We are Kathleen (Lee) from the US and Aruny from France and we are both students at the University of New Mexico (UNM) and work at Sandia National Laboratories’ Advanced Materials Laboratory (AML), located in Albuquerque, NM.
We have very different interests when it comes to chemistry. Lee prefers physical chemistry and Aruny prefers inorganic chemistry, so you might wonder why our paths crossed at all. The unique collaborative nature of the AML ultimately made that possible. We actually met because of our shared chemical education outreach experiences sponsored by the AML. Through this tie, we talked about the successes and limitations of not only the educational outreach we had participated in, but also began to talk a little about our research work. Because of this, we understand how good communication and understanding between people is essential for a well functioning field of study.
Today, international collaboration between different research groups around the world in chemistry is limitless. Distinctive groups across the globe share knowledge and skills to solve chemical challenges. However, we learned that comprehendible exchange of skills between people of different cultures is sometimes difficult. We were happy to learn that we could share our experiences and try to improve this delicate exchange of skills during the ACS International-Domestic Student Summit 2012. Also, we were interested to learn more about possibilities to improve international student welcoming to the US. We hope that attending the Summit will help us find ways to make this transition easier and receive ideas to expand welcoming events in our university to include a special event for international chemistry students. We hope to include our local ACS section in order to involve not only UNM, but also other universities and industries in our area.
International or domestic student in a research group? Any ideas for a successful and solid collaboration? Please, comment and share your experience with us! We hope to hear from you!