Guest author Summer Laffoon is a fifth-year graduate student in Professor Jeff Moore’s laboratory. She has been instrumental in planning LGBTQ+ social events for chemistry students over the past three years. She also serves on the executive board of the Women Chemists Committee. Here she writes about the annual welcome event and the future of LGBTQ+ programming in the department.
On August 17, 2019, the LGBTQ+ chemists held their 3rd annual Welcome BBQ for the Out community in the Department of Chemistry.
The main goal of the event is to foster community building and promote visibility of the LGBTQ+ students, postdocs, faculty, and staff in the chemistry department. Furthermore, it helps new students establish connections with people who can be their mentors and role models as they navigate graduate school.
This year, the BBQ was held at Hessel Park Pavilion, and food and refreshments were provided by the Department of Chemistry. Over 30 attendees came to the event, many of whom were new graduate students starting in the program this fall.
The LGBTQ+ students are in the process of establishing a formal committee to plan future social and professional events. The BBQ served as opportunity to recruit members for the inaugural planning committee.