2017 WCS Lecture recap

Last week, WCS held our third annual WCS lecture (here’s our recap of the first, and of the second)! This time, we hosted Dr. Geri Richmond, from the University of Oregon. Geri has had an amazing scientific career, focusing on the spectroscopy of molecular processes at liquid surfaces, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. She has also been actively involved in science policy (serving on the National Science Board and also as the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science) and supporting the careers of women in science and engineering through COACh, a grass-roots organization that provides professional development workshops and networking opportunities for women around the world.

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Women’s March

On January 21, 2017, several groups of students from the Chemistry department and WCS participated in the Women’s March to support women and their human rights. Rachel Boccamazzo, a senior biochemistry and biology undergraduate, provided an image, showing a small sample of the amount of individuals who were present on Jackson street. 

View from Jackson street towards downtown

The large population represents a common feeling among many women across the nation. Lizzy Canarie, a first year Chemistry PhD student, clearly described that the Women’s March “gave me hope in a time of anxiety and negativity.” These feelings are common during an uncertain time like this. Being able to openly express those feelings is important, and participating in the Women’s March is a good way to do so. Other opportunities include 10 actions in 100 days and March for Science. Women’s March started a campaign called 10 actions in 100 days. Every 10 days, they suggest an action to voice your opinion. If you would like more details, this link will lead you to their website: https://www.womensmarch.com/100/action2/ . The March for Science will be held April 22, 2017, and more details are to be followed. These are just a few ways in which we can voice our passions and rights as a woman and scientist.

Volunteer Opportunities!

Two phenomenal opportunities to express your love for science among kids!

 

  1. Echo Lake Science Night
    • Thursday, January 26th, from 5:00-8:30
    • Age Group: K-6
    • Pizza and cookies will be served!

If you want to help at this event, talk to Abbie, or one of the officers, before Wednesday January 18th at noon.

  1. Lake Forest Elementary Science Discovery Night
    • Wednesday, February 15th, from 5:00-8:30
    • Age Group: K-6
    • Pizza and snacks provided!
If you would like to volunteer for this event, talk to Abbie, or one of the officers, by Wednesday February 12th at noon.

Power Posing might not be all we thought it was

In November 2013, we were very privileged to host Amy Cuddy at WCS-UW.  It was an all-around blast, and everyone learned a lot from our fabulous guest speaker.  Many of us started using “Power Poses” regularly in our own lives.

This last January 2016, Amy Cuddy’s popular power-posing research went up against the scientific tradition of replication study.  The new study couldn’t replicate the effects of power posing, though, Cuddy argues, several elements of the original 2010 study were changed.

BigThink:  A New Replication Suggests ‘Power Posing’ Is a Waste of Time, but Here’s Why You’ll Still Be Told to Do It for Years to Come
Slate:  The Power of the “Power Pose”: Amy Cuddy’s famous finding is the latest example of scientific overreach.
NPR: ‘Power Poses’ Co-Author: ‘I Do Not Believe The Effects Are Real’

What do you think, clever scientists?  How much faith should we put in power posing?  Will you still be using it in your personal life?

Lashes ‘n Lab Coats: The Chemistry Between Nail & Polish

Heidi, Beth, and Brenda had a great time helping teach middle-school girls about the chemistry of nail polish at the Museum of Flight! The students learned about what happens when nail polish dries and how nail polish remover works from Highline College professors Natalie Bjorge and Marie Nguyen, and made their own customized nail polish by mixing eye shadow pigment and glitter into clear nail polish. Then we talked to them about UW, being a graduate student in chemistry, and our own paths, research interests, and career goals. We finished up by making solvent art and talking about why nail polish dissolves in nail polish remover, but doesn’t come off when you wash your hands.

Lashes N' Lab Coats, Group Picture, Oct. 2016

Thanks to LaNiqua Bell and the Museum of Flight for organizing and hosting this event! We had a really great time, and we’re looking forward to future workshops in the Lashes ‘n Lab Coats series!

UW Nobel Laureate

We’re delighted that a UW professor was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in physics, but are disappointed at the committee’s alarming trend of only awarding the prize to men.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/10/04/its-been-53-years-since-a-woman-won-the-nobel-prize-in-physics-whats-the-hold-up/

FAQs: So you want to be a WCSUW officer?

• Are there any requirements to become an officer? Yes – you have to be a UW student and want to promote women in the chemical sciences!

• What if I’m worried about the time commitment? The various officer positions have a range of commitment levels (see the descriptions at the end of the post) and all of the officers act as a team to help if things get overwhelming for someone.

• I’m a first year, can I run for a position? Of course! We’ve had many first years as officers in the past. In fact, some of our founders were first years when they helped start WCSUW.

• I want to plan an event, but am not sure about being an officer. What can I do? We encourage members to plan events! We have significant infrastructure in place to assist with planning and implementing events to help things run smoothly.

• I don’t know how much time I’ll have to devote to WCSUW, is there an easy way to be involved? Be a member! We have lots of opportunities to help plan events, volunteer at outreach activities, and volunteer during on campus events.

Officer positions:

Secretary – We sometimes call the Secretary position the “Treasurer of Words,” which is a surprisingly accurate title. The Secretary takes meeting notes, sends reminder emails, and publishes meeting recaps. Also in the Secretary’s wheelhouse is maintaining the WCS Facebook page, other social media presences, and writing small publicity statements for the Bagley Bulletin. Being Secretary is an excellent way to learn to treasure words and develop communication skills.

Outreach Coordinator – If you like talking to kids and organizing mini-field trips for graduate students, this is the job for you! As it stands, this position focuses on managing supplies and organizing groups to participate in K-12 outreach around the Seattle area. Primarily, this is done by bringing short, chemistry-based demos to school science nights in the area, and through a number of annual events such as Seattle Expanding Your Horizons. This job can be low maintenance/ low stress, although there are many opportunities for a new outreach coordinator to expand into different types of science outreach.

Webmaster – Being the WCS webmaster is a great position for an incoming first year; it has a very manageable amount of work, and is easily accessible for any level of computer literacy. If you like social media, this is the position for you. Duties involve maintaining the website, moderating social media, updating the calendar, and ensuring that the blog is up to date. Optional duties involve more in-depth tech knowledge, which our current webmaster is willing to assist with or teach you!

Treasurer – The primary duty of the treasurer is to manage the WCS budget. That involves generating the annual budget, keeping track of expenditures, submitting reimbursement requests, and communicating with the department finance office.

Undergraduate Liaisons – This position has an additional requirement – you have to be an undergrad! This position is responsible for communicating our events to undergraduates and giving them a voice within the organization.

Vice President – The vice president primarily serves to assist the other officers, particularly the president. Duties mainly involve helping plan events, volunteering at various activities, and providing additional support whenever needed.

President – The president is generally responsible for managing WCS and making sure stuff happens. While all officers and many members plan, lead, and help run events, the president checks that individual events are on track, helps coordinate event-planning teams, and manages more long-term planning. The president also calls and facilitates member meetings and is often the first contact person for the group.