The University of Iowa

Student Organizations

Alpha Chi Sigma (ΑΧΣ)

Alpha Chi Sigma is a co-ed professional fraternity in chemistry formed in 1902 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The Alpha Theta Chapter was introduced to the University of Iowa in 1921 and has played an active part in lives of many undergraduate and graduate students throughout the years. Membership is open to those studying chemistry, biochemistry, or chemical engineering, as well as related subjects such as molecular biology, ceramic engineering, nutritional science, and many others. Undergraduates, graduate students, and professors may all join.

The purpose of Alpha Chi Sigma is defined by three objectives:

  • to bind its members with a tie of true and lasting friendship
  • to strive for the advancement of chemistry both as a science and as a profession
  • to aid its members by every honorable means in the attainment of their ambitions throughout their lives

Typical Alpha Theta activities include dinner lectures, movie nights, scout merit badge days, parties, departmental mixers, and banquets. Most of these activities are centered around the Alpha Theta house, which is located just two blocks from the Chemistry Department. For more information, please contact the ΑΧΣ house at (319) 337-3763.

The National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE)

The primary purpose of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE- pronounced No-be-shay) is to assist people of colour in fully realizing their potential in academic, professional, and entrepreneurial pursuits in chemistry, chemical engineering, and related fields. Its mission is to build an eminent cadre of people of colour in science and technology.

This year six UI students were able to travel to the National conference. NOBCChE awarded 5 UI students with Advancing in Science Awards that covered their conference registration fees and hotel accommodations. One student was awarded the NOBCChE Chairman’s Award, which covered travel and meals. UI Chapter also proudly received two awards for the best graduate posters by Victoria Henry and Richard Gonzalez. Both are PhD students in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering.

Undergraduate American Chemical Society

The Undergraduate Chemical Society (UCS) is a student affiliate organization of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The purpose of the UCS is to stimulate the interest of students in chemistry and to help them develop an awareness and enthusiasm for chemistry as a science and as a profession. Students who participate in the UCS are able to interact with fellow students and faculty in the Department and others in the surrounding community who share a professional interest in chemistry and chemical engineering. The network of contacts that is made through the UCS can be very valuable to students while at the University of Iowa and throughout their careers. Participation in chapter activities helps students to develop leadership, organization, and communication skills. Typical chapter activities include sponsoring dinner meetings with invited guest speakers, organizing and running a chemistry tutoring service for other students, attending meetings of the local Iowa Section of the ACS and attending meetings of the national ACS organization, and participating in chemistry outreach programs such as National Chemistry Week. For more information, contact the main office at (319) 335-1350.

Women in Science and Engineering (WISE)

The mission of the Women in Science and Engineering program is to expand and improve the educational and professional opportunities for women in all fields of science and technology by facilitating institutional and social change. The WISE Program cooperates with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs at the University of Iowa to:

  • increase the participation and advancement of women as students, faculty, and professional staff
  • promote a supportive environment for women to study and work
  • integrate the ideas, strengths, and approaches of women into research, teaching, and service
  • inform the public of educational and career opportunities for women in scientific and technical fields

Special programs for undergraduate students include

  • the WISE Floor, a living-learning community in Stanley Residence Hall for female freshmen majoring in science or engineering
  • Student-to-Student Support in Science in which first-year university students are matched with juniors and seniors in mentoring teams that provide academic and social support
  • a Service Learning Program in which students develop hands-on science activities in their area of study to use in extracurricular science education for elementary and secondary school students
  • a WISE Discourse and Dining series in which professional women scientists and engineers meet with small groups of students to talk about their career development.

For more information, contact the WISE Program at (319) 353-2290 or visit their website.