September 30, 2002
Volume 80, Number 3
CENEAR 80 39 pp. 45-49
ISSN 0009-2347


ACS recognizes hard work of local sections and divisions at a festive ceremony in Boston


The fourth annual American Chemical Society ChemLuminary Awards were presented at a ceremony during last month's ACS national meeting in Boston. The awards recognize the thousands of hours that members volunteer in service to their local sections and divisions.

OUTREACH Free presents Kauffman with an award for public outreach.
At this year's ceremony, which honored activities held in 2001, 13 committees and divisions were on hand to present ChemLuminary Awards. A total of 49 awards were given to one individual and local sections and divisions.

The evening started with the presentation of the Helen M. Free Award for Public Outreach to George B. Kauffman, emeritus professor of chemistry at California State University, Fresno. The award, which was presented by its namesake, former ACS president Helen M. Free of Bayer Corp., was established in 1995 by the Council Committee on Public Relations to recognize outstanding achievement in the field of public outreach by an ACS member. The Committee on Public Relations & Communications (CPRC) selects the winner.

Kauffman has promoted the public's understanding of chemistry throughout his career with numerous newspaper and magazine articles, public presentations, and radio and television appearances. An author of more than 1,000 scientific papers and 16 books, he has been a regular contributor to Encyclopaedia Britannica and Britannica's "Yearbook of Science and the Future," where he has introduced the public to scientific breakthroughs such as superconductors, fuel cells, novel pesticides, and genetic engineering.

The Local Section Public Relations Awards were presented by Nina I. McClelland, chair of the ACS Board of Directors. The awards, also given by CPRC, recognize the outstanding efforts of local sections to promote chemistry to the public. The winner of the award for small- to medium-sized local sections was the Nashville Section. The Nashville Section received media coverage for meetings and activities from several daily and weekly newspapers and multiple magazines, including the August 2001 edition of Nature. In addition, the section distributed 4,000 flyers to area schools and received local radio, website, and television coverage.

The award for the medium, large, or very large local section was presented to the Cincinnati Section. In 2001, the Cincinnati Section worked with two local newspapers to share information about National Chemistry Week (NCW) with students at more than 800 schools. The newspapers included lessons and activities related to chemistry each day, and students received daily copies of the newspapers--a total of 95,000 copies--along with information from ACS. Additional coverage appeared in a local newspaper column for children, on a variety of area websites, and on cable television.


ChemLuminary Awards recognize the thousands of hours that members volunteer in service to their local sections and divisions.

THE WOMEN CHEMISTS Committee (WCC) presented three awards to local sections in recognition of outstanding efforts to promote women in the chemical sciences. The Columbus Section received the Most Innovative Recognition of Women in Chemical Sciences Award. For the fourth consecutive year, the section sponsored the Central Ohio Undergraduate Research Symposium, supplying $450 in student awards as well as additional funds for refreshments.

The Best Single Event in a Local Section Promoting Women in Chemistry Award went to the Indiana-Kentucky Border and the University of Missouri Sections (tie). Both sections offered outstanding programs for Girl Scouts. The Indiana-Kentucky Border Section worked with the local Girl Scouts and the University of Southern Indiana Student Affiliates Chapter to sponsor an NCW event focused on encouraging young women to study or to pursue careers in chemistry. One hundred girls participated, each earning four merit badges. The University of Missouri Section sponsored a Girl Scout chemistry workshop during NCW. More than 200 Heart of Missouri Girl Scouts, ages 10–13, participated in activities such as tie-dyeing, M&M chromatography, and experiments using cabbage acid-base indicators.

The North Jersey & New York Metro Women Chemists Committee won the Best Overall Local Section Women Chemists Committee Award. The Metro WCC, composed of members from the North Jersey and New York Sections, sponsored several events in 2001. They held networking dinner meetings in both local sections, and they collaborated with the Metro Chapter of the Association for Women in Science in November to honor three outstanding local women scientists at the New York Academy of Sciences. They also distributed ACS career publications and hosted a career services talk at a job fair organized by the New York Biotech Association.

In recognition of local section career programs that have contributed significantly to members' career development and management, the Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs presented two Local Section Career Program Awards. The Eastern New York Section received the award in the small to medium-large section category. The section conducted a record number of 10 different activities during 2001. More than 500 ACS Department of Career Services publications were distributed to members during these events. CareerNet, a group within the Eastern New York Section, established a strong local presence through these events.

The winner in the large to very large category was the California Section. The Local Section Career Program coordinator worked with the Employment Committee chair to establish Career Assistance & Transition--a new program aimed at better serving member needs in the area of career and professional development. Activities began in January 2001, with regular monthly meetings offering such resources as networking, individual career counseling, and résumé reviews and materials.

The Younger Chemists Committee also presented awards to local section YCCs in recognition of their efforts to serve chemists under the age of 35. The Outstanding New Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Award went to the Southern California Section, which formed a YCC chapter in 2000. They accomplished their goals of increased participation, sold out their first several events, and established the leadership of younger chemists in the Southern California Section. Their activities included tours of the Hyperion Water Treatment Plant and the Getty Conservatory Laboratory.

The Northeastern Section took the honors for Outstanding Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Event. A group of nine younger chemists from Germany--representing the Jungchemikerforum of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker--and their academic mentors were hosted by the Northeastern Section YCC for a week when they visited Boston. The program included their participation in the Northeast Student Chemistry Research Conference, a symposium on chemical education in the U.S. and Germany; visits to area universities and industry; a farewell banquet; and a baseball game at Fenway Park (C&EN, May 28, 2001, page 42).

The Most Creative Local Section Event went to the Santa Clara Valley Section for participation in the "Bay to Breakers" run to raise money for teacher training. This outreach activity enlisted members and officers of the committee to participate in the run through San Francisco in May. The local section contributed $25 for teacher training funds on behalf of each member participating in the run.

Both the North Carolina and Western New York Sections were selected to receive the Outstanding Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Award. Focusing on bringing its members together to network socially and scientifically, the North Carolina Section's 2001 events included a joint Senior Chemists Committee/YCC lecture and a biannual mixer to allow chemists attending the ACS national meeting a chance to network prior to the meeting. The group increased the ACS presence at the student affiliates level and maintained a thriving social event schedule.

The Western New York Section YCC hosted and participated in a wide array of academic, career, public outreach, and social activities throughout 2001. These events included a graduate student symposium, a career counseling seminar, an NCW program that reached approximately 2,500 children, a Boy Scout chemistry merit badge program, and many social events.

PROMOTING WOMEN Marie Hankins from the Indiana-Kentucky Border Section (left) and John Adams from the University of Missouri Section (right) receive a ChemLuminary Award from McClelland. GOOD INTERACTION Pavlath presents a ChemLuminary Award to TECH's TAG liaison, Wendy Mallory, accepting for the Northeast Oklahoma section.

THE COMMITTEE on Membership Affairs presented the ChemPower Award to the Division of Polymer Chemistry (POLY). The award is presented to an ACS division in recognition of innovative ways used to build and strengthen membership in a division. POLY has instituted a new annual spring recognition event where members who have achieved five, 10, 20, and 30 years of service are publicly recognized and awarded a special POLY pin that is unique to each anniversary year. POLY's goal is to increase member retention through this public recognition and token of appreciation.

Five divisions were honored for innovative programs and outstanding service to their members during 2001:

  • The Division of Chemical Technicians (TECH) provided excellent support to their membership. Activities included a new booth promoting technicians and organizing workshops to help members develop career-enhancing skills. TECH continues to be successful in attracting members in academia, government, and industry.
  • The Division of Fuel Chemistry (FUEL) successfully launched a radio program, "Running on Empty," to educate the public on energy issues (C&EN, Sept. 24, 2001, page 48). It has been broadcast on more than 90 National Public Radio Stations in 28 states. FUEL continues to expand its symposia topics from traditional coal-related areas to alternative fuels and environmental issues.
  • The Division of Geochemistry celebrated its 20th anniversary by holding a series of special events that included a banquet at the Birch Aquarium in San Diego. The division has successfully increased the accuracy of its members' current e-mail information to 94%, increased its profile by initiating the Geochemistry Division Medal, and continued its successful circulation of Geochemical Transactions.
  • The Division of Medicinal Chemistry (MEDI) continues in a tradition of strong programming at national meetings, attracting a large number of attendees. MEDI recognized its 10,000th member by highlighting the member in its division newsletter and presenting to the member an award provided by the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry and Bentham Publishing. MEDI also established a divisional online employment clearinghouse.
  • The Division of Nuclear Chemistry & Technology consistently organizes symposia at the national meetings that attract large audiences. During the 2001 fall meeting, the division included programs that pertained to national security issues and on interaction and migration of radiative species in the environment. Each contained special educational features.


FOR THE THIRD YEAR, the Division of Chemical Technicians presented awards to Technician Affiliate Groups (TAGs). The awards are given in recognition of outstanding contributions made by TAGs to their profession and the community. Three groups were honored this year.

The 2001 Most Innovative Technician Affiliate Group was presented to the TAG of the Mid-Michigan Section. This TAG continues to demonstrate its strengths in membership and leadership involvement and provides value to its members with a balance of community outreach and technician education. The group used the Web for conducting elections and added a number of new programs including recognition awards, lunchtime seminars, and a program to help high school and middle school teachers learn about job opportunities for chemical technicians.

The TAG of the Northeast Oklahoma Section was the winner of the 2001 Best Local Section/Technician Affiliate Group Interaction. The group is active at the local level and has a strong focus on public outreach. Its involvement included participation in NCW and hosting the Oklahoma Pentasectional Meeting.

OUTSIDE INVOLVEMENT Joann Pfeiffer (left) from the Minnesota Section and Aaron Odom (right) from the Michigan State University Section each receive ChemLuminary Awards from ACS President-Elect Elsa Reichmanis.
The 2001 Best Overall Technician Affiliate Group went to the TAG of the Rochester Section. With a membership that is motivated, enthusiastic, and involved, the group routinely gave presentations, chaired sessions and workshops, and served the community through its public outreach program, "Adventures in Chemistry and Physics." Section members consistently provide opportunities for technician career and professional growth and are dedicated to ACS at all levels, with members serving on the executive committees of the local section, TECH, and national ACS committees.

A new award for 2001 was presented by the Division of Polymer Chemistry. The award recognizes a local section for innovative initiatives in polymer science. The Midland Section was chosen for its contribution to education. The group developed 12 hands-on experiments to meet teacher demands for continuing polymer education. Teacher training sessions were held by section members to provide teachers with experiments and necessary tools to teach polymer education at the K–12 level.

The Society Committee on Education honored three local sections for outstanding efforts for programming in the area of chemical education.

The Outstanding High School Student Program Award was given to the North Jersey Section for its teacher affiliates, which consist of 101 members. The affiliates organized programs for students and teachers, including the events for NCW, Chem Olympics, Chementhusiasts, and the Demo Den at the New Jersey Science Convention. Likewise, its 124 Project SEED students represent 42% of the Project SEED program in the U.S.

The Washington-Idaho Border Section was honored with the ACS Student Affiliate Chapter Interaction Award for holding events throughout the year with ACS student affiliates chapters. Representatives of Washington State, Lewis-Clark State College, and the University of Idaho were all present at the grand opening of "A Periodic Table of the Moles" on Mole Day. All three clubs made the grade for the section's Meeting Travel Matching Program, which required that they raise funds and attend three section events in an academic year.

The Outstanding Kids & Chemistry Program Award went to the Indiana Section for providing science education to area elementary schools for several years through the Kids & Chemistry program. They have partnered with the Children's Museum of Indianapolis to reach a wide range of students in central Indiana. Currently, the Kids & Chemistry program offers 10 different program dates, where as many as 60 students per session can come to the museum to create "Jiggle Jelly" and learn about polymers. Nearly 600 students are reached annually through this program.


THE PHOENIX Awards for 2001 National Chemistry Week were also presented at the ceremony. Thirteen local sections were honored for demonstrating exemplary performance in the development and implementation of outstanding NCW activities during the previous calendar year. The awards were established in 1989.

  • Best National Chemistry Week Contest--Milwaukee Section. The section held a Web-based scavenger hunt for high school students. Two-student teams found answers to questions connecting chemistry and art on the Web and submitted website URLs with their answers. ACS members, including members from academic and industrial settings, judged the entries.
  • Most Original Hands-On Activity--Indiana-Kentucky Border Section. In collaboration with the art department at the University of Southern Indiana, the section designed hands-on activities that combined chemistry and art for the school's students. The two projects focused on pottery and painting. Students glazed pottery with consumer products such as Pepto-Bismol and talcum powder and painted a picture with egg yolk paint using ordinary chemicals such as rust.
  • Most Unique Demonstration Program Phoenix Award--Erie Section. In 2001, the section organized a program in collaboration with the public library system titled "Harry Potter Potion Class." More than 25 volunteers donated more than 85 volunteer hours to bring chemistry to the public library system at seven different library branches. The demonstration program included readings from "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and hands-on activities including disappearing liquids and test tubes, magic writing, and magic color changes.
  • Greatest Community Involvement--Michigan State University and Minnesota Sections (tie). The Michigan State University Section held a hands-on demonstration activity at Impression 5 Science Center during NCW. The total attendance was nearly 1,500 people, including 400 preregistered Scouts. During NCW, members of the Minnesota Section organized several different activities at various locations throughout Minnesota. The activities included a 10-minute segment on a hospital television show, a college costume contest and magic show, exhibits and tours at a local art center, hands-on activities at the Science Museum of Minnesota and at a local section meeting, and a Chemistry Day at the University of Minnesota.
  • Greatest Industrial Involvement--Northeast Tennessee Section. "The Celebration of Chemistry for Fourth Graders" garnered a great deal of participation from many industries and businesses in the region. More than 21 businesses participated in the section's NCW program by presenting hands-on or educational demonstrations to convey to the general public a variety of chemistry and science applications that are carried out to provide services, products, or technology.
  • Greatest Membership Involvement--Northwest Louisiana Section. During NCW, the section invited local schoolchildren to the Sci-Port Discovery Center in Shreveport to experience hands-on chemistry activities and a chemistry magic show. Volunteers facilitated activities on invisible ink painting, slime, memory metal, and a superabsorbent polymer for several groups during a two-hour period. The children also viewed a chemistry magic show and a display with activity books on the theme "Chemistry and Art" constructed by an art history major with an interest in museum work.
  • Outstanding Event for a Specific Audience--South Plains Section. The section and the student affiliates chapter at Texas Tech University sponsored a workshop at the Texas Tech Museum for children from the Buckner Baptist Children's Homes in Lubbock, Texas. The workshop, titled "The Isle of Lumen and the Search for Buried Treasure: A Chromo-Mystery," was well received by the children, who ranged in age from six to 18.
  • Best Activity with Underrepresented Minority Groups--Brazosport Section. The section provided bilingual classroom demonstrations for the large Hispanic population, cosponsored a special chemistry event for Girl Scouts, and made classroom kits available to children in a foreign country during NCW.
  • Best Student Affiliate Event--Nashville Section. The students at Middle Tennessee State University designed a series of experiments around the color blue. They demonstrated and explained the experiments at four different schools during NCW. They also raised money for the Twin Towers Fund to help support the families of those who lost their lives in the tragedies of Sept. 11, 2001.
  • Outstanding Creative and/or Unique Event--Pittsburgh Section. With the help of the arts community, clowns from Ringling Brothers, and an artistic chef, the section organized a two-day event at the Carnegie Science Center during NCW. A total of 294 volunteers from 25 groups staffed 28 tables with hands-on science experiments, activities, and demonstrations, reaching a total of 4,580 people.
  • Most Effective Use of Public Relations/Media--Cincinnati Section. The section's ongoing public relations effort culminated in a weeklong newspaper campaign during NCW and included sending 95,000 copies of the Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati Post to 800 schools for distribution to the students and their teachers. An estimated audience of nearly 2.5 million people was reached.
  • Best Event Using the Yearly Theme--Cleveland Section. The demonstration program titled "State of the Art Chemistry: A Hands-On Experience" gave NCW participants the opportunity to explore the world of art through the eyes of a chemist. Other events included a well-attended lecture on chemistry and art conservation at the Cleveland Museum of Art, as well as K–12 chemistry lab coat decorating and poster contests.


GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS ACS President Eli M. Pearce presents a ChemLuminary Award to Marinda Wu from the California Section.
THE ACS PRESIDENT'S Award for Local Section Government Affairs was presented to the California Section in recognition of outstanding efforts to increase member involvement in government affairs and advance public policy to benefit science and society. The section participated in the ACS Contact Congress Week. With help from the ACS Office of Legislative & Government Affairs, California Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D) was invited to speak at a section program to address how federal research and development impacts the chemical enterprise and the outlook for basic research. Representatives of the California Section also visited Rep. Nancy Pelosi's (D) San Francisco office to discuss science education policy, including teacher training. In addition, the section raised member awareness and encouraged members to become more active in science policy issues through its monthly newsletter.

The Best Overall Local Section Minority Affairs Committee Award was presented to the Midland and the Washington-Idaho Border Sections (tie) by the Committee on Minority Affairs (CMA). The Midland Section CMA has been very innovative in seeking ways to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in chemistry and related sciences. Collaborations have been established with the Hispanic Coalition of Saginaw, Project SOAR, the GeoAfrocentric Program of the Saginaw School District, the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe, and the Midland Chapter of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists & Chemical Engineers. In addition to promoting involvement in activities of the Midland Section, the section's members have participated in other programs, such as student mentoring and Kids & Chemistry.

The Washington-Idaho Border Section CMA cooperated with Helping Orient Indian Students & Teachers by sponsoring hands-on demonstrations for 80 students and teachers during the summer. In October, they staffed a "Chemistry & Art" table at the annual Tutxinmepu Powwow, and Feather Broncheau became the first University of Idaho Native American undergraduate student to present a poster at the 2002 spring ACS national meeting in Orlando.


THE COMMITTEE on Local Section Activities presented four awards in addition to those given for Outstanding Performance by Local Sections. The four awards recognize local sections for excellence in individual programs or activities and for outstanding overall performance.

  • Best Activity or Program in a Local Section Stimulating Membership Involvement--Cincinnati Section. About 70 members of the section were involved in connecting chemistry and the community. More than 30 nonmembers joined the section members and provided a variety of activities throughout the year to more than 1,400 people. They organized NCW activities, school and museum programs, and the Chemistry Olympiad program.
  • Most Innovative New Activity or Program in a Local Section--Washington-Idaho Border Section. "A Periodic Table of the Moles" was the focus and unifying theme for the section's outreach activities. Native American mole sculptures were arranged in the periodic table according to their chemical composition and were also displayed on the local section website. Presentations were made at powwows as well as sectional, regional, and national ACS meetings.
  • Activity or Program in a Local Section that Best Addresses the ACS Strategic Thrusts--St. Louis Section. "Chemical Progress Month" is a collection of activities that have become a tradition for this section. The April events encourage the study of chemistry, recognize the performance of promising young students, and honor the achievements of local chemical professionals. Hundreds of members, students, and local chemical professionals are involved in a series of competitions, banquets, displays, and receptions.
  • Most Innovative Use of Technology--North Jersey Section. Web and e-mail communications facilitated growth of meeting attendance while reducing the workload and cost of organizing large local programs that rival the size of current regional meetings in attendance and travel distances. Secure job postings, curriculum vitae listings, Web links, as well as presentations were posted on the section's website.

The committee also gave out six Outstanding Performance Awards based on section size. These awards recognize local sections that have demonstrated excellent overall achievement during the previous calendar year by offering multiple programs for members and reaching out to the community.

  • Small (fewer than 200 members)--Central Utah Section. The section has an effective outreach program that shares the importance of chemistry with thousands in the community each year. In addition to high attendance at section meetings and a growing membership, the group has an annual poster session, an annual micro-ACS meeting, regular demonstrations at schools throughout the state, numerous local seminars for ACS members and nonmembers, and an annual awards banquet.
  • Medium-Small (200 to 399 members)--Peoria Section. Continuing its emergence as an active and energetic local section, the Peoria Section members have expanded their activities to include interaction with science-related service, professional, and advocacy groups. The section has become one of the premier science education advocates in the local area, offering a range of seminars, demonstrations, and hands-on activities to all age groups.
  • Medium (400 to 799 members)--Northeast Tennessee Section. This section continues to advocate professional development, education, and public relations in the region. While reinvigorating traditional programs, the section developed three new activities: TeaChem, ChEmPoweR, and Retiree eChem Thrust. The leadership continues to mentor new members and promote chemistry among all demographic groups.
  • Medium-Large (800 to 1,599 members)--Midland Section. The theme of this year's Midland Section-sponsored Sci-Fest--a series of exhibitions and activities relating to chemistry--was "Celebrating Chemistry and Art." Exhibits and presentations included a poster explaining the colors of aurora borealis, hands-on exploration of fluorescence and phosphorescence of natural and artificial objects, and a guitar player demonstrating the art of acoustics. The event attracted more than 900 attendees. A four-minute video segment regarding the event was aired on CNN Headline Hometown News in three nearby communities: Bay City, Midland, and Saginaw. Following the event, a volunteer thank-you letter was published in two local newspapers.
  • Large (1,600 to 3,199 members)--Detroit Section. During 2001, the section prepared for its 90th anniversary celebration, making extra efforts to continue and enhance the tradition of accomplishments in public outreach. Fifty percent of its budget and approximately 75% of the discretionary spending was directed toward public outreach programs, most of it to programs supporting high school chemistry education. Outstanding programs such as Chemistry Olympiad, Kids & Chemistry, NCW, and Project SEED are components of its outreach activities.
  • Very Large (more than 3,200 members)--Northeastern Section. The section's Education Committee organized meetings, workshops, symposia, and awards presentations. NCW activities included six events involving 151 members and 102 volunteers reaching an audience of 6,000. Then-ACS president Attila E. Pavlath and nine young chemists from Germany were among the 100 attendees at the annual graduate and undergraduate student chemistry research conference sponsored by YCC and the Education Committee.

In celebration of the dedication of the local sections and divisions to ACS, the ceremony was followed by a dance party. Winners and attendees kicked up their heels and danced into the night--a fitting celebration for local section and division members' service and dedication to ACS.


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