Issue Date: October 10, 2011
Honoring Service To Society
“Making A World of Difference” was the theme for the 13th annual ChemLuminary Awards gala, which was held during the fall American Chemical Society national meeting in Denver. At the ceremony, volunteers representing ACS’s 187 local sections and 33 technical divisions were honored for their countless hours of service on behalf of the society. The awards were presented by ACS committees.
“It is an honor to recognize and celebrate the contributions of our ACS volunteers, who are the lifeblood of our society,” ACS President Nancy B. Jackson told those attending the event. “I am continually impressed by the energy, enthusiasm, and dedication of ACS members. You are models of active volunteerism, and it is because of you that our theme tonight is ‘ACS Volunteers: Making a World of Difference.’ ”
Zaida C. Morales-Martínez, winner of this year’s Award for Volunteer Service to ACS, presented the keynote speech. In her talk, titled “When a Door Closes, Windows Open,” Morales-Martínez spoke of how her 25-year involvement with ACS as a volunteer has brought fulfillment to her life.
“I have been giving a little of myself and I am getting a lot of love back,” said Morales-Martínez, emeritus chemistry professor at Florida International University. “I would like for you to go back home and try to find someone that you can open a window for. You never know where that window will take” them.
COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC RELATIONS & COMMUNICATIONS
The first award, the Helen M. Free Award for Public Outreach, was given to William F. Trammell, a 50-year member of ACS. His contributions include the development of a tool kit of videos and classroom activities to teach a variety of chemistry topics.
The Outstanding Continuing Public Relations Program of a Local Section Award went to the Richland Section for its Girls in Science event, in which more than 100 girls used critical-thinking and interdisciplinary techniques to answer the question, “Is this an alien attack?”
The Award for Best New Public Relations Program of a Local Section went to the Greater Houston Section for its participation in the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s Energy Conservation Club kickoff.
WOMEN CHEMISTS COMMITTEE
The Award for Outstanding Outreach to Girls in Elementary Education went to the South Carolina Section for its Girls Emulating Maturity, Strength & Scholarship program, where girls in grades three through eight participated in workshops and spent a week at Cape Canaveral, Fla., learning about robotics and chemistry.
COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC & PROFESSIONAL AFFAIRS
The Outstanding Local Section Career Program Award in the small to medium-large size category went to the Virginia Section, which, through its Women Chemists Committee, sponsored a chemistry career discussion panel for students.
The large to very large size category award went to the Georgia Section for its Navigating the New Employment Landscape program, which resulted in two of 14 job seekers being hired immediately.
YOUNGER CHEMISTS COMMITTEE
The Outstanding or Creative Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Event Award went to the Milwaukee Section. It held its second annual YCC Poster Mixer, which included a National Chemistry Week (NCW) booth. Poster awards were provided through a grant from the ACS Division of Small Chemical Businesses.
The Outstanding Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Award went to the North Jersey Section for hosting a variety of events, including two movie screenings, a YCC summer picnic, a fall happy hour, and three NCW activities.
The Outstanding New Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Award went to the New York Section for organizing a social mixer, a career program, a tour of a brewery, and a joint seminar with its topical group, the Chemical Marketing & Economics Group.
COMMITTEE ON DIVISIONAL ACTIVITIES
The Division of Business Development & Management (BMGT) was recognized for its innovative programs and outstanding service to its members. A BMGT symposium, “Chemistry: The Future-Proof Profession,” featured 12 chemists who have parlayed their chemistry skills and talents into unusual roles and careers.
SOCIETY COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
The ACS Student Chapter Interaction Award went to the Richland Section, which offered a monthlong program for talented and gifted students and a program called Saturday Science for children from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
The Outstanding High School Student Program Award went to the North Jersey Section for the efforts of its volunteers from industry, academia, and local schools to bring programs such as Project SEED and the Chemistry Olympiad to high school students.
The Outstanding Kids & Chemistry Award went to the Richland Section for its Girls in Science and Saturday Science events and for its nutrition workshops for local students.
COMMITTEE ON PROJECT SEED
The Outstanding Project SEED Program Award went to the Pittsburgh Section for its successful fund-raising activities and blog.
COMMITTEE ON CHEMISTRY & PUBLIC AFFAIRS
The ACS President’s Award for Local Section Government Affairs went to the Delaware Section for its work with Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) to facilitate his ACS Comment about scientific research and education legislation in Chemical & Engineering News.
COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAL IMPROVEMENT
The Award for Outstanding Sustainability Activities went to the Syracuse Section for a daylong sustainability fair to help the public understand the connections among science, engineering, and sustainability.
LEADERSHIP ADVISORY BOARD
The Award for Outstanding Leader Development Program went to the Red River Valley Section for sponsoring a “Developing Communication Strategies” Leadership Development System course, underwritten by an ACS grant.
COMMITTEE ON MINORITY AFFAIRS
The Award for Best Overall Local Section Minority Affairs Committee went to the Georgia Section for supporting a middle and high school student career fair, a Super Science Saturday event held in partnership with the local chapter of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists & Chemical Engineers, and a science fair academy.
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION ADVISORY BOARD
The ChemLuminary Award for Diversity went to the Richland Section for its Saturday Science event at Blue Mountain Community College, in Pendleton, Ore., which reached many American Indian students.
COMMITTEE ON MEETINGS & EXPOSITIONS SUBCOMMITEE ON REGIONAL MEETINGS
The Outstanding Regional Meeting Award went to the 61st Southeastern Regional Meeting. More than 1,300 participants attended the 2009 Southeastern Regional Meeting in San Juan, P.R. The meeting culminated with the 4th annual Festival de Química, which attracted an additional 500 community participants.
COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES
The Award for Outstanding Event for the General Public Using the Yearly NCW Theme went to the Nashville Section for its Harry Potter-themed NCW events.
The Award for Outstanding Community Involvement in NCW went to the Cincinnati Section, which conducted chemistry demonstrations at 31 libraries throughout Indiana and northern Kentucky.
The Award for Outstanding NCW Event for a Specific Audience went to the Richland Section for its Girls in Science event. With help from more than 60 volunteers, the event served more than 100 girls in grades six to eight.
The Best High School NCW Event Award went to the Syracuse Section. More than 150 volunteers participated in the section’s NCW celebration at East Syracuse-Minoa High School.
The Best Student Chapter NCW Event Award went to the Georgia Section. The section expanded on its Chemistry Teacher NCW Care Packages program by sending packages to 29 high school and 17 middle school teachers, representing more than 7,200 students.
The Outstanding On-going NCW Event Award went to the Pittsburgh Section. More than 4,300 people participated in the section’s two-day event in which 335 volunteers from 31 different groups helped conduct hands-on activities.
The Award for the Most Creative NCW Demonstration Using the Yearly Theme went to the Cleveland Section, which hosted an event to help students learn about the chemistry behind movie sets. Volunteers prepared kits for students that included five individual experiments and two group experiments.
The Award for the Outstanding Teacher Program went to the Santa Clara Valley Section for its Teach the Teachers workshop, where teachers performed experiments, such as pH color changes, and learned about the chemistry of fake blood.
COMMITTEE ON LOCAL SECTION ACTIVITIES
The Award for Best Activity or Program in a Local Section Stimulating Membership Involvement went to the Syracuse Section. Its sustainability fair attracted more than 600 people. The event included seminars and materials on green products and services. The event also highlighted a new coalition, the Sustainable Upstate Network.
The Award for the Most Innovative New Activity or Program in a Local Section went to the Richland Section. Student members of the section and Eastern Oregon University faculty hosted a weekly gathering of talented and gifted students over one month to explore chemistry and nutrition.
The Local Section Partnership Award went to the Brazosport Section. Along with their partners, members of the Brazosport section provided science activities for 5,000 Cub Scouts. The event was sponsored by the Sam Houston Area Council with over 26,000 scouts and families in attendance.
Outstanding Performance Awards recognize local sections that have demonstrated excellent overall achievement by offering multiple programs in which members reach 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 Alaska Section. For the first time, the section participated in the Project SEED program in Fairbanks and received media coverage through the efforts of its public relations committee. The section also cosponsored a highly successful Earth Day celebration and Science Café in Fairbanks as well as a science fair in Juneau.
In the medium-small category, the winner was the Savannah River Section. Savannah River participated in many community outreach events, including Adopt-a-Highway; the Business, Innovation & Technology Expo; and a college night for high school students. The section also sponsored a green chemistry award for middle school students.
In the medium category, the winner was the Midland Section. More than 1,000 people attended its SciFest event, which included 35 science exhibits and a science camp for children. Its Earth Day celebration at the Midland Center for the Arts, in Michigan, drew roughly 500 people. And the section honored the accomplishments of local academic members and technicians at its spring banquet.
In the medium-large category, the winner was the Indiana Section. With the help of many new volunteers, the section sponsored 14 events, including three new ones. During NCW events, which drew more than 5,000 people, local companies and universities hosted booths with activities promoting chemistry.
In the large category, the winner was the San Diego Section, which held 18 events in 2010, including undergraduate poster sessions at eight section meetings and a series of seminars on chemistry legal issues and career management. The section also participated in the 56th Annual Greater San Diego Science & Engineering Fair and distributed 210 copies of the Merck Index.
In the very large category, the winner was the Northeastern Section. Activities included the 10th anniversary of an exchange program with Germany, a lecture and demonstrations at the Museum of Science in Boston for high school students, and a panel discussion with ACS President Jackson.
For more information about the ChemLuminary Awards, visit www.acs.org/chemluminary.
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