Photo Credit: California University of Pennsylvania
Greeting from the Women Chemists Committee! I am deeply honored to serve as the new chair of the WCC. As this is my first newsletter message, I wanted to introduce myself briefly before I tell you about the fantastic programs and events WCC has to offer at the upcoming national meeting.
I first joined the Women Chemists Committee in 2011 after completing the Younger Chemist Committee (YCC) track at the Leadership Development Institute (in 2010). My service to WCC was as Recording Secretary and member of the Programming & Events Subcommittee. I became Program Chair in 2014 and thoroughly enjoyed helping to execute a wide range of national meeting technical programs until I became Chair of the Programming & Events subcommittee in 2017. After participating in the 2017 WCC strategic planning retreat, I’m eager to dive in and begin implementing updates and new strategies to help WCC achieve its goals and mission.
I am a Professor of Chemistry at California University of Pennsylvania (Cal U), which is one of the fourteen state system universities in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. My activism and volunteering on behalf of women started in 2005, when I became involved with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Women’s Consortium. Membership in this professional organization is open to faculty, staff and students at all fourteen state system universities. The Consortium executes leadership institutes for each of their constituencies, in addition to running an annual conference. I had the pleasure of serving as the Secretary, Treasurer, President-elect and President of this organization, completing my term as Immediate-Past President this year.
Now, let me tell you about the exciting lineup of networking and social events WCC has planned for the upcoming national meeting in New Orleans, LA. On Sunday, March 18th we will have the Women Chemists of Color (WCofC) Networking Event. On Monday, the Women in the Chemical Enterprise Breakfast (a ticketed event) will focus on networking and careers. WCC is grateful to have eight female members of the Board of Directors, who have volunteered to network with breakfast attendees and discuss their own career paths. On Tuesday of the national meeting WCC hosts a poster session showcasing the research of the Spring 2018 Eli Lilly travel award winners immediately before the WCC Luncheon (a ticketed event). The luncheon keynote, “Musings of an ACS Volunteer” will be presented by 2018 Garvan-Olin medalist, Valerie Kuck. On Tuesday, all chemists are welcome to attend the WCC Open meeting and “Just Cocktails” reception to network and hear more about the efforts of the WCC.
On Monday, March 19th, WCC is sponsoring a full-day symposium titled, “Science of Sexual Harassment”. The morning session is subtitled, “The psychology and sociology of sexual harassment” and the afternoon, “Working to Stop Sexual Harassment in Departments & at Meetings”. This symposium is a spin-off from the article, “Confronting sexual harassment in chemistry” published in the September 18th, 2017 issue of Chemical & Engineering News by Linda Wang and Andrea Widener. (https://cen.acs.org/articles/95/i37/Confronting-sexual-harassment-chemistry.html) WCC is extremely grateful for the financial support from C&EN, the Committee on Minority Affairs, the Diversity & Inclusion advisory board, the Younger Chemists Committee, and the division of Professional Relations. In association with the symposium, WCC is hosting a workshop on Tuesday, “No Means No: How to Stop Sexual Harassment”, featuring Dr. Sherry Marts. Seats are limited for this event and tickets are only $10.
On Tuesday morning, we’ll celebrate the accomplishments of Merck research, Dr. Rebecca Ruck, who is the 2018 winner of the ACS Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences. Additionally WCC will feature the six accomplished winners of the 2018 WCC Rising Award on Tuesday afternoon. Please see the WCC Roadmap for all of the specific time and location details.
Once again, I am honored to serve the WCC, and I look forward to an incredible year of WCC programs, products and services. I welcome your ideas and suggestions !