Archived 2021 Events and Information



Friday November 12th

101 Whiskey Experiments with Community College Undergraduates!


Presenter: Regan Silvestri, PhD

Professional title: Associate Professor of Chemistry

Affiliation: Lorain County Community College

Abstract: Join Prof. Silvestri as he describes some of the work that students in his research group are doing on the science of the flavor of whiskey. The adventure starts with an almost chance encounter between Regan and the founder of a start-up whiskey company. This sort of-per-chance meeting quickly led to the pseudo-by-accident creation of an independent student research program at Lorain County Community College where students use GC-MS to identify and profile the distinct flavor compounds in unprecedented flavors of bourbon developed by industry partner Cleveland Whiskey. What followed was a whirlwind of eclectic scientific work, all centered around the science of the flavor of whiskey. Equally important as the scientific results is the positive impact on the students, and the stories of just how much fun a group of undergraduates can have doing nerdy science stuff in their free time - when the topic is whiskey!



Friday November 5th

Food Science to Teach Chemistry: The Delectable Chemistry of Brownies and Other Yummy Goodies – Archived materials here


Presenter: Scott Donnelly

Professional Title: Professor of Chemistry

Affiliation: Arizona Western College


Abstract: Food science is an enviable platform to teach topics typically covered in both GChem and OChem as food is something every student knows something about from experience. And there seems to be an innate, natural curiosity about what we eat and drink every day. In this presentation I'll describe how I use the back of a brownie box, a can of pineapple, and other food products to teach seminal GChem and OChem topics.



Friday October 1st

Interdisciplinary, Investigative and Inclusive: Using the RISE-model to Design Curriculum that Addresses the Racial and Gender Gap Across Early STEM Course – Archived materials here


Presenter: Kalyn Owens, PhD

Professional Title: Chemistry Faculty & Coordinator

Affiliation: North Seattle College and Program Officer / Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation


This presentation focuses on how the RISE (Research-based Interdisciplinary Science Education) model provides a foundation for ongoing curriculum design that seeks to decrease the racial and gender equity gap in students pursuing STEM education and careers.  This is accomplished by ensuring that students who start their journeys on community college campuses benefit from: 1) proven effective pedagogy that engages community college students in research experiences in their very first STEM courses, 2) engagement strategies that enable students to identify as scientists and to make connections between their STEM education and real-world problems impacting their communities, and 3) motivating strategies that inspire students to continue working towards success in STEM.



Friday September 24th

Reforming a general chemistry course: Benefits and struggles – Archived materials here


Presenter: Vicente Talanquer, PhD

Professional Title: University Distinguished Professor

Affiliation: University of Arizona


Multiple calls for reform of college chemistry courses have been made in recent years. Nevertheless, change has been slow at most institutions and the impact of such reform efforts has often been limited. In this presentation, I will summarize and discuss what we have learned through the development and implementation of a revamped general chemistry course. This course (Chemical Thinking) seeks to create a learning environment in which students actively grapple with central ideas, engage in the analysis of relevant phenomena, develop and evaluate models of systems of interest, and generate arguments and explanations based on evidence.



Friday September 17th

Building and Adopting the LibreTexts Platform as the Extensive Living Library Platform for Widespread Open Access Chemistry Education – Archived materials here


Presenter: Delmar Larsen, PhD

Professional title: Professor of Chemistry; Founder and Director of LibreTexts

Affiliation: University of California, Davis



The Libretexts project is a collaborative non-commercial Open Education Resource (OER) platform that simultaneously enables the dissemination and evaluation of existing resources and as a dynamic “courseware” to facilitate new education developments and approaches, with an emphasis on data-driven assessment of student learning and performance. Since its inception, the Libretexts has been exponentially growing and is the most visited chemistry website and online OER textbook resource in the world. This presentation will introduce faculty to the LibreTexts Living library with “hands-on” demonstrations of recently capabilities including 3D visualization, online homework capabilities, annotation capabilities student online tracking, assessment, and numerical data analysis infrastructure.



Friday September 10th

Incorporating Chemistry into a Writing Course (on Sustainability and Environmental Justice)Archived materials here


Presenter: Shelby Hatch, PhD

Professional title: Academic Adviser and Assistant Professor of Instruction, Chemistry

Affiliation: Northwestern University



“Sustainability Meets Environmental Justice” was developed in response to sustainability’s reputation as a “White Issue.” The primary objectives of the course are to improve students’ writing, oral communication, and critical-thinking. Writing assignments include a “working notebook,” external event reviews, and papers. Oral skills are developed through a one-minute documentary, “10 Minutes for Green Chemistry”, and a group project. Critical thinking is honed by discussing course readings and current environmental (justice) events. This talk will focus on the development and implementation of the course, particularly how chemistry is incorporated into a (Zoom)room filled with students with widely different chemistry backgrounds and interests.



Friday September 3rd

A Cake Without Eggs? The Chemistry of Vegan Baking Archived materials here


Presenter: Monica Marie Arroyo, PhD

Professional title: Associate Professor of Chemistry

Affiliation: Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico



In recent years there has been a dramatic rise in the annual sales and availability of vegan baked goods in the market. Knowledge of basic food chemistry is all that is needed to “veganize” recipes at home. From pancakes to cookies to cakes to pies, just about any dessert may be prepared with only plant-based ingredients. The formation of gels, emulsions and foams, fermentation, and acid-base reactions, are characteristic chemical transformations that take place in the preparation of a baked good. In this talk, we will explore the chemical magic of a few common ingredients used in vegan baking as well as a few recipes to create desserts to impress and delight.



Friday August 27th

Design of a Fully Online Introductory Chemistry Course for Non-Majors Archived materials here


Presenter: Yu Zhang, PhD

Professional title: Associate Professor of Chemistry

Affiliation: Suffolk County Community College



General Chemistry (CHE100) is a one-semester, non-majors chemistry course with a laboratory component. Many Suffolk County Community College (SCCC) students have jobs, family obligations and other obstacles, so it’s challenging for them to take traditional science courses offered on campus. To address this, a fully online CHE100 lecture/lab course was developed so they could fulfill local graduation requirements. From spring 2019 to fall 2020 ten sections of the online CHE100 course have been offered and 180 students enrolled. A preliminary study of the instructional effectiveness was conducted, and the findings of the assessment will be reported. SCCC is the largest community college in the State University of New York (SUNY) system and offers degrees and certificates in approximately 100 options of study.



Friday April 9th

Community Forum  60 minutes - Archived materials here

Ungrading: Using Creative, Socially Just Student Evaluation


Clarissa Sorensen-Unruh, Chemistry Instructor, Central New Mexico Community College

Where and when do grades become an unfair and unjust evaluation for students? How do we make grading a creative space to converse with our students? You are invited to this presentation to learn more about ungrading- a set of current and innovative pedagogical tools to help faculty create space for learning in the midst of grading.



Friday April 2nd

Community Forum  60 minutes - Archived materials here

How to Convince Others (that safety is important and that you are serious about it)


James Kaufman, Ph.D., Founder and President Emeritus of the Laboratory Safety Institute

Throughout the world, this is the most frequently asked question. The answer is simple and, for the most part, inexpensive. The short answer is to create a more effective lab safety program. This interesting and entertaining one-hour presentation provides an overview of some of the 33 critical program elements. It confronts one of the more common excuses for not having or improving the lab safety program... "it costs too much." This is simply not true. Excellent lab safety programs do not need to cost large amounts of money. Participants will learn how to convince others by creating a more effective lab safety program (without a purchase order or requisition). You don’t want to miss this opportunity for a highly informative, worthwhile and enjoyable learning experience. This presentation is a unique opportunity to take a look at your lab safety program to see how you’re doing and how you can do it even better. Participants will receive the Laboratory Safety Institute’s (LSI) lab safety program review checklist with 33 components. And you will learn how to use this checklist to evaluate your program both qualitatively and quantitatively. The result is a simple, clear, low/no cost path for lab safety program development and improvement. And, with courage, you can score your program on a scale of zero to 100!



Friday March 26th

Community Forum  60 minutes - Archived materials here

Teaching, The Best Kept Secret!

Terri Michelle Chambers, Ed.D., American Chemical Society, Director, ACS Learning and Career Development, Education Division
Jennifer Nielson, Ph.D., Brigham Young University, Associate Dean of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences and Professor of Chemistry

ACS, in partnership with Get the Facts Out, is pleased to offer the presentation "Teaching, The Best Kept Secret!". Did you know that teachers in the United States rate their lives better than all occupation groups, trailing only physicians?* In this presentation we will dig into some data many students and faculty find surprising about the teaching profession. We will also share strategies and resources for communicating the facts about the profession so that students will have accurate information about their career prospects. We hope you will be able to join us for this informative presentation. Can't make it? Feel free to share this information with a colleague (or two) at your institution.
*Survey of 172,000 working adults by Gallup-Healthways



Friday March 19th

Community Forum  60 minutes – Archived materials here

From Busy Hands to Busy Minds: General Chemistry Labs- What Does the Future Hold?


Rebecca Eikey, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, College of the Canyons

Pamela Auburn, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry, Lone Star College-University Park

Thomas A. Holme, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, Iowa State University; Editor-In-Chief Journal of Chemical Education

General chemistry labs have changed significantly as a result of the COVID19 pandemic. What have we have learned from this? And what do we think will be the outlook for general chemistry post-COVID 19? Join us for a discussion on what we have learned so far.



Held on Feb 26, 2021 Archived Materials here


Swarming Locusts, Farmed Fish, Confusing Consumer Product Labeling, and Combatting Rhino Poaching: Chemistry's Role in Explaining


Chemists often claim that chemistry is the central science. Central to what? This presentation focuses on chemistry's central and pivotal role(s) in deciphering recent or ongoing current global events and consumer products. Discussion will focus on how I use such events and topics as a launching pad to teaching foundational GChem and OChem principles.




Held on Jan 29, 2021 Archived Materials here


Hibernating Bears, Migrating Salmon, Seaweed Eating Sheep, and Food Fraud: A Different Approach to Teaching General and Organic Chemistry