Fair and Kondo Coauthor Book Chapter

Posted on 1/13/21 7:11 PM

Justin Fair and Anne Kondo (Madia Department of Chemistry) coauthored two book chapters that were included in Integrating Professional Skills into Undergraduate Chemistry Curricula.

“Identifying In-Demand Skills of the Chemical Industry”

In a technical field such as chemistry, it was thought that employers would emphasize technical skills as they screened potential hires. However, surveyed employers indicated they preferred candidates with strong interprofessional skills, consistent with surveys of employers in other fields. Our 2014 and 2017 surveys showed that employers wish that chemistry programs incorporated explicit teaching and application of interprofessional skills so that programs may incorporate related training, instead of teaching yet another chemical principle or technique. Chemical employers also choose candidates who have had team experiences specifically related to chemistry topics. Interpersonal skills the chemical industry prefers are identified and discussed as well as the differences between teamwork and groupwork in academic settings. These results will be of interest to those who develop and implement chemistry curricula for BS chemistry students.

“A University-Wide Approach to Introduce and Apply Teamwork and Leadership Skills”

Universities are well positioned to explicitly teach interprofessional skills and to provide opportunities to practice their applications, resulting in well-rounded and balanced STEM professionals. Academic projects that include group work involve members that individually have all the necessary information to complete the project. In such cases, group members do not need to communicate with one another. However, when the academic project includes a boundary of disciplinary knowledge, communication and the sharing of information between team members becomes necessary. Thus, faculty should set up projects that incorporate a boundary of disciplinary knowledge to facilitate true teamwork, not just groupwork. Projects should occur inside and outside coursework in the major.

The process outlined herein provides a template to include interprofessional training as an academic minor. The presented multiyear structure incorporates key interprofessional skills while minimizing credit load and without replacing in-major technical content. The result provides enhanced team experiences in a student's chosen field of study and provides methods of assessing students' interprofessional skill growth. Both self- and team-assessment of teamwork skills are critical to a student's development and self-awareness of these skills.