San Diego, CA
COMPILED BY ACS STAFF
Chapter;president: Shannen Cravens number;of;chapter;members:;80 number;of;ACS;student;members: 12
Website: http://sites.sandiego.edu/chemclub/ Institution;description: Small, private, urban, 4-year institution
A: Our chapter has an officer shadow pro-
gram. Potential new officers are recruited
halfway through the academic year and
are teamed with the current officers who
hold the positions in which the potential
officers are interested. This allows the
potential officers to learn how the chapter
functions before they assume their new
roles, and also allows the current council to
determine who is best suited for each job. At
our officer council “boot camp,” new officers
learn about our chapter’s annual activities,
past event successes and failures, and the
duties of their new jobs.
Q: Do you have any unique positions?
If so, can you describe them?
A: We have a Community Service Coordinator
who oversees coordinating and communicating with the various schools that participate in our outreach programs.
Q: What are some of the interesting
ways your chapter recruits/retains
A: All students who declare a chemistry or biochemistry major are automatically made a
member of our chapter. We retain members
by diversifying our activities, including a
mix of social events and community service
opportunities. Adding food has also helped
draw in a crowd at each event!
Q: Do you collaborate with other
clubs on campus on activities?
Q: What are your most popular
or unique chapter activities?
A: Our two most popular activities are both
held in collaboration with other science and
pre-health clubs on campus. At our Science
Department Holiday Party, we decorate
ornaments and cookies, while our “Beauty
and the Geek Bucky Ball” is an on-campus
spring formal with a DJ and catered Italian
food. Last year, approximately 100 students
and faculty took part in both festivities,
which was a new record for our chapter!
A: Our chapter is housed in a building with
several other science departments, so we
make an effort to collaborate with the
biology, marine science, and physics clubs.
This year, we planned a holiday party,
spring formal, and DNA Day together. Each
activity was run by a planning committee
composed of representatives from each
Q: What innovative methods of
communication are used to
inform chapter members of
A: We started a Facebook page a couple of
years ago, and we now have a functioning
Q: What types of activities
do you sponsor?
The USD student chapter has an officer shadow
program to help potential officers learn the
duties of the position before taking office.
A: We sponsor outdoor movie nights, lab
coat tie-dye, holiday parties, and several
outreach programs in our community.
We have a Careers in Chemistry seminar
series to help students realize there are
plenty of career options for them in addition to medicine and academia. Speakers
have included forensic and environmental scientists, a scientific illustrator, a
structural biologist, and biotech professionals.
Q: How do you ensure a smooth
officer transition from year
PHOTO COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO
website that is attached to our university’s
official webpage. These online resources
allow us to reach out to more students,
especially those who have yet to declare
their major. It also provides members with a
way to contact the officer council directly
with any questions. We also have a bulletin
board in our science building that is dedicated to chapter news.
Christopher Daley, 9 years
Q: Why/how did you become
a faculty advisor?
Daley: I have fond memories of my
undergraduate days with my student
chapter and remember the strong sense
of community we felt between students
and faculty. As an assistant professor, I
wanted to see the same sense of community in my department, so I took on
the role of faculty advisor.
Q: What challenges have
you faced in your position?
Daley: One of the main challenges is
to learn the student-faculty culture at
your institution. Each institution I have
attended, whether as a student, a postdoctoral fellow, or a professor, has had
a different departmental culture. The
challenge is to determine which form of
student-faculty community can be built
and sustained in your department by
Q: What has been the most
rewarding aspect of your
service as a faculty advisor?
Daley: There are many, but one of the
major ones is seeing a community
develop among the students, staff, and
faculty in our department. Our students
spend four (approximately) very influen-
tial years of their lives in our midst, and it
gives us great pleasure to watch them
grow and mature as people and as
inChemistry • www.acs.org/undergrad