posted October 23, 2000

Will Polik on ACS Committee

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.