Author Archive

Congratulations to Dow WesTEC RSC award winners

Last year, our Analytical Methods Editorial Board member Jim Luong invited us to contribute a congratulatory letter for the program book of WesTEC, an internal Dow Canada conference. Last year was the 25th Jubilee celebration of the conference, and the RSC President Robert Parker co-signed a letter with the President of the Canadian Society for Chemistry that appeared in the front of the program, alongside letters from Dow VIPs.

We were thrilled to be invited by Jim again to contribute a congratulatory letter in 2017, and we also sponsored Best Poster and Best Lecture prizes. The conference took place on October 19th and we wanted to say congratulations to the two winners, Ms Morgan Tien (Best Lecture) and Ms Karina Singh (Best Poster)!

Best Lecture prize winner Morgan Tien with Billy Bardin, Dow Global Tech Center Director

Karina Singh, Wayde Konze, Dow WesTEC

Best Poster prize winner Karina Singh with Wayde Konze, Dow Director of Analytical Sciences

We should also say congratulations to the Canadian Society for Chemistry on the 100th anniversary of their conference this year, and of course to Canada itself on its 150th anniversary! In honor of these two milestones, we compiled a special collection to celebrate Canadian science. Enjoy!

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UC Chemical Symposium: “by students, for students”

The University of California Chemical Symposium (UCCS) is a three-day conference that brings together graduate students and postdocs from all ten UC campuses for a weekend of poster presentations and talks, career and professional development, and social activities. It is organized by students, for students. Our North American office has been proud to support this event from its foundation through our community development and leadership training initiatives for students and postdocs.

Seth Cohen, UCCSProfessor Seth Cohen from the University of California, San Diego, is the founder and faculty mentor for UCCS, as well as a member of the Editorial Board of our journal ChemSocRev. We talked to Seth to learn more about how the UCCS came about and where it’s going.

Q: This is going to be the third annual UC Chemical Symposium – what prompted or inspired the start of the UCCS program?

A: The program was inspired by two events.  The first was the beginning of a series of annual meetings for the Chairs of the Chemistry Departments across the UC system (which itself was inspired by a conversation with Prof. Bill Tolman, who told me about similar Chairs’ meetings at Big-10 schools).  I found these Chairs’ meetings useful and it sparked the idea of a student/postdoc symposium.  The second event, was a conversation with Katie Dryden-Holt of the RSC.  She was looking to enhance membership in the US, and the UC symposium seemed like a good opportunity for her to recruit RSC members across the UC campuses.

Q: What is your role in the program and how has it changed over time?

A: I initiated the idea and recruited the first organizing committee (with substantial help from the RSC).  These days, I am more just the institutional knowledge (from year-to-year) and faculty mentor to bounce ideas off of.  The organizing committee really does the heavy lifting.  In the future, I hope the symposium becomes largely self-sufficient, to the point I am not really needed anymore.  I really want this to be something that the students own and sustain.

Q: Did you have anything like this when you were a grad student or postdoc?

A: No.  The closest was the GRS:  Bioinorganic Chemistry.  This was one of the first GRS meetings and it was my favorite meeting.  I made many close friends and I loved that it was student run and organized.  That was a large part of the inspiration for the structure of the UCCS.

Q: The low registration fee of $259 covers all of the program activities, meals, accommodations and more. How is the organizing team able to make the cost so affordable?

Fundraising.  The one thing about this conference I was fairly confident in was that we would be able to initiate a robust fundraising effort.  Organizations love to support students.  The mission of UC is to support students.  I reasoned that most UC Chemistry Departments, Dean’s offices, and other organizations could each give some support, which collectively, would result in a lot of funds to make the symposium quite inexpensive.  Additional support from the RSC, ACS, publishers, and most recently the NSF has further helped make this symposium readily accessible to all students and postdocs.

Q: What is the most challenging part of having ten campuses involved?

A: Making sure all campuses are represented on the organizing committee and that all committee members remain engaged.  With only 1-2 representatives per campus, if just 1 or 2 people don’t to their job it can result in an entire campus being excluded – not deliberately, but because of a lack of information being communicated to that campus.  Conference calls can be hard to schedule with that many people as well

Q: As an Editorial Board member for ChemSocRev, you also initiated the Primer collection of tutorial reviews to help new grad students get up to speed with all the most exciting research and help figure out their own research interests for graduate school. Why is education and training the next generation so important to you?

A: The future success of the chemical sciences and the solutions it will bring to society in the fields of energy, the environment, health, and technology are in the hands of the next generation.  It is important to me that the young scientists I work with feel motivated, supported, and excited to pursue cutting-edge research in the chemical sciences or whatever field their career takes them.

Q: Would other regions benefit from having a program like this, or is it unique to UC?

A: Absolutely!  I’d love to see the idea come full circle, back to the Big-10 (where Bill Tolman is) and see them do something similar.  I think this could be done regionally all over the country and the world.

Q: What do you see, or hope to see, the future holding for UCCS?

A: I think the autonomy is key.  I love being involved, but to make it in the long term, it needs to become fully independent of me as a single faculty mentor.  Personally, I think the size and the format are really good.  I’d like to see it spread to other universities.  For the UCCS specifically, I’d like to see it alternate between a SoCal and NorCal location (we’ve looked at Lake Tahoe), to make it more equitable travel-wise for the NorCal UC campuses.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about the UCCS?

That it brings the students together.  I think that is so important – to meet your peers from across the state and share experiences.



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Welcome to RSC Americas!

Welcome to the Royal Society of Chemistry Americas blog! We wanted to create a space to let you know about what we do in North and South America and first we wanted to introduce you to our team:

The Washington DC office

 Rebecca Trager, Marika Wieliczko, Jennifer Griffiths, Jenny Lee

The Washington DC office (L to R): Rebecca Trager, Marika Wieliczko, Jennifer Griffiths, Jenny Lee

Jennifer Griffiths (Editorial Development Manager, Americas) received her Ph.D. in bioorganic chemistry from Duke University before moving into publishing. She started with the RSC five years ago as our first publishing representative in the US. She currently manages the team that develops our publishing activities in North and South America. Before joining the RSC, she was a Managing Editor at the ACS for Analytical Chemistry and several other journals. Jen has a wide variety of interests outside of work, including knitting and needlework, running, Pilates and has recently started volunteer work teaching English as a second language.

Jenny Lee (Assistant Editorial Development Manager, North America) joined the RSC in 2014 after completing her Ph.D. at Iowa State University in synthetic organic chemistry with sustainable applications. Jenny enjoys meeting researchers and discovering opportunities to share knowledge and support research advances throughout North America.  She looks forward to interesting conversations with the researcher and scholarly communication community, most recently through a Society for Scholarly Publishing Fellowship.  If she’s not at a conference or visiting institutions, Jenny can be found learning new things at events across the city, doing yoga, or cooking experimentally in her kitchen “lab”.

Marika Wieliczko (Assistant Editorial Development Manager, North America) joined the RSC in 2017 after finishing her Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry at Emory University. She always felt that the best part of science and research is sharing it with the rest of the world so jumped at the chance to move into publishing to help others share their work. With a non-profit like the RSC she is able to combine this love of science with a passion for community service! In this position, she most enjoys learning about all the new research that she never had a chance to pursue, getting to know the scientists who inspired her, and helping young people gain the experience and skills they need to become the next generation of global leaders. In her free time, Marika enjoys athletic activities, especially running, tennis, and horseback riding, learning, watching, and playing games, planning fun activities for friends and family, listening to podcasts and reading about movies and books instead of watching and reading them.

Rebecca Trager became the US Correspondent for the RSC’s Chemistry World magazine in September 2014 after writing for the magazine on a freelance basis since 2007. She tracks and covers all news coming out of North America that impacts the field of chemistry, including policy developments. With a background in policy, and a passion for journalism, she has found her niche covering the world of science policy since 1997. Rebecca’s interest was sparked after spending summers during college as a press intern for the US National Institutes of Health. Before joining Chemistry World, she was the US Editor for Research Europe, reporting on the White House, as well as government departments and US agencies. She is also the former managing editor of The Blue Sheet, an Elsevier biomedical research and health policy publication. She studied philosophy and political theory at Haverford College in Pennsylvania.

The São Paulo office

Elizabeth Magalhaes

Elizabeth Magalhaes is the RSC Manager for Brazil and Latin America. She started with the RSC almost six years ago as our representative in the region. Beth received her Ph.D. in analytical-inorganic chemistry from University of Campinas-UNICAMP. She now manages the RSC office in São Paulo working with the community to develop skills and promote knowledge in Brazil and South America. Before joining the RSC, she worked as Editorial Manager at the Brazilian Chemical Society for Journal of the Brazilian Chemical Society (JBCS). Beth’s interests outside of work range from Formula 1 to Football in sports. She enjoys cooking and collecting stones from places she visited.

 

 

 

 

 

Look for further updates soon!

 

 

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