The American Chemical Society recognized volunteer efforts in 2017 by the society’s 185 local sections, 32 technical divisions, 19 international chemical sciences chapters, and at least eight regional meetings at the 20th annual ChemLuminary Awards during the ACS national meeting in Boston in August.
“I am continually astounded by the energy, enthusiasm, and dedication of our ACS members,” said ACS President Peter K. Dorhout in his opening remarks. “You are the epitome of dynamic volunteerism.”
Carol A. Duane, recipient of the 2018 Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society, gave the keynote lecture, titled “Honoring Our Volunteers: Inspiring Others to Lead.” Duane, who is president of D&D Consultants of Mentor, was recognized for her passion and work in ACS volunteer efforts to empower members with the skills to lead within ACS, their workplace, and their community.
“What keeps me volunteering is the fantastic people I’ve met along the way,” she said in her keynote speech. “I have made numerous friends for life who I met through every volunteer role I ever had.”
Other ChemLuminary Awards presented in Washington, D.C., are as follows:
Committee on Public Relations & Communications
The 2018 Helen M. Free Award was presented to Steven Murov for his chemistry shows, which have reached thousands of children. Murov also organized hundreds of free community science presentations to improve science literacy in California’s Central Valley.
The Outstanding Continuing Public Relations Program of a Local Section Award went to the Orange County Section for providing the community with tangible examples of careers in chemistry. The section has hosted annual award programs for high school and college chemistry students and their families for more than 48 years.
The Award for Best New Public Relations Program of a Local Section went to the Louisiana Local Section. Volunteers wearing Dr. Seuss hats hosted a Dr. Seuss science, technology, engineering, and mathematics day at the Louisiana Children’s Museum and engaged in hands-on activities with more than 700 visitors.
Women Chemists Committee
The Award for Best Overall WCC Local Section went to the East Central Illinois Local Section. The local section’s Women Chemists Committee organized a “Bonding with Chemistry” day camp for middle school girls, which featured hands-on experiments and a spotlight on chemistry careers.
Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs
The Outstanding Local Section Career Program Award went to the Philadelphia and Princeton Local Sections for cohosting a career panel discussion on nontraditional chemistry careers.
Younger Chemists Committee
The Outstanding Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Award went to the East Central Illinois Local Section. The committee organized a cooking class and flavor lecture, an industry tour to MilliporeSigma, coffee socials, a brewery tour, and an undergraduate research conference.
The Award for Outstanding or Creative Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Event went to the Silicon Valley Section for partnering with the Senior Chemists Committee to host a home brew competition at Golden State Brewery in Santa Clara, Calif.
Committee on Divisional Activities
The Award for Recognition of Innovation & Outstanding Service to Members of a Division went to the Division of Small Chemical Businesses. With the goal of developing its membership, the division participated in four ACS regional meetings and the Canadian Chemistry Conference’s 100th annual meeting.
The Award for Most Unique Project as Funded by a Division Innovative Project Grant went to the Division of Professional Relations, which hosted an innovation fair during the 2017 Northwest Regional Meeting and the 2017 fall ACS national meeting in Washington, D.C.
The Joint LSAC & DAC Award went to the Division of Polymer Chemistry and the New York Section. The New York Section’s Chemical Marketing & Economics Group and the Division of Polymer Chemistry hosted a three-day symposium titled “Journey to Mars,” which was attended by 800 people.
Society Committee on Education
The Award for Fostering Interactions between Local Sections & Student Chapters went to the Kentucky Lake Section. In 2017, student chapters from four universities hosted hands-on activities for children during the local section monthly meetings.
The Outstanding U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad Award went to the Georgia Section, which had 1,044 students from 32 high schools participate in the national olympiad competition, a 203% increase from previous years.
The Outstanding High School Student Program Award went to the Midland Section, which developed and conducted programs at three high schools in two counties. In 2017, 13 classes learned about mixtures and emulsions.
The Outstanding Kids & Chemistry Award went to the Greater Houston Section, which sponsored and participated in 15 outreach events that provided science, technology, engineering, and mathematics educational opportunities to local pre-college-age children.
Committee on Project SEED
The Outstanding Project SEED Program Award went to the New York Section. The local section had 48 Project SEED participants, and 18 of them presented at Sci-Mix during the 2017 ACS national meeting in Washington, D.C.
Committee on Chemistry & Public Affairs
The ACS President’s Award for Local Section Government Affairs went to the Northeastern Section. The section’s Government Affairs Committee members organized science policy and advocacy training events and meetings with two members of Congress, attended a U.S. senator’s town hall, and participated in the March for Science.
Leadership Advisory Board
The Outstanding Leadership Development Program Award went to the Division of Energy & Fuels, which organized a strategic planning retreat for members to use data evaluation, listening, communication, negotiation, and consensus-building skills to enhance their development as leaders.
The award also went to the Indiana Local Section for providing members with an opportunity to develop collaboration, communication, and innovation skills through brainstorming sessions in preparation for the 2023 spring ACS national meeting in Indianapolis.
The Award for Outstanding Local Section Industry Event went to the South Jersey Section, which, in partnership with the Committee on Technician Affairs, created a webinar to provide midcareer chemists with information about non-Ph.D. industrial chemistry careers and the benefits of ACS membership.
Committee on Technician Affairs
The Award for Best Event or Activity Organized by, or Benefiting, the Applied Chemical Technology Professional Community went to the Midland Section. The Mid-Michigan Technicians Group organized 16 events, including three Lunch & Learn workshops, three social events for members and families, five networking opportunities, and five member-led volunteer opportunities.
Committee on Minority Affairs
The Award for Best Overall Local Section Minority Affairs Committee went to the Virginia Section, which held a two-day event that included a community fundraiser and a summit for minority students from Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Union University, and Virginia State University.
Committee on International Activities
The Global Engagement Award for International Chemical Sciences Chapters went to the JingJinJi International Chemical Sciences Chapter. Five prestigious Nobel laureates shared their academic achievements at the Peiyang Nobel Symposium and the International Symposium on Visionary Trends in Molecular Science.
The Global Engagement Award for Local Sections went to the Midland Section. Volunteers taught science and science education to nearly 50 participants over 10 days in Guatemala. Clinics involved both teachers and children, including a teachers-only event at the University of the Valley of Guatemala, Altiplano.
The Global Engagement Award for Technical Divisions went to the Division of Small Chemical Businesses, which participated in the Canadian Society for Chemistry’s 100th annual meeting with the goal of developing the division’s membership. Programming included oral presentations and posters, an innovation fair and expo booths, and networking events.
Senior Chemists Committee
The Award for Most Innovative Activity in a Local Section for Senior Chemists went to the Central Texas Local Section. The Central Texas Centennial Celebration included a poster session, banquet, and presentations by senior chemists.
The Award for Best Ongoing Senior Activity in a Local Section That Benefits the Community, Local Schools, or Legislative Government went to the Minnesota Local Section. The senior chemists group held lunch meetings at a local restaurant; one discussion focused on the education of chemists.
Committee on Meetings & Expositions
The Award for Outstanding Regional Meeting went to the 2016 Northwest Regional Meeting. The Alaska Local Section hosted NORM 2016. The conference featured state-of-the-art chemical information, multidisciplinary and inclusive plenary lectures, oral and poster presentations, and professional development workshops.
Committee on Community Activities
The Award for Best NCW Event Organized by a Student Group went to the South Florida Local Section, which invited section members and families to the Museum of Discovery & Science in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for a day of hands-on activities led by student chapters.
The Award for Most Creative & Innovative Use of the CCED Theme went to the Midland Section, which held interactive Earth Day events at Chippewa Nature Center, Midland Recyclers, and Creative 360. Activities included garden tours and food-testing experiments.
The Award for Most Creative NCW Celebration Using the Yearly Theme went to the Virginia Section. Its NCW activities at the Science Museum of Virginia attracted more than 780 children and adults and showed attendees how chemistry is involved in fossils, geology, and environmental sciences.
The Award for Outstanding Community Involvement in CCED went to the Chicago Section, which participated in the March for Science rally and hosted hands-on activities for hundreds of people after the march.
The Award for Outstanding Community Involvement in NCW went to the Pittsburgh Local Section, which held its National Chemistry Week/ChemFest celebration at the Carnegie Science Center for the 19th consecutive year.
The Award for Outstanding NCW Event for a Specific Audience went to the Binghamton Local Section, which conducted a teachers’ workshop based on the NCW theme “Chemistry Rocks!” Fourteen K–12 teachers from 10 schools attended the event.
The Award for Outstanding Ongoing CCED Event went to the Northeastern Section, which hosted an outreach event at the Museum of Science, Boston, for nearly 500 attendees. Activities included investigating the chemistry of gum, milk, and soap.
The Award for Outstanding Ongoing NCW Event went to the New York Section, which held its 30th annual NCW celebration at the New York Hall of Science. Student members developed innovative hands-on demonstrations for children attending the event.
The Award for Outstanding Public Outreach Event Organized by a Student Group went to the North Jersey Section, which organized a science fair at Drew University to introduce middle school students to the scientific method; 125 students presented 80 projects.
Committee on Local Section Activities
The Award for Best Activity or Program in a Local Section Stimulating Membership Involvement went to the Midland Section for its ACS Day at the Fair event. The local section offered discounted rides to members and their families. Volunteers engaged participants in hands-on science experiments.
The Local Section Partnership Award went to the Indiana Local Section, which held a Music & Chemistry in Perfect Harmony event at the University of Indianapolis’s Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center in conjunction with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
The Award for Most Innovative New Activity or Program went to the Toledo Section, which celebrated the culmination of its centennial anniversary with an “Oh Chemis-tree, Oh Chemis-tree” display at the Wildwood Preserve Metropark Manor House. More than 29,000 visitors viewed the chemistry-themed display over a 16-day period.
The Outstanding Performance Awards recognize local sections that have demonstrated excellent overall achievement by offering multiple programs for members and reaching out to their communities. Local section size categories are determined by the number of members: small, 50–199; medium-small, 200–399; medium, 400–799; medium-large, 800–1,599; large, 1,600–3,199; and very large, 3,200 and above.
In the small category, the Award for Outstanding Performance by a Local Section went to the Kentucky Lake Section. Program highlights include children’s science center activities, a Nobel Prize Gala, and National Chemistry Week and Earth Day activities.
In the medium-small category, the Award for Outstanding Performance by a Local Section went to the Savannah River Local Section, which held 23 events in 2017 focusing on educational outreach, environmental awareness, networking, and celebrating member achievements.
In the medium category, the Award for Outstanding Performance by a Local Section went to the Midland Section, which hosted more than 100 events in 2017. The section provided high-quality scientific programming while sponsoring events and initiatives to support affinity groups such as the Young Researchers Committee, the Senior Chemists Committee, and the Mid-Michigan Technicians Group.
In the medium-large category, the Award for Outstanding Performance by a Local Section went to the Indiana Local Section, which promoted chemistry through a wide range of community outreach events. The section maximized its impact through active partnerships and participation in several statewide science-based events.
In the large category, the Award for Outstanding Performance by a Local Section went to the San Diego Local Section, which highlighted the theme “Chemistry Everywhere” in its educational and outreach events for 2017.
In the very large category, the Award for Outstanding Performance by a Local Section went to the New York Section, which organized more than 110 events, including traditional evening seminars and symposia at the 2017 ACS meetings. The section also engaged in innovative social media efforts to connect section members and student chapters.
For more information about the ChemLuminary Awards and to see more photos from this year’s celebration, visit www.acs.org/chemluminary.