Issue Date: October 13, 2008
Chemluminary Award Winners Honored
One of the highlights of the fall American Chemical Society national meeting in Philadelphia was the ChemLuminary Awards celebration. During this gala, now in its 10th year, the efforts of ACS members are recognized by the society. Each year, members representing 189 local sections and 33 divisions contribute thousands of hours in service. At the ceremonies, 15 ACS committees presented awards recognizing outstanding volunteer efforts.
“Volunteers are the lifeblood of our society,” ACS President Bruce E. Bursten said, welcoming ceremony attendees. “While crisscrossing the country, I am continually impressed by the energy, enthusiasm, and dedication of ACS members who make this happen,“ he said. “You are models of active volunteerism, and it is because of you that our theme tonight is “ACS Volunteers—The Heart and Soul of ACS.”
No one exemplified that more than Thomas L. Netzel, this year’s recipient of the Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society. Netzel was too ill to attend the ceremonies and has since died (C&EN, Sept. 29, page 54). He was recognized for his many years of outstanding leadership in offices of the ACS Georgia Section, in award-winning ACS Legislative & Government Affairs activities, and as general chair of the unique and record-setting 2003 Southeastern Regional Meeting of ACS. Rivka Monheit, Netzel’s daughter, accepted the award and gave his talk, titled “Our ACS: Your Catalyst for Success.”
Committee on Public Relations & Communications
The Helen M. Free Award for Public Outreach went to Mickey Sarquis, director of the Center for Chemistry Education at Miami University, in Middletown, Ohio. Cited were Sarquis’ commitment and dedication to chemical education and outreach that have made chemistry accessible to a variety of audiences across the country and across generations.
The Outstanding Continuing Public Relations Program of a Local Section Award went to the Illinois Heartland Section for its continued success and extensive media coverage of multiple events during National Chemistry Week 2007.
The Award for Best New Public Relations Program of a Local Section went to the Kentucky Lake Section for its successful 2007 Science Café on Alternative Fuels.
Women Chemists Committee
The Award for Outstanding Outreach to Girls or Young Women went to the Nashville Section. All of the activities and events hosted by the Nashville Section’s Women Chemists Committee (WCC) focused on encouraging girls and young women in education and careers in the chemical sciences.
The Michigan State University Section won the Overall Local Section WCC Award. ACS Women in Chemistry at Michigan State provides opportunities for women chemists to interact and establishes programs that facilitate both professional and personal growth.
The Outstanding Single Event in a Local Section Promoting Women in the Chemical Sciences Award went to the Indiana Section. New WCC Chair Lynn Sullivan planned a wine-tasting event with a talk on the chemistry of wine and included a brief survey of attendees in order to find out the needs and interests of WCC members.
Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs
The recipient of the Outstanding Local Section Career Program Award for the third year in a row, in the Small to Medium-Large size category, is the Detroit Section, which held an all-day workshop on career development that included participants from the Detroit, Toledo, and Huron Valley Sections, as well as Canada.
The award winner in the Large to Very Large size category is the California Section, which was recognized for its career development program that consisted of workshops to support résumé development and career redirection for midcareer chemists. Working with the Santa Clara Valley Section and the NorCal Section of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the section held student workshops to build the interview skills of B.S. and M.S. candidates.
Younger Chemists Committee
The Outstanding or Creative Local Section Younger Chemists Committee (YCC) Event Award went to the Northeastern Section for its annual career symposium and career fair. The symposium, titled “Preparation for Life after Graduate School,” attracted 110 participants.
The Outstanding Local Section YCC Award went to the Delaware Section, whose YCC reinvigorated itself with a new chair, more volunteers, new ideas, and fresh energy. It also organized new events that increased participation and brought renewed purpose and excitement to the section’s younger members.
The Outstanding New Local Section YCC Award went to the Greater Houston Section’s Younger Chemists Committee, which was revitalized in 2007 and sponsored such events as a networking mixer, a wine-making and -tasting party, and career coaching, all of which attracted many Houston young chemists.
Committee on Divisional Activities
Three divisions were recognized with ChemLuminary Awards for innovative programs and outstanding service to their members. Honors went to
» The Division of Chemical Education, which sponsored regional awards for high school chemistry teachers and recognized collaborative programming and cooperation at regional meetings.
» The Division of Chemical Technicians, which hosted a recognition dinner for volunteer service at the 234th ACS national meeting during which awards were presented for volunteer service, corporate support, and to Technician Affiliate Groups. Also, the division’s first K. Michael Shea Special Recognition Award was presented to ACS Past-President William F. Carroll.
» The Division of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry, which inaugurated Division Fellows Awards to recognize one chemist and one engineer who made significant contributions in academia, industry, or government. The fellows are honored with a symposium at a national meeting.
Joint Local Section Activities Committee/Divisional Activities Committee/ Meetings & Expositions Working Group
The Award for Outstanding Collaboration between a Local Section & a Division went to the North Jersey Section and the Division of Polymer Chemistry. Leaders of these groups joined forces to successfully revitalize the Polymer Topical Group in New Jersey by organizing a community of chemists around a first-rate and well-attended symposium on green polymers.
Society Committee on Education
The ACS Student Affiliates Chapter Interaction Award went to the Richland Section, which involved the student affiliates chapter at Eastern Oregon University in all the facets of its activities, including the organization of the Undergraduate Programming at the Northwest Regional Meeting in 2007, supporting travel, and providing networking opportunities for the students.
The Outstanding High School Student Program Award went to the New York Section, whose high school program benefited more than 1,000 students and teachers. Major activities included Project SEED, Chemagination, Chemistry Olympiad, High School Chemistry Day, and the 12th Annual High School Poster Session. The finalists were the Binghamton, Detroit, and North Jersey Sections.
For the second year in a row, the Outstanding Kids & Chemistry Award went to the Delaware Section, which held a number of activities conducted through partnerships with schools, companies, museums, libraries, and scout troops and reached a wide range of students in Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
Committee on Project SEED
The Outstanding Project SEED Program Award went to the Pittsburgh Section, which in four years has sponsored 18 students and raised more than $52,000 in stipends. Three of these students received SEED scholarships.
Committee on Chemistry & Public Affairs
The ACS President’s Award for Local Section Government Affairs went to the Savannah River Section. Initiated in 2007, the section’s Government Affairs Committee increased its Legislative Action Network members by more than 300%. In an innovative move to advocate ACS education policy statements, the section, along with local high school teacher award recipients, made visits to state senators and representatives to connect policy statements with the best and brightest teachers.
Committee on Minority Affairs
The Best Overall Local Section Minority Affairs Committee Award went to the Georgia Section, which hosted five significant minority outreach events in 2007 that included February Black History Month activities, an annual undergraduate symposium, renewal of the section’s Minority Affairs Committee, a local section minority reach-out meeting, and the selection of a Charles H. Herty Medal awardee who has a minority-group heritage for only the second time in the award’s history.
Committee on Chemists with Disabilities
The Chemists with Disabilities Inclusion Award went to the Central Pennsylvania Section for expanding its programs to include presentations given by current educators of blind students and to give attendees the opportunity to network and try methodologies used to teach scientific concepts.
Joint Subcommittee on Diversity
The ChemLuminary Award for Diversity went to the Richland Section’s Joint Women Chemists Committee and Minority Affairs Committee, which participated in the Northwest Regional Meeting by creating programs that addressed the interests of women and minorities. The committee also drove outreach activities such as the Girls in Science program and career workshops that focused on small rural communities and Native American communities.
Committee on Meetings & Expositions Subcommittee on Regional Meetings
The Outstanding Regional Meeting Award went to the 39th Central Regional Meeting—CERMACS 2007.
Committee on Community Activities
The ChemLuminary Award for Outstanding Event for the General Public Using the Yearly Theme went to the Midland Section, which celebrated “The Many Faces of Chemistry” at Sci-Fest, which was cosponsored with the Mid-Michigan Technician Group and Delta College.
The winner of the award for Outstanding Community Involvement in National Chemistry Week (NCW) was the Illinois Heartland Section, which held a celebration with more than 450 children who explored science while participating in hands-on demonstrations.
The Award for Outstanding Event for a Specific Audience went to the Erie Section, which partnered with the Penn Lakes Girl Scouts and Edinboro University of Pennsylvania to develop a series of five activities that culminated in the girl scouts receiving their Science Discovery badges.
The Award for Best High School NCW Event went to the Florida Section, which worked with high school students and the ACS student affiliates chapter at Florida Southern College to host three events.
The Award for Best Student Affiliates Event went to the Puerto Rico Section, which celebrated Festival de Química with all of the ACS student affiliates chapters in Puerto Rico. More than 5,000 students and members of the general public participated in chemical demonstrations, chemistry contests, hands-on science activities, lectures, public exhibits, and open houses.
The Award for Outstanding Industrial Involvement went to the Delaware Section, which celebrated NCW with many activities, culminating in the annual Open House at the Independence School, in Newark, Del.
The Outstanding On-Going National Chemistry Week Event Award went to the Kalamazoo Section, which celebrated NCW with its 21st annual event at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum with an afternoon filled with hands-on science activities. The event brought together more than 1,000 participants and 120 volunteers.
The ChemLuminary Award for Outstanding Teacher Program went to the Cincinnati Section, which celebrated NCW with a Science Café at Miami University, in Middletown, Ohio. About 80 middle and high school teachers heard presentations by local chemists from both the public and private sector who discussed science careers and suggested hands-on demonstrations for the teachers to share with their students.
To recognize the time and effort that goes into planning outstanding Chemists Celebrate Earth Day events, the Committee on Community Activities initiated two awards this year. The first is the award for Greatest Community Involvement in Chemists Celebrate Earth Day, which went to the Puerto Rico Section. The student affiliates chapters from Puerto Rico celebrated Earth Day with more than 2,000 children and adults who participated in chemistry demonstrations and hands-on activities related to the yearly theme “Streaming Chemistry.”
A second new award to recognize Earth Day events is the Creative & Innovative Use of the Chemists Celebrate Earth Day Theme Award, received by the Virginia Section, which partnered with the Chemistry Club from John Tyler Community College and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to promote ways to take care of Earth with discussions on water, pollution, and recycling. More than 50 volunteers engaged more than 500 children and adults to teach the important role of chemistry in protecting our environment.
Committee on Local Section Activities
The Award for Best Activity or Program in a Local Section Stimulating Membership Involvement went to the Richland Section, whose three-year planning of the 2007 Northwest Regional Meeting resulted in the formation of the Snake River Section.
The Award for Most Innovative New Activity or Program in a Local Section went to the Rochester Section. With an ACS Innovative Project Grant and a visit by ACS Immediate Past-President Catherine T. Hunt, it began a mentoring program in which students from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf serve as mentors to the young students at the Rochester School for the Deaf, communicating in sign language on science and future opportunities.
Outstanding Performance Awards recognize local sections that have demonstrated excellent overall achievement offering multiple programs for members and reaching out to the community. Local section size categories are determined by the number of members: small, 50-100; medium-small, 200-399; medium, 400-799; medium-large, 800-1,599; large, 1,600-3,199; and very large, more than 3,199.
» For the second consecutive year, in the small category, the winner was the Pensacola Section, which ran two Science Saturday chemistry sessions for middle school students to increase chemistry and science education awareness. Section members also joined Community Action Councils for local chemical and paper companies to fight a negative perception of chemistry.
» For the ninth year in a row, the Illinois Heartland Section received the award in the medium-small category. The section shared its community outreach with the Peoria Park District to lead the Earth Day Festival and Harry Potter’s Return to Hogwarts Year Five events, which drew more than 2,000 participants each.
» For the third year in a row, the Midland Section received the award in the medium category. Partnering with the Alden B. Dow Museum of Science & Art and the Chippewa Nature Center, Midland had a huge Earth Day event. For NCW, their Sci-Fest event attracted 1,500 people who participated in hands-on activities and watched a “Dr. Slime” program.
» In the medium-large category, the Detroit Section took top honors for producing pamphlets for recycling old batteries and disposal of medicines, holding community outreach events sponsored by the Kids & Chemistry program, and hosting a career fair for displaced chemists.
» In the large category, the Delaware Section was honored for successfully conducting seven theme-based events on conservation sciences, organizing four unique activities to engage federal and state legislators, and sponsoring programs and events to target different constituencies within the section.
» In the very large category, the award went to the New York Section. The section was instrumental in getting outstanding media coverage on their National Chemistry Week: “The Many Faces of Chemistry” Celebration, which drew more than 1,300 attendees, and the section’s two Science Cafés, which drew nearly 100 non-ACS members each.
ACS NATIONAL ELECTION BALLOTS
Ballots for the American Chemical Society’s fall 2008 national election were mailed to members on Sept. 29. If your ballot (mailed in a white envelope with a red banner marked “Urgent Official Election Ballot Enclosed”) hasn’t arrived, you may request that a duplicate ballot be sent to you by calling VR Election Services, Customer Service at (800) 218–4026, Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM-5 PM central time, no later than Oct. 31. You can cast your vote electronically or by traditional mail-in ballot. The voting deadline is close of business (5 PM CT) on Nov. 7. Election information on all candidates can be found at www.acs.org/elections.
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