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ACS News


by Linda Wang
September 19, 2016 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 94, Issue 37

Photo of Downtown Columbia, S.C.
Credit: Shutterstock
Columbia, S.C.

The American Chemical Society’s South Carolina Section will host the 68th Southeastern Regional Meeting (SERMACS 2016) at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center and the Hilton Columbia Center from Sunday, Oct. 23, to Wednesday, Oct. 26. The venues are adjacent to the campus of the University of South Carolina, Columbia.

SERMACS 2016 at a glance

▸ Dates: Oct. 23–26

▸ Location: Columbia, S.C.

▸ Information contacts: general chair, Angela Peters,; program chair, Scott Goode,

▸ Website:

The meeting theme is “Catalyzing Chemical Changes,” and featured speakers include Chemistry Nobel Laureate Martin Chalfie, ACS Priestley Medalist Harry Gray, and ACS Cope Scholars Miguel Garcia-Garibay, William Dichtel, and Luis Campos.

The general chair of the meeting is Angela Peters of Claflin University, and the program chair is Scott Goode of the University of South Carolina.

Technical program. The meeting will feature oral and poster sessions on analytical chemistry, biological chemistry, chemical education, colloid chemistry, computational chemistry, environmental chemistry, inorganic chemistry, interdisciplinary chemistry, materials chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and polymer chemistry.

There will be 28 specialized symposia on the following topics: “Advances in Forensic Chemistry”; “Asymmetric Chemistry throughout the Southeast”; “Catalysis & Biocatalysis”; “Chemical Applications of Chemometrics”; “Cope Symposium: Molecules to Functional Supramolecular Materials”; “Cutting Edge of Biological Inorganic Chemistry”; “Dynamics of Molecular Processes: Theory, Simulations, Insight”; “Electrocatalysis”; “Electronic Structure: Concepts & Applications”; “Emerging Environmental Contaminants”; “Finding Solutions to Environmental Challenges in Agriculture”; “Frontiers in Nucleic Acid Chemistry”; “High School Chemistry: New Approaches to Catalyze Change for You!”; “Metal Complexes of Scorpionate & Related Ligands”; “Molecules to Functional Supramolecular Materials”; “New Chemistry toward Functional Polymeric Materials”; “Nuclear Power & Safety”; “Realities of the Chemical Industry: Career Opportunities & Paths”; “Reform Pedagogy in Undergraduate Chemistry”; “Scattering Measurements of Polymers & Nanomaterials”; “Secrets & Strategies for Successfully Commercializing Chemical Ideas”; “Small-Molecule Inorganic Chemistry in the Southeast: Honoring Jerome Odom”; “Structural & Functional Characterization of Proteins”; “Structure-Property Relationship of Nanoscale Materials”; “Supramolecular Assemblies & Metal-Organic Frameworks”; “Synthesis & Application of Biofunctional Nanomaterials”; and “Women Chemists in the Southeast.”

High school program. A program for high school teachers in the southeastern region will take place on Sunday. Speakers include Rudy Mancke, a naturalist and cohost of South Carolina ETV’s NatureScene, and Rhonda Craig of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s DNA Casework Unit. In addition, there will be several interactive activities organized for teachers by teachers. Registration includes a continental breakfast, a luncheon, and a workshop by William H. (Jack) Breazeale Jr. on the new ACS Task Force for Safety Education Guidelines for High Schools.

Workshops. On Sunday from 1 to 5 PM, the ACS Leadership Institute will offer the workshop “Coaching & Feedback.” On Monday from 8:30 AM to 5 PM, chemical safety consultant Harry Elston will present a workshop on “Effective Chemical Safety Management: A Risk-Based Perspective for the Chemical Hygiene Officer.” On Tuesday from 9 AM to noon, ACS Career Consultants Mary and John Engelman will teach an ACS Career Pathways workshop on “Finding Your Pathway,” and résumé reviews will be held from 1 to 5 PM.

Exposition. Up to 50 exhibitors will showcase their products at the exposition, which kicks off with an opening reception at 5 PM on Sunday and remains open until 7 PM. The exhibition will also be open on Monday from 9 AM to 6 PM and on Tuesday from 9 AM to 2 PM.

Awards. Several 2016 awards will be presented at the meeting. The ACS Division of Chemical Education Southeastern Regional Award for Excellence in High School Teaching will be presented to Robert R. Gotwals Jr. of the North Carolina School of Science & Mathematics. Jack Breazeale Jr. will receive the E. Ann Nalley Southeastern Regional Award for Volunteer Service. The recipient of the SERMACS Industrial Innovation Award is Ecodyst of Cary, N.C., whose founder and CEO is George Adjabeng. And the recipients of the Partners for Progress & Prosperity Award are the ACS Virginia Section’s Minority Affairs Committee and the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists & Chemical Engineers. The winners of the 2015 and 2016 Stanley C. Israel Southeastern Regional Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences will be announced at the meeting.

Special events. Approximately 40 institutions will be represented at the graduate school fair. Other special events include the Younger Chemists Committee/Women Chemists Committee luncheon, the Sci-Mix poster session, a minority discussion panel and dinner, an undergraduate luncheon, an ice cream social with ACS district directors, an ACS southeastern region awards luncheon, and visits to the South Carolina State Museum, Doty Scientific, and a South Carolina Energy & Gas nuclear reactor construction site.

Lodging and registration. Rooms are available at the Hilton Columbia Center at a special rate of $159 per night and at the Hampton Inn Columbia Downtown Historic District for $155 per night when booked through the meeting website.

Advance registration will close at 11:59 PM on Oct. 16. On-site registration will continue through the end of the meeting. For more information, visit the SERMACS website.



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