Vision: Improving lives using the knowledge and experience of senior chemists.
Mission Statement: Address and support the needs and ambitions of senior chemists and utilize their experience and knowledge.
The Senior Chemists Committee (SCC) encourages engagement and collaboration across the Society with ACS groups and within the community. The committee has established goals to improve communication among senior chemists, increase the number of senior chemists’ groups and the level of their engagement within local sections, and encourage the involvement of senior chemists in programs focused on K-12 education, undergraduate networking, and mentoring.
Science Coaches: Lend your expertise as a coach, and help a teacher advance science education.
National Chemistry Week: Organize or participate in events in your community to promote the value of chemistry in everyday life.
Become a Career Consultant: Help an emerging chemist with job hunting strategies.
Who We Are
Doris Lewis, Chair
Morton Hoffman, Mentorship Program Coordinator
Multi-Generational Mentorship Initiative: This program joins the needs and experiences of the members of the NESACS Younger Chemists Committee (YCC), Women Chemists Committee (WCC), and Senior Chemists Committee (SCC), and involves a wide range of generations: students of chemistry, early-career scientists, mature and senior chemists to provide information, guidance, and support for personal growth and professional development.
The NESACS Multi-Generational Mentoring Initiative
By Carol Mulrooney, NESACS Women Chemists Committee Chair, and Catherine Rawlins, NESACS YCC Past Chair
The idea for the NESACS Multi-Generational Mentoring Initiative was conceived as a collaboration of the Younger Chemists Committee (YCC), Women Chemists Committee (WCC), and Senior Chemists Committee (SCC) led by Catherine Rawlins, Carol Mulrooney, and Morton Hoffman, respectively.
We recognized that there were overlapping goals of these three committees and successfully received an Innovative Projects Grant from the ACS! There are many stages of your career in which mentoring is needed and we sought to combine our efforts to reach a broader audience as a team. Thus far, three events have been run in 2017 under this initiative.
Know Your Worth Workshop with Ashley Pare
During the Fall 2017 NSYCC Career Symposium at Boston University, we organized a workshop on building salary negotiation skills. This stemmed from the Wage Gap Panel hosted by the WCC in April 2017. Because of the new Equal Pay laws in Massachusetts, there is a need for more training on salary negotiation as a way to close the gender wage gap.
This workshop was run by Ashley Pare, an expert on teaching negotiation skills with 10+ years in human resources whose company, Own Your Worth LLC, leads workshops in the Greater Boston Area. Ashley presented information on the wage gap among chemists and presented resources for chemists to find out what the expected salary range is for chemists of different backgrounds in industry. The undergraduate and graduate students attending the symposium learned about the need to negotiate their salary when starting their industry careers. In interactive sessions, the audience practiced negotiating by roleplaying employer and prospective employee salary conversations. In the feedback from the post-symposium surveys, many cited this workshop as their favorite part of the day’s events and felt that the training was valuable.
Graduate Programs in Chemistry: Deciding, Getting in and Succeeding
This panel discussion was geared towards undergraduate chemistry students considering graduate school and was cohosted by the Department of Chemistry at Bridgewater State University. The four panelists ranged in experience from a BSU alumna in her first year in a graduate program to a University Professor in charge of graduate admissions. The panelists participating were Phoebe Kurriss, graduate student at Brown University, Catherine Rawlins, graduate student at Northeastern and a co-host of the panel, Dr. Mindy Levine, Associate Professor at University of Rhode Island, and Dr. Carla Mattos, Professor at Northeastern University. Carol Mulrooney, chair of the NESACS Women Chemists Committee, moderated the discussion.
Utilizing resources from the ACS, the discussion started with the decision to go to graduate school and moved to what the undergraduates would need to do to prepare themselves for the experience. The second part of the discussion revolved around each year of graduate school and what the milestones are that the students can expect to achieve during their time. The presentation included numerous references to the ACS website and the extensive resources available to undergraduate and graduate students. Pizza and refreshments were served before the panel and students were given the opportunity to network with the panelists after the event. We plan to direct more events such as this to undergraduate-only institutions to reach a broader audience.
Perspectives on a Life in Chemistry: Mentoring
This symposium was the third IPG sponsored event, held at Northeastern University on December 5th. Four established, successful chemists spoke of their experiences from both having and being mentors. Throughout the presentations, a common theme surfaced and sent a powerful message about the benefits of mentoring. Opening remarks were given by Dr. Mindy Levine, NESACS 2018 Chair. Mindy shared some observations on her experiences with her past mentors, including some direct pieces of advice she has received, some helpful, some… not so helpful. The goal of this symposium was to share the wisdom from years of experience to students and early career scientists to guide them in their scientific journey. These were the highlights from each speaker:
Dr. Morton Hoffman, Professor Emeritus, Boston University spoke of his friendships with his mentors and mentees, and of the benefits of being a mentor in academia. These include the good feelings gained from helping someone and gaining a life-long friend. Mentors helping new professors also humanize an academic department by encouraging people to talk to each other. He summarized with an observation: everybody needs a mentor, although some hesitate to reach out for help.
Dr. Dorothy Phillips, Retired, Waters Corporation, introduced her presentation by defining mentoring as a key element of leadership. She spoke of the mentors she has had during her career as close friends. While moving up the industry career ladder, she received key pieces of advice, including one from a close friend and colleague who stressed publishing one paper a year. She also talked about how she asked for mentoring when serving in the National ACS leadership. Her plan when seeking advice was to introduce herself to one of the leaders, ask for some time and prepare specific questions for her prospective mentor. Dorothy ended her talk by specifying her most important mentoring relationships: her family.
Dr. Tom Gilbert, Associate Professor, Northeastern University, shared his observations on what it takes to be an effective mentor: a strong base of knowledge and experience, and an understanding of the value of being a mentor – that you lift yourself by lifting up others. Tom told us of a mentor-turned-collaborator who helped him grow as a teacher by understanding the needs of the students. Among the mentors Tom spoke of was our final speaker, Dr. Vouros, with whom Tom described as the “quintessential mentor.”
Dr. Paul Vouros, Professor Emeritus, Northeastern University, talked of mentoring as something that can come naturally, not having to be planned. He uses his past positive experiences with mentors to inform his own mentorship. His description of a good mentor included knowledge and excellence in the field of study, patience, warmth, and an interest in students’ goals and objectives.
The undercurrent of warmth, friendship and collaboration ran through each presentation and served to inspire the audience. We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to learn how to be mentors from these excellent speakers!
Looking ahead to 2018, we plan to host more events targeting the different demographics represented by each of the three committees and expand our network to other organizations in the Greater Boston Area!