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William Polik Named to National
ACS Committee on Professional Training

Posted October 23, 2000

HOLLAND -- Dr. William F. Polik of the Hope College chemistry faculty has been appointed to a three-year term on the national Committee on Professional Training of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

The committee's goals include promoting high standards in post-secondary chemical education, gathering and sharing information concerning trends and developments in chemical education, and cooperating with organizations that have mutual interests and concerns.

Among other duties, the committee determines whether or not undergraduate chemistry programs qualify for approval by the ACS. The committee assists programs that are seeking approval, helping them to identify the steps they must take to meet the ACS's guidelines. Graduates of ACS-approved programs receive certification noting that their training meets the society's standards for overall professional competency. More than 600 programs nationwide, including the chemistry program at Hope, have achieved ACS approval.

"The Committee on Professional Training affects almost every college student taking a chemistry course in the country by setting standards for their chemistry courses and the faculty that teach them," Polik said.

The committee publishes pamphlets on pursuing graduate work in chemistry or a career in industry, a twice- yearly newsletter for all chemistry at ACS-approved schools, a yearly listing of the number of graduates from each ACS- approved undergraduate program, and the biennial "ACS Directory of Graduate Research" that reviews the faculty make-up and productivity of graduate programs in the United States and Canada.

The ACS has 161,000 members in industry and education. The society's activities include promoting public understanding of chemistry through outreach programs, fostering communication between chemists and related organizations, and assisting in the professional and career development of chemists.

The committee's 15 members are chosen to represent liberal arts colleges, research universities and the chemical industry. They are also chosen to represent the sub-disciplines of chemistry, and as broad a geographic distribution as possible.

The committee meets three times each year. Committee members also make presentations concerning the group's mission. In July, Polik presented "The Place of Undergraduate Research in the ACS Guidelines" during the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, held at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Polik, a professor of chemistry, has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1988. He received the Sigma Xi Award for Scientific Outreach at Hope in 1999, and the college's Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1998. In 1991, he received a Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation.

Polik's specialty is physical chemistry. During his time at Hope, he has received 39 grants and awards in support of his research, has given 41 invited seminars and has written 39 articles--including 13 co-authored with Hope students who have worked with him on his research.

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