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DEI News 2023

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Chemistry DEI Colloquium: Dr. Benny Chan

The image represents Professor Benny Chan Headshot with a white background

We hosted Dr. Benny Chan, Professor and Chemistry Department Chair at The College of New Jersey, for the Spring’s Chemistry Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Colloquium Series in February 2023. Dr. Chan gave a talk entitled “Experimentalism to drive systemic change to create equity in chemistry courses.”They have three pillars to their model: gaining empathy and understanding of their students; a changed toolkit of acceptable pedagogy; and developing a common language, values, and understanding of their responsibility. Data analysis has driven additional work into their chemistry curricula and even to study issues like the sense of belonging and respect in classrooms.  The Chemistry Department at NC State plans to incorporate some of these strategies of tracking students across the curriculum and their academic careers to increase the number of successful and thriving students in our majors who go on to be chemical professionals.

Chemistry DEI Colloquium: Dr. Mary Jo Ondenchren

Mary Jo Ondenchren

We hosted Dr. Mary Jo Ondrechen, from the Northeastern University, for the Chemistry DEI Colloquium Series in September 2023. Dr. Ondrechen gave a talk entitled “Lighting the Pathways to Faculty Careers for Indigenous Students in STEM.” Dr. Ondrechen gave an overview of Lighting the Pathway to Faculty Careers for Natives in STEM, a project of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). Its aim is to bring more Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawai’ian students onto the path to the STEM professoriate. Using culturally aware mentoring, this project has already succeeded in increasing the number of Indigenous individuals who pursue faculty positions in STEM disciplines at U.S. colleges and universities, giving them opportunities to mentor other minoritized students. She shared the moving profiles of several young investigators.

CIMER Training

Dr. Reza Ghiladi and Dr. Phoebe Glazer, along with three other faculty members from the College of Sciences participated in Facilitator Training for the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) Entering Mentoring Workshop this past August. This two-day workshop trains facilitators who then bring back those skills to train other mentors, including a module on culturally-aware mentoring. The College of Sciences team plans on implementing Entering Mentoring workshops starting in early Spring ’24. The 8-hour training curriculum will be spread across four weekly sessions, with up to 12 faculty for each workshop series. At the conclusion of the Spring ’24 semester, up to 24 faculty will have received Entering Mentoring training, with additional workshops planned for the Summer and/or Fall ‘24.

Chemistry Students at the 2023 NOBCChE 50th Anniversary Conference

Ellen Warner
Alexandria Kerr
Joanna Muir
From left to right: Kianna Jimenez, Joanna Muir, and Ellen Warner

The DEI committee and the Department of Chemistry were able to provide travel support for Chemistry graduate students Alexandria Kerr, Joanna Muir and Ellen Warner to attend the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) 50th Anniversary Conference this past September 11-14 in New Orleans, Louisiana. All three graduate students presented their dissertation research. NOBCChE’s mission is to build an eminent cadre of successful diverse global leaders in STEM and advance their professional endeavors by adding value to their academic, development, leadership, and philanthropic endeavors throughout the life-cycle of their careers. After being inactive for a couple of years, NC State University has re-established its own NOBCChE chapter under the guidance of recent Ph.D. graduate Kianna Jimenez and current Ph.D. candidate Mawuli Deegby.

COMPASS at NC State: Plans, Experiences and Outcomes of Career Mentoring Projects for Graduate and Undergraduate Students in the Department of Chemistry

At the ACS National Meeting this past March in Indianapolis, Dr. Reza Ghiladi presented a talk entitled “COMPASS at NC State: Plans, Experiences and Outcomes of Career Mentoring Projects for Graduate and Undergraduate Students in the Department of Chemistry.” Co-authored with Dr. Marion Marin, the talk was part of the Division of Professional Relations’ session “COMPASS: Career and Occupational Mentoring for the Professional Advancement of Science Students” and highlighted the activities and accomplishments of both the DEI committee as well as the Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP)-NC Alliance on building community and broadening participation in the chemical sciences.