From the Chair, Marcy Towns, Fall 2015

Marcy TownsSummer greetings to all!

I hope that this newsletter finds you having a pleasantly paced and productive summer.  It is my pleasure to announce that two ACS awards have been endowed groups associated with our division.  The endowments will provide greater visibility for the ACS Examinations Institute and the Journal of Chemical Education and ChemEd X associating each group with an award that is connected to its mission.  Additionally the endowments mean that these groups will permanently sponsor the awards.  In 2017 the Journal of Chemical Education and ChemEd X will become the sponsors of the James Byant Conant Award in High School Chemistry Teaching.  The Journal has engaged and supported high school teachers for decades through publications of activities and laboratories to support, strengthen, and diversify the high school curriculum. In 2017 the ACS Exams Institute through its Board of Trustees will become the sponsor of the ACS Award for the Achievement in Research for the Teaching and Learning of Chemistry will be sponsored by.  ACS Exams has focused on measuring student learning since its inception thus endowing the award focused recognizing researchers whose measurements have impacted research, teacher’s practices, and student learning makes abundant sense.  I want to thank the members of the Board of Publication, the members of the Board of Trustees, Tom Holme (Past ACS Exams Director), Kristen Murphy (Current ACS Exams Director), and Norb Pienta (Editor, Journal of Chemical Education) for making the bold move to endow these important awards.  I also wish to thank the members of the Executive Committee including Frank Torre (who was the past chair when the conversations about endowing the awards began) for their support and critical engagement in discussions about endowing the awards.  This marks our division in a crucial way for ACS – no other division supports two awards, and in fact, for a brief period of time the division will support all three awards associated with education because the division will support the Pimentel Award in 2017 as well. 

Roxie Allen from St. John’s School in Houston, TX will serve as the divisional representative to the AACT Board for 2015-2016.  Roxie’s nomination came through our division’s Committee for Personnel and Nominations and the Executive Committee.  The appointment to the AACT Board was made by Pat Confalone, Chair of the ACS Board of Directors. The division finance committee is also closely looking at how the division’s financial operations can be assembled in such a way to maximize efficiency for all groups such as the Journal, ACS Exams, the Division, 2YC3, and the BCCE.  We continue to discuss the divisional process for securing nominations for ACS Fellows and a leadership initiative to develop leadership in the division.  

Another role that I serve in is to represent the division at IUPAC meetings and meetings of the Committee on Chemical Education in that group.  We will meet at the IUPAC meeting in Busan, South Korea this summer.  In that capacity I also serve on an IUPAC project to provide a technical report containing a critical review of the definitions for the quantity amount of substance and its unit, mole, as well as the related unit of the quantity mass.  The report is not yet complete, however the chemical education community should know that the perspectives of chemical educators we welcomed in the discussions which that place. 

We continue to develop ways to engage our membership and to connect our members to initiatives and activities that add value to their personal and professional lives.  I will look forward to working with you in 2015 and 2016!

Marcy Towns
Chair, ACS DivCHED

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