Charles (Chuck) Lucy
Professor Emeritus, University of Alberta, Department of Chemistry, Canada
A mentor or educator who inspired you?There are multiple mentors that come to mind: My PhD supervisor Fred Cantwell had great patience and an incredible grasp of the fundamentals. My postdoc supervisor Pete Carr had a great passion for science. Both Fred and Pete were equally passionate about supporting their mentees. There was also Gary Christian and Sandy Dasgupta who had no reason to take me under their wing, yet provided me with incredible support while I was starting with my independent career. And most recently Dan Harris – I used his textbook to teach my whole career. After becoming a co-author of his textbook, I realized how much he mentors instructors through his text. I endeavor to help instructors to educate and inspire the next generation of analytical scientists.
Qualities of a successful mentor or educator? Setting the bar high for your junior colleagues so they have a growth mindset. By letting them know that they are capable of reaching these high standards, providing resources, opportunities, and constructive criticism, they will be set to succeed. You should also celebrate their successes to keep their enthusiasm and engagement. It’s key to think of your students and mentees as “junior colleagues” to remind you of this growth mindset – your mentorship doesn’t end with completion of their course or degree.
Attracting talent… We need to show students and the public that analytical sciences serve humanity and the environment – from testing the safety of drinking water, to checking blood glucose to manage diabetes. Above all, analytical science seeks the truth to the remarkable degree that chemical measurements can reveal. In a time of fake news and alternative facts, seeking the truth is an attractive pursuit.
Book for scientists? I have to recommend Quantitative Chemical Analysis by Daniel C. Harris and myself.