Spread the word to your friends and
throughout your outreach community! Now
everyone can listen to the latest episodes
of “Science Elements” on their web browsers. These podcasts are fun and interesting
to scientists and nonscientists alike and
make cutting-edge scientific discoveries from
ACS journals available to a broader public
WebGURU is an interactive web-based tool
developed by Northeastern University to
assist undergraduates through the hurdles
of undergraduate research experiences. The
site includes a wealth of information on the
technical aspects of undergraduate research,
a discussion board, case studies, scholarships
and fellowships that support undergraduate research, and tips on presenting your
research at scientific conferences.
By GeorGe H. FisHer
Elisabeth Pain provides valuable advice on
choosing a career. There is no such thing as
research in academia and research in industry, and first-time job seekers should view
the employment marketplace as an array of
specific opportunities, each with its own characteristics. Science, May 22, 2009.
Marketable job skills can be broken down
into five basic categories – skill sets – that
job seekers can use in their resumes to show
applicable skills from one job/career to the
The National Library of Science provides a
fascinating account of Marshall W. Nirenberg.
This biographical sketch includes information
about his professional, personal, and political
life as well as his synthetic RNA and Poly-U
experiments, his work on translating the
genetic code, and more.
COURTESY OF GEORGE H. FISHER
Faculty advisors are important to the success of ACS student chapters. Their guidance in cul- tivating chapter members into future leaders
and chemists impacts not only students, but also the
school and the greater chemistry community.
To work well with chapter officers, a great faculty
advisor needs patience, perseverance, interpersonal
skills, and the ability to mentor and guide (but not
dictate). The faculty advisor is there to provide suggestions, continuity,
and memory as the student leadership changes from year to year. The
advisor coordinates activities and handles logistics for programs. However,
it’s vital that advisors let members take ownership of the student chapter.
While advisors may encourage chapter members to seek their help and
advice, it’s important that students have the opportunity to make the
decisions. Advisors can help students keep on track and meet deadlines,
but effective advisors don’t hesitate to let students learn from their mis-
takes. It’s the students’ chapter, and if they pay attention to their advisors,
they’ll learn and grow.
Two of the greatest challenges facing a faculty advisor are how to foster involvement among the members who are not officers and how to
encourage the officers to delegate responsibility. It makes the role of the
faculty advisor easier each time a student finds a niche in the organization and flourishes in it.
Advisors also help to teach students about the importance of being
professional and having a positive attitude. Having a clear sense of professional ethics and being skilled in leadership, soliciting and managing
chapter funds, and other areas will serve students not only as chemistry
majors but also in life. Many chapter advisors also encourage and help
students to attend local, regional, and national ACS meetings to present
chapter activities and research posters and to interact with students and
professional chemists. Such experiences can change their whole perspective on the chemistry profession.
The faculty advisor is a liaison between the student chapter and the
wider chemistry community, including local industry and schools (other
universities, as well as elementary, middle, and high schools), the ACS
local section, and national ACS. The advisor tries to provide opportunities for students to interact with practicing chemists and learn what their
future careers can offer. It’s exciting for advisors to help foster a sense
of community among students and encourage them to become leaders.
One of the most rewarding aspects of being a faculty advisor is seeing
students succeed and mature professionally. iC
GeorGe H. FisHer is a professor of chemistry and faculty advisor of the ACS
student chapter at Barry University.