Diversity in STEMinar Series with Dr. Lisa Willis: Applying EDI in STEM Fields

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.

Screen Shot 2019-11-18 at 10.30.44 AM

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!

Meet & Greet: Dr. Jim Tung

We are excited to welcome Dr. James (Jim) C. Tung to University of Alberta this week!

Dr. Tung will be speaking about the chemistry job market on Monday October 21 at 4 pm in CCIS 1-140 and will then share his experiences in process chemistry on Tuesday October 22 at 11 am in E3-25.

Join us in the chemistry lounge (E4-43) at 9:30 am on Tuesday October 22 for a chance to sit down with Dr. Tung. We encourage everyone to attend our events and will be providing light refreshments.

October Meet & Greet: Dr. Tara Kahan

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.

Picture of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dr. Tara Kahan
Join us on Friday October 4th at 10 am in the E4-43 for some coffee and chats!

September Meet & Greet: Susan Odom

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.

Susan Odom headshot

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.

#LGBTSTEM Day

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!!

Wicked WIC Welcome

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.

WIC Open House 2019

Hope to see you there!

If not, drop by our next meeting: Wednesday September 11th in W3-60 at noon.

Pie-ing Around!

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. 

Pi Day Post - Draft 1

Armour Speaker Series: Dr. Geraldine Richmond

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Geraldine Richmond as our inaugural speaker of the Margaret-Ann Armour Lecture Series!

20150813coverstory-5
Dr. Geraldine Richmond, Presidential Chair in Science & Professor of Chemistry, University of Oregon

Dr. Richmond is a Presidential Chair in Science and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oregon. She obtained her BSc from Kansas State University and her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley with Professor George C Pimentel. Her current research is focused on using laser-based methods and theoretical simulations to understand chemical processes occurring at the surface of water. Her work has applications in solving important problems related to energy production, environmental remediation and atmospheric chemistry.

Dr. Richmond has been a strong advocate for diversity in all areas of science and is the founder of COACh (Committee On the Advancement of Women Chemists), an organisation aimed at increasing the number of women in STEM and providing individuals with the resources required to build a successful career. As a result of her passion for this line of work, she was appointed by former President Obama to the National Board of Science. She is also a Fellow of the American Chemistry Society, the Association for Women in Science, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Amongst her numerous awards and recognitions, Richmond has received the Linus Pauling Medal, the National Medal of Science, and the Priestley Medal.

She will be visiting the UAlberta Department of Chemistry on Wednesday January 16th and presenting two-talks:

“COACh: Empowering Women as Leaders in the Scientific Enterprise”
11:00 am, CCIS 1-160

“Mulling over Nanoemulsions: Interfacial Molecular Structure,
Stabilization and Assembly”
2:00 pm, CCIS 1-140

We hope you will be joining us for this exciting kick-off event!

Margaret-Ann Armour Lecture Series

The University of Alberta’s Working for Inclusivity in Chemistry group is excited to announce the first student-led speaker series in the Department of Chemistry. This speaker series, named after Dr. Margaret-Ann Armour, aims to celebrate diversity in Chemistry by providing a platform for chemists who do outstanding work both in the lab and in promoting diversity and inclusivity within Chemistry.

Dr. Margaret-Ann Armour received her BSc and MSc from the University of Edinburgh before completing her PhD from the University of Alberta in 1970. She rejoined the Department of Chemistry in 1979, and has served as the Faculty of Science’s premier Associate Dean of Science (Diversity) since 2005. Beyond  her contributions to science regarding hazardous chemical management, Dr. Armour has been a tireless advocate for stronger representation of women in STEM. She founded Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science and Technology (WISEST) at the University of Alberta in 1981, and since its inception, the WISEST programs have reached more than 15,000 participants with 85% of their Summer Research Participants pursuing undergraduate degrees in Science or Engineering. In 2010, Dr. Armour established the Canadian Centre for Women in Science, Engineering, Trades and Technology (WinSETT Centre). As the Associate Dean of Science (Diversity), Dr. Armour developed Project Catalyst, which is aimed at increasing the representation of women in faculty positions in the Faculty of Science.

Dr. Armour has received many awards and accolades for research, leadership and outreach activities. She received the McNeil Medal from the Royal Society of Canada in 1994, and  a 3M Teaching Fellowship, Canada’s top award for excellence in undergraduate teaching, in 1996. Dr. Armour was named a member of the Order of Canada in 2006. Maclean’s Magazine recognized Dr. Armour as one of Ten Canadians Making a Difference in 2003, and she was twice listed by the Women’s Executive Network as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada. Dr. Armour has also received honorary degrees from her alma mater, the University of Edinburgh, as well as the University of British Columbia, the University of Alberta, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, MacEwan University, and Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Lunch ‘n’ Learn: Teaching for Diversity

We are teaming up with Dr. Glen Loppnow to bring to you the very FIRST Chemistry Department Teaching Circle Discussion. These meetings are meant to be informal discussions around various teaching topics that we may encounter in our graduate careers.

Topic: Tips: Teaching for Diversity
When: Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 12:00 – 1:00 pm OR Friday, Oct. 12 at 11 am – 12 pm
Where: W4-04 Chemistry Centre

Lunch will be provided to attendees thanks to the Vertigo Teaching Chair; however, spots are limited.

Please fill out this google form to indicate your preferred date and any dietary restrictions!