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   NOVEMBER 2020 ISSUE  

 
   
 
 
    I: Community Updates
Native American Heritage Month
Carlos Montezuma documentary
UIUC Land Acknowledgment Statement
                  
    II: Community News
Lloyd Munjanja wins ACS award for diversity
ACS honors alumna for volunteer efforts
Philip Phillips: "Black Voices in Physics" Q&A
C&EN: Racial, ethnic diversity of chemistry faculty
2020 Science Image Challenge
Department Annual Report online 
         
    III: Upcoming Events
Discussion of "Picture A Scientist"
'Yes, we are struggling, too,' motivation forum
               
    IV: Resources
The Souls of Black Professors
The Emotional Toll of Racism
Scientific Journals Commit to Diversity but Lack the Data
Embracing Physical Disability in STEM
 
 
   
 


COMMUNITY updates

 
   
 
 
 Image of the face of Carlos Montezuma next to the documentary title, "Carlos Montuzuma: Changing Is Not Vanishing"
 
Chemistry alumnus Carlos Montezuma, first Native American graduate at UIUC
 
Dr. Carlos Montezuma, the first Native American alumnus of the University of Illinois, graduated in 1884 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and later became one of the first Native Americans to earn a medical degree. A 2014 documentary by the University of Illinois tells the incredible story of his life that began in 1866 in the Arizona territory, where he was stolen from his family as a small boy and sold as a slave. The documentary, “Carlos Montezuma: Changing Is Not Vanishing,” tells his story, including his time at UIUC.
 
 
   
 
 
 Aerial view of the University of Illinois campus
 
You Read the Land Acknowledgment Statement: Now What?
 
In 2018, the University of Illinois established a Land Acknowledgment Statement that's shared at events such as graduation, convocation, and critical conversations. It's a formal statement "that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories,” according to the American College Personnel Association, which hosted an educational conference on the issue in March 2019.
 
"As a land-grant institution, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a responsibility to acknowledge the historical context in which it exists. In order to remind ourselves and our community, we will begin this event with the following statement. We are currently on the lands of the Peoria, Kaskaskia, Piankashaw, Wea, Miami, Mascoutin, Odawa, Sauk, Mesquaki, Kickapoo, Potawatomi, Ojibwe, and Chickasaw Nations. It is necessary for us to acknowledge these Native Nations and for us to work with them as we move forward as an institution. Over the next 150 years, we will be a vibrant community inclusive of all our differences, with Native peoples at the core of our efforts."
 
Statements like these are more common practice in other countries, like Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. They are increasingly being read throughout the United States, particularly by higher education institutions, which are often built on land originally home to Native Americans.  Read more about Land Acknowledgment Statements.
 
The Humanities Research Institute, Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and American Indian Studies are sponsoring an event on Dec. 1, "2020 WORK-IN: So You Read the Land Acknowledgment Statement: Now What?". Facilitated by Jenny Davis (Anthropology and American Indian Studies, Chancellor’s Fellow for Indigenous Research & Ethics), participants will create a list of questions related to the Land Acknowledgment Statement to co-create resources, guiding principles, and strategies around the next steps.
 
 
   
 


COMMUNITY news

 
   
 
 
 Lloyd Munjanja in glasses, a collared shirt and red sweater on a white background
 
Lloyd Munjanja receives ACS award for advancing diversity in chemical sciences
 
Congratulations to Lloyd Munjanja who has been selected by the American Chemical Society's Committee on Minority Affairs as the 2020 recipient of the Stanley C. Israel Regional Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences.  As the Associate Director of Graduate Diversity and Program Climate, Dr. Munjanja has been working hard to move forward the department's climate in regard to diversity and inclusion. The Stanley C. Israel award recognizes individuals, who have advanced diversity in the chemical sciences and significantly stimulated or fostered activities that promote inclusiveness within the region.
 
 
   
 
 
 Photo of Lydia Hines seated, looking to left with a smile and hands clasped by her face
 
ACS honors Alumna Lydia Hines for public outreach in chemistry
 
The American Chemical Society selected Lydia E. M. Hines (Ph.D., '71) as the recipient of the 2020 Helen M. Free Award for Public Outreach. She has devoted, and continues to devote, more than 40 years as a volunteer, bringing interactive science experiments to classrooms and mentoring college chemistry clubs in Southwest Michigan, where she is known as the “face of chemistry.” The award is presented annually by the ACS Committee on Public Relations and Communications to an ACS member whose outstanding achievements have improved public recognition and appreciation for the field of chemistry.
 
 
   
 
 
 Philip Phillips standing in front of a chalk board leading a discussion
 Photo by L. Brian Stauffer
 
Philip Phillips interviewed for the "Black voices in physics" series
 
A Q&A series, "Black Voices in Physics," tells the stories of more than a dozen physicists to show the barriers to Black people’s participation in physics and suggest changes to make the field more welcoming.
 
The series was published by the magazine Physics Today, the flagship publication of the American Institute of Physics, and one of the physicists interviewed was Philip Phillips, a professor of physics and chemistry at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Read the Q&A with Phillips.
 
 
   
 
 
Image of a line graph chart from C&EN article showing data for US chemistry professor from URM and ethnic groups
 
 
 
C&EN: Racial and ethnic diversity of chemistry faculty has changed little
 
For the past decade, C&EN has worked with the Open Chemistry Collaborative in Diversity Equity (OXIDE) to publish statistics on gender and racial and ethnic diversity of US chemistry faculty, including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign most of the other top 50 chemistry departments in the United States. Using the most recent data collected by OXIDE, the Chemical & Engineering News recently published an article featuring some data analysis with an overall conclusion that "the racial and ethnic diversity of US chemistry faculty has changed little since 2011."
 
 
   
 
 
 Science image of brain tumor cells invading to the brain in a mimetic hydrogel captured with SEM.
 Credit: Emily Chen, Brendan Harley Lab, winner of the 2019 SCS Research Image Challenge. Pictured are brain tumor cells invading the brain in a mimetic hydrogel captured with SEM. Glioblastoma is a malignant brain cancer which spreads throughout the brain and leads to poor survival.
 
Submit entries this week for the 2020 Science Image Challenge 
 
The School of Chemical Sciences has announced the 2020 Science Image Challenge and invite graduate and undergraduate students, postdoctoral associates/fellows, and staff members (excluding faculty members) of the School of Chemical Sciences to participate by submitting a computer-assisted or traditional scientific image designed to inform, educate, and inspire. Note that a lab’s Principal Investigator must be a faculty member or an affiliate/adjunct of either the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering or the Department of Chemistry.
 
The grand prize is $150. All winning entries will be prominently displayed in the School of Chemical Science and the School’s VizLab for one year. Entries also will join the Gallery of Winning Images on the Challenge’s website.
 
A separate category, "Cover Art,” is sponsored by the Chemistry Library with a prize of $150. Eligible entries for this category are accepted cover art images by SCS groups and affiliates, including those that have been professionally produced or modified.  Images will be selected for display in the School of Chemical Sciences.
 
Deadline:  NOON - Friday, November 20, 2020
More information:  Guidelines and Rules
Direct questions to ImageChallenge@scs.illinois.edu
 
 
   
 
 
 The 2019-2020 Annual Report cover image, showing polymer resin
 
Department of Chemistry 2019-20 Annual Report now online
 
The Department of Chemistry's 2019-2020 Annual Report is now available on the department website. The report contains an overview of the department's previous fiscal year, July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020.
 
You will find a timeline of news highlights and annual data for alumni, faculty, students, research, and giving. It also features science images produced by chemistry researchers, some of which were submitted in the School of Chemical Sciences 2019 Science Image Challenge.
 
 
   
 


UPCOMING events

 
   
 
 
Discussion of "Picture A Scientist" documentary
 
3:30-4:30 p.m. (CT), Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020; Zoom link
The Women Chemists Committee and the Department of Chemistry Diversity Committee are hosting a virtual “Town Hall” meeting to discuss reactions to the "Picture A Scientist" film. There will also be sharing of individual experiences and discussion of potential solutions and action plans related to the issues presented in the documentary. All are welcome to attend.
 
'Yes, we are struggling, too,' motivation forum
 
5 p.m. (CT) Wednesday, Nov. 18 via Zoom
You are not alone – everyone is struggling with motivation right now, even your professors and peers who look like they have it all together. Leaders of this forum will share quick and easy tips to jump-start your motivation before the end of the semester. You’ll get suggestions from professors, successful professionals, peer leaders, and academic advisors. Register here.
 
 
   
 


INCLUSIVE EXCELLENCE resources

 
   
 
 
"The Souls of Black Professors"
 
In this Inside Higher Ed article, scholars discuss what it’s like to be a Black professor in 2020, who should be doing antiracist work on campus and why diversity interventions that attempt to “fix” Black academics for a rigged game miss the point entirely. Read more
 
"The Emotional Toll of Racism"
 
Another Inside Higher Ed article addresses how Black students continuously experience, fight against, and bear emotional scars from racism, leading to increased anxiety and poor mental health outcomes and how some colleges are just starting to address these issues. Read more
 
"Scientific Journals Commit to Diversity but Lack the Data"
 
When asked by The New York Times to provide data on the racial and ethnic diversity of researchers publishing on their platforms, several journals or journal families that deal in the biosciences — including Cell Press, eLife, JAMA Network, the Lancet, PLoS, PNAS, the New England Journal of Medicine and Springer Nature — said that they did not keep tabs on these metrics, or had no numbers to share. Read more
 
"Embracing Physical Disability in STEM"
 
A Ph.D. candidate shares some misconceptions about physical disabilities that she has encountered to make others aware of the misconceptions that can cause people to be judged by their appearance, whether intentional or not. She also shares recommendations for young scientists who feel misunderstood or judged as they pursue a STEM career. Read more

 

 
 
 
 
 

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