Department of Chemistry

Diversity

The Waters Group 2007

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."

 

Commitment

Old Well

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.

 

Inclusion

Students

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.

Female Faculty in the Sciences

In partnership with the Carolina Women’s Center, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs features four prominent female scientists at UNC in a panel and a facilitated discussion on Creating an Inclusive Climate for Female Faculty in the Sciences. In the past decade, the percentages of women attaining degrees in engineering and computer sciences have remained stagnant yet these fields have the highest demands in the workforce. This has critical implications for the future of science, technology, engineering, and math—also known as the STEM fields.

Women in STEM

Chancellor Folt will make opening remarks for the event. Panelists will include Clara Lee, MD, MPP, Associate Professor of Surgery, Director of Research – Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, UNC Department of Surgery, Anna Maria Siega-Riz, PhD, professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, Valerie Ashby, PhD, Professor and Department Chair, Chemistry, and Pamela Johnson Rowsey, PhD, RN, associate Professor and Coordinator of Student Diversity and Recruitment, at the School of Nursing.

The seminar will take place in the Toy Lounge in Dey Hall, Tuesday, September 23, 2014 from 3:30-5:00 pm. Registration is open to all and will be of special interest to both new and emerging faculty and graduate students. Registration is required to attend and refreshments will be served during the event.

 

Focus on Implicit Bias

Chemistry Professor Jeffrey Johnson was a participant in the 2nd annual Diversity Thinkposium held recently. A THINKposium is a hybrid think tank/symposium and free exchange of ideas on a particular topic. This year's daylong event, held at the Stone Center, focused on implicit bias and its effect on classroom instruction and hiring practices.

THINKPosium

Chancellor Carol L. Folt, who welcomed the more than 100 THINKposium participants, said the work they were about to undertake was vitally important. “The UNC-Chapel Hill we want is the one you are thinking about creating. It has the same level of intentionality we bring to our teaching and our research and the way we build community,” she said.

 

The Importance of Diversity

The recent release of a report from the National Research Council, provides an ideal opportunity for considering what Professor Joseph DeSimone and his Project manager, Crista Farrell, have learned about the power of diversity and how their knowledge may be used in discussions of convergence as a conceptual framework for problem-solving and innovation in the 21st century.

diversity

Their article, Driving Convergence with Human Diversity, published in Science Translational Medicine, discusses the role and power of diversity in day-to-day research practices, and how to follow the NRC report's recommendation of "adopting inclusive attitudes toward diversity and using management strategies to foster diversity."

 

Michael Zhou - ACS Project SEED Student

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.

Johnson Lab Image

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.