Educator Spotlight

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Deborah Pritchard, Forsyth Technical Community College


Deborah Pritchard is on the Chemistry Faculty at Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, NC. Teaching is her second career; providing learning opportunities for students is her passion.

Her first career involved process research, product development, air-quality studies and quality assurance. She worked for R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in Winston-Salem, NC for 19 years and for Exxon Research and Engineering Company in Baytown, Texas for 3 years. Deborah received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Virginia Tech and her B.A. in Chemistry from Drew University.

Deborah Pritchard has been a member of the American Chemical Society for 35 years.





Forsyth Technical Community College Students Love ACS Webinars


Forsyth Tech started its Math, Science, and Technologies Student Network (MST SN) in Fall 2011 to provide formal and informal learning opportunities for STEM students. Most students in the MST SN study Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math, Biotechnology, or Nanotechnology, however students with other majors have joined the group as well. To accomplish these goals, the group has taken advantage of many of the ACS Webinars sponsored by the American Chemical Society. We get together at least once a month to watch and discuss one of the ACS webinars.

We started offering students the opportunity to watch various webinars last August. We asked them to pick from the “Most Popular” archives. Students picked the “Ten Commandments for Being a Successful Scientist.” We had the liveliest discussion amongst ourselves after watching that webinar; I never thought I would have had so much fun watching a webinar. Other students heard about the fun that we had and asked for the link. Since last August, we have watched the following:

1. Ten Commandments for Being a Successful Scientist
2. Advanced Beer & Brewing
3. CSI Reality: Chemistry in the Crime Labs
4. The Chemical Keys to Thanksgiving Dinner
5. Is Love in the Air? Human Pheromones and Axillary Chemistry

For the Thanksgiving Webinar, we had lots of pie and other treats. We always have chocolate candy.
We plan to watch “Chemistry Stinks” toward the end of March and are planning to schedule the “Designer Babies” webinar.

Attendance has increased from about ten faculty and students at the first webinar to about thirty for the “Is Love in the Air” webinar. We wish that we could watch more but it is hard to get the time to watch the ones we have watched. We greatly appreciate the webinars being archived. This has given us the opportunity to schedule the webinars at our convenience. The archives will also allow us to get together for webinars in the summer when other options are not available.

I wish to express my deepest gratitude to those that have made the ACS webinars available to us. Please keep them coming because we certainly want to continue to get together and learn things from experts around the world.



Past Educator Spotlights:

Dr. Dan Daly, University of Alabama

Doctor Dan Daly, like many other educators today, continually strives to find new and relevant tools to connect his students with current research and technology trends in the chemical industry. To achieve this goal, Dr. Daly, like many other educators, uses several multimedia and interactive tools like ACS Webinars to supplement his lecture. Dr. Daly’s unique success is that he is able to inspire students to meet outsidethe classroom and discuss developments in chemistry and technology during their free time.Dr. Daly recognizes that allowing students to attend a live webinar also allows them to interact with the speaker and ask questions. According to Professor Daly, “having students ask questions, keeping the experience interactive, and making it fun by serving pizza…” creates a nontraditional learning environment that is more enjoyable for students. Amy Grano, one of Dr. Daly’s students, agrees and adds: “[ACS Webinars] are great because they…allow us the opportunity to learn about subject areas that we may not normally have exposure to.”

By creating a relaxed environment for discussion, and by bringing an expert into the room through ACS Webinars, Dr. Daly encourages his students to evaluate what they have seen and gain valuable real-world knowledge along the way. For Dr. Daly’s students, ACS Webinars are not simply part of an assignment or lecture, they are an experience.

Dr. Dan Daly is Director of the Alabama Innovation and Mentoring of Entrepreneurs Center. He has 17 years of experience in the fuel and lubricant businesses. Dan has won several awards: Nortech Top 50 Industrial Innovation Award for Northeast Ohio; R&D Magazine Top 100 Industrial Innovation Award, and ACS Environmental Industrial Innovation Award. Dr. Daly has a Ph.D. in Physical-Organic Chemistry from the University of Florida, Gainesville.