Mentoring and more mentoring! Workshop 3/30 at 5 in CHB 102

WCS is excited to announce the new chemistry department peer mentorship network! The goal of this program is to help incoming grad students with questions about starting grad school (research, classes, moving to Seattle, work/life balance etc.) as well as integrating them into the department when they arrive.

We’re currently recruiting both mentors and mentees! If you’re a current chemistry graduate student, check out our mentor sign-up survey and expectations here. If you’re an incoming UW chemistry grad student, check out our mentee sign-up survey and expectations here. We’ll be pairing mentors and mentees based on survey responses and would love to have as many people involved in the program as possible.

To kick off our mentoring program and start broader discussions about mentoring, we’re having a workshop on Wednesday, March 30th at 5:00 pm in CHB 102. Entitled “I’m an experienced graduate student?! Tips and advice for sharing your knowledge”, this event will feature a brief presentation by Janice DeCosmo, the Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Research. Following this, we’ll have a panel discussion with Janice as well as Julie Cass and Dr. Lindsey Madison, both experienced graduate peer mentors. Also, there will be pizza! You can RSVP on facebook and invite your friends here.

Whether you’re pursuing a career in academia, industry, or something else, mentoring is an important skill related to management, leadership, and teamwork. Experience with peer mentoring can help you develop these valuable skills for working with people. Plus, understanding both sides of the mentor/mentee relationship can help you manage your relationships with your advisor and other mentors. We’ll keep collecting and sharing more resources beyond our mentor network and workshop, so stay tuned!


SEYH Recap

This year we had two great workshops at the Seattle Expanding Your Horizons (SEYH) conference on March 12th!

The Mars Rover workshop (gallery below) had an exciting day helping middle school students characterize possible Mars rocks with microscopes, magnets, chemical reactions, and flames.

Thanks to both the Mars Rover team and the Chemistry CSI team for volunteering this year!

SEYH Apr '16

Dr. Allison Campbell – Recap and Write-Up

(This is being posted on behalf of James Gaynor, second year graduate student in Munira Khalil’s group.)

Speaker: Dr Allison Campbell – Acting Associate Laboratory Director for Earth and Biological Sciences at  PNNL, President-Elect of the American Chemical Society

Thursday, February 25th, 4:00 PM, Bagley Hall 154

“Let me tell you what I would have liked to have known when I was younger,” began Dr Allison Campbell during the opening of the second annual Women in Chemical Sciences Lecture delivered by Allison on Thursday, February 25th, at the University of Washington’s Bagley Hall. In her lecture, entitled “Advice to my Younger Self: Tips and Lessons for Driving Your Career in Science,” Allison toured the audience through her childhood in Lake Oswego, OR., and her upbringing as a chemist while illustrating her evolution into her current position as Acting Associate Laboratory Director for Earth and Biological Sciences at PNNL, as well as her new role as the President-Elect of the American Chemical Society.

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Meeting Recap 02/19

Upcoming Events:

Annual Lecture: On Thursday, 02/25, we will be having Dr. Allison Campbell here to give a lecture. There will be many opportunities to see and interact with her!
– Lunch Q&A 12:00-1:30 in CHB 439. Please submit your questions!
– Lecture 4:00-5:00 in BAG 154.
– Reception to follow. More details to come later.

Recruitment Weekends/Mentor Program
– If you would like a “WCS Member” button to wear at the recruitment events, please let us know!
– WCS is starting a mentorship program that we’re rolling out at recruitment weekends. We’d love your feedback on the survey.
– If you’re interested in being a mentor to an incoming first year student, please email me (, Emily Rabe (, or Katie Corp ( We will be making a mentor survey soon.

– 03/12: Seattle Expanding Your Horizons
– 03/21: Lakeridge Science Night
– 04/01 – 04/02: Washington State Science Fair
– 05/14: Shoreline Science Night
Please email Rae Eaton ( for more info or to volunteer!

– We’ve revised the constitution. New parts are in blue text, strikethroughs are being removed. Please read the revisions and vote to ratify in the next two weeks (so by 03/07).

Member meeting: Friday 2/19 at 9:30 am in CHB 339

There will be a WCS member meeting next Friday, February 19th at 9:30 am in CHB 339. Feel free to join us for all or part of the meeting! Everyone is welcome.

We have lots of topics to discuss, including:

  • The second annual WCS lecture, featuring Allison Campbell, which is on Thursday, February 25th at 4:00 pm in BAG 154
  • Preparing the Chemistry CSI and Mars rover workshops for the Seattle Expanding Your Horizons conference on Saturday, March 12th
  • Other upcoming outreach events at Lakeridge Elementary on Mercer Island, the Washington State Science and Engineering Fair, and the Shoreline STEM Festival
  • The peer mentoring program WCS is developing for first-year grad students
  • The Little Free Library, which now exists in Rab’s Room but could use more books and decorations
  • Making some amendments to the WCS constitution
  • Events for spring quarter???

Please let us know if you have any questions, and especially if you have any ideas for what kinds of events you’d like to see during spring quarter. Hope to see you there!

Second Annual WCS Lecture

We are excited to announce that the second annual WCS lecture will take place on Thursday, February 25th at 4:00 pm in Bagley 154. This year’s speaker is Dr. Allison Campbell, Acting Associate Laboratory Director for Earth and Biological Sciences at PNNL and president-elect of the American Chemical Society. Her talk is entitled “Don’t be a passenger:  Tips and advice for driving your career in science”; the abstract is below.

“A career in science can be both highly rewarding and highly challenging – often at the same time.  Challenges include external factors such as both real and perceived biases, work life balance, stereotypes, and hostile work environments, and internal factors such as imposter syndrome,  self-image, and self-confidence.  Rewards include scientific discoveries, new innovations, advancement of scientific knowledge, mentoring, collaborating, and participation in something bigger than yourself.  Navigating the challenges can be difficult and frustrating.  Here, I discuss my personal experiences, lessons learned the hard way, observations, and general philosophy based upon my 25 years in science.”

The WCS lecture series goes beyond chemistry at UW to highlight inspirational women in STEM and their accomplishments and experiences. You can read about the inaugural WCS lecture, featuring Harvey Mudd President and Microsoft board member Dr. Maria Klawe, on our blog here.

WCS members will also have the opportunity to attend an informal Q&A session with Dr. Campbell before her lecture. Stay tuned to the WCS mailing list for more details!