This year’s Armour Lecture Series student-invited speaker was Dr. Molly Shoichet. She paid a visit to our campus on February 24 & 25, giving two seminars and taking the time to meet with numerous students, chemistry faculty, and the Dean of Science. It was a pleasure to meet with Dr. Shoichet and discuss the exciting developments in hydrogels as well as her journey to a fulfilling career in academia.
Dr. Shoichet received her SB from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1987 and a PhD in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1992. She then began her academic career at the University of Toronto, where she currently holds the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Tissue Engineering. Her research is focused on drug and cell delivery strategies in the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, retina) and 3D hydrogel culture systems to model cancer.
Dr. Shoichet served as Ontario’s first Chief Scientist in 2018 where she worked to enhance the culture of science. She has co-founded three spin-off companies, is actively engaged in translational research and science outreach, and is a founder of Research2Reality. She has received numerous awards such as the L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Laureate for North America (2015) and the Killam Prize in Engineering (2017). She has been inducted into all three of Canada’s National Academies – of Science, Engineering, and Health Sciences – and is an Officer of the Order of Canada.
We would like to extend a huge thank you to all our volunteers in organizing a great visit and to our sponsors, University of Alberta Department of Chemistry and CCWEST, for their financial support.
Working for Inclusivity in Chemistry (WIC) is hosting their second Diversity in STEMinar Lecture! Dr. Lisa Willis (Assistant Professor from the Department of Biological Sciences) is a strong advocate for inclusivity in STEM, and has developed a series of workshops and talks to help identify discriminatory biases and guide the creation of inclusive workspaces. She has also been featured on CBC’s Quirks & Quarks discussing women in STEM.
Dr. Willis’s talk will focus on the realities of discrimination in STEM, and offer suggestions for incorporating equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) into existing systems. There is a profound lack of diversity in science labs and classrooms, which has a negative impact on productivity. Scientific research demonstrates that diverse groups are more creative and better able to solve problems. Though the perception is that things are improving, NSERC’s recently released report shows that attrition rates in Canadian STEM fields are higher for women than for men at all career stages and that the percentage of women has not changed substantially in the last 15 years. Racialized and Indigenous people are also underrepresented at Canadian universities. This seminar will explore the scientific research behind discrimination, including both overt and unconscious bias, and provide ideas for how to improve EDI in our everyday lives.
Please join us at 4:00 pm in CCIS 1-430 on Tuesday, November 26th to hear from Dr. Willis. Light refreshments and PD credits will be provided. The event will also be live-streamed via Twitter (@UofAWIC). Everyone is welcomed and encouraged to attend!
We are happy to have Dr. Tara Kahan, Associate Professor of Chemistry from University of Saskatchewan and strong voice in USask Women in Chemistry, sit down with us for a meet & Greet! Dr. Kahan’s work focuses on ice surface reactivity, natural water pollutants, urban surface chemistry and indoor chemistry.
Join us on Friday October 4th at 10 am in the E4-43 for some coffee and chats!
We are pleased to kickoff the semester with our first Meet & Greet!
Prof. Susan A. Odom will be visiting our campus on Monday September 23rd. We encourage any interested individuals to join us for coffee & cookies at 10 am in E4-43 as we chat about her journey in chemistry! Prof. Odom’s research seminar, titled “Organic Molecules as Charge Storage Materials for Redox Flow Batteries,” will follow at 1 pm in E3-25.
Dr. Odom is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky, the same
institution from which she obtained a B.S. in Chemistry in 2003. Prof. Odom moved to Atlanta, GA, where she received a Ph.D. from Georgia Institute of Technology, studying electronic delocalization in organic radical cations. Prof. Odom then took position as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where she developed self-healing electronic materials and damage-indicating microcapsules, after which she joined the faculty at the University of Kentucky in 2011. Her independent research first focused on overcharge protection of lithium-ion batteries. More recently, her research scope expanded to include new materials for redox flow batteries. After receiving tenure in 2017, she took sabbatical leave to further delve into flow battery research with collaborators at MIT and Harvard. Outside of research, Prof. Odom serves as a co-organizer of the Expanding Your Horizons Conference at the University of Kentucky and is in the process of creating an open source textbook for undergraduate organic chemistry.
UAlberta WIC, in collaboration with Pride in STEM, held our 1st Annual Door Decorating Contest for #LGBTSTEM Day on July 5. Our goal was to raise awareness and support of diversity and inclusion in STEM (and of course, to win a ‘door’ prize – *cue the drums*)!
Thank you so much to all ten of the groups who decorated their doors! The department halls were very bright, and you put up some very creative and chemistry-filled displays. Thank you also to everyone who participated by voting on the awesome doors! The competition was tight, but our winning door belongs to the Serpe Group!
Most of the door decorations are still up, so if you missed seeing the decorated doors, don’t forget to take a wander to the Serpe, Lundgren, Vederas, Rivard, Styler, Veinot, Michaelis, Gibbs, Harynuk, and joint theoretical chemistry group offices!
As always, UAlberta WIC is dedicated to increasing visibility and support for under-represented groups in Chemistry – if you have an idea for an event or initiative, please reach out to us!!
Classes may be starting but don’t forget to also become involved in your university community! Come on out to WIC’s first fall event, a variety night full of games, snacks, and good fun. Meet your current exec team and find out how you can become involved.
Hope to see you there!
If not, drop by our next meeting: Wednesday September 11th in W3-60 at noon.
We wish to introduce the new WIC Executive Team for 2019/2020.
We are excited to see WIC grow and look forward to welcoming new members if anyone is interested. Our current meetings are biweekly in E3-60 on Wednesdays at 1 pm. The next meeting will be on Wed Aug 14 so come check us out!
WIC had the pleasure of hosting Pi Day on March 14th, 2019. The event was hosted in our very own Chemistry Lounge and had a huge turnout, for both people and pies! With a total of 75 of undergraduate and graduate students, professors, and support staff of all genders – we managed to have a pie-errifc day!
This opportunity allowed all members of our Chemistry department to come together and foster a sense of community and well-being, encouraging communication between all members of our department. Our attendees were happy for a short break in their day, a delicious snack baked by our talented chefs, and viewing or participating in the pie-in-the-face silent auction, where several brave people volunteered to be pied in the face in the spirit of 3.14! We hope this event allowed people from all backgrounds to come together to share and talk about their experiences in a friendly and fun environment.
We would like to thank all our amazing volunteers who helped out for this fundraising event from setting up, baking a pie, or getting pied! This event was such a success thanks to your efforts and we look forward to hosting it again next year.