Submitted by Natalie Lafranzo, Chair of the Saint Louis Section of the American Chemical Society
Every few years we send out a Member Survey to get feedback from ACS Members (like you!) in the St. Louis Section. This year, the Survey was open throughout the summer, and offered the incentive of a free iPad for one lucky winner. Congrats to our lucky winner – please check your email box to see if you’ve got a message from us!
Whether it was due to the desirable prize, or a passion for expressing your opinions, I am pleased to report that we had a very respectable response rate. We have about 1,325 members who have opted-in to receive our email communications, and of these, 222 responded and completed the survey. That’s over 15%!
I’d like to take the opportunity to summarize the responses, and highlight some of the feedback we received. If you have additional comments, or suggestions on ways we can continue to address your needs and concerns, the Board of Directors is eager to hear from you.
Question 1 – Are we helpful? Good news and bad news. Yes, for the most part we’re giving you what you want! But, unfortunately, many of you don’t know what we offer, or how we can help.
We need to communicate better – to share more about events before they happen, and spread the word on the great resources we have. Thanks for helping us realize we have some room to grow here!
Question 2 – For those who were concerned, we asked them to expand or suggest ways we could improve. There were only a few responses here, but overall folks were hoping to see more frequent communications with the goal of engaging more of the Members in our Section. Got it!
Question 3 – What do you like that we already do? Overall, chemists want to get to know other chemists. Social Events/Networking was nearly tied with Community Outreach (Chemistry is pHun, Kids & Chemistry, and National Chemistry Week).
I’m going to make it my personal goal in 2018 to help host more networking events, so I look forward to seeing you there! These will be advertised by email, and in the Chemical Bond.
We’ve got some room to grow in our Section’s Science Advocacy programs. But, we have a solid foundation from which to build. Check out the ACS Advocacy Toolkit, and get involved by communicating with our local elected officials.
For those who included more information in the “Other” category, there were strong requests for support for High School teachers, and those in education in general. A few Members requested more support for local businesses, including contact details and science trends.
Finally, a request for an STLACS Google Calendar, which I’m happy to report already exists! Click HERE and add this to the calendars you see on your computer or mobile device. That way, you won’t miss out on any of our awesome events:
Question 4 – By far, the biggest reason for not being able to attend our events is due to schedule conflicts. As suggested by Members, one way to overcome this would be to consider alternative time slots (mornings, weekends, lunchtime) and we’re certainly open to this!
There was also a clear request for more varied locations – from the City, to West County, and even St. Charles. We’ll see what we can do. If your company or institution would like to host an event, please let us know! We’re always looking for new venues that are convenient for our Members.
Question 5 – Email rules! So, we’ll keep ’em coming!
But don’t forget to add the Section’s Google Calendar to yours so you can see events in real time!
And, there’s always the Chemical Bond, our Section’s Monthly Newsletter, and our website news feed, which have regularly-updated information on upcoming and past events.
Questions 6 and 7 – Demographics … take what you will!
In question 6, we wanted to know how long those residing in the St. Louis Section have been ACS members overall.
And in Question 7, we wondered how long they’ve been here in St. Louis, as members of our Local Section.
It’s clear we’ve had some new chemists move here and join us over the years. We’re happy to have you, and are grateful for the institutions and companies that recruit talented chemists and support our vibrant scientific community.
Question 8 – Get involved! We asked if you’d be willing be join in the fun, and be a more regular volunteer in the Section. Thanks to those who expressed an interest in getting more involved in the Section. We’ll be reaching out to personally invite you to an event sometime soon. If you’re anxious to learn more – email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!