns the test performance of solo vs. nonsolo group members. When one’s social category is made salient via solo status (being the only member of one’s social category in a group), academic performance is diminished, especially when the situation is one where the solo is stereotyped as a poor performer (e.g., females answering questions about science). Performance is less affected when the solo is not negatively stereotyped. A second line of research addresses the relationship between stereotype use and discrimination. Her research shows that people who rely on stereotypes in processing have more negative social interactions with members of stereotyped groups, independently of how they feel about the stereotyped group. A third line of research bridges the first two by examining the interaction of implicit stereotyping and susceptibility to the negative influence of stereotype threat.



2:55 pm Pathways to STEM Careers.

Kristin Bowman-James, Ph.D., is a distinguished professor from the University of Kansas Department of Chemistry College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Bowman-James research focus involves the strategic design and synthesis of molecules that are capable of specific functions, such as the selective recognition or sensing of ions and molecules. The results of this research can provide insight and solutions to a variety of current issues. Included in these are environmental remediation in the sensing and extraction of deleterious species, the synthesis of biomimetic systems to allow for a better understanding of biological pathways, and the creation of new catalysts for organic transformations.




3:35 pm Sacred Possibilities.

Sandra C. Greer, PhD., Scheffler Pre-Health Science Chair in Chemistry at Mills College


Dr. Greer has a distinguished professional career in academia. Her professional interests are physical chemistry, polymer science, ethics in science, and women in science. Dr. Greer won the 2004 Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal given by the American Chemical Society to outstanding female chemists.







4:00 pm Educating 21st Century Students through Research Support

Silvia Ronco, Ph.D.

Dr. Ronco received a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the National University of La Plata in Argentina. She did postdoctoral work with Guillermo Ferraudi at the Notre Dame Radiation Laboratory, and with John D. Petersen at Clemson University. Her research interests involve the synthesis and electron transfer studies of transition metal complexes with applications in solar energy conversion, and the design of luminescence sensors and photocatalysts. Her research interests involve the synthesis and electron transfer studies of transition metal complexes with applications in solar energy conversion, and the design of luminescence sensors and photocatalysts. Dr. Ronco served as a professor of chemistry at the University of South Dakota.

She has been a visiting professor at the University of California, San Diego; a Program Officer for the Photochemical and Radiation Sciences Program at the U.S. Department of Energy; and the P.I. for an interdisciplinary NSF-Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) site at USD.



4:25 pm Transformation of the Louisiana State University Chemistry Department

Isiah M. Warner, PhD.

Isiah Warner has created a “hierarchical mentoring” model that fuses research, education, and mentoring to give undergraduates an opportunity for advancement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. His research has focused in two different areas of analytical chemistry: molecular spectroscopy and separation science.




They are all great people doing an exceptional work to advance the chemical sciences through diversity in participation. We are honored with their presence and can’t wait to attend the symposium.




*Speakers’ bio/information was found online.          

ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences: Symposium in Honor of Rigoberto Hernandez: Advancing the Chemical Sciences Through Diversity in Participation

As a part of the Fall 2014 National Meeting in San Francisco, the ACS Committee for Minority Affairs will be co-sponsoring several programming items.  On Tuesday Morning, August 12th, 2014, the session will be titled “ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences: Symposium in Honor of Rigoberto Hernandez: Advancing the Chemical Sciences Through Diversity in Participation”

Location: Hilton San Francisco Union Square
Room: Union Square 15/16
8:35am. Diverse forces in delicate cooperative systems: Designing liquid crystalline materials. T. M. Swager

Timothy M. Swager, tswager@mit.edu, Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, United States Timothy M. Swager, tswager@mit.edu, Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, United States

This lecture will describe design principles for the formation of liquid crystalline materials employing cooperative interactions. Liquid crystals have many properties similar to human dynamics. There are natural associations, cooperative assemblies, forces that result in alignments, and dispersive elements that must be balanced by attractive forces to maintain the collective assembly. Examples to be detailed will include chiral amplification, the use of molecular shape for alignment, and the use of intermolecular bonding to modulate electronic structure.

9:00am. Addressing faculty race and diversity in academic research institutions: Reflections on the MIT study. P. T. Hammond

Paula T. Hammond, hammond@mit.edu, Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, United States
Paula T. Hammond, hammond@mit.edu, Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, United States

The Initiative for Faculty Race and Diversity at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was charged by the Provost to investigate the status of underrepresented minority faculty (which includes Black, Hispanic, and Native American faculty) at MIT, and to use the findings from this investigation to inform a set of recommendations and best practices. The recommendations addressed Institute policy and practices to be implemented to increase the recruitment and the retention of underrepresented minority faculty at the Institute, and to create an environment conducive to the advancement of faculty careers across the broad spectrum of race, gender and nationality. The efforts of the Initiative include in-depth research on the experiences of minority faculty on campus, including survey and quantitative personnel data, a cohort analysis, and in-depth interviews of minority faculty at MIT. Specific issues addressed in the recommendations include faculty recruiting, mentoring, promotion and tenure, as well as structural recommendations that address support and accountability for diversity efforts ranging from the improvement of the graduate student and postdoctoral pipeline to the setting of strategic goals for increasing the numbers of minority faculty at the Institute. In the interest of learning from past and ongoing efforts, several interesting models of success within MIT’s own departments and schools and at other institutions were examined, as well as patterns in hiring and in faculty experiences that spoke to a need for change on the departmental to institutional levels. An interesting aspect of the recommendations is that many of them seek to strengthen the MIT faculty environment for all faculty members by providing a stronger, more defined mentoring policy and clarity around promotion processes that benefit all junior faculty, broader and more extensive search processes that can expand on MITs breadth and depth, and greater engagement in the academic pipeline and the opportunity to guide young scholars toward academia. Current progress at MIT since the publication of the report in 2010 also will be touched on, as well as some perspective on the local efforts in Chemical Engineering at MIT and on other campuses.

9:25 am. How corporations promote diversity: Lessons for academia. F. Dobbin, A. Kalev

Department of Sociology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, United States, Department of Sociology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, United States,akalev@post.tau.ac.il. Tel Aviv University, Israel akalev@post.tau.ac.il. Tel Aviv University, Israel

For half a century, corporations have sought to promote equality of opportunity for employees, and prospective employees through personnel reforms. Yet there has been little research on what kinds of reforms actually increase opportunity for women and members of minority groups. In the first large-scale quantitative study comparing the effects of different reforms on actual gender, race, and ethnic diversity of the workforce, we examine data from over 800 firms for more than thirty years. Many of the reforms, including mentoring programs, diversity training, and work-life benefits, have become popular in academia as well. This presentation explores the implications of our evidence-based approach to corporate diversity programs for academic institutions seeking to promote faculty diversity.

10:05 am. Inclusion and diversity efforts of The Ohio State University — College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences. S. Olesik

Susan Olesik, olesik.1@osu.edu, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, United States Susan Olesik, olesik.1@osu.edu, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, United States

As many of the baby boomers begin to retire, high tech industries are increasingly challenged to find trained candidates for their specialized job portfolios. Minorities and women continue to be underrepresented in many technical fields especially in higher level positions. Accordingly, our efforts to recruit and retain underrepresented groups in the sciences must intensify. Programs at Ohio State University to increase the diversity in the sciences at all levels are established and continue to flourish. These programs include efforts to increase the number of students interested in science, improve retention of STEM majors with clear focus on improving under-represented students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, as well as, increase the diversity of the faculty. The successes of these programs and the lessons learned will be highlighted in this talk.

10:30 am. Broadening participation efforts in STEM at NSF. C. M. Rohlfing

Celeste M. Rohlfing, crohlfin@nsf.gov, Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences, National Science Foundation, Arlington, Virginia 22230, United States Celeste M. Rohlfing, crohlfin@nsf.gov, Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences, National Science Foundation, Arlington, Virginia 22230, United States

NSF’s commitment to broadening participation from underrepresented groups in its activities and programs is embedded in its Strategic Plan through a variety of investment priorities. These include: preparing a diverse, globally-engaged science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce; integrating research with education, and building capacity; and improving processes to recruit highly qualified reviewers and panelists. Highlights from NSF-wide activities, as well as those specific to the Directorate of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, will be presented.

10:55 am. Synthesis and structure—blame and guilt: Can chemistry teach us anything about diversity? G. H. Robinson

Gregory H. Robinson, robinson@uga.edu, Department of Chemistry, The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602-2556, United States Gregory H. Robinson, robinson@uga.edu, Department of Chemistry, The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602-2556, United States

The successful synthesis of a complex molecule often involves the utilization of disparate reagents and techniques (i.e., acids and bases; polar and nonpolar solvents; evaporation and condensation; organic-aqueous extractions). Indeed, a classic crystallization technique involves gently layering a nonpolar solvent atop a polar solvent—the desired reaction product often crystallizing precisely at the immiscible solvent interface. It may be an oversimplification to suggest that the complex interplay of race in America can easily be compared to chemistry. However, when the topic of race is broached, the protagonists routinely begin their discussion using the familiar reagents of blame and guilt. The major resulting product is often a high yield of recriminations. Might discussions on race and diversity be more productive if we were to begin at that subtle interface of commonality? This presentation will explore this possibility.

Rigoberto Hernandez Recognized with ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences.

Rigoberto Hernandez                       (cr: Peter Cutts)

Professor Rigoberto Hernandez, Georgia Institute of Technology, is the 2014 recipient of the American Chemical Society Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences. This award is presented by the Society to recognize significant accomplishments in stimulating underrepresented students to decide on careers in the chemical sciences and engineering.

Hernandez has long worked to increase diversity in the sciences. He has participated in various diversity efforts at Georgia Tech including work on that institution’s College of Sciences Diversity Council, the Georgia Tech Diversity Programs Committee and serving in the Vice President for Institute Diversity’s Faculty Advisory Board. Other outreach activities include serving in the Steering Committee for a NSF Workshop on Excellence Empowered by a Diverse Workforce, and work with the Sloan Foundation, Minority NSF STEM Ph.D. Advisory Committee.

Hernandez is the director of the Open Chemistry Collaborative in Diversity Equity (OXIDE) program at Georgia Tech. A 5-year program, co-funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Energy, that seeks to address problems with underrepresentation in multiple areas of diversity encountered by chemistry departments nationwide. Major OXIDE activities include: hosting a biennial National Diversity Equity Workshops, partnering with Chemical & Engineering News to conduct annual demographic assessments of chemistry departments, and serving as the connection between department chairs, social scientists, and key stakeholders from the many existing diversity communities within chemistry.

Hernandez was recently elected to the Board of the ACS as District IV Director. His commitment to diversity was highlighted in his statement to ACS members; “the diversity in age, experience, backgrounds, race, ethnicity, gender, orientation, and abilities that makes our fellowship stronger must be addressed through everything we do”, wrote Hernandez.

Hernandez is also a strong advocate of new faculty mentoring. Commenting for a recent C&E News piece, Hernandez wrote that “we need to mentor all early-career faculty to increase their success broadly and equitably”. Hernandez also highlighted the importance of mentorship at the Committee on Minority Affairs Luncheon held at the 2014 Spring ACS National Meeting. In his keynote address, Hernandez discussed his journey to become a chemist, and how the guidance and mentorship he received as a student and as faculty positively impacted his career.

A Symposium honoring Rigoberto Hernandez will be held at the 248th ACS National Meeting in San Francisco, California. The symposium, titled Advancing the Chemical Sciences Through Diversity in Participation, will celebrate the successes that the community has made in changing the chemical workplace from the top-down through changes in the infrastructure supporting and advancing the chemical sciences.

About the Award

The ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences was established in 1993 with support of The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation.

About the Award Symposium

The symposium in honor of Rigoberto Hernandez is part of the Committee on Minority Affairs Program at the 248th ACS National Meeting in San Francisco. The symposium is being co-sponsored by Division of Analytical Chemistry, Division of Chemical Education, Division of Computers in Chemistry, Division of Physical Chemistry, Division of Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering, Division of Polymer Chemistry and Division of Professional Relations. The award symposium is being organized by Robert Lichter, Charles Liotta and Larry Dalton.

Rigoberto Hernandez on social media

You can follow Rigoberto Hernandez on Twitter (@EveryWhereChem) and on his everywherechemistry blog http://everywherechemistry.blogspot.com/

Further reading

Mentoring New Faculty—It Really Works! Chemical & Engineering News (March 24, 2014, Volume 92, Issue 12, page 36).

For District IV Director: Rigoberto Hernandez Chemical & Engineering News (September 16, 2013, Volume 91, Issue 37, page 42).

ACS Honors Hernandez for His Efforts in Promoting Disadvantaged Students (September 16, 2013)

OXIDE website

Stanley C. Israel Regional Past Awardee Symposium

As a part of the Fall 2014 National Meeting in San Francisco, the ACS Committee for Minority Affairs will be co-sponsoring several programming items.  On Monday, August 11th, 2014, the session will be titled “How to Foster Diversity in the Chemical Sciences: Lessons Learned and Taught Through the Stories of Recipients of the Stanley C. Israel Award“.

8:05Diversifying the Department of Macromolecular Science & Engineering at Case Western Reserve University. Over the past seven years, the Department of Macromolecular Science & Engineering has operated an outreach program into significantly challenged inner city high schools, as well as actively using its summer REU program to enhance minority participation in undergraduate research and graduate recruiting. 100% of the high school students who have completed the program have gone on to college (the first student is in her second year of a PhD program now) with 90% majoring in STEM fields. The REU program, working closely with a group of historically black universities, had led the program from no African American PhD students 5 years ago to 12% participation as of fall 2014. Successful strategies at both the high school and undergraduate levels will be discussed.

D. A. Schiraldi

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8:25 . Recruit, nurture, and graduate underrepresented minority and disadvantaged students. Underepresentation of African Americans (AA), females, and first generation college students in the chemical sciences is a major concern of the nation as we forge forward to diversify the workforce. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) play an important role in educating these students. At Jackson State University, one of the few HBCUs designated by the Carnegie Foundation as “Research Universities with High Research Activity”, its chemistry department has the nurturing environment, scientific accomplishments, and rich experiences to recruit, nurture, and graduate AA students on BS, MS, and PhD levels. With the support of the faculty and the administration, the Department of Chemistry at JSU embarked on this journey with the following initiatives: 1). Address societal apprehension about chemistry from our students; 2). Modify curricula to suit the needs and goals of the current generation; 3). Remove financial barriers to quality chemical education; 4). Establish Individualized training; 5). Create opportunities designed to make student and faculty partners in their education; 6). Develop relationships with the community, including high schools and community colleges. These efforts helped to triple the chemistry enrollment on all three levels: BS, MS, and PhD, and advanced the Department to become the top chemistry program in the country for producing AA graduates on all three levels.

H. Yu, G. Hill, A. Hamme

8:45 . Fostering Diversity in the Chemical Sciences through Undergraduate Research at Queensborough Community College. Queensborough Community College is one of the seven community colleges that are part of the City University of New York. Through the support of the college administration, first, and later an NSF-STEP grant, undergraduate research has been instituted as a freshman impact activity. This has led to numerous conference presentations by the students and close to two dozen peer-reviewed journal publications that bear the students’ names since 2000. In addition students from diverse communities and backgrounds have been actively supported into summer REU experiences, tutoring opportunities as well as the opportunity to summarize invited speakers’ seminars. All these activities enhance the students’ self-confidence and create a cohort that overcomes any ethnic, age, gender or religious differences.

P. Svoronos

9:05 . Mentoring, research, and diversity: Transforming undergraduate STEM education. Mentoring and research are important tools for transforming undergraduate education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Through such experiences, aspiring scientists are engaged in meaningful learning that transcends classroom teaching into applications of relevance to real-world challenges. In addition, mentoring and research synergistically impact student retention and provide the preparatory background for long term careers in STEM fields. Through funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, Research Corporation, and the Louisiana Board of Regents, the Office of Strategic Initiatives at Louisiana State University provides a host of programs, services, and opportunities for students with exceptional promise for academic and research achievements. We believe that the hallmarks of all of these programs are our mentoring and research activities. Combining these with diversity, academic advising and interventions, and financial support, our staff works collaboratively with faculty to provide a diverse population of students with the foundation needed to excel in undergraduate programs of study. Through these interventions and support, we have realized growth in the retention and graduation rates of program participants. Beyond simple subsistence in STEM fields, we have seen an increase in graduating GPAs of our students, as well as an increase in the number of program participants garnering national awards. In addition, we have demonstrated that these strategies are equally applicable to a diverse population of students such that there is not a significant difference in the six-year graduation rates of under-represented minorities, women, and majority students.

I. M. Warner, M. Crawford, Z. Wilson, S. Pang, A. Wright, G. Li, G. Thomas

9:25 . Fostering diversity and building capacity in STEM for girls in the South. The 2010 report on girls and women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) published by AAUW asks the question, “Why So Few?” that everyone should be asking. Recruitment, retention, and graduation of women with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) training are critical needs in Tennessee and across the nation. The low rate at which women are entering STEM in high school and in higher education is troubling, especially since even low-paying jobs require a fundamental knowledge of STEM subjects.

In addition, our society still reinforces traditional beliefs about education and careers for women. These beliefs are very prevalent in Tennessee and across the South. STEM education and career choices of girls are clearly affected by negative stereotypes of who scientists are. Children are aware of these stereotypes and may express stereotypical ideas about who is suitable for a career in STEM. These perceptions also undermine the self-confidence of girls in pursuing STEM careers.
Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross
At Middle Tennessee State University, we have been building capacity and proficiency in STEM for girls and women since 1996. We are changing the equation and fostering diversity in STEM through our signature programs such as Expanding Your Horizons, the Girls Raised in Tennessee Science (GRITS) Collaborative Project and more. We have established the first Women In STEM (WISTEM) Center in Tennessee and have created a community of experts who promote a greater understanding of STEM education and careers for girls and women in Tennessee.

J. M. Iriarte-Gross


10:00 . OXIDE: Fostering diversity equity in academic chemistry departments. Academic chemistry departments not only employ a significant fraction of the chemical workforce, they also train future chemical scientists. As such, it is critical that these departments create an equitable culture for practicing and aspiring chemists from diverse backgrounds.  OXIDE (the Open Chemistry Collaborative in Diversity Equity, www.oxide.gatech.edu) is a 5-year, NSF/NIH/DoE-funded initiative to reduce inequitable policies and practices in leading research-active academic chemistry departments with respect to gender identity, race-ethnicity, disabilities, and sexual orientation. We partner with department chairs, placing both the responsibility and the credit for solving the problem on them, rather than on single “change agents” in the department’s rank and file. Our partnership model also entails a variety of approaches to connect the chairs, existing diversity communities, and social scientists with diversity-related expertise.

This presentation will describe OXIDE’s current findings and primary activities, including: sponsoring biennial National Diversity Equity Workshops (NDEWs), with the next in Spring 2015; gathering annual faculty demographics data from over 100 research-active chemistry departments and partnering with Chemical & Engineering News to publish the results; serving as an information conduit between stakeholders in academic chemistry departments, the social sciences, diversity communities, funding agencies, and the broader chemical enterprise.

S. Watt, R. Hernandez

10:20 . Recruiting and Retaining Talent in the Chemical Sciences. Stanley C. Israel was well-respected polymer chemist, a significant contributor to the ACS and an advocate for equality, diversity, research and education. This presentation describes our work recruiting and retaining students typically underrepresented in the chemical sciences at the University of Richmond and Hobart and William Smith Colleges. We will describe our approach which dovetails various components of education, research, outreach, mentoring and institutional support.

C. Parish

10:40 . Foster Diversity in Chemical Science by Integration of Research into Education in the Hispanic Serving Institution. Significant progress on minority student’s education has been achieved in the last decade. However, there are limited resources and programs integrating chemistry-oriented multidisciplinary research into quality education, especially among underrepresented student populations. In order to advance research and education in minority serving universities, the authors introduced series of leading edge research activity and laboratory experiments related to multidisciplinary Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic (STEM) fields into the undergraduate education. It was found that underrepresented students who are academically unprepared and financially-needed gains core-knowledge and their in-depth understanding of STEM concepts was improved via advancing research quality. The integration of research and education with joint efforts to infuse education with excitement of discovery was found to be able to enrich research through diversity of learning perspectives.

J. Liu, S. Bashir

11:00 . Promoting chemistry education amongst the under privileged: Tales from 2 continents. Facilitating diversity in the chemical sciences is something that is very vital to the sustenance of the global scientific enterprise as a whole and it is the responsibility of everyone to play their own part towards the realization of this goal. This presentation will discuss some of the activities undertaken by the author on 2 separate continents- Africa and North America to help promote the study of chemistry with the ultimate goal of contributing to the global workforce.

Wasiu Lawal

W. A. Lawal

11:20 . Nelson Diversity Surveys. The Nelson Diversity Surveys provide faculty headcount for faculty in 15 science / engineering disciplines at research universities, disaggregated by discipline, rank, race, and gender. Results of the most recent surveys will be provided, and the utility of these surveys will be discussed. How to read the information from the survey tables will be demonstrated, and where to find the data will be revealed.

D. J. Nelson

Additional information about Stan Israel and the award

Award information, including links to online nomination: http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/funding-and-awards/awards/other/diversity/stan-israel-award.html


Stanley C. Israel Regional Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences

The ACS Committee on Minority Affairs is proud to sponsor the Stanley C. Israel Regional Award. The award recognizes individuals and/or institutions that have advanced diversity in the chemical sciences and significantly stimulated or fostered activities that promote inclusiveness within the region. 

The award is named for Stan Israel, who championed diversity within the chemical community.  Among his diversity work, Stan served as chair of the Taskforce on Minorities in Academia.  He served in many other leadership roles within the ACS, particularly in service to the Division of Polymer Chemistry where he served as Chair, Counselor, Program Chair and Treasurer.  Stan was elected to the ACS Board of Directors, where he served as chair of several additional committees, including Grants & Awards and the Taskforce on Continuing Chemical Education.

 The ACS information page notes that “award nominees may come from academia, industry, government, or independent entities, and may also be organizations, including ACS Local Sections and Divisions. The nominee must have created and fostered ongoing programs or activities that result in increased numbers of persons from diverse and underrepresented minority groups, persons with disabilities, or women who participate in the chemical enterprise.  The award consists of a medal and a $1,000 grant to support and further the activities for which the award was made. The award also will include funding to cover the recipient’s travel expenses to the ACS regional meeting at which the award will be presented.”

 Additional information about Stan Israel and the award

Award information, including links to online nomination: http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/funding-and-awards/awards/other/diversity/stan-israel-award.html

Memoriam: http://www.polyacs.org/162.html




Mentoring: Definition and Benefits

Have you regretted any decisions you’ve made before? Have you learned about new opportunities that would have helped you a lot during your years in high school, college or grad school? Or simply, you do not know much about developing your potential in your new job? You might need a good mentor!

Mentoring is a tool to support and encourage people to manage their own learning. It is an effective way of helping people to progress in their careers. It is a partnership between two people (mentor and mentee) working together, sharing similar experiences. It is a supportive relationship based on mutual trust and respect.

Fortunately, the American Chemical Society (ACS) has a lot of resources that will help you to find a good mentor. For example, if you are a high school student thinking about studying chemistry, but don’t know where to start, click here to learn more about the resources ACS has for you. On the other hand, if you are a college student getting involved with one of the ACS Student Chapters, attending National Meetings, or getting an Internship, ACS will help you to find a good mentor.

Being a mentee has many benefits. These include but are not limited to:

  • Learn from the mentor’s expertise
  • Receive critical feedback in key areas, such as communications, interpersonal relationships, technical abilities, and leadership skills
  • Learn specific skills and knowledge that are relevant to personal goals
  • Gain knowledge about the organization’s culture and unspoken rules that can be critical for success; and as a result, adapt more quickly to the organization’s culture
  • Have a friendly ear with which to share frustrations, as well as successes.

Mentoring could be a great tool to support people from underrepresented backgrounds. Are you mentoring someone? Do you have a mentor?

For more details about finding a mentor, please click here!