The Rochester Section recently received a Diversity, Inclusion, and Respect grant from National ACS. On Thursday, September 23, at 7 PM, the Section will present its first “Better Together: Improving Diversity in the Rochester Section” seminar. The featured speaker will be Dr. Christine R. de Denus, Associate Professor in Chemistry at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Director of the First Generation Initiative (FGI), Faculty Athletic Fellow at WS Basketball, and Posse 8 Mentor. The title of Dr. de Denus’s talk is “My Journey from Central Canada to Upstate NY.”

This will be a free online Zoom event open to both ACS members and non-members. It is requested that attendees register in advance for the seminar.  An American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter will also be available during the presentation.


Abstract: In this talk I will discuss how I started as a first generation undergraduate student in the geographical center of Canada and ended up as a chemistry professor in Geneva, NY. Throughout my career I have been able to pursue a number of opportunities that have allowed me to further my interests in chemistry, but also effect change in areas pertaining to higher education as a whole. My plan is to share with the audience the career path I have taken, and why it has enriched me as an individual and invigorated me as an educator.

Biography: My primary role at Hobart and William Smith Colleges is an Associate Professor of Chemistry. However, I am also the Director of the First Generation Initiative (FGI), Posse 8 mentor, William Smith basketball faculty athletic fellow, and the NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative for HWS. I am an organometallic chemist by training who teaches introductory (I and II), inorganic, and forensic chemistry as well as organic structural analysis on a regular basis. When possible I also teach a first year seminar focused on the Olympics.  In addition to teaching in the Chemistry Department, I have been involved in a number of institutional activities and have served as the Associate Dean of Faculty and Associate Provost.  My duties have included curriculum design, development, and review; academic facilities and equipment planning; faculty hiring and development; development and review of academic programs; implementation of new digital pedagogies and initiatives across the curriculum; course scheduling, enrollment, and classroom management/design; oversight and fiscal management of various grants, endowments, and budgets; and directing a vibrant undergraduate summer research program. I am also involved in efforts surrounding Title IX and Bystander trainings, Division III athletics, and LGBTQ education and policy changes. I am always seeking professional development opportunities and have attended the Harvard Institute for Management and Leadership in Education (MLE) (2015), the HERS (Higher Education Resource Services) Bryn Mawr Summer Institute (2014), the 81st National Leadership Forum: Advancing Women’s Leadership. American Council on Education (2013), The Pennsylvania State University Academic Leadership Academy (2012-13), and the 2012 NCAA Division III FAR Leadership Institute. Outside of work, my personal interests include cooking, reading, gardening, home repair, and supporting the pursuits of my two daughters.

A flyer for this event is available for download.

There will be one more seminar in the Diversity, Inclusion, and Respect series planned for later in 2021, so do not miss your chance to hear and meet our outstanding speakers!

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