Division of Professional Relations

A Technical Division of the American Chemical Society


Message from the Chair

Posted on January 19, 2011 at 4:23 PM

by Christopher Bannochie

Welcome to 2011 everyone! First let me say how honored I am to be moving into the Chair’s role for the Division. Immediate Past Chair, John Crawford has worked tirelessly this past year to revitalize and reorganize the division. It has been a pleasure working closely with him these past 12 months, and I am certain I will rely upon his council throughout the coming year as we implement our new strategic plan, our revised bylaws, and continue to develop the subdivision (S/D) structure of the division. DPR is moving into 2011 with an excellent and talented Executive Committee and new member talent in our six subdivisions. In Anaheim this March, two subdivisions will begin programming in a cycle that should bring a specific S/D program every year and a half, thereby alternating between Spring and Fall National meetings, and each S/D having one meeting cycle off every third year to focus on internal matters and regional programming. First up with programming will be the Chemists with Disabilities S/D with a program entitled: The Americans with Disabilities Act and Chemistry: Empowering and Enlightening Students, Teaching/Research Faculty and Non-academic Professionals. The Gay and Transgender Chemists and Allies S/D will present a program entitled: Gay and Transgender Chemists: The Case for Visibility and Diversity Inclusion. I am particularly proud of these two subdivisions and all the Society members that have chosen to join each of them. These are two segments of our membership that require more attention by the larger Society, and while Chemists with Disabilities is represented in Society Governance; gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender chemists and their professional needs continue to be excluded. As the ACS Division dedicated to the professional development needs of all members, it is particularly noteworthy that we are the first Society organization to address the needs of this segment of the membership. If you are attending the Anaheim meeting, please support these two subdivisions by attending their programming on Tuesday during the meeting.

It is important for all Society members, and PROF division members in particular, to champion the broadest possible definition of diversity within the ACS. Twenty first century professional relations requires a realization and acceptance of the fact that the workforce in American is changing, it is becoming much more diverse. A functional definition of diversity that focuses solely on programs for underrepresented racial and ethic minorities is too limited. It is the first lesson of diversity inclusion, that you cannot exclude anyone from the table. This is why I am concerned that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender chemists and chemical engineers may not be included in strategic

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