September 16th, 12:00 - 5:00 PM (for Grad/Postdocs) and September 17th, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (for Professionals)

COACh Workshops  (Follow This Link To Sign Up)

Speakers: Dr. Yvette Huet and Dr. Jane Tucker

Yvette Huet, Ph.D. is the Director for the UNC Charlotte ADVANCE Faculty Affairs and Diversity Office and a Professor of Kinesiology. Her research interests include women and faculty of color in the academy; the role of estrogen in immune function and liver disease; the effects of neonatal exposure to environmental estrogens on adult disease; and the roles of nitric oxide in early pregnancy.  Dr. Huet earned her B.S. in Human Biology: Microbiology from the University of Kansas; her Ph.D. (with Honors) in physiology from the University of Kansas Medical Center. Her honors include a National Science Foundation Minority Graduate Fellowship and a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship for Minorities.


Jane Tucker, Ph.D. has over twenty-five years of experience in higher education in both the administrative and teaching areas. She has taught negotiation skills in the Fuqua School of Business at Duke and is currently a consultant educator for COACh through the National Science Foundation. She has also taught ADVANCE program seminars in negotiations and is adjunct faculty for the Center for Creative Leadership, where she works with leaders from both non-profit organizations and corporations. She is currently Principal of Jane Tucker & Associates, specializing in negotiation, leadership skills, and executive coaching. She holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Development from the University of North Carolina and is an alumna of Wellesley College. Her current research interest is focused on early adopters in change processes.

Workshop Description:

COACh has developed a series of Career Building workshops that it provides to all career levels to assist scientists in achieving their full career potential and aspirations. The workshops have been carefully developed to mentor and train participants in skills that are not traditionally taught in STEM education.


September 17th, 12:00 - 5:00 PM

This session is geared toward graduate students and postdocs.


September 18th, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This session is geared toward for professionals.

September 19th 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Tailoring Your Resume to Transfer Your Ph.D. Skills to Careers Beyond the Professoriate

Speakers: Dr. Danielle Watt and Dr. Lloyd Munjanja


Danielle Watt, Ph.D. is the Director of Education, Outreach, and Diversity for the NSF Center for Chemical Innovation - Chemistry at the Space Time Limit at the University of California Irvine. She is a bioorganic chemist who conducted biomedical research in the fields of cancer and DNA replication and repair at NIH prior to transitioning to higher education administration to focus her efforts on increasing underrepresented minorities in STEM through STEM outreach and professional development.


Lloyd Munjanja, Ph.D. is the Assistant Director of Graduate Diversity and Program Climate at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. He is a organometallic chemist who transitioned into high education administration to increase the representation of minority groups in STEM.


Workshop Description:

Graduate training in science has followed the same basic format for almost 100 years designed to produce academic research professors! However, only 0.45% of all PhDs will ever become a professor. That is 1 in 222 PhDs!  As the number of professorships positions decline, the number of PhDs granted is increasing. In a recent 4-year study by the National Science Foundation, only 16,000 new professorships opened up, but during this same period, 100,000 PhDs were granted. That is an 84% gap between professorships created and PhDs granted.


So how does the rest of PhDs develop skills for careers beyond the professoriate? The good news! The transferable skills you've obtained during your Ph.D., not your technical skills, are what make you attractive to other industries.


This interactive workshop will discuss in depth, how to:

  • Sell your transferable skills gained during your chemistry Ph.D. to land an industry job
  • Develop a persuasive resume that shows you are industry-worthy
  • Develop a resume that beats the Applicant Tracking System (ATS)



September 19th 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Setting up your research group

Speaker: Dr. Renã Robinson


Renã Robinson, Ph.D. is the Dorothy J. Wingfield Phillips Chancellor’s Faculty Fellow and Associate Professor of Chemistry at Vanderbilt University. Her research focuses on using proteomics to study aging, Alzheimer’s and other applications relevant to human health.


Workshop Description:

This session will discuss how to set up a research lab at an academic institution.



September 19th, 4:00 - 5:30 PM

Politicking on the Job

Speakers: Dr. Stefan France and Dr. Keith Oden


Stefan France, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Several of his recognitions include 2015 Senior Faculty Outstanding Undergraduate Mentor Award (Georgia Tech); 2014 CETL Faculty Award for Academic Outreach (Georgia Tech); and 2013 Sigma Xi Young Faculty Award (Georgia Tech). He conducts research in the design of methods toward the synthesis of complex natural and unnatural targets with applications in medicinal chemistry.


Keith L. Oden, Ph.D. is the Director of Academic Diversity for Georgia Institute of Technology’s College of Sciences (CoS), where he is responsible for strategically designing and implementing programs to prepare and recruit students from underrepresented groups for graduate and undergraduate programs in the various disciplines within CoS.


Workshop Description:

This session will provide strategies for navigating politics on the job.



September 19th, 4:00 - 5:30 PM

NSF – Prospective Talks on Proposal Funding Opportunities


Speaker: C. Michelle Jenkins

Program Analyst Division of Chemistry National Science Foundation


September 20th, 8:00 - 12:00 PM

ACS Career Pathways Workshops (Follow This Link To Sign Up)

Speaker: Dr. Lisa M. Balbes

Lisa M. Balbes, Ph.D. has been a freelance technical writer and editor for over 25 years as Balbes Consultants LLC, with clients including Bausch and Lomb Surgical, Washington University School of Medicine, and the US FDA.  She is also the author of “Nontraditional Careers for Chemists:  New Formulas in Chemistry”, published by Oxford University Press.  She has been an American Chemical Society career consultant since 1993, providing career management advice and information to literally thousands of scientists.  She is an ACS certified master facilitator, and an internationally invited speaker on various career topics for scientists. Dr. Balbes earned her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her undergraduate degrees in chemistry and psychology from Washington University in St Louis.  She is a fellow of both the Royal Society of Chemistry (2013), and of the American Chemical Society (2017).


Workshop Description:

8:00 – 10:00 AM  "Finding Your Path"

Finding Yourself: Identifying a Career that Matches your Strengths and Values

This workshop will help you learn how to self-assess your career values and strengths. Participants will also learn about the four main employment sectors for chemists and chemical engineers, how they compare and contrast, and how they align with your values and strengths.  You will begin to plan the next steps on your professional pathway.  This workshop will also discuss networking, and how it can be used to enhance your job search, including both online and offline networking. Come jumpstart your career!


10:00 - 12:00 PM  "Working for Yourself"

Workshop description:  

Finding Your Market, Defining Your Business

This workshop will help you determine if self-employment is the right path for you. It will provide tools to start drafting your preliminary business plan—defining the business, the market, and the organization.  It will also help you think about your marketing and sales strategy, and various financing options.  Practical considerations will also be discussed.  You will leave armed with the knowledge you need to strike out on your own, or start a side business. 


September 20th, 1:00 - 3:15 PM

Patents Lifecycle Skit and Intellectual Property Panel

Speakers: Dr. Cedric D’Hue, Dr. Laurel Royer, Dr. Serena Farquharson Torres, and Dr. Edgar Rodriguez


Cedric A. D'Hue, Ph.D. is a Patent and Intellectual Property Lawyer with his own practice; D’Hue Law LLC, and has been a registered patent attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office since 2006. He has drafted, filed and prosecuted patent, trademark and copyright applications to issuance and has also drafted patentability opinions, invalidity and obviousness opinions, and freedom to operate opinions. Dr. D’Hue has a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Tufts University, and M.S. and Ph.D degrees in Analytical Chemistry from Purdue University.


Laurel A. Royer, Ph.D. is a Managing Scientist at Exponent; a scientific consulting firm. She is also an External Board Member in the Biological Engineering Program at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University. Dr. Royer specializes in the transport and fate, biotic and abiotic transformations of organic contaminants in complex environmental matrices and systems. She has a Ph.D. in Agronomy from Purdue University.


Serena Farquharson Torres, Ph.D. is a Senior Patent Counsel at Bristol-Myers Squibb, with substantial legal experience working in all aspects of patent law involving both large and small molecules and consumer health care. Dr. Torres has a Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.


Edgar Rodriguez, Esq., Ph.D. is a Principal with Jordan IP Law LLC, and is involved in all aspects of patent law, including patent strategy, procurement, and counseling. He has prepared or prosecuted patent applications in a variety of technical areas such as drug compounds and formulations, nucleic acids, peptides, assays, polymer filters and membranes, polymer scaffolds, polymer coatings, nanomaterials, chemical reactors, quantitative analytical processes, recombinant technology, MEMS, sensors, and semiconductor fabrication and design. Dr. Rodriguez has a Ph.D. in Chemistry and Biochemistry from George Mason University.


1:00 – 2:00 PM              Patent process skit (undergrad, grad, postdoc)

Workshop Description:

This session will conduct a mock session walking through a patent lifecycle for undergraduate and graduate students including: 1.) the creation of a patent: invention disclosure, drafting and filing a patent application in the chemical arts, 2.) prosecuting the patent application with the USPTO, and 3.) enforcing the patent.


Session goals:

  • Expose undergraduate and graduate black chemist and chemical engineers to an alternative career path of patent law
  • Engage students in interactive session to act out various roles in the patent process


2:00 – 3:15 PM              Patent process panel discussion

Workshop Description:

This session will review the patent lifecycle for mid career professionals including: 1.) the creation of a patent: invention disclosure, drafting and filing a patent application in the chemical arts, 2.) prosecuting the patent application with the USPTO, and 3.) enforcing the patent.


Session goals:

  • Expose black chemists and chemical engineers to alternative career path of patent law
  • Highlight the different roles in patent law from inventor, in-house counsel, prosecutor, USPTO examiner, patent litigator and expert witness



September 20th, 3:30 - 4:30 PM

AAAS Education and Human Resources science fellowship opportunities

Speaker: Iris Wagstaff


Iris R. Wagstaff is a STEM Program Director at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), where she manages programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral levels. She served as a 2015-2017 AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at DOJ. She has a BS and MS in Chemistry, and a PhD in STEM Education. She worked as research chemist at the Rohm and Haas Chemical Company for 15 years where she served as the NOBCChE Undergraduate Research Award Coordinator. She has over 20 years of STEM outreach developing informal science programs, resourcing parents, and working with K-12 science teachers. She serves on the Boards of NOBCChE and the Chemical Society of Washington. She is a 25-year NOBCChE member and has served as STEM education chair, NPC Chair, and DVC VP. She is the 2017 WOC in STEM and 2015 McBay Awardee. She is also a 2016 nominee of the PAESMEM.


Workshop Description:

This session will share AAAS opportunities that include the Science and Technology Policy Fellowship, the Loreal USA For Women in Science Fellowship, the Mass Media Fellows, and the Minority Science Writers Internship. These initiatives provide undergraduate, graduate, and post-docs a chance to fund their research, develop Leadership in science policy, and work in science journalism.


This interactive workshop will discuss:

  • Opportunities for undergraduates and graduate STEM majors to fund their research
  • How scientist can inform and lead in science policy at the national level
  • How to leverage their STEM background with policy issues
  • How to leverage their STEM degrees in science communications and science journalism.
  • How to become a AAAS member and AAAS advocacy areas they can get involved in on their local campus