The Chemist : Engaging in Your Community
Hey everyone! I hope you all are enjoying your week so far. The topic for this week is engaging in your community, specifically the one you’re in at work or school so I’m going to talk about my involvement with OSU’s NOBCChE chapter.
Now if you don’t know what NOBCChE is, it’s a non-profit organization that caters to minorities in chemistry and chemical engineers. A lot of schools have chapters and at OSU, our chapter’s goal is to help grad and undergrad students flourish academically, professionally, and socially through seminars, workshops, and other social events we have throughout the year. We’re our own community within the department.
Pitt had a NOBCChE chapter that I was involved in and at a national conference, I was introduced to OSU’s chapter and I also received an government lab internship there - so this organization has a huge influence on where I am today and naturally I had to get involved with the chapter here. Currently this year, I am the treasurer/events planner alongside Sierra (in the picture with me), who’s our president and Bernice, who’s our VP. We make a pretty great team and recently Sierra and I won the Susan M. Hartmann Mentorship and Leadership Award for the work we’ve been doing for the chapter.
One of the main things we implemented this year was a peer-to-peer mentoring platform where we, as “senior” graduate students, meet with the incoming minority grad students in the summer to give them the 411 about grad school and our chapter. We wanted their community to start even before classes did because going to a big school like OSU is daunting and we wanted them to know that there are people in the program there to help as they make their own journeys.
Finding ways to engage with the people around you is very important. It makes things feel less lonely and is an easy way to build connections. With NOBCChE, it also helps me not get too stressed about school. I’m doing something I love to do with great people and since we’re all trying to reach the same goal, we have built in accountability partners to motivate and encourage us along the way.
What ways do you engage with your community? Tweet me your answers!