ACS LATAM+C student chapter advisors hold first retreat

The American Chemical Society International Student Chapters of Costa Rica and Guatemala organized the first-ever retreat for ACS faculty advisers in Central and South America. It took place in Guatemala at the end of October.

Funded by a 2023 Global Innovation Grant, the event featured a number of ACS governance members and recognizable member-volunteers, including Ingrid Montes of the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras; Edgar A. Arriaga of the University of Minnesota; local experts Maricruz Alvarez of the University of Valle and Virginia Ortiz of USAC; and Utica University’s Michelle Boucher, chair of the ACS Undergraduate Student Advisory Board.

Advisers are fundamental to a chapter’s success and continuity. The experience can be exciting and rewarding—as well as challenging and demanding. Advising models in Latin America and the Caribbean (LATAM+C) vary from those in the US in terms of functions, expectations, and strategies. These differences can create a gap in support for LATAM+C advisers. The retreat helped facilitate a peer-to-peer support network based on reciprocal mentoring for current and future LATAM+C advisers. Attendees had a chance to share challenges, experiences, and successful strategies.

There are 22 international student chapters in eight countries across LATAM+C. These chapters have helped students gain funding, presentation skills, and networking opportunities at ACS spring and fall meetings, as well as develop other nontechnical expertise through services and outreach.

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