If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.



Comment: Resources to support, engage, and recognize ACS local sections

by Beth Lorsbach, chair, Local Section Activities Committee
May 19, 2023 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 101, Issue 16


Beth Lorsbach.
Credit: Chris Kausch Photography
Beth Lorsbach

Are you a local section leader looking for ways to increase engagement, kick-start a new program, or find a speaker for your next event? The American Chemical Society’s Committee on Local Section Activities (LSAC) is here to help. LSAC supports local sections in their efforts to engage members and promote chemistry literacy in their local communities.

ACS Speaker Directory
Earlier this year, LSAC launched the ACS Speaker Directory, a resource that lets leaders of local sections and technical divisions find a wide range of speakers for in-person, hybrid, and asynchronous events. Users have access to more than 500 speakers who are available to present technical science talks, provide career development and professional advancement presentations, explore general interest and popular science topics, and more. Use this service to find your next speaker. Access the directory at (ACS ID and login required).

LSAC is actively recruiting speakers to join the directory. Any ACS member can submit a speaker profile. Consider doing so if you want to share your passion for chemistry, gain visibility, or grow your professional network.

Local Section Showcase
The society’s Local Section Showcase made its debut at ACS Spring 2023. Held at the Sci-Mix poster session, this event provided the opportunity for local sections to present posters on events and activities, as well as to highlight the value of being engaged with ACS through local sections. Sixteen local sections from District II participated, and a similar event to showcase District VI local sections is planned for ACS Fall 2023. LSAC hosts a table at the showcase to promote our mission of providing opportunities, resources, and networks to partner with and serve our diverse member communities. LSAC plans to sustain this activity at future meetings and eventually showcase local sections in all six districts at each Sci-Mix event.

I hope you consider taking advantage of this opportunity to engage with your local section and share your passion for science

LSAC grants
The committee recently added the Local Section Member Engagement and Enhancement (LS MEET) grant to our grant portfolio. This grant provides up to $2,000 for programs to strengthen and build community in local sections and to enhance recruitment efforts to attract new members. All local sections are encouraged to apply. The deadline for LS MEET grant submissions is May 31.

In addition to the new LS MEET grant, LSAC offers Local Section Innovative Program Grants; Local Section Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Respect Grants; and Science Café Mini-Grants. Details about these grant programs and submission deadlines are available at

Leadership development
Each year, LSAC hosts the Local Section Leaders Track at the ACS Leadership Institute. The institute is an annual, invitation-only conference where ACS leaders come together to learn management and leadership skills to support their work within ACS. The Local Section Leaders Track is highly interactive and designed to promote networking and explore opportunities for collaboration and joint programming. The date and location for the 2024 ACS Leadership Institute will be announced soon, and all local sections will be notified once the details are confirmed.

ACS ChemLuminary Awards
LSAC sponsors three ACS ChemLuminary Awards: the Local Section Partnership/Marinda Li Wu Award, the Best Activity or Program Stimulating Member Involvement in a Local Section, and the Most Innovative New Program or Activity. Separately, LSAC also recognizes six local sections annually with Outstanding Performance Awards. The ChemLuminary Awards will be held on Aug. 15, at ACS Fall 2023. We hope to see you there for the poster session reception and awards ceremony.

Officer Insights newsletter
Want to stay connected and learn more about LSAC programs and other resources? The Officer Insights newsletter is published the first Friday of every month. Subscribers will find timely reminders, grant announcements, volunteer resources, and programmatic updates from ACS business and governance units that support and engage local sections. The newsletter is emailed to all local section officers and is available online at

Get involved
Volunteering with your local section is a great way to build your professional network and develop transferable skills. There are many ways to get involved. I hope you consider taking advantage of this opportunity to engage with your local section and share your passion for science in your community.

Views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of C&EN or ACS.


This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.