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Keynote Speaker

Photo of Maria-Gallardo Williams

Maria Gallardo-Williams, PhD, is the Associate Director of Faculty Development in the Office for Faculty Excellence at North Carolina State University. With a background in chemistry education, she spent most of her academic career as a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry, where she was the Director of the Organic Chemistry Teaching Laboratories for 18 years. During that time, she worked with students and colleagues to develop online teaching and learning materials, including virtual reality lab experiences that are in use by many institutions worldwide. She is a dedicated advocate for advancing teaching excellence in higher education, and the recipient of several teaching awards, including the Alumni Association Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Award.

Her current focus centers around the dynamic landscape of faculty development, where she is actively engaged in the creation and dissemination of open-access materials and resources, such as the POD Award-winner SPARK Summer program. Committed to enhancing educational practices, she explores innovative strategies that bridge the gap between traditional and digital pedagogies, ensuring faculty members are equipped with the tools needed for success in today's evolving educational landscape. She is a valued resource for the academic community, fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing. For inquiries, she can be reached at

ChemUnity: Coming Together to Shape the Future of Chemistry Education

Abstract: In this session we will examine the profound impact of chemistry education and its potential to catalyze transformative societal change. Together, we will envision the possible future trajectories of chemistry education, positioning it as a pivotal field for enhancing science communication and public comprehension of scientific concepts. Through an array of teaching and research stories, participants will be guided through innovative approaches aimed at fostering interconnectedness and nurturing a collective enthusiasm for chemistry among students. Join us as we explore practical strategies, formulate actionable solutions, and unite to draft the next chapter of chemistry education.