My advice to others regarding service is “Do what you can, but don’t let it take you away from being an effective teacher!”

I’ve been at SIUE since 1998.  I started out doing most of my service within the Department of Chemistry, for example as the advisor to the local ACS Student Affiliate section affectionately known as “Chem Club”.  As time went on, I had a greater role in departmental committees and I have chaired a few of them (e.g. the Graduate Committee, and various Faculty Search Committee). 

As I got closer to tenure, I started to work on committees outside of the Department.  An example would the two years I served on the University Teaching Excellence award committee. 

After tenure, my service to SIUE outside of Chemistry has increased.  I was a Faculty Senator on the Graduate Council from  2005-2011, and I served for a years as Chair of the Grad Council. 

My service to my Department has continued… I often served on our executive committee and our merit committee.  As always, input to the promotion and tenure committee is important.  I am currently Chair, and my service commitment has forced me to rebalance how I spend my time.  It is especially important to listen to others and to allow everyone to voice their opinions and rationales before decisions are made.  Listening to the quietest voices is vital.

This description is by no means an all-inclusive list.  There are a lot of activities that faculty do that are only noted in annual reports, but which are necessary to a well-functioning university. One’s service load fluctuates during one’s career.  For budding Chemists, I urge you to consider getting involved with the American Chemical Society.

It pays to be patient.

A few words about committees etc

Text Box: Dr. Michael J. Shaw
Text Box: Professor of Chemistry, SIUE

At over 160,000 members, the ACS is the largest scientific society in the world!  Here is a link to the St. Louis Section.