Thai Food and Tips with the Chair

By Wendy Plump
Monday, Jul. 12, 2021

The Department of Chemistry’s four assistant professors emerged from a long year’s isolation to celebrate an inaugural “Thai Food and Tips” outdoors at the home of Department Chair Gregory Scholes, the William S. Tod Professor of Chemistry, and his wife Carolyne. 

Department of Chemistry assistant professors (fully vaccinated) enjoy an outdoor mentoring get-together, (l to r): Ralph Kleiner, Will Jacobs, Leslie Schoop, and Marissa Weichman. 
Photo by Gregory Scholes

Proof that mentors themselves enjoy mentoring, the assistant professors started the afternoon with an online workshop that provided guidance and tips on how to succeed in the tenure process. The workshop represents just one of Scholes’ plans to expand mentoring in the department, particularly after a year of COVID-19 restrictions. 

Later, Assistant Professors Ralph Kleiner, William Jacobs, Leslie Schoop, and Marissa Weichman joined Scholes for an outdoor evening of Thai food and conversation.

“We put a lot of thought and energy into these individuals when we hire them: we bring them onboard and give them all these resources. But I had the sense that we should continue to offer that same level of attention now, because I want them to thrive here,” said Scholes. “There is normally some informal mentoring, but this year that’s been absent because of COVID. You’re not passing these people in the hallway or stopping by their offices. 

“In the first of what I hope will be many discussions just like this one, I wanted to talk to our assistant professors about what a strong tenure package looks like. And it was really fun. It was great to have them over.

“They are the department’s future, and I want them to know that,” Scholes added. “I want them to understand that their opinions matter. So, these off-line conversations are a really good way for them to voice their opinions. I’m looking forward to doing this again.”