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ACS News

October 11, 2010
Volume 88, Number 41
pp. 44-46

Accolades For ACS Volunteers

ChemLuminary Awards honor ACS divisions, local sections, regional meetings, and individuals who support them

Linda Wang

Peter Cutts Photography
OUTREACH ACS Immediate Past-President Thomas Lane (far right) and Lynn Hogue (far left), chair of the Committee on Community Activities, present the ChemLuminary Award for Outstanding Event for the General Public Using the Yearly NCW Theme to the Syracuse Section’s Sally Mitchell (second from left) and Michelle Boucher.
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Peter Cutts Photography
YOUNGER CHEMISTS ACS President Francisco (right) and YCC Chair Michael (Mick) Hurrey (left) hand over the Outstanding or Creative Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Event Award to Michigan State University’s Amy Pollock.
Peter Cutts Photography
PROJECT SEED ACS President-Elect Nancy Jackson (right) and Committee on Project SEED Chair Joshua Pak (left) present the Outstanding Project SEED Program Award to the Indiana Section’s Jeannie Phillips.

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Roughly 400 chemists gathered recently to recognize local sections, regional meetings, and divisions that earned accolades for their tireless efforts in promoting chemistry and the chemical sciences during 2009.

The 12th annual ChemLuminary Awards gala honored the volunteers who make these programs possible through thousands of hours of service within the American Chemical Society’s 189 local sections and 33 divisions. The celebration took place in August during the ACS national meeting in Boston.

“It is an honor to recognize and celebrate the contributions of our ACS volunteers, who are the lifeblood of our society,” said ACS President Joseph S. Francisco during the ceremony. “While crisscrossing the country, 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 Champions—A Salute To You!’ ”

The Award for Volunteer Service to ACS was presented to Margaret A. Cavanaugh, deputy assistant director in the directorate for geosciences at the National Science Foundation. She was recognized for her extraordinary accomplishments as chair of the ACS Committees on Women Chemists, on Public Relations & Communications, on Science, and on Ethics.

“In whatever way, I urge you to move your local sections toward more civic engagement,” Cavanaugh said in her keynote address. “Since next year is the International Year of Chemistry, it’s a great time to be more public about the contributions that chemists make to knowledge and to solving problems. So be a volunteer, and more and more, be a hero in your own community!”


The Outstanding Continuing Public Relations Program of a Local Section Award went to the Delaware Section for its year-round Kids & Chemistry program, which has reached over 5,000 children and adults in every school district in the state—including private and parochial schools—and scout troops.

The Award for Best New Public Relations Program of a Local Section went to the Portland Section, in Oregon, for its effort to introduce high school chemistry teachers to the section and to ACS by hand-delivering more than 250 copies of the “Merck Index” to schools throughout the state.


The Award for Outstanding New/Innovative Women Chemists Committee Single Event went to the Georgia Section for its event celebrating the 2009 theme of “Chemistry and Cooking.”


The Outstanding Local Section Career Program Award in the Small to Medium-Large size category went to the Brazosport Section, in Texas, which introduced a career development program titled “Chemists Helping the Unemployed” 
and a chemistry demonstration series 
for K–9 students titled “The Magic of 

The Large to Very Large size category award went to the North Jersey Section, which reached more than 800 job seekers with its monthly Careers in Transition meetings, job boards at topical group meetings, and career talks at scientific meetings.


The Outstanding or Creative Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Event Award went to the Michigan State University Section for its breakfast event to welcome incoming graduate students.

The Outstanding Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Award went to the Detroit Section for its series of 10 well-attended programs with an educational and networking component.

The Outstanding New Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Award went to the North Jersey Section, which in just two years went from having six to 110 active members by holding numerous events, including the Rutgers Science Careers Symposium.


Three divisions were recognized with ChemLuminary Awards for innovative programs and outstanding service to their members:

■ the Division of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, which sponsored the Young Scientist Award Symposium to attract outstanding young scientists from food-related fields to ACS national meetings

■ the Division of Computers in Chemistry, which sponsored an innovative and bilingual workshop featuring the construction of an instant supercomputer, providing a public audience the unique opportunity to help solve a current research problem

■ the Division of Organic Chemistry, which established an annual symposium to provide opportunities for assistant professors to present their work in a high-profile setting at a national meeting preceding their tenure decisions


The Award for Outstanding Collaboration Between a Local Section and Division went to both the Division of Nuclear Chemistry & Technology and the Savannah River Section. These groups collaborated to provide elemental items for the Living Periodic Table of Elements, displayed in the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center at the University of South Carolina, Aiken.


The ACS Student Affiliates Chapter Interaction Award went to the Greater Houston Section for its efforts in getting students involved in a variety of events and offering mini-grants for regional and national meetings. A student member picnic generated plans for joint projects in 2010.

The Outstanding High School Student Program Award went to the New York Section. The group was cited for its dedicated involvement in high school programs such as Project SEED, the Chemistry Olympiad, and the Chemagination contest.

The Outstanding Kids & Chemistry Award went to the Detroit Section, which conducted numerous programs, including classroom visits, career fairs, and museum events.


The Outstanding Project SEED Program Award went to the Indiana Section, which has been active in the Project SEED program for over 23 years. It has supported and mentored more than 145 students, including 20 students who were recipients of Project SEED college scholarships.


The ACS President’s Award for Local Section Government Affairs went to the San Diego Section, which organized and collaborated with other local scientific organizations to engage federal and state legislators in providing forums for local section members to learn about and discuss public policy issues.


The Outstanding Leader Development Program Award went to the Red River Valley Section, which hosted a successful leadership development course that attracted scientists from all over the section’s geographic area in North Dakota and Minnesota.


The Chemists with Disabilities Inclusion Award went to the Nashville Section. Its Celebrate Chemistry event at the Adventure Science Center made it easier and safer for those with disabilities to visit and learn about the chemical elements through each of the 20 activities provided.


The ChemLuminary Award for Diversity went to the Nashville Section. The section helped sponsor Middle Tennessee State University’s Expanding Your Horizons in Science & Mathematics Conference, which attracted more than 300 middle school and 70 high school girls.


The Outstanding Regional Meeting Award went to the 60th Southeast Regional Meeting (SERMACS 2008) and the 64th Northwest Regional Meeting (NORM 2009).

SERMACS 2008, hosted by the Nashville Section, attracted more than 1,600 attendees, including 450 undergraduates. The meeting featured approximately 900 presentations, including a plenary session by Nobel Laureate Robert H. Grubbs and an undergraduate program hosted by the Student Affiliates chapter at Western Kentucky University.

NORM 2009, hosted by the Puget Sound Local Section, attracted more than 350 attendees with 208 papers. Highlights included a Wizards of Chemistry show and a symposium celebrating the section’s 100th anniversary.


The ChemLuminary Award for Outstanding Event for the General Public Using the Yearly National Chemistry Week Theme went to the Syracuse Section, which offered free admission and held NCW activities at the local Museum of Science & Technology.

The Outstanding Community Involvement in NCW prize went to the Pittsburgh Section, which formed partnerships with area professional societies, nonprofit organizations, local corporations and businesses, universities and student affiliates chapters, secondary schools, and local media.

The Award for Outstanding Event for a Specific Audience went to the Orange County Section, which continued to build upon a program that resulted in much increased participation in Science at the Zoo Day by the local population, particularly members of the Santa Ana, Calif., community.

The Best High School NCW Event Award went to the Princeton Section. Princeton University, Princeton High School, and local scientists collaborated to present an evening of demonstrations and hands-on activities for community members from central and northern New Jersey.

The Best Student Affiliates Event went to the Western New York Section. In celebration of NCW, the Canisius College Student Affiliates Chapter organized three chemical demonstration shows that each attracted more than 150 people.

The Award for Outstanding Industrial Involvement went to the Delaware Section, which recruited a large and enthusiastic group of industrial participants for its 2009 NCW Chemistry Fair.

The Outstanding On-going NCW Event Award went to the New York Section. Its NCW event was held in partnership with the New York Hall of Science, in Queens, and PepsiCo in Westchester, reaching more than 1,200 people.

The Award for the Most Original Hands-On Activity or Chemical Demonstration went to the Northeastern Section, which worked with Boston Children’s Museum to design an activity to relate elements to everyday life.

The Greatest Community Involvement in Chemists Celebrate Earth Day Award went to the Puerto Rico Section, which worked with ACS student chapters from Puerto Rico to sponsor the annual Festival de Química.

The Award for Creative & Innovative Use of the Chemists Celebrate Earth Day Theme went to the Central Texas Section, which solicited outside help in selecting activities, staffing tables, and organizing 14 activities that included six new demonstrations using plants.


The Award for Best Activity or Program in a Local Section Stimulating Membership Involvement went to the San Diego Section for an outstanding marketing strategy to promote its monthly seminar series. The group’s efforts led to a 200% increase in member attendance at the monthly meetings.

The Award for Most Innovative New Activity or Program in a Local Section went to the Southern Arizona Section, which used funding from the ACS Local Section Innovative Projects Grant Program to promote diversity and inclusion. The section provided adolescents with high-functioning autism and their parents the opportunity to learn about available medical resources in a university setting.

The Local Section Partnership Award went to the Syracuse Section, which partnered with local college students, corporations, and members of the community on projects such as Adopt-a-Stream and Project Watershed to highlight Chemists Celebrate Earth Day. During NCW, the section partnered with the local Museum of Science & Technology to host hands-on activities.

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 Penn-Ohio Border Section, which sponsored a regional meeting symposium, held an elementary school teacher demonstration workshop, and hosted an annual awards banquet.

■ In the medium-small category, the winner was the Brazosport Section. It organized nine new activities that included a career development program and a chemistry demonstration series.

■ In the medium category, the winner was the Nashville Section. The section organized the Celebrating Diversity in STEM program at the 2009 annual conference of the Tennessee Science Teachers Association. Additionally, its Mayor’s First Day of School event attracted 20,000 participants.

■ In the medium-large category, the winner was the Cincinnati Section. It helped provide science tutoring through local academic laboratories and industries, and section members served as mentors.

■ In the large category, the winner was the San Diego Section, which focused on professional development of its members as well as community outreach.

■ In the very large category, the winner was the Chicago Section, which hosted the 38th Great Lakes Regional Meeting, started participating in Project SEED, held its 21st annual Chemistry Day, participated in its sixth Illinois State Fair, and initiated electronic newsletters.

For more information about the ChemLuminary Awards, visit www.acs.org/chemluminary.

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society
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