At the Department of Chemistry, we feel strongly that diversity is crucial to our pursuit of academic excellence, and we are deeply committed to creating a diverse and inclusive community.
We support UNC's policy, which states that "the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is committed to equality of opportunity and pledges that it will not practice or permit discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression."
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has a long-held tradition of striving for excellence. A critical element for any twenty-first century educational institution is a diverse and inclusive community.
The vision of the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs is to build and sustain an inclusive campus community and to foster a welcoming climate that values and respects all members of the University community. The mission of the Office affirms the University's commitment to diversity as a critical element of academic excellence.
The University of North Carolina has excellent opportunities for postdoctoral researchers from underrepresented groups interested in faculty positions.
The Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity encourages faculty diversity by recruiting outstanding scholars to perform postdoctoral research at UNC Chapel Hill, with the goal of training the next generation of faculty scholars. Chemists interested in this program are strongly encouraged to contact a faculty member whose research interests them. The application window typically opens in September.
Congratulations to Professor Brian Hogan on winning the Latino Diamante Award in the Advocacy Category. Diamante, Inc. of North Carolina is one of the largest Hispanic philanthropic societies in the state. The Latino Diamante Award is a statewide program created to recognize outstanding achievements and honor people, like Brian, who are making significant contributions to the Hispanic community of North Carolina.
Brian Hogan was selected from a group of over one thousand nominees statewide, because of his demonstrated commitment to increasing access for Latinos in higher education through your directorship and leadership in the Scholars' Latino Initiative. The committee was impressed with Brian's continuing efforts to work with the Latino community to promote greater participation in math and science in an effort to prepare the next generation of Hispanic scientists. Further, Brian's global efforts to bring impoverished Guatemalan youth to the United States for High School while simultaneously working in Central America to build schools and improve womens' literacy are truly laudable and worthy of this prestigious recognition.
Karen Gil, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, appointed Professor and Department Chair Valerie Ashby to head the College's Faculty Diversity Task Force. "Varied experiences will inform and ignite new knowledge and ideas," Dean Gil said. "We have made steady progress in hiring outstanding faculty who reflect our diverse world, but we need to do even more."
The College has already fulfilled three Task Force recommendations: the appointment of the Director of Faculty Diversity Initiatives, the naming of a Diversity Liaison in every academic department of the College to work with the Director and the Dean’s Office, and the creation of a diversity section on the College web site that highlights news and resources concerning diversity.
Carolina Chemistry participated in the 2013 NOBCChE Annual Conference, and had a very successful booth at the Career Fair.
NOBCChE, pronounced no-be-shay, is The National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers and was incorporated in 1975. NOBCChE's mission is to build an eminent cadre of people of color in science and technology.
Michael Zhou is a rising high school senior who is doing laboratory research this summer in the UNC Chemistry Department under the aegis of the American Chemical Society's Project SEED program. Michael is working with 2nd year Ph.D. student Sam Bartlett in the Johnson Group in the area of organocatalysis. Michael is searching for small molecule catalysts that mimic the action of enzymes but allow for a much broader substrate scope than enzymes typically do.
The The ACS Project SEED summer research program opens new doors for economically disadvantaged students to experience what it is like to be a chemist. Students entering their junior or senior year in high school are given a rare chance to work alongside scientist-mentors on research projects in industrial, academic, and federal laboratories, discovering new career paths as they approach critical turning points in their lives.
Women in Science and Engineering, WISE, was founded in 2012 by a group of six women chemists who sought to create a discussion-based organization open to all UNC students and postdocs wanting to learn more about gender equity in STEM careers. The aim of WISE is to promote thoughtful dialogue of gender issues as they relate to scientific settings.
The group holds monthly meetings focused on researching, critically analyzing, and proposing actionable remedies to a particular issue related to gender in science. Some topics covered include: stereotype threat, work/family life balance, negotiations, diversity, and the career paths of inspirational women scientists. WISE also provides platforms for community outreach, in order to educate about the real-life challenges that men and women face that arise out of inequality, misconceptions or outdated standards. The overall mission of WISE is to develop the tools to articulate these challenges in an effective manner based on current and accurate research, and to take steps to create positive change.
Maribel Portillo is a rising UNC senior who is working in the laboratory of Professor Jeff Johnson as a McNair Scholar. Maribel is working with 3rd year Ph.D. student Robert Sharpe in the area of synthetic organic chemistry. Her research focuses on the preparation of analogs of the antitumor antibiotic natural product pactamycin. While this compound exhibits a promising bioactivity profile, toxicity limits its utility as a drug candidate. Maribel's work seeks to develop unnatural variants that retain the positive therapeutic attributes but reduce undesired toxicity.
The Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program is a federal TRIO program funded at 201 institutions across the United States and Puerto Rico by the U.S. Department of Education. It is designed to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. McNair Scholars are either first-generation college students with financial need, or members of a group traditionally underrepresented in graduate education and have demonstrated strong academic potential. The goal of the McNair Scholars Program is to present graduate school as a real possibility for these students, thus increasing graduate degree awards for students from underrepresented segments of society.