Department to Celebrate Spirit Week

What is spirit week?

In American elementary and high schools, “spirit week” is an opportunity for a school community to come together and celebrate. Often, the week is organized around an important activity like testing, the 100thday of school, a sports game, or commencement. Activities usually consist of a week of “themed” days culminating in a big event.

In August 2019, the Department of Chemistry will host our own spirit week to celebrate our new and continuing graduate students and to kick off a “Year of Celebration” in which our community will be encouraged to celebrate each other’s accomplishments. And of course, since we all love friendly competiton, our spirit week includes ways to collect points and win prizes!

When is spirit week?

Monday, August 26th, 2019 through Friday, August 30th, 2019

Who can participate?

All graduate students, postdocs, faculty, staff, and declared chemistry majors are welcome to participate! You can pick up a card to track your points. Prizes include a free t-shirt, your own pack of color powder for Friday’s “Color Game Day” and entries in a pizza party raffle!

What’s the schedule?

  • Monday: Emory Spirit Day
  • Tuesday: Twin Day
  • Wednesday: Rainbow Day
  • Thursday: Waldo Day
  • Friday: Color Game Day

Grab a card in the stockroom to keep track!

How do I track my points?

Use your card! We’re counting on the honor system for points, although there are a few activities that erquire you to post to social media to earn points.

Where do I get my prizes?

Prize pick up opportunities will be posted soon. There will be chances Tues-Thurs of Spirit Week!

Who is Waldo?

Waldo is a picture book character (“Wally” in England). He always wears blue jeans, a red and white striped shirt, a beanie hat, and glasses and carries a cane. He always finds himself in crowded situations and the readers of his books are tasked with finding him in the crowded pictures. Anyone can dress as Waldo for extra points!

Who is Super Waldo?

There will only be one Super Waldo. They will be wearing a cape to help you identify them.

What else do I need to know?

Tag @EmoryChem and #chemspiritweek when you post on social media! Have fun, get excited, and get ready to show your chemistry spirit!

Atlanta Science Festival: 2019 Recap

Each year, the Emory University Department of Chemistry participates in the Atlanta Science Festival. This year, we hosted the Chemistry Carnival, an event to share about some of the amazing research taking place in our department through carnival games and fun activities. Children enjoyed playing games like Peptide Jenga and Bacterial Telepathy, while also learning about science from our enthusiastic students.

In addition to the Chemistry Carnival, we had several booths at the Piedmont Park Expo. Dr. Doug Mulford and ChEmory hosted “Pink Ping Pong Big Bang” to teach attendees about The Big Bang through a demonstration involving ping pong balls, liquid nitrogen, and boiling water. Another of our booths, “The BIG World of SMALL Bio-Machines”, was well-attended by children who enjoyed games designed to teach about proteins and their diverse functions. We also hosted “Distance Really Matters” and “Catalyst Carnival” with the CCHF.

The event was a blast for all— attendees and volunteers alike. An event like the Atlanta Science Festival is a wonderful opportunity to bring the community together over a love for science, an enthusiasm for learning, and an ever-present curiosity.

A huge “Thank you!” to everyone who helped make the Atlanta Science festival such a successful and fun event! We couldn’t have done it without you!

I’m a chemist and…Vol. 2

We’re continuing our celebration of all the great things our chemists do both inside and outside of the lab! In volume two, meet chemists who compete in roller derby and golf, an animal photography volunteer, and more!

Click the image below to go to the full article!

Jen Heemstra Debuts “Office Hours” and “Real Talk” Podcast at C&EN

Jen Heemstra

Dr. Jen Heemstra has teamed up with C&EN for the new advice column, “Office Hours.” The monthly column will “engage the STEM community in dialogue on important issues–including prioritizing mental health, finding motivations, and coping with setbacks and failures.” A key feature will be questions or topic ideas from readers that will kick off each column, helping “Office Hours” become a catalyst for broader conversation.

Readers can submit their questions on the C&EN website.

Jen’s is also featured in the latest episode of the C&EN podcast, Stereo Chemistry. The podcast team spent several days in the lab getting to know Jen and her students and “learning how and why she’s helping create the next generation of chemistry’s thought leaders.” You can listen here.

You can also follow Jen’s thoughts on science and mentoring on her popular @jenheemstra Twitter account and on her blog, Things that change the way I think.

Congratulations, Jen!

Emory University Receives AAU Grant for Undergraduate STEM Education

Emory University was recently named as a recipient of a grant from The Association of American Universities for the improvement of undergraduate education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The grant is part of the AAU Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative, a project launched in 2011 to encourage STEM departments to maximize student engagement through effective teaching strategies. The AAU explains:

“These strategies include creating learning communities for STEM faculty members involved in reform efforts, establishing programs to train graduate students and undergraduate teaching assistants or peer advisors in active learning practices, renovating classrooms into collaborative learning spaces, and creating inclusive and welcoming learning environments for all students.”

The mission of this initiative aligns perfectly with Chemistry Unbound, our undergraduate curriculum, that has seen great success since its start in Fall 2017.

Click [here] to learn more about this initiative!

Looking Back on 2018

Happy New Year! As we enter 2019, a new year of innovation and achievement, let’s take some time to appreciate some of the wonderful things that took place in the Department of Chemistry during 2018.

NOBCChE Outreach at Marietta High School Science Night

On Thursday, November 1st, the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) at Emory University attended Marietta High School for their annual Science Night. The event, featuring classroom demos and science fair projects, welcomed volunteers from local universities to share about their STEM opportunities.

The Emory NOBCChE representatives who attended the event spent the evening handing out flyers and engaging with enthusiastic students and parents over some particularly exciting carbon dioxide chemistry. With do-it-yourself lava lamps and bouncing soap bubbles, guests were both entertained and inspired to learn more.

ChEmory Wins ACS Green Chemistry Student Chapter Award

ChEmory, our undergraduate ACS club, has won a Green Chemistry Student Chapter Award! This award recognizes student chapters that participate in three or more green chemistry outreach or educational activities throughout the year.

Photo from Ashley Diaz, ChEmory President

Firstly, ChEmory hosted a liquid nitrogen ice cream booth at the Student Activities Fair. While teaching visitors about the crystallization process of ice cream and recruiting new members to join the club, they made ice cream in reusable bowls and handed out samples in compostable cups. At the Fernbank Museum, ChEmory took their gastronomy a step further, making edible whiskey droplets. The only waste generated from the making of the whiskey droplets were the droppers themselves, which were disposable and recyclable.

Photo from Ashley Diaz, ChEmory President

At the Atlanta Science Festival, the group made slime from borax and polyvinyl alcohol. Because the slime was made with nontoxic and widely-available reagents, ChEmory members took the opportunity to teach about the concept of biodegradable, low-waste chemistry. Finally, in collaboration with the Artisan guild, club members used biodegradable, all-natural materials to make their own soap. By designing degradable products and utilizing renewable source materials, participants left the event with both a better understanding of green chemistry and a handmade bar of soap to use at home!

Congratulations, ChEmory!!

Interested in learning more? Check out ChEmory on Facebook!


2018 Atlanta Mini Symposium on Theoretical and Computational Chemistry

On Saturday, September 8th, the Emory University Department of Chemistry teamed up with Georgia Tech to host the 2018 Atlanta Mini Symposium on Theoretical and Computational Chemistry. The event, organized by Francesco Evangelista (Emory) and David Sherrill (Georgia Tech) brought together theoretical and computational chemists across metro-Atlanta for connection and collaboration. Attendees heard talks from invited speakers and spent the afternoon sharing ideas with fellow chemists in the field. The group plans to make the conference an annual event for the local theoretical chemistry community.