Issue Date: October 26, 2015
ChemLuminary Awards Honor Passionate Volunteers
The American Chemical Society recognized outstanding volunteer efforts in 2014 by the society’s 185 local sections, 32 divisions, and eight regional meetings at the 17th annual ChemLuminary Awards during the ACS national meeting in Boston this past August.
The ChemLuminary celebration gives ACS an opportunity to recognize the dedicated volunteers who have poured their passion, along with countless hours of their time, into helping the society fulfill its mission.
“Without all of you, we would not be the society we are today,” ACS President Diane Grob Schmidt said in her opening remarks. “Throughout my many travels, I am continually astounded by the energy, enthusiasm, and dedication of ACS members. You are the epitome of dynamic volunteerism, and it is because of you that our theme tonight is ‘Promoting Chemistry through Innovation & Passion.’ ”
Cynthia Larive, recipient of the 2015 Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society, gave the keynote lecture, titled “ACS Volunteers—Planting the Seeds of a Better Tomorrow.” She was honored for her outstanding contributions to undergraduate and graduate education and to the advancement of analytical chemistry inside and outside ACS.
During her talk, Larive challenged other ACS volunteers to “work together for the betterment of our world and for the advancement of the profession of chemistry.”
The following awards were presented in Boston:
Committee On Public Relations & Communications
The 2015 Helen M. Free Award for Public Outreach was presented to Regina (Gina) Malczewski, who is retired from Dow Corning. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in public outreach by an ACS member.
Throughout her career, and even into her retirement, Malczewski brings science to life for students and the general public. She has developed programs and awards, secured funding and supplies, and helped develop curricula for teachers.
The Outstanding Continuing Public Relations Program of a Local Section Award went to the Indiana Local Section for assisting with the planning of the Celebrate Science Indiana public event and hosting a booth featuring hands-on, interactive activities for kids of all ages.
The Award for Best New Public Relations Program of a Local Section went to the North Jersey Section for hosting an Edison Day event at Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange, N.J., which included a National Historic Chemical Landmark dedication.
Women Chemists Committee
The Best Overall WCC Local Section Award went to the California Section, which cosponsored nine science cafés, organized a National Chemistry Week (NCW) hands-on activity program for Girl Scouts, and helped organize the “Women Leaders in the Global Chemistry Enterprise” symposium at an ACS national meeting.
Committee On Economic & Professional Affairs
The Outstanding Technical Division Career Program Award went to the Division of Organic Chemistry for putting on the Young Investigators Symposium at fall ACS national meetings.
The Outstanding Local Section Career Program Award went to the St. Louis Section for organizing a program that provides career services for members and chemists considering relocation to the St. Louis area.
Younger Chemists Committee
The Outstanding Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Award went to the Chemical Society of Washington. In 2014, the CSW YCC organized seven events, including outreach activities, networking trivia contests, webinars, and chemistry demonstrations.
The Outstanding or Creative Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Event Award went to the Indiana Local Section. After hosting chemists from the European Young Chemists’ Network at the ACS national meeting, the Indiana Section was given the opportunity to send four young chemists to a national meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, where one of the participants received an award.
The Outstanding New Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Award went to the Virginia Section. The section’s YCC hosted a networking event at Legend Brewing Co., where chemists new to ACS could learn more about becoming involved in the society.
Committee On Divisional Activities
The Division of Inorganic Chemistry was recognized for innovative programs and outstanding service to their members. The division established a symposium to celebrate the accomplishments of outstanding students at the culmination of their graduate or postdoctoral studies. It also initiated the Young Investigator Awards.
The Award for Most Unique Project as Funded by a Division Innovative Project Grant went to the Division of Chemical Health & Safety. Partnering with the Division of Chemical Information and the ACS Committee on Chemical Safety Environmental Health & Safety Task Force, the division held a workshop supporting chemical risk assessment in the laboratory environment.
Society Committee On Education
The Award for Fostering Interactions between Local Sections & Student Chapters went to the Midland Section. The section combined forces with student chapters to foster interactions between students and professionals, which included “Program in a Box” events and industry tours.
The Outstanding U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad Award went to the North Jersey Section, which has participated in the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad for the past 32 years. In 2014, 444 students representing 41 schools competed in the local competition.
The Outstanding High School Student Program Award went to the New York Section for hosting numerous activities for high school students and teachers, including research experiences, competitions, luncheons, and awards for achievement.
The Outstanding Kids & Chemistry Award went to the Central New Mexico Local Section. The Central New Mexico’s CSI: Dognapping Workshop involved more than 500 fourth-grade students in solving the mystery of a missing dog using chemistry and physics.
Committees On Local Section Activities & Divisional Activities
The Outstanding Collaboration between a Division & Local Section Award went to the Northeastern Section, the Division of Business Development & Management, and the Division of Small Chemical Businesses. The Northeastern Section, together with the Division of Small Chemical Businesses Chemical Innovation & Entrepreneurship Council, the Division of Business Development & Management, and Nova Biomedical, presented the 2014 ACS Entrepreneurial Resource Center Showcase East Event, a chemistry-based business pitch competition.
Committee On Project Seed
The Outstanding Project SEED Program Award went to the Chemical Society of Washington. CSW supported 20 Project SEED students who participated in a symposium and presented their research at two regional meetings.
Committee On Chemistry & Public Affairs
The winner of the ACS President’s Award for Local Section Government Affairs was the Nashville Local Section. Leaders in the section’s Government Affairs Committee met regularly with both the chair of the Tennessee Senate and House of Representatives and invited a senator from the Tennessee Senate Education Committee to attend a local section meeting in Murfreesboro.
Committee On Environmental Improvement
The Outstanding Sustainability Activities Award went to the North Carolina Section, which held an outreach activity for the third year in a row at the Festival for the Eno River, which focuses on environmentalism and chemistry in an aqueous ecosystem.
Leadership Advisory Board
The Outstanding Leadership Development Program Award went to the North Jersey Section, which held a successful ACS Leadership Development System course with the Liberty Science Center.
The Award for Outstanding Local Section Industry Event went to the Montana Local Section. The local section sponsored a symposium at the Northwest Regional Meeting where small business leaders from the area shared their experiences.
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. Each year, the local section offers a series of workshops for chemical technicians. In 2014, three workshops increased membership by 5%.
Committee On Minority Affairs
The Award for Best Overall Local Section Minority Affairs Committee went to the North Carolina Section. The local section hosted a booth at the La Fiesta del Pueblo Latino culture celebration, and 10 volunteers conducted chemistry demonstrations in both English and Spanish.
Committee On International Activities
The Global Engagement Award for a Local Section went to the New York Section. The Chemical Marketing & Economics Group of the New York Section assisted with the formation of the ACS Peru International Chapter.
The Global Engagement Award for a Technical Division went to the Division of History of Chemistry. Since 2006, the Citations for Chemical Breakthrough Award has selected winners from a diverse international pool, with nearly 50 awards given in 11 countries.
The Global Engagement Award for an International Chemical Sciences Chapter went to the Shanghai International Chemical Sciences Chapter. Chapter members worked with ACS International Activities and ACS Publications to put on an event that reached out to the Chinese pharmaceutical industry and attracted more than 500 attendees.
Senior Chemists Committee
Best Ongoing Senior Activity in a Local Section that Benefits the Community, Local Schools, or Legislative Government went to the St. Louis Section. With senior chemist volunteers, the St. Louis Section sponsored the “Chemistry is pHun” outreach programs that reached more than 800 students in 10 local schools.
The Award for Most Innovative Activity in a Local Section for Senior Chemists went to the Toledo Local Section. With help from senior chemists, the Toledo Section, in partnership with the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, hosted an evening with author Sam Kean.
Committee On Meetings & Expositions
The Award for Outstanding Regional Meeting went to the 2013 Southeastern Regional Meeting. The Georgia Section hosted the Southeastern Regional Meeting in Atlanta where more than 1,700 attendees participated. There were 23 symposia, 12 general sessions, five workshops, and 11 poster sessions.
Committee On Community Activities
The Award for Best High School ChemClub NCW Event went to the Puerto Rico Section, which hosted its annual Festival de Química celebration. High school ChemClubs designed a drama to explain the relevance of chemistry.
The Award for Best Student Member NCW Event went to the San Joaquin Valley Local Section. The San Joaquin Valley Section and Fresno State Student Chapter held several NCW events, including a chemistry fact scavenger hunt, wine and cheese social, and science-themed haunted house.
The Award for Creative & Innovative Use of Chemists Celebrate Earth Day Theme went to the Virginia Section. The Virginia Section held an event at John Tyler Community College’s Environmental Day called “Fool for Art and the Environment” and also supported student members who helped Pfizer Consumer Healthcare celebrate Earth Day with activities that focused on water.
The Award for Most Creative NCW Celebration Using the Yearly Theme went to the South Florida Section. More than 100 teachers were invited to a one-day, hands-on, professional development workshop in reengineering candy.
The Award for Outstanding Community Involvement in Chemists Celebrate Earth Day went to the North Jersey Section. Undergraduate student chapters from five local institutions participated in a competition for the best hands-on demonstration on the topic “Wonders of Water.”
The Award for Outstanding Community Involvement in NCW went to the Pittsburgh Section. For the 16th year, the Pittsburgh Section held its NCW event at the Carnegie Science Center to encourage higher education and careers in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) areas to school students, and tours were given in a mobile museum.
The Award for Outstanding NCW Event for a Specific Audience went to the Northeastern Section. For the second year, the Northeastern Section sponsored “Cape Cod Celebrates National Chemistry Week,” a science café for kids held in conjunction with a Boy Scouts of America fall event.
The Award for Outstanding Ongoing NCW Event went to the Indiana Local Section. The local section held its NCW event at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis; roughly 2,800 people from the community attended the event.
Committee On Local Section Activities
The Award for Best Activity or Program in a Local Section Stimulating Membership Involvement went to the Ole Miss Local Section. The local section held a yearlong series of member development book club activities.
The Local Section Partnership Award went to the North Carolina Section. The local section partnered with the Science Olympiad program to provide resources and volunteers to develop their “Green Generation” program for high school students.
The Award for Most Innovative New Activity or Program went to the Maryland Section. The local section sponsored a science café where 42 middle and high school students, teachers, and undergraduates attended two half-day training programs.
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 winner was the Erie Local Section. The local section’s activities included NCW demos at the mall, a webinar for members on speaking simply about science to the public, and a celebration for Black History Month.
In the medium-small category, the winner was the Savannah River Local Section. The section’s Hispanic community center fostered an interest in the chemical sciences among underprivileged children.
In the medium category, the winner was the Midland Section. The Midland Section put on 31 new events that support ACS goals. Programs focused on education, women and younger chemists, and community outreach.
In the medium-large category, the winner was the Nashville Local Section. The local section hosted a successful Southeastern Regional Meeting. Other activities included a disabilities program in collaboration with the Disability & Access Center and the Women in STEM Center.
In the large category, the winner was the Pittsburgh Section. Programming included career workshops, an energy technology group, and an NCW program that brought together more than 40 organizations.
In the very large category, the winner was the New York Section, which increased its revenue, assets, number of events, and election participation by more than 30% over the past five years.
For more information about the ChemLuminary Awards and to see more photos from this year’s celebration, visit www.acs.org/chemluminary.
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