Issue Date: September 21, 2009
Chemluminary Awards Salute ACS Volunteers
Behind every American Chemical Society activity, from National Chemistry Week to the various regional meetings, is a team of dedicated volunteers.
The 11th annual ChemLuminary Awards gala honored these volunteers for their thousands of hours of service within the society's 189 local sections and 34 divisions. The celebration took place in August during the ACS national meeting in Washington, D.C.
"Volunteers are the lifeblood of our society," ACS President Thomas H. Lane said in his opening remarks at the gala. "While crisscrossing the country, I am continually impressed by the energy, enthusiasm, and dedication of ACS members," he said. "You are models of active volunteerism, and it is because of you that our theme tonight is 'Elements of Excellence—ACS Volunteers.' "
The Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society was presented to Sister Mary Virginia Orna, professor of chemistry at the College of New Rochelle. She was recognized for her work in the Divisions of Chemical Education and the History of Chemistry.
COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC RELATIONS & COMMUNICATIONS
The Helen M. Free Award for Public Outreach went to David A. Katz, professor of chemistry at Pima Community College, in Tucson, Ariz., for his more than 30 years of chemistry outreach, including developing some of today's most common chemistry activities for the classroom.
The Outstanding Continuing Public Relations Program of a Local Section Award went to the Chicago Section for its extensive use of the Web and its partnership with local science organizations.
The Award for Best New Public Relations Program of a Local Section went to the Pittsburgh Section for its successful symposium on the future of energy.
WOMEN CHEMISTS COMMITTEE
The Award for Outstanding Overall Local Section Women Chemists Committee went to the Richland Section for its outreach activities such as the Girls in Science Program.
COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC & PROFESSIONAL AFFAIRS
For the fourth year in a row, the Outstanding Local Section Career Program Award in the Small to Medium-Large size category went to the Detroit Section, which provided career guidance and counseling to members, nonmembers, and students.
The Large to Very Large size category award went to the Georgia Section, which was recognized for providing career support services to students, high school teachers, and chemists in academia and industry.
YOUNGER CHEMISTS COMMITTEE
The Outstanding or Creative Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Event Award went to the Michigan State University Section for its event to support the Mid-Michigan Food Bank. The section raised roughly $1,100 in donations.
The Outstanding Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Award went to the Delaware Section. It was recognized for its variety of events such as a chemistry of cooking night and a bowling social.
The Outstanding New Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Award went to the St. Louis Section, which was reactivated in 2008. Among its activities were happy hours and a chemistry career night attended by more than 70 people.
COMMITTEE ON DIVISIONAL ACTIVITIES
Three divisions were recognized with ChemLuminary Awards for innovative programs and outstanding service to their members.
• The Division of Physical Chemistry, which developed a physical chemistry symposium for undergraduate researchers.
• The Division of Chemical Technicians, which sponsored a symposium at the 2008 Southeastern Regional Meeting on career choices for chemical technicians.
• The Division of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry, which was recognized for its successful implementation of its centennial celebration.
COMMITTEE ON DIVISIONAL ACTIVITIES/COMMITTEE ON LOCAL SECTION ACTIVITIES
The Award for Outstanding Collaboration Between a Local Section and Division went to the Northeast Tennessee Local Section and the Division of Chemical Technicians, which joined forces to produce the symposium "Why I Chose an Applied Chemical Profession" during the 2008 Southeastern Regional Meeting.
SOCIETY COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
The ACS Student Affiliates Chapter Interaction Award went to the New York Section for its efforts in getting students involved in professional development and outreach activities such as the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium and National Chemistry Week.
The Outstanding High School Student Program Award also went to the New York Section. The section was cited for its dedicated involvement in high school programs such as Project SEED, Chemistry Olympiad, and the Chemagination contest.
The Outstanding Kids & Chemistry Award went to the Greater Houston Section, whose activities in 2008 drew more than 7,000 children and adults.
COMMITTEE ON PROJECT SEED
The Outstanding Project SEED Program Award went to the Illinois Heartland Section, which has been active in Project SEED for the past six years. Starting with just two mentors and three students, the program has grown to include 15 mentors and more than 35 students. Six students have received Project SEED scholarships.
COMMITTEE ON CHEMISTRY & PUBLIC AFFAIRS
The ACS President's Award for Local Section Government Affairs went to both the Delaware and Nashville Sections.
The Delaware Section organized activities to engage legislators and provided forums for members to learn about and debate issues relevant to the chemistry community.
The Nashville Section also engaged legislators and provided opportunities for its members to participate in discussions and debates over issues such as energy and the environment.
COMMITTEE ON MINORITY AFFAIRS
The Best Overall Local Section Minority Affairs Committee Award went to the Puerto Rico Section, which involved minority students in activities such as celebration of Earth Day and Science Cafés. Undergraduates routinely participated in technical meetings, many of them giving oral presentations.
COMMITTEE ON CHEMISTS WITH DISABILITIES
The Chemists with Disabilities Inclusion Award went to the Virginia Section, which hosted an activity for chemistry in special education to help participants understand how snow is formed.
JOINT SUBCOMMITTEE ON DIVERSITY
The ChemLuminary Award for Diversity went to the Brazosport Section. It partnered with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to launch Brazoria Chemistry Day in celebration of Earth Day. In addition, 30 volunteers from the section helped conduct hands-on demonstrations for 1,200 fifth-graders.
COMMITTEE ON MEETINGS & EXPOSITIONS SUBCOMMITTEE ON REGIONAL MEETINGS
The Outstanding Regional Meeting Award went to the 40th Middle Atlantic Regional Meeting (MARM 2008) and the 59th Southeast Regional Meeting (SERMACS 2007).
MARM 2008, hosted by the New York Section, drew more than 900 attendees and 587 technical papers. Ronald Breslow and Roald Hoffmann delivered keynote addresses.
SERMACS 2007, hosted by the Western Carolinas Section, attracted more than 1,200 attendees with 859 technical papers. Attendees watched "Oxygen," a play by Roald Hoffmann and Carl Djerassi. More than 370 students attended the undergraduate program.
COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES
The ChemLuminary Award for Outstanding Event for the General Public Using the Yearly Theme went to the Midland Section. The section put on Scifest 2008, which included hands-on activities by exhibitors such as the Society of Plastics Engineers.
The Outstanding Community Involvement in National Chemistry Week (NCW) went to the North Jersey Section. Three members of the section's NCW committee were featured on the television show "Good Morning America."
The Award for Outstanding Event for a Specific Audience went to the Pittsburgh Section, which created partnerships to help students from underrepresented groups.
The Best High School NCW Event Award went to the Puerto Rico Section, which used local media to help increase the involvement of high school students and high school chemistry clubs in NCW.
The Best Student Affiliates Event went to the Southern California Section. Student affiliates decorated their campus with the NCW theme, "Having a Ball with Chemistry."
The Award for Outstanding Industrial Involvement went to the Cincinnati Section. Local companies partnered with volunteers from the section to carry out NCW activities.
The Outstanding On-going NCW Event Award went to the Delaware Section for its successful Chemistry Fair event.
The Award for the Most Original Hands-On Activity or Chemical Demonstration went to the South Florida Section, which incorporated Hispanic heritage into its NCW celebration. Students competed in a contest to create a recipe for guacamole using chemistry terms.
The Greatest Community Involvement in Chemists Celebrate Earth Day Award went to the North Jersey Section, which collaborated with a 4-H group, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Rutgers University, and others in hosting Earth Day activities.
The Award for Creative & Innovative Use of the Chemists Celebrate Earth Day Theme went to the Idaho Section for its use of several solar ovens to demonstrate solar power.
COMMITTEE ON LOCAL SECTION ACTIVITIES
The Award for Best Activity or Program in a Local Section Stimulating Membership Involvement went to the Greater Houston Section, which was recognized for its collaboration with the Education Rainbow Challenge to improve academic achievement in math and science for 600 inner-city students.
The Award for Most Innovative New Activity or Program in a Local Section went to the Rochester Section for its "Chemistry and the Arts Lecture Series." During the year, more than 1,000 people from the Rochester area attended the talks.
Outstanding Performance Awards recognize local sections that have demonstrated excellent overall achievement offering multiple programs for members reaching out to the community. 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 winner was the Mobile Section, which ran a forensic science event for high school students and teachers. It also partnered with the American Cancer Society to host a chili cook-off, which was attended by 13,000 people and raised $250,000 in proceeds.
• In the medium-small category, the winner was the Brazosport Section. It partnered with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to celebrate Earth Day and hosted Brazoria Chemistry Day.
• In the medium category, the winner was the Nashville Section. The section started a weekly radio show, and its "Each One, Reach One Campaign" helped boost membership to the section.
• In the medium-large category, the winner was the Eastern New York Section. Its activities included establishing committees for new young leaders and recognizing the section's 50- and 60-year volunteers.
• In the large category, the winner was the Colorado Section, which drew more than 6,500 people to an NCW event at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.
• In the very large category, the winner was the North Jersey Section, which recruited 125 new volunteers and increased participation in membership elections by 14%.
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