A young woman explains her research via a poster session to an older man.

Chemistry Students and Faculty attend National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) Charter 2 Collaborative Conference

Categories: Events, Faculty, Students

The Charter 2 Collaborative Conference, the second ever of its kind, featured faculty research talks and student poster presentations.

Recently, a group of students and faculty members from the Department of Chemistry traveled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to attend the  National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) Charter 2 Collaborative Conference at Carnegie Mellon University. The Charter 2 Collaborative, which aims to develop a pipeline of academic career opportunities for NOBCChE’s undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral members, is comprised of eight colleges and universities: MIT, Boston University, Carnegie Mellon University, Lincoln University, Morehouse College, Northeastern University, University of Mississippi and Spelman College. Faculty representatives from each institution meet biweekly via Zoom to discuss opportunities and support one another and their programs. 

Professor Timothy Manning Swager serves as the Faculty Liaison for the MIT Department of Chemistry, and Graduate Students Andy Dorfeuille and Kayla Storme serve as the department’s Charter 2 Collaborative Student Liaisons. Accompanying the three liaisons were MIT Chemistry Graduate Students Collette Tamar Gordon, Cindy Serena Ngompe Massado, and Michael Ocheje, all members of the Swager Lab. At the conference, faculty representatives gave research talks, students participated in poster sessions, and everyone worked toward fulfilling NOBCChE’s mission to increase the representation of people of color in academia. 

Three rows of Charter 2 Collaborative members smile on the steps of a stately building.
While convening at Carnegie Mellon, Charter 2 Collaborative participants networked, listened to research and professional development talks and learned about the university.

“…Being able to attend conferences like this and talk with other graduate students provides a welcoming environment,” said Dorfeuille, a member of Professor Catherine Drennan’s lab, in an interview at the conference, the second in-person version of its kind. This year, for the first time, the event included undergraduate and graduate student attendees. Massado and Storme took home second and third place, respectively, in the conference’s Poster Competition.

The NOBCChE Collaborative also concluded its 2022-2023 Faculty Seminar Series this spring, which included talks by Department of Chemistry Professors Stephen L. Buchwald, Mohammad Movassaghi, Gabriela Schlau-Cohen, and Daniel L.M. Suess.

Members of the Charter 2 Collaborative will reconvene at NOBCChE’s 50th annual national conference in New Orleans in September, along with representatives from Auburn University, Hampton University, Ohio State University, University of Pittsburgh, Jackson State University, and Winston-Salem State University (all of which make up the Charter 1 Collaborative), and myriad additional conference attendees. Established in 1973, NOBCChE aims to build an eminent cadre of successful diverse global leaders in STEM and advance their professional endeavors by adding value to their academic, development, leadership, and philanthropic endeavors throughout the life-cycle of their careers.