A Chat with the CHED Chair, Arlene Russell, Winter 2011

Arlene Russell, Chair 2011As my year as Chair of the Division is drawing to a close I am glad to take the opportunity to thank a very few of the people who have helped me work toward the goals I laid out in January.  I only hope I can be as steadying a force for the incoming chair as Sue Nurrenbern has been for me this year.  Elder stateswoman may be a better term for her than past chair.  I have found Anna Wilson's institutional memory invaluable for wending through the nuances of budgets and allocations.  Kudos must go to Resa Kelly, who managed to put a By-Laws change through in her first year as Secretary!  Thanks to former Secretaries, Don Wink and Jerry Sarquis, on their suggestions and advice.  I am especially indebted to the Councilors and Alternate Councilors, who fleshed out my nascent ideas for a competitive awards program to support Division members’ travel to ACS and BCCE meetings.  Ellen Yezierski, who chaired the task force created at the Anaheim meeting, led a very productive discussion with Division members at the Executive Committee meeting in Denver.  The original draft of the award application can be found in the website Documents for that meeting.  A revised application, based on the feedback you provided, can be found later in this Newsletter.  It will be part of the agenda for the San Diego Executive Committee meeting.  If you would like to comment on the current version of the  application, please send your comments to me and I will forward them to the task force.

A proposal from another task force, the Young Chemistry Education Research Scholars (YCERS) was successful in receiving an Innovative Programming Grant for the San Diego meeting.  They will collaborate with the Young Chemists Committee, to enlarge the task force to a network of graduate students and postdocs involved in chemistry education research.  Members of the task force have already started forming bridges; in Denver they represented the Division at the Graduate Student and Postdoc reception and talked to each of the undergraduates who was presenting a poster on chemical education research.  Cianan Russell (cianan.russell@gatech.edu) would welcome your involvement with this task force.

The goal to provide rapid and efficient communication through the website and e-mails to members is well along.  A new feature, provides a rapid turn-around for postings of jobs, workshops, and other opportunities.  The process is simple:  Submit your “post” by clicking on the “Let us know” in News and Announcements on the home page.  Timely and judicious e-mail blasts are also facilitating communication among members.  Recently, you came through with flying colors in response to the e–mail from Paul Rillema, co-chair of the upcoming summer ACS meeting in Philadelphia, requesting symposia proposals.  Four days after the e-mail was sent, Paul reported that the makings of a balanced program were in place.  The efficiency of the website has led to plans to migrate many of the announcements formerly printed in the Journal of Chemical Education.  The goal of one-stop shopping for the Division is coming closer.  Please let us know how we can make the website even more useful to you. 

Although this issue of the Newsletter is not a “meeting,” issue, it is worth mentioning that San Diego has proved to be very popular meeting site once again.  Irv Levy, the Division Program Chair, reports that over 1600 papers, including the undergraduate posters, have been submitted to the CHED program.  The Division is thriving, thanks to you.

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