A Chat from the CHED Chair, Fall 2011

Arlene Russell, Chair 2011

Although I can take no credit for the success of the Anaheim meeting, I was proud to be Chair of the CHED Division during the 241st National Meeting this past March. The program, meeting, and symposia chairs put together a large and excellent program that showcased the breadth and depth of the interests and activities of the members of the Division. Testifying to this stellar programming, ACS recorded many of our sessions‑in fact more half days than all but one other Division. If you missed the meeting, you can see these symposia on the ACS website at http://www.ACS.org.

During the meeting I had an opportunity to meet with Irv Levy, the program chair, and Heather Johnson to discuss ways to make other talks in our program accessible to those who cannot attend the meetings. The preliminary plans are to make it possible for speakers, who will not later publish their work in other venues, to submit their slides as pdf files to Heather, and she will link them to the symposium reports. Many journal policies (including our own JCE) will not print work that has received “prior publication” either in electronic or paper form so one will need to be cautious in submitting their presentations. I will be reporting on the status of these plans at the Executive Committee meeting in August in Denver.

At that meeting we will continue to follow the format established by our past chair and hold the Executive Committee meeting on Saturday afternoon rather than the earlier practice of Saturday morning. This proved very successful again in Anaheim with over 50 members attending the meeting, many for the first time. I hope attendance continues to grow as important issues will be discussed in Denver. We want and need feedback from members.

Three taskforces will be addressing fresh areas of outreach for members.

The report of the Younger Chemistry Education Scholars (YCES) taskforce, which is found elsewhere in this Newsletter, details its activities in Anaheim. The outreach of this nascent group to undergraduates who are conducting chemical education research bodes well for that growing component of scholarship among many of our members.

In the interest of further helping our members during difficult economic times, at the Executive Committee meeting in Anaheim I established a taskforce to develop guidelines for a new travel award. Our intention is to develop a competitive award program for Division members to enable recipients to attend and present their research in Division programs at National or Biennial meetings. The taskforce report will be presented at the open session of the Executive Committee in Denver and will be a focal point for discussion. I hope that if you are at the meeting you will attend and provide feedback. We would like the first awards to be available for the Spring 2012 meeting in San Diego. It is important that we hear all voices soon.

A second new taskforce resulting from the Anaheim meeting was created jointly with SOCED. The charge of the taskforce is to “explore avenues for creating a chemistry teachers’ affiliation or association under the ACS umbrella to meet the needs of teachers of chemistry at the middle and high school levels.” Two of CHED’s taskforce members, past chair, Sue Nurrenbern and high school chair, Jeff Hepburn will report at the Executive Committee on their progress to date.

Let me remind you that these reports, as well as the full agenda for the meeting, will all be posted on the Division website several weeks prior to the meeting. If you cannot attend the meeting, we encourage you to read them and give us your comments by email. We hope that you will also use the Facebook page to share your thoughts with other Division members. A virtual meeting space is the next best thing to being there. We look forward to your input into these and all other activities of the Division. Arlene Russell (Russell@chem.ucla.edu)

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