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MARCH 2019    

Dr. Esther Tristani, Burt Bees Scientist (fourth from left) with the Stoesser Committee after her lecture on February 26th, 2019
Dr. Esther Tristani, Burt Bees Scientist (fourth from left) with the Stoesser Committee after her lecture on February 26th, 2019


            I: Community Updates
            (a) March is Women History Month
            (b) Diversity and Climate Action Plan
            (c) Student Awards
            (d) Faculty Inclusive Leadership Series
            II: Community News
                   (a) A Celebration of St. Elmo Brady
                   (b) Stoesser Lecture
                   (c) NIH on Sexual  Harrassment
            III: Upcoming Events
            IV: Resources Corner



Women History Month

I hope you are all doing well. It's exciting that the weather is finally warming up.

As some of you might know, March is Women's History Month. With that in my mind, I want to share with you some historical facts from our department courtsey of Prof. Girolami. The first women to graduate with a BS in Chemistry from our department were Georgiana Bennett and Florence Clarke in 1896, and the first woman to earn a PhD in Chemistry was Ruth Eliza Okey in 1918. Today approximately 40% of the graduate enrollment consists of women.

Diversity & Climate Action Plan updates

Both the diversity and climate committee started their meetings at the beginning of this semester. Please feel free to share any climate or diversity concerns you might have with Wilfred van der Donk (Climate Committee Chair) or Lloyd Munjanja (Diversity Committee Chair)

Please also check new additions to the chemistry website



Please consider reviewing the LAS 108-page report that informed the Diversity and Action Plan. Since it is a confidential report to the department, the LAS report will not be copied or distributed publicly.

Instead, Dr. Lloyd Munjanja, Assistant Director of Diversity and Program Climate, has the full printed report copy in his office. Lloyd has office hours for graduate students and postdocs interested in viewing the report every Friday, 1-3 PM. Faculty and staff may also make appointments to read the report by contact Lloyd directly. 

Graduate Student Awards

(1) URM Excellence: Our own women scientists, Lauren Hagler (Zimmerman Group) and Tabitha Miller (Fout Group) were recognized for excellence in research, teaching and service at the The Graduate College's  Annual event, “Celebrating Diversity, Recognizing Excellence”...Read more

(2) European Society for Molecular Imaging Poster Award: Hailey Nox (Chan Group) recently received the European Society for Molecular Imaging (ESMI) poster award at the recent 14th annual conference in Glasgow, Scotland. 

(3) IBM-Zerner Gradute Student Award: Punit Jha (So Hirata Group) received the IBM-Zerner Gradute Student Award  from the University of Florida at the 59th Sanibel Symposium for his talk based on his current PhD research project...Read more

Faculty Training in Inclusive Leadership

A number of our chemistry faculty have been attending the Inclusive Lab Leaders series,  a new program by the 21st Century Scientists Initiative at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science & Technology. The goal of this program is to help PIs, new and veteran, become more effective at managing their research groups.

The series of workshops include,

"Leading an inclusive, productive lab" Friday, February 8, 2019 

"Transforming conflict into collaboration", March 15th, 2019

To register or learn more about these workshops...Read More



 Audience watching Jameatris Rimkus' presentation
 Audience watching Jameatris Rimkus' presentation


In 1916, St. Elmo Brady became the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry in the United States, graduating from the University of Illinois. On Tuesday, February 5, the American Chemical Society (ACS) honored Brady with a National Historic Chemical Landmark at an all-day event in Noyes Laboratory....Read More



Dr. Esther Tristani, a Sr. Scientist at Burt’s Bees was our Stoesser speaker this year. She is responsible for delivering and maintaining a robust pipeline of innovative personal care and cosmetic products in categories such as Lip & Face Care, Hair & Body at Burt Bees...Read More



Sexual harassment does not only just damage the careers of those who have encountered it, it can leave deep scars and psychological effects that reverberate for a lifetime. The reports of scientists and students shared through the #MeTooSTEM movement portray a heartbreaking story of opportunities lost, pain suffered, and a systemic failure to protect and defend. To all those who have endured these experiences, we are sorry that it has taken so long to acknowledge and address the climate and culture that has caused such harm. The National Academies report on sexual harassment of women in science found that “federal agencies may be perpetuating the problem of sexual harassment.” We are concerned that NIH has been part of the problem.  We are determined to become part of the solution.....Read more




TEDx Discussion on Mental Health in Graduate School

Wednesday March 27th, at 6:00PM in La Casa Cultural Latina

The event is co-hosted by NOBCChE and SACNAS (see flyer). 

Teaching & Diversity Seminar

Friday March 29 at 3pm in 245 Altgeld Hall.

The speaker is Piper Harron from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and her title is "How to Become a Liberated Mathematician in 13+3 Painful Years”. Dr. Harron got her PhD from Princeton, and her dissertation made a huge impression when it appeared; you can see it at

Chinese American Chemical Society, Great Lakes Chapter Annual Conference

April 27th, 2019 at Abbott Laboratories

The theme of the conference is "Challenges and Opportunities for Chemists and Chemical Engineers in a Changing World", and it will be in the AP52 Conference Center at Abbott Laboratories on April  27th (Saturday), 2019.  It is a one-day event, and we will have distinguished speakers from industry and academia, Student Research Presentation Contests, and Job Fair hosted by Baxter, Abbott, UOP and AbbVie. Here is our website for more details:  

Students are encouraged to attend the conference and participate in the new Outstanding Student Research Award with $500 award and/or Student Research Presentation Contest with $20-100 awards. Please visit the website for application forms 

FOR FACULTY: Recognizing and navigating power dynamics in research

Friday, April 12th from 9:30-11:30am, room 1005 Beckman.

Facilitators: Beth Hoag and Janice Collins

The workshop will help PIs define different types of power and how they can be understood in the context of a research team. We will engage in self-reflection about our own power in a research setting and past experiences with how power works in science. Finally, we will identify and develop tools to empower our research teams.

FOR FACULTY: Creating sustainable systems to support our work

Friday, May 10th from 9:30-11:30am, room 1005 Beckman

In this final session we will reflect on the material we have learned over the previous sessions, and leverage it to build an inclusive research team that gets the best out of everybody. We will go over policy structures like codes of conduct, but also restorative practices for handling conflict, training options for empowering students, and inclusion practices for building equity in science.





Running Class Discussions on Divisive Topics Is Tricky. Here's One Strategy. 

Without inclusion, diversity initiatives may not be enough 

Battle Tactics for a Sexist Workplace By KUOW