Midweek Mixers

Midweek Mixers are a virtual space for you to connect with colleagues and friends throughout the year.

Attend a Midweek Mixer

No matter where you are in the world, no matter the time of year, we want you to have a space to connect with fellow AOCS community members with common interests.

Whether you want to learn, network, collaborate, engage in business development, or just socialize with colleagues to unwind, Midweek Mixers are your destination.

Registration is free. You will receive instructions for how to join the Mixer after you register. You do not have to be a member of AOCS to participate, so feel free to invite your colleagues and friends.

Upcoming Midweek Mixers

Ugly Sweater Party — Student CIG Midweek Mixer

When: Thursday, December 2, 2021, 12 p.m. CST (Chicago, USA: UTC -6) (US and Canada)

Put on your ugliest sweater and join us for some holiday cheer! The AOCS Student CIG is throwing an ugly sweater party for students to talk about how to relieve stress and play some fun games. Attendees will share stories of frustrations, successes and what helped them through it all. There will also be an ugly sweater competition. All participants will receive a gift with a special gift going to the winner!

Exploring new consumer demands in alternative plant proteins

Midweek Mixer hosted by the Edible Applications Technology (EAT) and Protein & Co-Products (PCP) Divisions

When: Thursday, December 9, 2021, 9 a.m. (Chicago, USA: UTC -6)

As alternative protein products have grown, new products have shifted from simply vegetarian or vegan options to mimicking the experience of a meat-based diet. This has generated growth in “flexitarian” consumers. But who are these consumers and what plant-based options do they want? Join Phil Kerr, Prairie AquaTech, and Tasha Hermes, Cargill, as they explore this important question and address opportunities and challenges for product development.

The Mixer is hosted by the Filip VanBockstaele, Ghent University and EAT Division Vice-Chair, and Vermont Dia, University of Tennessee and PCP Division Membership Liaison. It is free and open to everyone!

Host a Midweek Mixer

Do you have an idea for the next Midweek Mixer? Our community drives the themes and focuses of our Midweek Mixers. These get-togethers are as formal or as casual as you want.

We invite you to propose the next Midweek Mixer. Fill out this form with your Midweek Mixer idea and a member of the AOCS Membership team will consider your proposal and reach out to you with the next steps.

Scheduling is fairly flexible during the workweek. AOCS handles the promotion so the community knows all about it. All you need to do is log on and host. For inspiration, browse the list below of past mixers.

Past Midweek Mixers

Early-Career Research Professionals: Navigating Career Paths

Hosted: Thursday, October 28, 2021

Learn how to successfully navigate your career path in this upcoming mixer hosted by the AOCS Young Professional Common Interest Group. Gain valuable insights about challenges that may arise while navigating your career path, resources to utilize that can help with this process and hear personal experiences from seven well-known experts and young researchers from Academia, Government, and Industry. Register today to ensure that you receive important advice on any questions/concerns you have regarding your future career options and how to navigate through them successfully.

Panelists :

Academia - Dr. Phil Bates (Washington State University-Pullman), Prof. Ed Cahoon (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) and Dr. Matt Fhaner (University of Michigan-Flint)
Government – Dr. Craig Byrdwell (USDA) and Dr. Tom McKeon (USDA)
Industry – Dr. Sidd Purkayastha (Ingredion) and Dr. Sarah Willett (Kerry Foods)

View the recording

Maximizing your Career Opportunities: LinkedIn Networking and more

Hosted: Monday, October 25, 2021

Interested in learning about interview preparation, networking, strategic partnering, and more ways of furthering your career goals? Attend this interactive mixer with Dr. Lowell Islom, of Hollander Horizon International (HHI), and Dr. Nandika Bandara from the University of Manitoba, where you will explore important professional development goals and have an opportunity to chat with the experts! Hosted by the AOCS Student Common Interest Group.

View the recording

Food Quality and Authentication Networking Discussion

Hosted: Tuesday, October 21, 2021

A networking event for AOCS members and potential members interested in food quality and authentication. Come introduce yourself, share research interests, meet with colleagues, and discuss current news and activities in our field. Hosted in advance of the webinar "Impact and Response to Food Fraud in Canada" and in partnership with AOCS Canadian Section and Young Professional Common Interest Group, all are welcome!

View the recording

How and why to become a journal reviewer

Hosted: Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Have you always wanted to be a peer-reviewer, but are not sure you have what it takes or you don’t know where to start? Are you a recent graduate or post-doctoral student eager to learn about peer-reviewing? Attend this informative session, hosted by Dr. Silvana Martini, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society (JAOCS), to learn more.

This panel-style event will consist of a short presentation explaining the review process and the important role of reviewers. Senior Associate Editors of JAOCS will provide advice and suggestions on how to be an outstanding reviewer. This will be an interactive event where the Editor-in-Chief and the Senior Associate Editors will be available to answer any questions that you might have. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet the Editorial Board of JAOCS and get involved in the review process.

View the recording

Processing Division Mixer: Measurement in Science and Industry

Hosted: Thursday, October 7, 2021

How did a nuclear reprocessing plant lose 30 kg of plutonium and how can you use careful measurement to get the most out of an edible oil refinery? Alan Paine, Consultant, UK, will provide answers to these questions as well as insight into achieving precise measurement in science and industry. This will be followed by a discussion about the Processing Division's needs for the upcoming 2022 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo, May 1–4, 2022.

View the recording

Lipid Oxidation and Quality Division Mixer: LOQ and your Career

Hosted: Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Want some helpful career insights from leaders in the lipids world, as well as a chance to win a free 2022 membership in the Lipid Oxidation and Quality (LOQ) Division? Join us for the LOQ Fall Midweek Mixer at 11 a.m. CDT on Wednesday, October 6, 2021.

Prof. Eric Decker (University of Massachusetts Amherst), Dr. Jill Moser (USDA-ARS), and Dr. Roger Nahas (Kalsec) will share the twists and turns of their careers in academe, government, and industry. What decisions made the greatest differences in their careers? How did they take advantage of external events? Would they have done anything differently, in hindsight? How did membership in LOQ influence their careers? Learn from these members on how they utilized Division involvement to grow their careers.

View the recording

Re-envisioning the future for the Professional Educator Common Interest Group — from surviving to thriving

Hosted: October 4, 2021, 1 p.m. CDT

A global audience of educators provided new ideas and insights for the leadership team of the Professional Educator Common Interest Group (PE CIG). Some of these insights included:

  • Needs for industry and academics are different, so any mentorship program developed must be tailored to these different needs.
  • Educators need a directory, with expertise included, to more easily connect with each other.
  • Ideas for an international student exchange program.
  • A possible reorganization and renaming of the PE CIG group.

The feedback collected will be used to tailor future programs developed by the PE CIG.

View the recording

How to make the most of AOCS member communities

Hosted: August 25, 2021

New AOCS members gathered from Malaysia, India, Mexico, Canada and USA to learn more about AOCS member benefits and the how and why of joining Divisions, Sections and Common Interest groups. Our host and panelists shared many personal stories on what they have learned and leveraged from their AOCS membership.

Mixer highlights:

  • Learned the 3Rs of AOCS member benefits: Research, good Reads and Reach.
  • Gained clarity on the differences between Divisions and how their unique interests overlap and work together.
  • Heard light-hearted stories on member’s experiences and research area and interests.

View the recording

Student Common Interest Group – Lunch and Laugh Online Mixer

Hosted: July 21, 2021

Students from across the globe — including Russia, The Netherlands, India, Mexico, Canada and the USA — attended this online social gathering. Participants shared their research interests, year of study, something that they are passionate about and what food best represents them. This last question generated funny, personal and unique answers! We learned about the allure of Turkish coffee and Andean potato and cheese soup. The group then battled one another in a quiz with both chemistry questions and AOCS trivia.

Mixer highlights:

  • Met colleagues striving and working hard to finish their degree program
  • Learned about the poster submission for upcoming AOCS meetings
  • Learned about AOCS student awards and how to apply

View the recording

Industry experts offer insights for building a rewarding career

Hosted: June 22, 2021

Panelists from across industry offered practical insights into how to succeed in the job hunt and continue growing once you have landed a job. They shared their personal experiences and lessons learned from managing the twists and turns—including unexpected opportunities—inherent in any career.

Mixer highlights:

  • Keys to crafting an effective CV and the role of cover letters.
  • Learning how to work with others by developing emotional IQ.
  • Importance of finding a mentor.
  • The role of ambition and passion to fuel continued growth and learning.

View the recording

Art of Presenting Posters and Communicating Science

Hosted: April 15, 2021

Marnie Newell, a recent PhD graduate from the University of Alberta, Canada, offered strategies and insights on how to present research in a clear and compelling manner. She discussed the importance of communicating our work for the advancement of science, how to grab audience attention (and keep it!) and how to transform technical data into a language that everyone understands.

Mixer highlights:

  • Create an analogy for your work as this will make it more memorable and impactful
  • Use lay language to make it accessible for the entire listening community
  • Work on flow from one section to the next
  • Practice and then practice again!

View the recording to learn so much more: https://youtu.be/RD5qo673Vkc

Habits and Rituals

Hosted: February 3, 2021

Panelists from around the globe hosted a casual conversation sharing tips and insights that help them navigate their professional and personal habits. AOCS member Matthew Fhaner, University Michigan-Flint, moderated the conversation and facilitated questions from 35 attendees, with locations from as far away as Venezuela, Iran, India, Australia and North America. Attendees laughed, provided support and encouragement, and gained insights on time management, self-care rituals, and opportunities for career growth.

Mixer highlights include:

  • Time-saving habits, such as scheduling all re-occurring appointments throughout the semester or year
  • Career growth strategies, such as identifyng and regularly meeting with a mentor from within your organization
  • Self-care tips, such as taking time to get outside for fresh air, sunshine and for a break from the day

Mix it Up: A Midweek Mixer for surfactants and detergents professionals!

Hosted: November 17, 2020

AOCS' Surfactants and Detergents Division hosted a social gathering for S&D professionals to network and connect and learn more about how AOCS can help you grow professionally beyond technical services. Attendees came with their favorite drink whether that was an iced latte, a cocktail or a mocktail and S&D Division leaders, Keith Genco of Arkema, Michael Williams of Evonik and Sanja Natali of Exxon Mobil welcomed new and familiar faces to the event.

Mixer highlights include:

  • Nearly 30 people from around the globe, even as far as Japan, attended and provided details about their area of expertise, affiliations and connected with familiar and new colleagues.
  • Fred Holzhauer was this Mixer's grand prize winner!
  • S&D Division Session Chairs encouraged attendees to submit abstracts for both oral and e-poster sessions.
  • Chair Keith Genco strongly encouraged this group to continue collaborating with one another as a way to build the next generation of technology.
  • Attendees took a fun photo with pets to conclude the get together.

November’s Membership Midweek Mixer

Hosted: November 10, 2020

Janet Cheney, Director of Membership, AOCS, and Katrina Gaffney, AOCS Communication Specialist, provided attendees an overview of AOCS resources. Then hosts Rick Theiner and Jill Moser helped attendees get to know each other by facilitating introductions.

Mixer highlights include:

  • An overview of AOCS, including aocs.org, inform|connect as well as a variety of AOCS communications and AOCS resources like INFORM magazine, the journals and the webinar archive.
  • A chance to get to know all who joined the Mixer.
  • Muhammad Elsorady and J. David Pinkston winning this Mixer’s prizes.

How peer reviewing can help you professionally

Hosted: November 2, 2020

The peer-review process is an important step for improving research paper quality; however, less is known about the standardized review process. This Mixer provided a platform for attendees to share their reviewing experiences and ask questions about how to get involved, best review practices and more. Other topics that were discussed include how to balance research and reviewing and the benefits of reviewing are professionally and intellectually. This Mixer was both an informative session on how peer reviewing can enhance professional development and an opportunity for attendees to network with peers also interested in journal reviewing.

Mixer highlights include:

  • Dr. Hayes, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Surfactants and Detergents, and Dr. Kenar, Editor-in Chief of Journal of American Oil Chemists’ Society, sharing some insights into why they value peer reviewing.
  • Great questions from Jieyao Yuan, Yang Lan and Hongbing Fan that helped clarify how students and young professionals can begin peer reviewing.
  • Pam Landman, AOCS Journals Coordinator, providing insights about how to get involved with peer reviewing for AOCS journals.

Let’s talk about your edible oil sample preparation struggles - a conversation with Lovibond

Hosted: September 23, 2020

Lovibond was this Midweek Mixer’s host, and they kicked it off the event with a round of edible oils trivia. Then, Mixer attendees engaged in a conversation about what can reduce measurement interference such as sample preparation, sample temperature, contaminated or damaged sample cells, instrument maintenance and cleanliness, cell path length relative to color scale and incorrect color scale for verification.

Mixer highlights include:

  • Rick DellaPorta "winning" the Midweek Mixer trivia game.
  • Emphasis on the all-important issue of cleaning cuvettes and the effect of temperature on possible measurement aberrations.
  • A discussion over sources for healthy alternative oils.