Making International Connections
The American Chemical Society is a global organization with a sizable percentage of its members living outside the United States. As a membership organization, we see our global presence in terms of helping all members achieve their goals in a global workforce and environment. The Division of Membership and Scientific Advancement launched a new International Center in December 2012, an online clearinghouse of information on international opportunities for chemical practitioners. The site is a one-stop, efficient, and comprehensive resource showcasing existing international collaboration opportunities, experiences, and logistics. This was an outgrowth of a 2010 Presidential Task Force.
The Global Research Experiences, Exchanges, and Training Program (GREET) provided intensive international research experience and collaboration opportunities to U.S. chemical scientists and drew extremely favorable feedback from participants. The 2012 teams were hosted by Kenya, China, Israel, Italy, and New Zealand. The Membership & Scientific Advancement Division also organized a summit in November of international students in the U.S. to facilitate discussions around the unique national resource and opportunities provided by the more than 700,000 international students studying in the United States. Discussions focused on promoting cross-cultural understanding, increasing international skill flow and collaboration, and ways to enhance engagement with this segment. The recommendations are being used to inform engagement strategies in 2013. Travel awards from the Executive Director’s Initiative Fund were awarded to nine U.S. graduate students to attend and present their research during the 4th EuCheMS Congress in Prague, which helped bring an ACS and U.S. perspective to the meeting and demonstrate ACS membership value to the graduate student community. During the Congress, students blogged about their experiences on the ACS Network.
The launch of the Chinese Microsite was ground-breaking for ACS in the development of localized ACS websites for international audiences. Washington IT (Web Strategies and Operations unit) successfully developed the site in collaboration with the ACS Office of International Activities based on the needs of our Chinese stakeholders. The site is in Chinese and includes information about ACS programs, products, and services. The site represents a global dialogue in science, technology, and chemistry and is especially important in helping strengthen the connection between ACS and the scientific community in China.