2015 IUPAC Young Observers Program, Applications now being accepted!

The United States National Committee for IUPAC is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the 2015 IUPAC Young Observers Program. Take advantage of this great opportunity!


U.S. National Committee’s Young Observer Program
48th IUPAC General Assembly and 45th IUPAC Congress
Busan, South Korea
August 6-14, 2015

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), a worldwide leader in advancing the chemical sciences, is holding its 48th General Assembly (August 6-13, 2015) and its 45th Congress (August 9-14, 2015) in Busan, South Korea.

The U.S. National Committee for IUPAC is seeking outstanding U.S. scientists and engineers under the age of 45, with interests and expertise related to the working groups of IUPAC, to travel as Young Observers to South Korea. The USNC/IUPAC will provide travel fellowships of $2500 to successful candidates.

This Young Observer Program provides an excellent opportunity to become involved in the work of IUPAC, develop an international network of scientists and engineers, and represent your U.S. colleagues in the chemical sciences.

Successful candidates must:
Be a U.S. scientist or engineer under the age of 45, be active in chemical or chemical engineering research in academia, government, or industry. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. Permanent Resident (Green Card Holder).
Have a specific interest in one or more of the business meetings and technical sessions that will be held in Korea.
Have a strong interest in collaborative work with scientists in laboratories outside of the United States.
Have an interest in continuing activities through the IUPAC organization.
Career scientist applicants should ideally have, but are not required to have, five years of independent research/work experience after the completion of their educational experience. In exceptional cases applications from graduate students and postdoctoral researchers will be considered.
Former YOs may apply for a maximum second YO experience. They must demonstrate how they have remained involved with IUPAC since their first experience.
2015 Young Observer Program Application Deadline is February 23, 2015.
For more information about the program and to apply, visit http://ow.ly/GPPqI. Questions about the program can be directed to BISO at nas.edu.

ACS Scholars Program: Impacting and Improving Minority Students’ Lives for 20 Years

“A Scholarship for African American, Hispanic, and American Indian Students in the Chemical Sciences”

The ACS Scholars Program, an American Chemical Society award renewable scholarship to underrepresented minority students in the fields of chemistry, was established in 1994. This program aims to help build awareness of the value and rewards associated with careers in chemistry and assist students in acquiring skills and credentials needed for success.

To date more than 2500 (57% female) students have been awarded a scholarship through the ACS Scholars Program. Fifty-one percentage were African American, 43% were Hispanics, and 6% were American Indian. Although the majority of students major in general chemistry, other majors such as environmental or natural sciences, materials science, chemical technology (2-year program) among others are considered. One of the key findings of the ACS Scholars follow-up survey is that the 42% of the students who received a scholarship have entered to an advanced degree, including doctorate degrees such as MD/Ph.Ds. In addition, thirty-four percentage of the ACS Scholarship recipients have entered the chemical workplace.

Without a doubt, the ACS Scholars Program is an outstanding program and YOU have to be part of it. It does not only provide designated amount of money to students, but it helps scholarship winners to achieve success through a mentorship program. Awardees are also encourage to participate in undergraduate research and internships.

If you are a high school senior or college student, click here to find out more information about the application process. The application cycle is now open; it begins each year on November 1st. The deadline to receive applications and supporting documents is March 1st, 2015.

If you believe in this amazing program and would like to support it, please click here for more details.

In addition, the ACS Committee on Minority Affairs will be working jointly to the ACS Scholars Program Committee to recognize the achievements of the students who have received a scholarship during the 250th ACS National Meeting & Exposition in Boston, MA (Fall 2015). Stay tuned!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the ACS Scholars Program staff:

Email: scholars@acs.org
Phone: (202) 872- 6250
Toll Free: (800) 227- 5558 ext 6250

OCDC symposium at the SACNAS conference- Prof. Hilary Coller abstract

NADPH is a critical metabolite for biosynthesis and antioxidant defense that can be generated through multiple pathways. We discovered that, surprisingly, quiescent fibroblasts activate the NADPH-producing enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), despite their reduced need for nucleotides generated from the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway. The NADPH produced in the quiescent fibroblasts is associated with higher activity of glutathione reductase and higher ratios of reduced to oxidized glutathione. The NRF2 transcription factor transcriptionally regulates G6PD and isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH). Inhibition of G6PD or NRF2 results in oxidative stress and apoptosis selectively in quiescent fibroblasts. Applying in situ metabolic activity assays, we found the nondividing, differentiated cells of the hair follicle have high potential for G6PD activity, while the quiescent hair follicle bulge cells have high IDH activity potential. Surprisingly, the proliferative cells within the hair follicle exhibited little potential for either G6PD or IDH. Induction of squamous cell carcinoma resulted in increased potential for both G6PD and IDH activity in the stem cells, their proliferating progeny and surrounding fibroblasts. Our findings demonstrate that different NADPH production pathways are activated in different cellular contexts and raise the possibility that inhibition of such pathways could prevent or reverse tumorigenesis.

OCDC symposium at the SACNAS conference- Prof. Read de Alaniz abstract

The discovery and development of novel transformations for the synthesis of molecular building blocks is a major focus of my research group. Our studies seek to accelerate drug discovery and material synthesis by developing practical and efficient methods, while incorporating renewable resources and environmentally benign protocols. We have also recently become involved in the design and synthesis of a novel photochromic material that enable the use of visible light to control the properties of micelles, polymer surfaces and small organic molecules. A main object of this research is in the areas of drug delivery and using visible light to control catalytic transformations.

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.