UW-Madison Chemistry Newsletter for 3/12/2012

Bucky UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON
DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY NEWSLETTER
XXXVI - No. 9
March 12th, 2012

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2012 Dates of Finance/Department Meetings
Department/Executive Committee Meetings - Tuesdays - 1:30 PM - Room 9341 Chemistry

March 13th, 2012 April 10th, 2012 May 8th, 2012

Finance Committee Meetings - Tuesdays - 1:30 PM - Room 1130

March 20th, 2012 April 17th, 2012 May 1st, 2012 May 15th, 2012 (Optional)

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SEMINARS
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Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 - Physical Chemistry Seminar, 11:00 a.m., Room 1315 Chemistry Building. Professor Yirong Mo, Western Michigan University. "Block-Localized Wavefunction (BLW) Method and its Applications"
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Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 - Organic Chemistry Seminar, 3:30 p.m., Room 1315 Chemistry Building. Professor Huw Davies, Emory University. "Stereoselective C-H Functionalization: Applications in Organic Synthesis"
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Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 - Inorganic Seminar, 3:30 p.m., Room 1315 Chemistry Building. Susan E. Latturner, Florida State University. "Synthesis and Magnetic Properties of Complex Metal Carbides Grown In Metal Fluxes"
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Thursday, March 15th, 2012 - Organic Student Seminar, 11:00 a.m., Room 1315 Chemistry Building. Alicia Phelps of the Schomaker Group, UW-Madison.
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Thursday, March 15th, 2012 - Materials Seminar, 12:15 p.m., Room 1315 Chemistry Building. Dr. Lynn Brostoff, Library of Congress.
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Friday, March 16th, 2012 - Organic Thesis Defense, 1:00 p.m., Room 9341 Chemistry Building. Sayani Chattopadhyay, UW-Madison
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Friday, March 16th, 2012 - Chemistry Department Colloquium, 3:30 p.m., Room 1315 Chemistry Building. Stephanie Tai, Ph.D., J.D., Assistant Professor of Law, UW-Madison. "Lost in Translation: How Regulators Use Science and How Scientists Can Help Bridge Gaps"
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Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 - Physical Chemistry Seminar, 11:00 a.m., Room 1315 Chemistry Building. Professor Sergey Nizkorodov, University of California-Irvine. "Unraveling the Molecular Composition of Organic Particulate Matter with High Resolution Mass Spectrometry"
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Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 - Inorganic Seminar, 3:30 p.m., Room 1315 Chemistry Building. Professor Michael Shatruk, Florida State University. "Controlling Magnetic Bistability in Solid-State and Molecular Materials: Itinerant Magnets and Spin-Crossover Complexes"
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Thursday, March 22nd, 2012 - Organic Chemistry Seminar, (All Day), Room 1315 Chemistry Building. Dr. Terry Rosen, Amgen Corp. "Discovery, Synthesis and Properties of Potent and Orally-bioavailable Agonists of GPR 40"
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Thursday, March 22nd, 2012 - Analytical Seminar, 12:15 p.m., Room 1315 Chemistry Building. Professor Aaron Massari, University of Minnesota.
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Thursday, March 29th, 2012 - Organic Student Seminar, 11:00 a.m., Room 1315 Chemistry Building. Megan Cismesia of the Yoon Group, UW-Madison.
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Thursday, March 29th, 2012 - Analytical Chemical Biology Seminar, 12:15 p.m., Room 1315 Chemistry Building. Professor Sarah Trimpin, Wayne State University.
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The Flame Challenge
This editorial for the "Flame Challenge" is by Alan Alda, he is an actor, writer, and founding board member of the Center for Communicating Science.
I was 11 and I was curious. I had been thinking for days about the flame at the end of a candle. Finally, I took the problem to my teacher. "What's a flame?" I asked her. "What's going on in there?" There was a slight pause and she said, "It's oxidation." She didn't seem to think there was much else to say. Deflated, I knew there had to be more to the mystery of a flame than just giving the mystery another name. That was a discouraging moment for me personally, but decades later I see the failure to communicate science with clarity as far more serious for society. We feel the disconnect all around us, from a common misimpression that evolution is the theory that we're descended from monkeys, to the worry that physicists in Geneva might suck the universe into a teacup - or something uncomfortably smaller. Scientists have recognized for some time that there is a harmful gap in understanding between their work and much of the rest of the world - one that can hold back scientific progress. Scientists urgently need to be able to speak with clarity to funders, policy-makers, students, the general public, and even other scientists. (Not to mention the poignant wish of some young researchers to be able to explain their work to their grandmothers.) I first got insight into this problem while interviewing hundreds of scientists on the television program Scientific American Frontiers, produced for the Public Broadcasting Service in the United States. On that show, rather than doing conventional interviews, I had conversations with the scientists in which I kept barraging them with questions until I finally understood their answers. As a result, their work became more accessible to the audience (and to me) than if I had stuck to a standard interview format. Having to talk with someone who was truly trying to understand caused an actual human interaction to take place in these interviews. There was more warmth, and the real person behind the scientist in the white lab coat could emerge. Suddenly, both young people and adults could see that scientists were like them, with a natural way of speaking and even a sense of humor. I began to think that clarity in communicating science is at the very heart of science itself. And I wondered if written and oral communication skills could be taught systematically throughout the entire length of a student's science education. The State University of New York at Stony Brook picked up on this idea, founding the Center for Communicating Science. I became part of the teaching faculty, and we began experimenting. We are now teaching communication courses for credit to graduate students in the sciences. Students learn to distill their message and write without jargon. They also experience an innovative course in improvisation, which teaches them to communicate with a live audience with the ease and familiarity of an animated conversation. The intention, of course, is not to turn scientists into actors but to allow them to be more authentically themselves in public interactions. Most of all, we discourage any form of "dumbing down" the science. The goal is to achieve clarity and vividness. As serious as this question is, I'd like to try a playful experiment. Would you be willing to have a go at writing your own explanation of what a flame is - one that an 11-year-old would find intelligible, maybe even fun? The Center for Communicating Science is looking for new ways to light up people's minds with science, and you might point the way. We'll try out the entries on real 11-year-olds and see which work best. For information about this Flame Challenge contest, see: http://flamechallenge.org. So here I am - I'm 11 years old and looking up at you with the wide eyes of curiosity. What is a flame? What's going on in there? What will you tell me? Thank You - Alan Alda.
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EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
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Kelly O'Ferrell of University Housing Human Resources department is looking for Chemistry Tutors for an exciting student employment opportunity for the academic year 2012-2013.
Department: Residence Life.
Dates of Employment: August 30, 2012   May 15, 2013.
Compensation: $10.00 per hour.
Number of Positions: 6-8.
Locations: Various Residence Halls/Dining Locations.
Hours: 4-6 hours per week during academic year; Hours are held during the evenings (Sunday-Thursday).
Responsibilities:
•    Provide direct tutoring support to university housing residents through Chemistry 109.
•    Have the ability to help students make academic progress, while at the same time promoting independent learning, problem solving skills, and self reliance.
•    Have the ability to work one-on-one or in small groups to help university housing residents gain confidence in their chemistry skills.
•    Collaborate with Residence Life staff to help promote and provide feedback regarding their Residence Life Chemistry tutoring program.
Knowledge & Skills:
•    Successfully completed up to Chemistry 109.
•    Previous tutoring experience is not required, but strongly preferred.
•    The ability to provide individual or small group tutoring sessions and more importantly, that ability to engage students in a discussion of the course content, answer questions and/or explain general concepts to aid students in their overall comprehension of the course material, without giving away the answers.
•    The ability to identify and successfully adapt to different student's learning styles.
•    Possess excellent communication skills, problem solving skills, and the ability to work with a diverse student body.
Special Requirements: Ability to work in the evenings & Ability to work independently.
Hiring Information:
•    Application deadline for priority consideration: 11:59pm March 31, 2012.
•    Preference will be given to UW Madison students who have successfully completed Chemistry 109.
•    Applications are screened by Academic Initiatives staff and those who appear to be most qualified will be invited to interview.
•    Complete online application at: http://www.housing.wisc.edu/jobs/student/.
•    All applications will be screened and then a select number of candidates will be invited to interview. All interviews will take place on Sunday, April 22, 2012. If you are out-of-town or out-of-the-country we will conduct interviews via Skype on April 22, 2012 as well.
For questions or more information please contact Mike Crawford at: mike.crawford@housing.wisc.edu or
608-265-4212.
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Rainy River Community College, Chemistry Instructor. Unlimited - Full Time.
Start Date: August 20, 2012.
Desired Attributes: RRCC Faculty members should be exceptional educators, committed to excellence in teaching and learning. Desired qualities include:
•    Demonstrated ability teaching using a variety of teaching methods, including online; ITV; traditional; and outdoor laboratory settings.
•    Student centered with a strong focus on teaching and learning.
•    Effective written and verbal communication skills.
•    Community college and/or high school teaching experience.
Specific Duties: Duties include teaching a variety of natural science and chemistry lecture and lab courses utilizing traditional and outdoor lab settings, including: Principles of Chemistry I/II, Forensic Science, Environmental Science, Physical Science, Principles of Astronomy, and various Mathematics courses. Minimum Qualifications: Master's Degree with a major in Chemistry or a Master's Degree with a minimum of 16 semester credits (24 graduate quarter credits) in Chemistry. Preferred Qualifications: Graduate courses, or experience teaching in, physics, biology, ecology, geology, and mathematics. Strong interest and enthusiasm for the interdisciplinary nature of this position. Desire to participate in sustainability initiatives. Experience working collaboratively with other faculty. Application Requirements: A complete application must include the following letter expressing interest in and qualifications for the position, Current resume or CV, including a list of three to five professional references, academic transcripts (official will be required at the time of hire). Send materials to: Deb Falkowski, NHED Human Resources - CHEM Search RRCC, 1001 Chestnut Street W, Virginia, MN 55792, Phone: 218/749-7767, e-mail: d.falkowski@mr.mnscu.edu. E-mailed submissions preferred. Deadline to apply: March 23, 2012. Applications received after this date may be considered if the applicant pool is insufficient. Instructors work 171 days during a nine-month academic year and receive excellent benefits. Under the collective bargaining agreement with the Minnesota State College faculty (MSCF), new instructors to the Minnesota State College Faculty system receive a salary placement based on education and related experience after a job offer is accepted.
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FACULTY POSITIONS/TEMPORARY FACULTY/ACADEMIC POSITIONS
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Chemistry: Inorganic Chemistry. Gustavus Adolphus College invites applications for a position of Visiting Assistant Professor of Inorganic Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry to begin September 1, 2012. We seek candidates who have an earned doctorate, but will consider candidates who have achieved ABD status. Successful candidates will contribute to a student centered undergraduate chemistry curriculum. In their application candidates should discuss their commitment to excellence in teaching undergraduates in a liberal arts environment. We are interested in applicants who have prior experience with coursework and/or research. Responsibilities may include: 100 level introductory chemistry lectures and associated labs for majors or non majors, 200 level or 300 level Inorganic Chemistry lectures and associated labs, and a possible January Term course determined by candidate and appropriate to the candidate's expertise. The Department of Chemistry graduates approximately 30 majors each year. The Department prepares students for continuing education in post graduate professional programs in chemistry, environmental or health related fields. Students are engaged in research experiences both within and outside of classes. To apply, send letter of application, curriculum vitae, statements of teaching philosophy and research interests, undergraduate and graduate transcripts (photocopies acceptable), and three letters of professional recommendation to: Dr. Brenda Kelly, Chair, Department of Chemistry, Gustavus Adolphus College, 800 West College Avenue, Saint Peter, MN 56082-1498, web: http://www.gustavus.edu/humanresources. For more details, visit the department web site: http://www.gustavus.edu/chemistry or contact Dr. Kelly at 507-933-7320 or bkelly@gustavus.edu. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.
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Chemistry: Organic Chemistry. Gustavus Adolphus College invites applications for a position of Visiting Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry to begin September 1, 2012. The department anticipates a continued vacancy, and the successful candidate will be considered for continuation into subsequent years, contingent upon annual reviews and the needs of the College. We seek candidates who have an earned doctorate, but will consider candidates who have achieved ABD status. Successful candidates will contribute to a student centered undergraduate chemistry curriculum. In their application candidates should discuss their commitment to excellence in teaching undergraduates in a liberal arts environment. We are interested in applicants who have prior experience with coursework and/or research. Responsibilities may include: 100 level introductory chemistry for non majors, 100 and 200 level Organic Chemistry lectures and associated labs, and a possible January Term course determined by candidate and appropriate to the candidate's expertise. The Department of Chemistry graduates approximately 30 majors each year. The Department prepares students for continuing education in postgraduate professional programs in chemistry, environmental or health related fields. Students are engaged in research experiences both within and outside of classes. To apply, send letter of application, curriculum vitae, statements of teaching philosophy and research interests, undergraduate and graduate transcripts (photocopies acceptable), and three letters of professional recommendation to: Dr. Brenda Kelly, Chair, Department of Chemistry, Gustavus Adolphus College, 800 West College Avenue, Saint Peter, MN 56082-1498, web: http://www.gustavus.edu/humanresources. For more details, visit the department web site: http://www.gustavus.edu/chemistry or contact Dr. Kelly at 507-933-7320 or bkelly@gustavus.edu. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.
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POSTDOCTORAL POSITIONS AND/OR JOBS
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NONE FOR THIS NEWSLETTER
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Please submit all newsletter information or address changes to: goldade@chem.wisc.edu or 262-0293. Thanks.
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DETAILS ARE AVAILABLE IN ROOM 1146.
NEXT NEWSLETTER IS ON MARCH 19th, 2012