Meeting recap 11/6/2014

Thanks to everyone who attended yesterday’s member meeting! We have two major events coming up: the workshop “Social Justice in Action: Small Steps Leading to Change” with Caprice Hollins of Cultures Connecting (Tuesday, November 18th from 12 to 1:30 in CHB 102) and our inaugural WCS-UW lecture featuring Maria Klawe, an awesome computer scientist and the president of Harvey Mudd College (Thursday, December 4th in the evening).

A few more quick notes and contacts:

  • Contact Stephanie ( to get involved with planning the Puget Sound Women Chemists’ Retreat.
  • Contact Rae ( if you’re interested in being interviewed by some design students for a class project on women in STEM.
  • Contact Scott ( if you want to help plan the logistics of Maria Klawe’s visit, including dinner and advertising.
  • Add your ideas for outreach activities for an elementary school science fair to this Google doc.
  • Add your contacts and ideas for other UW student groups and possible collaborations to this Google doc.

Keep reading for more details about all of these topics, and a few others:


Puget Sound Women Chemists’ Retreat: This retreat is now in its third year and Stephanie is in charge of organizing it. It involves speakers, workshops, panel discussions, etc. and is targeted at women chemists in the Puget Sound area, including Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, etc. Stephanie is looking for 2-3 people to actively help plan the retreat, including fundraising, coordinating the venue and logistics, and planning the content. She is also looking for ideas for speakers and panelists, as well as connections to people at other universities and companies in the area (especially Oregon and Idaho). If you want to be involved in planning or if you have any ideas or connections to contribute, contact Stephanie at

Survey from design students: Some undergraduates in a design class are doing a project which involves interviewing women in STEM fields about their experiences. If you’re interested in participating, contact Rae at and she’ll put you in touch with them.

Cultures Connecting workshop: This workshop is coming up on Tuesday, November 18th (12:00 to 1:30pm in CHB 102, pizza provided). It will be led by Caprice Hollins from Cultures Connecting and is entitled “Social Justice in Action: Small Steps Leading to Change.” The focus will be on how to combat racism in small ways in your everyday life, and the workshop is specifically targeted at grad students and people who don’t necessarily spend a lot of time thinking about racism and social justice. Since WCS is paying for this workshop and the subject matter may not be as popular as some of our other topics, we’re planning to advertise more heavily (through the graduate school and GPSS, among other groups). Please show up if you can, and encourage your friends and labmates to attend.

Maria Klawe lecture: This event (Thursday, December 4th, time TBD) will be the first in our annual lecture series featuring a non-local and/or more high-profile speaker. The lecture series will tentatively be named after Clara Antoinette McCarty Wilt, the first UW graduate ever, who received a B.S. in science in 1876. Addie will look into getting permission to use the name, and will also ask Paul Hopkins for other suggestions of women chemistry alumni who support the department. After the name is determined, Addie will also put together a program with a biography of Maria Klawe, some information about WCS, and background on the name of the event.

The lecture will take place in the evening in BAG 154 and will be followed by a smaller dinner for WCS members and possibly a few other guests in CHB 102 (RSVPs will be required, details TBD soon). Scott is planning this event and needs a few more people to assist with figuring out the logistics of the dinner, advertising to other departments, etc. If you are interested in getting involved, email Scott at

CENTC outreach update: Eve from CENTC has been working to make contacts with teachers. She has contacted a few middle-school teachers who might be interested in working with us, and we’re waiting to hear back from them. She also has some contacts at Seattle World School, a less-traditional school for immigrants. In the interest of making volunteering more accessible and expanding/continuing the program for more classrooms in future years, we’ll probably stick with a more traditional middle school. However, if you are particularly interested in organizing some other outreach events for high schoolers at Seattle World School, contact Heidi ( or Zuzana (

Echo Lake Science Night: This event is at Echo Lake Elementary School in Shoreline, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm on Wednesday, February 11th. We are signed up to participate as an exhibitor, but we’d like to come up with some fun new activities. Please add your ideas to this document – we’re compiling a list of chemistry-related activities that can be done at a table, take 3-5 minutes, and are fun for elementary school students and parents. When we get closer to the event, Scott will work on choosing an activity and acquiring supplies (email if you want to help with this). There will be a volunteer sign-up sent out sometime in January, so stay tuned.

Events with other student groups: We have lots of contacts from last week’s GPSS meeting and other sources, and we’d like to start getting more involved with other groups on campus (including other STEM grad students, non-STEM grad students, and STEM undergrads). The Maria Klawe event will be broadly advertised across departments, which should also help get the word out about our group. If you have any particular contacts or know of any groups that might be interested in collaborating, please add them to the list here.

In terms of actually planning events with other groups, we’re tentatively planning to do a thing with a different group every other month or so. Possible activities include “research telephone”, where you explain your research to someone from another field and they explain it back to another chemist, who explains it to a non-chemist, etc. until it gets back to you. Heidi and Addie will work on contacting interested groups (possibly a women-in-computer-science type of group first, to go along with Maria Klawe). We’re also tentatively working on a chemistry grad student/undergrad event to kick off winter quarter.

That’s everything! Hope to see you at our events soon.

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