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Chemistry Rocks: Students Participate in Prestigious American Chemical Society Leadership Summit

Posted January 17, 2020 in Natural Sciences

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Two LAU chemistry students participated in the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) International Chapters Leadership Summit, joining their peers from the region, Africa and Europe.

The ACS, the world’s largest scientific society, had issued a call for leadership training of future leaders in regional ACS student chapters.

After applying, the LAU Chemistry Club – chartered with the prestigious ACS – received a grant that covered travel and lodging expenses for students Gabie Mitri and Celine Estephan to take part in the summit in Amman, Jordan, in November.

One of the main lessons that Mitri took from the two-day workshop was how to strategize and plan a successful event and to collaborate with other chapters from different countries.

“The activities were simple the lecturer explained to us using slides the components and how to prepare a successful event, then the members of each chapter gathered and wrote his/her strategic plan for events that includes the mission, vision, goals and timeline,” she explained.

The overall experience brought Mitri closer to her major and her position as club president by allowing her to further appreciate her responsibilities.

“It helped me develop a clear vision about my responsibility as a president and as a chemistry major student. It encouraged me to think outside the box without the fear of failure and boosted my confidence as a president and a leader,” she said.

The workshop was also a platform for connecting Mitri with her peers from other countries, who shared her passion for chemistry.

“I also had the chance to present a strategic plan for the club that discussed our mission, vision, core values and goals, which the Vice President Celine Estephan and I had prepared,” she added.

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For Estephan, a pre-med chemistry student, the workshop gave her insight into the professional field of chemistry. “I also learned about critical leadership skills that will help me as a vice president for the ACS chapter at LAU,” she added.

Associate Professor of Chemistry and Chemistry Club advisor Brigitte Wex said such participation “provided our students with a tremendous opportunity for the development of leadership skills and significant professional growth.”

“This several-days immersion into an international group of chemists allowed the students to explore their professional identity, refine their goals, and test their professional voice as chemists on a global stage,” she added.

Last year, the LAU club organized an informative seminar about the chemistry major for high-school students, during which live experiments were performed. Currently, the club is planning a workshop on forensic chemistry that will feature experts in this field.

Mitri encouraged her LAU peers to join the club, which, she said, will “provide students with a unique opportunity to experience chemistry beyond the classroom in preparing and presenting experiments.”

“These kinds of activities help students to appreciate the chemistry major more and to see how much fun chemistry can be, since sciences are not usually the most amusing materials,” she added.  

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