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2014-2015 Winter Newsletter

CSIE|UM aims to prepare the next generation of chemistry faculty

Undergrads with their GSI

In the Fall 2014 semester, the UM Department of Chemistry launched Chemical Sciences at the Interface of Education | University of Michigan or CSIE|UM (pronounced “cesium”.) Built on twenty years of experience in exploring ways to prepare the next generation of chemistry faculty, CSIE|UM is a comprehensive program for broadening the education of our students at all levels: undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows ­who are interested in academic careers.

“The exciting change, starting in 2014, is our decision to institutionalize these activities as a part of our core mission, “ explains Brian P. Coppola, professor of chemistry, who has been developing these activities throughout his career and directs the CSIE|UM. He has been appointed the department’s first Associate Chair for Educational Development and Practice.

CSIE|UM takes the familiar model of research groups and expands the idea by teaming up chemistry faculty members with chemistry students to work on education projects, explains Coppola. Postdoctoral associates can participate in a dual mentorship research and teaching position, where they get a teaching assignment as a lecturer in addition to their work as a member of a research group. Graduate students can apply for Future Faculty Graduate Student Instructor (FFGSI) positions, take their cognates in education, and earn an MS degree in Post-Secondary Science Education. There are many opportunities for undergraduates to participate in peer-led instruction and to be part of any of the department’s teaching teams.

“We are also interested in building a network of our alumni who are in academic positions, and connecting them with the future faculty cohort,” says Coppola. If you would like to be on the mailing group for CSIE|UM Network, please send us a message or sign up at the CSIE|UM website (