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JULY 2019    

Illinois Chemistry Global Footprint
Illinois Chemistry Global Footprint
 
 

 

IN THIS ISSUE

            Community Updates
        July was Global Diversity Month
        Diversity and Climate Updates
 
            Community News   
              A conversation with international Ph.D. students & alumnus
       Prof. Joaquín Rodríguez-López's Journey
       WCC's Annual Day Camps 
 
            Upcoming Events
       International Chemists Association (ICA) Kick-off Meeting
       Women in Chemistry Annual Retreat
 
            Resources Corner
              Self-care is not the enemy of performance                 
              International Student Resources
 
 


COMMUNITY Updates

 
 

JULY WAS CELEBRATE GLOBAL DIVERSITY MONTH

Did you know that 30% of our graduate students are international? 

Also, a significant fraction of our faculty, staff, and postdocs come from many countries across the globe. We are proud of the rich cultural diversity of our chemistry community that benefits our research, teaching, and scholarship. Please see the countries (in red) represented in our community in the figure above.

The department’s Office of Graduate Diversity and Program Climate is committed to supporting the international student community. A group of international students, Yiming Yang (Lu Lab), Chang He (van der Donk Lab) and Meng Wu (Chan Lab) have been instrumental in creating a new student organization, the International Chemists Association (ICA). ICA aims to leverage resources in the department to improve the well-being of international graduate students as well as promote inter-cultural conversation. 


DIVERSITY AND CLIMATE ACTION PLAN UPDATES

SUMMER WALK AND CHAT

Dr. Lloyd Munjanja invites graduate students and postdocs to join him for a WALK & CHAT every Thursday this summer from 2 - 3 PM. Next Walk & Chat is Thursday, August 15, 2019. Meet him at 2 PM in front of Noyes Lab (the side that faces Chem Annex). You can chat about any burning issues you have about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the department or your research or any other interesting topics you might have. Or, feel free to access his calendar to schedule one-on-one meetings.

TOWN HALL MEETING

Dr. Lloyd Munjanja will be hosting a town hall meeting on August 30, 2019, in 124 Burrill Hall from 12 - 1 PM. All graduate students and postdocs are invited to attend. We will be discussing the state of departmental climate and diversity. Also, we will talk about future initiatives for our community. To catch up on everything that has happened since our last town hall meeting, please review past newsletters

COMMUNITY VALUES AND EXPECTATIONS

The following principles are intended to ensure that the program culture in the Department of Chemistry meets the highest standard of professionalism and is one in which all members feel welcome and respected.

Respect and support department members:

    • Refrain from all forms of harassment including, sexual harassment [report sexual harassment], racial, religion, sexual orientation among others
    • Be courteous in your interactions
    • Respect the professional, physical, and personal boundaries of colleagues
    • Give colleagues a chance to voice their thoughts
    • Work to ensure that all colleagues have equal access to opportunities
    • Ensure that, when offered, feedback is constructive and aims to create positive discussion
    • Refrain from judging, bullying, discriminating, or making unwelcome jokes or disparaging remarks
    • Support those who report violations of departmental or university policy
    • Any form of retaliation is not acceptable
 
 


COMMUNITY news

 
 

PROF. JOAQUÍN RODRÍGUEZ-LÓPEZ: JOURNEY FROM MONTEREY TO URBANA

Story by Aastha Sharma (Josh Vura-Weis Research Group)

Originally from Central Mexico, Professor Joaquín Rodríguez-López grew up in Monterrey, the third-largest city in Mexico, famous for its industrial centers and mountains. He attended Tecnológico de Monterrey, one of the most prestigious institutions in Mexico, widely known for innovation and engineering. Even though Monterrey Tec had a relatively small chemistry program, López said that he was always lucky to be surrounded by inspiring mentors. During college, he was intrigued by electrochemistry, which allowed him to perform complex chemical reactions by using instruments and connecting wires. Currently, an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, his inspirational journey from Monterrey to Urbana symbolizes the American Dream at its core. Read More

 

A CONVERSATION WITH INTERNATIONAL Ph.D. STUDENTS AND ALUMNUS

Story by Aastha Sharma (Josh Vura-Weis Research Group)

The Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is comprised of almost 30% international students. To understand the unique challenges faced by international students and their experience at Illinois, we interviewed two graduate students and an alumnus.

Yiming Wang (YW) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Lu lab working on functional DNA nanotechnology.

Dinumol Devasia (DD) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Jain lab currently working on the mechanistic investigation of photocatalytic CO2 reduction using surface-enhanced Raman Spectroscopy.

Nitya Sai Reddy Satyavolu (NS) obtained her Ph.D. in 2018 under Professor Yi Lu and is currently a TD Module & Integration Yield Engineer at Intel Corporation in Hillsboro, Oregon.

Interviewer Aastha Sharma (AS) is a Ph.D. candidate investigating carrier dynamics in novel photovoltaic materials using time-resolved x-ray absorption spectroscopy in the Vura-Weis group. Read More

 
 

ANNUAL DAY CAMPS OFFER OPPORTUNITY FOR STUDENTS, FACULTY TO CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY

On June 29 and July 13, more than 100 local middle school girls attended the 11th annual Bonding with Chemistry Day Camp for Girls, organized by the Women Chemists Committee. The purpose of the day camp is to expose middle school girls to chemistry and sciences in the laboratory and everyday life. Campers participate in rotating stations to gain hands-on laboratory experiences and engage with chemistry in ways that are often inaccessible in the classroom. Read More

 
 


UPCOMING Events

 
 
  • International Chemists Association (ICA) Kick-Off Lunch
    Friday, August 16, 2019, 12 - 1 PM

    ICA is a newly established organization aiming to improve the well-being of international graduate students as well as promote inter-cultural conversation. As international students, we are faced with challenges in graduate school such as cultural inclusion, communication, and job applications. To help address these issues and provide solutions, ICA focuses on gathering resources and building a supportive community for current international students and alumni. During the kick-off lunch, we will share our experience with first-year students to help them navigate through the difficulties in graduate study away from home.

    Lunch will be provided. There is limited space, so sign-up ASAP.
    RSVP at https://go.illinois.edu/ICA_RSVP 
  • DCGSAC Summer Student Seminar Series
    Every other Tuesday (July 2, July 16, July 30, August 13) at 3:30 PM until August 13, 2019
  • 13th Annual Women in Chemistry Retreat 
    Saturday, August 24, 2019, 8:45 AM - 7:00 PM

    The Chemistry Graduate Diversity and Program Climate Office is excited to sponsor the 13th Annual Retreat for Women in Chemistry. The event is open to all female graduate students and postdocs in the chemistry department.
  • National Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) Forum 
    “Preparing Future Faculty as Change Leaders Toward Inclusive STEM Higher Education," Oct. 13-15, 2019, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

    Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Karen Marrongelle
Assistant Director for Education & Human Resources,
National Science Foundation

Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski III
President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County

For more information or to register: http://www.drexel.edu/castle/CIRTLforum. CIRTL seeks to enhance excellence in STEM undergraduate education through the development of a national faculty committed to implementing and advancing evidence-based teaching practices for diverse learners.

 

 
 


RESOURCES Corner

 
 

SELF CARE IS NOT THE ENEMY OF PERFORMANCE

The highly competitive nature of academic environments might seem to suggest that success can only be obtained at the cost of taking good care of oneself. However, sacrificing self‐care can be extremely harmful. Herein, we explore ways that high performance and self‐care can be mutually reinforcing and produce long‐term success. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cbic.201900285 


INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS RESOURCES

Here is a selection of programs that might be of interest to international students!