The education, outreach, and professional development activities of our group are guided by a set of core values, including:
Building tools for future success. As science and technology rapidly evolve, students are increasingly likely to find themselves in careers or scientific disciplines that have yet to be imagined. Thus, in addition to learning the fundamental principles of chemistry, it is essential that students develop the skills they need to learn independently, think critically, and communicate clearly. Our undergraduate education and outreach activities seek to promote these learning outcomes by allowing students to interface with cutting-edge research. In the context of our research lab, group members are full stakeholders, and collectively guide the key elements of our program, including idea generation and development, proposal writing, manuscript writing, strategic planning, and of course, the research itself!
Embracing failure. Failure is a natural part of innovation and discovery. As the saying goes “if you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough.” In both our current research and in the context of preparing students to be future innovators, learning how to embrace (and overcome) failure is viewed as a key goal. This can be accomplished by adopting a “growth mindset” in which you view your abilities as malleable and recognize your capacity for improvement in any skill through hard work. The topics of failure and mindset are addressed through lectures and other activities in our outreach and educational activities, and are a part of the ongoing dialogue in our research group.
Diversity and inclusion. Science must be inclusive, as everyone deserves an equal opportunity to experience the joy of scientific discovery and benefit from the career opportunities that a science education provides. In our educational and outreach activities, we aim to provide resources and opportunities for students who are from underrepresented or underserved groups. We also recognize that our research thrives on the collective contributions of individuals having diverse experiences and perspectives. We aim to create an environment that welcomes this diversity and respects differences of opinion.