The first annual ‘CSSM Sustainability Ambassadors Program‘ was held August 3-5, 2020. This is a cornerstone program for CSSM’s professional development efforts, where the goals are to provide trainees with unique knowledge and information for career and personal development that are adjacent to their research work.
The 2020 program  empowered trainees through specialized training and information about scientific publication, development of professional outreach programs, communicating with science journalists, science journalism as a career, patenting/intellectual property, commercialization of fundamental discoveries, critical materials policy, the environmental impacts of mining on local communities, time management, maintaining mental health in academic research, and fostering character traits of grit and resilience.
The speakers were from a range of expertise and backgrounds including the fields of history, venture capital/finance leadership, journalism, policy, and psychology. Speakers for this workshop included:
Prof. George Schatz,
Northwestern University
Scientific Publishing
Prof. Jonathan Sessler,
UT Austin
Commercializing Discoveries in Fundamental Science
Prof. Jen Shafer,
Colorado School of Mines
Developing Time Management Skills for Researchers
Dr. Roger Turner,
Science History Institute
Developing a Professional Outreach Program
Dr. Roger Pettman,
Executive Chairman, Cycladex Inc.
Starting a Company in Gold Recycling 
Prof. Suzanne Bart,
Purdue University
Mental Health in Academic Research Training
Dr. Maddie Stone,
Freelance Journalist
Science Communication, Critical Materials, and Journalism Careers 
Angela Pachon,
Kleinman Center for Energy Policy
Critical Metals and Renewable Energy Policy 
Prof. Julie Klinger,
University of Delaware
Impact of Rare Earth Extraction on Local Communities

Having shifted the CSSM Sustainability Ambassadors Program online for the inaugural workshop, we also opened the program to all members of the chemistry departments at Penn, Purdue, Colorado School of Mines, UT Austin, and Northwestern. The event had 75 registrants from undergrad, grad, postdoc, faculty, and staff populations of those departments.


The Sustainability Ambassadors program will be continued annually in CSSM to contribute to the professional training of CSSM researchers. Selected recorded speakers are included below.