back to news May 31, 2019

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry joins American Chemical Society's inclusive graduate education program

The American Chemical Society (ACS) announced it has selected six university departments — including Ohio State's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry — as partners in the ACS Bridge Program, an initiative that seeks to increase the number of graduate students from underrepresented groups in the chemical sciences.

“Diversity, inclusion and respect are core values of the ACS, and this program is another important addition to our overall efforts to create opportunities for students from all backgrounds,” said LaTrease Garrison, executive vice president of the ACS Education Division. “We are grateful to our institutional partners for helping us advance both the chemical sciences and the chemists of the future.”

In September 2018, ACS joined the Inclusive Graduate Education Network (IGEN), a coalition of five scientific societies formed to bolster the number of minority students in the physical sciences. The ACS Bridge Program supports this national effort by assisting chemical science departments in creating a “bridge” for students from underrepresented groups who plan to enter a doctoral program in chemistry or chemical engineering.

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry joins the chemistry departments at the University of Massachusetts at Amerherst and Indiana University, along with the chemical engineering department at the University of Arkansas, as partners in this initiative. These departments will also enroll students who have submitted their graduate school application to the ACS Bridge Program and will provide a supportive, bridge-like environment for students from underrepresented groups.

There is still a large gap in the fraction of minority STEM majors who get a PhD, and a great deal of that gap arises from an opportunity gap," notes Thomas Magliery, associate professor and vice chair of graduate studies in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. "This partnership will help give us the reach to bridge that gap, and as a top chemistry program in one of the nation’s largest land grant universities, we have an opportunity to make a meaningful impact.”

The Georgia Tech School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Chemistry will be the first ACS Bridge Sites. They will offer master's or post-baccalaureate programs that will support students on their way to a PhD in the chemical sciences. These two sites will receive funding from ACS to assist in the establishment of these programs.

The ACS Bridge Project is supported by the National Science Foundation.

The American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, is a nonprofit organization chartered by Congress. ACS is a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus.