In 2018, Dr. Kali A. Miller, at the time a graduate researcher at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign and involved in the laboratory safety team there, developed a workshop called “Developing Graduate Student Leadership Skills in Laboratory Safety.” Initially supported by the ACS Committee on Chemical Safety, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety, ACS Safety Programs, and the ACS Office of Graduate Education, the workshop was first held at the ACS National Meeting in Spring 2018. A paper was published describing this pilot workshop and initial survey analysis that can be found here. The workshop continued to be held at ACS National Meetings with different graduate researcher facilitators.
Jessica A. Martin began working closely with Dr. Miller to coordinate, and eventually take over general management of the workshop. They interviewed LST teams as a means of learning more about the movement and improving the offerings of the workshop. This resulted in a publication about LSTs that can be found here.
As 2020 approached, the COVID pandemic necessitated a rapid shift to a virtual world. Starting with the Spring 2020 ACS National Meeting, Jessica worked with the facilitators for that workshop to rapidly convert the workshop to a virtual format.
As interest in the workshop continued to blossom in the academic community, it was recognized that the virtual version could reach a wider audience and be held independent of conferences. Jessica recruited known and active advocates in the ACS safety community to constitute an LST Mentorship Team to continue to improve the workshop. Graduate students involved in the LST leadership at their own institutions are also regularly recruited to serve as Facilitators and Moderators to share their experiences and improve their own professional skills. The workshop was renamed “Empowering Academic Researchers to Strengthen Safety Culture” in recognition of the changes made to it.
In 2022, Monica Nyansa of Michigan Tech assumed the role of workshop coordinator. She described her experience in the workshop as part of her professional development in a posting for the ACS Chemistry Grad and Postdoc blog.[table “24” not found /]
Description of Roles:
Leader: Recruits and trains Facilitators and Moderators; manages updates to workshop content; organizes logistics; communicates with participants before and after workshop as needed; manages technology during the workshop; leads pre-workshop practice and post-workshop review sessions for Facilitators with the LST Mentorship Team
Facilitator: Participates in updates to workshop content through pre-workshop practice and post-workshop review sessions with the Leader and LST Mentorship Team; delivers workshop content to live audience; facilitates small group and large group activities and discussion during the workshop
Moderator (Position created for virtual workshop): Serves in the practice audience for pre-workshop practice sessions and participates in post-workshop review session; can contribute to updates to workshop content; monitors Breakout Room activities during the Workshop
LST Mentorship Team: This team is a group of senior CHAS members and other safety professionals who support the workshop leader with content review and advice and who often serve as moderators for virtual workshops.
|Kali A. Miller
|Wittenberg University (retired)
|Mary Beth Koza
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (retired)
|Keene State College
|Appalachian State University
Please check our workshop schedule for information and registration for the latest workshop!