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ACS Comment

January 10, 2011
Volume 89, Number 2
p. 36

ACS On Campus

Marinda Li Wu, Director-At-Large

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Wu Norm Wu

Have you heard about ACS on Campus? It’s a wonderful American Chemical Society program that made its debut in January 2010. On its first anniversary, I wish to help spread the word about this successful new program that helps the society to engage and connect the ACS community with science libraries, faculty, and especially ­students.

ACS on Campus is a Publications Division initiative intended to help communicate the value of the chemistry library and librarian by featuring networking opportunities, seminars, tutorials, and career development for students, faculty, and librarians. Through events hosted by librarians in science libraries, ACS Publications collaborated in 2010 with Vanderbilt University, Emory University, New York University, the University of Southern California, Purdue University, and Northwestern University to bring ACS on Campus to students and faculty. Visit pubs.acs.org/r/acsoc for details and to read the positive feedback the program has received from students, faculty, and librarians across the country.

Because I have helped with ACS career services for many years, I was fortunate to be invited to conduct student résumé reviews plus lead the session on “Alternative Careers in Chemistry: There’s More to Life than Tenure-Track!” along with a panel of other speakers for ACS on Campus at USC on Sept. 23–24. Other panel speakers included Michael Torrice, an assistant editor of Chemical & Engineering News; Dana Roth, a chemistry librarian at the California Institute of Technology; and Cheryl Shanks, president of Salient Content. We all shared our career paths, and I also presented the latest employment and salary data provided by Jeffrey R. Allum and Gareth S. Edwards of the ACS Department of Member Research & ­Technology.

ACS on Campus: USC was co-organized by Sara Rouhi, associate manager of library relations at ACS Publications, and Norah Xiao, librarian at the USC Science & Engineering Library. The day and a half of events included not only the careers session but also a stimulating session on “Basics in Scholarly Publishing: From the Editors Themselves.” University of California, Los Angeles, professors Paul S. Weiss, editor-in-chief of ACS Nano, and Miguel A. Garcia-Garibay, associate editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, shared some fascinating insights and experiences with the students and audience. Professor Garcia-Garibay also offered an informative tutorial on peer review during the “ACS Paragon Plus & Peer Review Discussion” the previous day.

ACS on Campus “connects the academic scientific community of students, faculty, and science librarians to share and network.”

Other program events, in addition to a networking luncheon, included a faculty focus group, two graduate student focus groups, and a focus group for librarians from all over Southern California. Focus group participants provided useful feedback on everything from ACS products and content to insights on collaborative tools, mobile technologies, and the future of scholarly publishing.

Altogether, more than 100 graduate students, faculty, postdocs, and librarians from USC; the University of California’s Los Angeles, Irvine, and Riverside campuses; California State University, Bakersfield; Occidental College; and City of Hope’s Beckman Research Institute participated in ACS on Campus: USC. Participants found the whole experience very valuable.

Students commented that this was a rare opportunity for them to meet with editors and scientists on alternative career paths. “It was a great learning experience to have one-to-one conversations with science leaders in respective fields,” a USC grad student shared.

Xiao and Anne Lynch of the USC Science & Engineering Library commented that the program “proved to be an opportunity to draw our library, faculty, and students together for mutually beneficial discussions in support of chemistry-focused research and publication. ... ACS on Campus gave us the opportunity to showcase ... the services we make available to our chemistry community. We very much appreciated having the chance to hear what our faculty and students had to say about their use of technology for their information seeking and also sharing experiences with science librarians from other regional universities. The feedback we’ve received from the chemistry department indicates that their administration also regards the program to have been a success.”

Certainly, ACS on Campus is a fabulous new way for the society to engage and help students across the nation. It connects the academic scientific community of students, faculty, and science librarians to share and network. I personally found my experience with ACS on Campus so rewarding and worthwhile that I wish to spread the news to other campuses on its availability as a valuable program offered by ACS Publications. The society is exploring new ways to connect with students, and ACS on Campus is certainly a great way to do so. Please send any feedback or suggestions to m.wu@acs.org.

Views expressed on this page are those of the author and not necessarily those of ACS.

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society
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