As a chemistry graduate student at UC Davis I am regularly applying for funding opportunities and fellowships within my field. Most applications typically have a component asking for information about your broader impacts on society, or in other words the application is asking, “If we are going to fund you, how are you going to benefit the general population?” My time volunteering with the ACS Sacramento Section has allowed me to talk about my involvement with the ACS in my applications and has increased my chances of getting what I have applied for. In my second year as a graduate student I applied for the prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. While I did not receive the fellowship, I did receive an honorable mention and the reviewers of my application specifically commented on my excellent participation in having a broader impact to society through my outreach and research, this included my involvement with the ACS Sacramento local section.
I encourage students, whether you are in high school, undergraduate or graduate school, to think about getting involved with the local ACS Sacramento Section. It is not only beneficial for you, but ideas from students of all ages help the section spread the word of chemical education and your involvement is greatly appreciated. Being apart of the ACS has been a fun learning experience for myself, and as a graduate student applying for fellowship opportunities it has helped show my dedication to being an active chemist in our local community.
by Toby Sherbow