From the Member-at-Large, Deanna Cullen, Fall 2017

The age of technology brings the benefit of a wealth of new tools that can support the mission of our division. The Division has purchased a Zoom license. This has already made governance more accessible to those members who cannot always attend the spring and fall ACS meetings. Several committees have also taken advantage of the platform to meet more frequently. Social media has also grown because of technology and many members think that DivCHED should be using it to improve communication, facilitate collaboration and draw new membership. At the spring meeting, a task force was formed to draft a strategic plan for a public relations committee for DivCHED. We will hear from the task force in Washington, DC.

As much as we can see the benefits of technology, it also brings challenges. The ACS Exams operations are running well financially but the prevalence of digital modes of communication has increased the level of vigilance that exam proctors must rise to in order to maintain the integrity of the exams. Kristen Murphy and the Board of Trustees have spent much of this year dealing with this growing problem.

The High School Committee recommends a name change to become the Pre-College Committee. The Journal of Chemical Education, BCCE and AACT already use the designation to be more inclusive of the K-12 community. The name change will be voted on in Washington, DC. DivCHED ExComm continues to support AACT. In her final meeting as the liaison for AACT, Roxie Allen announced that AACT is shooting for 5000 members for 2017 and that they now have regional ambassadors giving presentations about AACT at many conferences. Amiee Modic, of Texas, has been appointed as the new AACT liaison.

In preparation for 2018 BCCE at Notre Dame, DivCHED will host and archive the conference website, the MAPS system will be used for abstract submission and an event planner has been hired. The Biennial Conference Committee (BCC) is documenting how to organize and run a BCCE for future host sites. The BCC is planning a retreat to complete that work and also create a 5-year plan and a mission statement. This work will help to sustain this important conference.

Thanks largely to the work of our ExComm Chair – MaryKay Orgill, Chair Elect – Cheryl Frech, and Past Chair – Cathy Middlecamp, a group of current and former members of DivCHED ExComm arrived a day early for the San Francisco meeting to do the work of updating the legally binding DivCHED bylaws in an efficient manner. This work is in response to changes in the bylaw language used by ACS. Being new to this position, I learned a great deal about how our Division functions and how some of the changes proposed will improve the effectiveness of DivCHED. Since the spring meeting, the bylaws were submitted to the ACS Constitution and Bylaws (C&B) office. The C&B approved bylaws will be discussed at the Fall meeting. If approved by ExComm, they will eventually be submitted to the CHED membership for a vote.

While the bylaws are legally binding and describe who we are as a division and what our goals are, the operations manual is not legally binding but describes how we achieve tasks set up in those bylaws. We are in the beginning phase of ensuring that the Ops Manual accurately represents the work being done by the division. We will make changes required to improve the effectiveness of the division.  

The Board of Publications reports that the Journal of Chemical Education (JCE) is in good shape thanks to Editor in Chief, Norb Pienta. They also appointed Jon Holmes as Editor in Chief of Chemical Education Xchange ( Jon has served as the Managing Editor of the Journal of Chemical Education for many years, but is stepping down from that role as he moves into semi-retirement. Norb Pienta has also announced he will leave his role with JCE in the next two years and a search for his replacement has begun.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, technology will make committee work more accessible to all members. Becoming more active in your division may be more appealing for you. Please feel free to reach out to me or any other member of the Executive Committee. If you are attending the national meeting in DC, I hope you will attend the CHED Social on Sunday evening and introduce yourself!

Wishing all of you the best for this new school year.


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