2015 ChemLuminary Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2015 ChemLuminary award winners! Thanks to their exceptional volunteer efforts, these Local Sections, Divisions, Regional Meetings, International Chapters and Committees are being recognized for their work promoting chemistry and the chemical sciences.

American Chemical Society

Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society

Cynthia K. Larive

Dr. Larive is recognized for her outstanding contributions to undergraduate and graduate education and to the advancement of analytical chemistry inside and outside the ACS.

Committee on Public Relations and Communications

2015 Helen M. Free Award for Public Outreach

Regina (Gina) Malczewski

Gina is an outreach superstar. Throughout her career, and even into her retirement, she brings science to life for K-12 students, adults, college students, the general public, the media and many others. She has developed programs and awards, secured funding and supplies and helped develop curricula for teachers.

Outstanding Continuing Public Relations Program of a Local Section

Indiana Local Section

The Indiana Section assisted with the planning of the Celebrate Science Indiana public event and hosted a booth featuring hands-on, interactive activities for kids of all ages. Over 4,000 participants enjoyed the activities including ACS President Diane Grob Schmidt and WFYI’s Sid, the Science Kid.

Best New Public Relations Program of a Local Section

North Jersey Local Section

The North Jersey section and the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange, New Jersey celebrated Thomas Edison, as a Chemist.  More than 3,500 attended the Edison Day event and the National Historic Chemical Landmark Dedication ceremony and reception

Women Chemists Committee

Best Overall WCC Local Section

California Local Section

WCC co-sponsored nine Science Cafes with over 100 attendees; organized a NCW hands-on activity program for 100 Girl Scouts; donated and helped organize the "Women Leaders in the Global Chemistry Enterprise" symposium at the ACS National Meeting; and presented chromatography hands-on activities at the "Expanding Your Horizon" conference for 7th and 8th grade girls at Sonoma State University. 

Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs

Outstanding Technical Division Career Program Award

Division of Organic Chemistry (ORGN)

The Young Investigators Symposium held at Fall ACS meetings provides great exposure and recognition for young, highly innovative industrial chemists to show their accomplishments in a national forum.  Over 100 young scientists from large and small companies, government, and non-profit agencies have received the award since 2007.

Outstanding Local Section Career Program Award

St. Louis Local Section

The program provides career services for members and chemists considering relocation to the St. Louis area.  Resources include a Linked-In group and job postings; a list of over 300 local chemical employers; resume reviews; interviewing practice; and personalized career advice.  With YCC and the Leadership Development Forum, career development workshops are hosted monthly with professional networking opportunities.

Younger Chemists Committee

Outstanding Local Section Younger Chemists Committee

Chemical Society of Washington Local Section

In 2014, the CSW YCC successfully organized 7 events attracting over 700 attendees at all career stages, in particular students and young professionals. Events included outreach activities, thematic networking trivias, webinars, chemistry demonstrations, Halloween and a Mole Day celebration.

Outstanding New Local Section Younger Chemists Committee

Virginia Local Section

The Virginia YCC hosted a networking event at Legend’s Brewery where many of the participating younger chemists were new to ACS and used the event to learn more about involvement.

Outstanding or Creative Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Event 

Indiana Local Section

After hosting chemists from the European Young Chemists Network at the ACS National Meeting, the Indiana Section was allowed to send four young chemists to a national meeting in Istanbul that resulted in one participant receiving an award.

Committee on Divisional Activities

Recognition of Innovation and Outstanding Service to Members of a Division

Division of Inorganic Chemistry (INOR)

The Division of Inorganic Chemistry established a symposium to celebrate the accomplishments of outstanding students at the culmination of their graduate or postdoctoral studies.  Marking the event's ten-year anniversary at the ACS National Meeting, Inorganic was the first to initiate Young Investigator Awards with others seeing the benefit to young students.

Most Unique Project as Funded by a Division Innovative Project Grant

Division of Chemical Health & Safety (CHAS)

Partnering with the Division of Chemical Information and the ACS Committee on Chemical Safety EHS Task Force, CHAS held a workshop supporting chemical risk assessment in the laboratory environment. Their work was presented at a UCLA lab safety conference in April 2014 and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry conference in Toronto in July 2014.

Society Committee on Education

Fostering Interactions Between Local Sections & Student Chapters

Midland Local Section

There were several events throughout the year in which the Midland section and the student chapters combined forces to foster interaction between students and professionals, which included social events, the use of "Program in a Box", industry tours, and further collaborations with YCC and WCC.

Outstanding U. S. National Chemistry Olympiad

North Jersey Local Section

The North Jersey Section has participated in the United States National Chemistry Olympiad for 32 years. In 2014, 444 students representing 41 schools competed at the local competition. Students and teachers received certificates and awards at the section’s Annual Banquet.

Outstanding High School Student Program Award

New York Local Section

The New York Section held numerous activities for high school students and teachers including research experiences, competitions, luncheons, and awards for achievement. These programs benefited over 1,000 students and teachers.

Outstanding Kids & Chemistry Award

Central New Mexico Local Section

The Central New Mexico’s CSI: Dognapping Workshop involved over 500 fourth grade students in solving the mystery of a missing dog using the wonders of chemistry and physics. Partnering organizations included Sandia National Laboratories and multiple professional organizations.

Committee on Local Section Activities &
Committee on Divisional Activities

Outstanding Collaboration Between A Division and Local Section

Northeastern Local 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 and Entrepreneurship Council, the Division of Business Development and Management, and Nova Biomedical presented the 2014 ACS Entrepreneurial Resource Center Showcase East Event, a chemistry-based business pitch competition. This collaboration served as an outstanding example of how a Local Section and multiple ACS Divisions can work together to produce a successful entrepreneurial event.

Committee on Project SEED

Outstanding Project SEED Program Award

Chemical Society of Washington Local Section

CSW supported 20 SEED students who participated in a symposium and presented their research at two regional meetings. Two researches were selected for publication in an ACS Journal and two students received SEED college scholarships.

Committee on Chemistry and Public Affairs

ACS President’s Award for Local Section Government Affairs

Nashville Local Section

Leaders in the section’s Government Affairs Committee met regularly with both the Chair of the Tennessee Senate and the House, and invited a Senator from the Tennessee Senate Education Committee to attend a local section meeting in Murfreesboro. Nashville also received National Chemistry Week Proclamations from the Tennessee Governor and the Nashville Mayor.

Committee on Environmental Improvement

Outstanding Sustainability Activities

North Carolina Local Section

The North Carolina section 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. This year's event focused on sustainability and environmental demonstrations.

Leadership Advisory Board

Outstanding Leader Development Program Award

North Jersey Local Section

After years of careful preparation and background work the Section held a spectacularly successful ACS Leadership Development System Course with the nearby Liberty Science Center.  The course, Collaboration Across Boundaries developed into a discussion about collaboration to advance the   interests and programs of the two groups. Key resources were identified along with people who could help each group move the ideas forward.

Corporation Associates

Outstanding Local Section Industry Event

Montana Local Section

The Montana local section sponsored a symposium at the Northwest Regional meeting where small business leaders from the area shared their experiences.  The purpose of the symposium was threefold:  to support the new and growing small chemistry-related business; to provide an opportunity for interaction among chemistry business professionals in the area; and to catalyze involvement of ACS members from the business community in local and regional activities.

Committee on Technician Affairs

Best Event or Activity Organized by, or Benefiting, the Applied Chemical Technology Professional Community

Midland Local Section

Each year the Midland Section offers a series of Lunch and Learn workshops to provide opportunities for section membership development relevant and applicable to technicians.  In 2014, 3 workshops were provided that attracted 35% of the section membership and increased membership by 5%.

Committee on Minority Affairs

Best Overall Local Section Minority Affairs Committee

North Carolina Local Section

In 2014, La Fiesta del Pueblo commemorated its 21st anniversary celebrating Latino culture through exhibits, music, food, dance, and crafts.  The North Carolina section hosted a booth that focused on the “States of Matter” and the NCW theme, and 10 volunteers conducted simple chemistry demonstrations in both English and Spanish.

Committee on International Activities

Global Engagement Award:  Technical Division

Division of History of Chemistry (HIST)

Since 2006, the Citations for Chemical Breakthrough Award has selected winners from a diverse international pool, with nearly 50 awards given in 11 countries. Administered by the Division of the History of Chemistry, the award’s goal of “improving the understanding and appreciation of chemistry by the public” is certainly being realized around the world.

Global Engagement Award: Local Section

New York Local Section

The Chemical Marketing & Economics group of the New York Section assisted with the formation of the ACS Peru International Chapter by sending a Ph.D. student who also supported the Festival de Quimica, which had approximately 500 participants from area elementary, middle, and high schools.

Global Engagement Award:  International Chemical Sciences Chapter

Shanghai International Chemical Sciences Chapter

Chapter members worked with ACS International Activities and ACS Publications to put on an exemplary event that reached out to the Chinese pharmaceutical industry and garnered more than 500 attendees.

Senior Chemists Committee

Best Ongoing Senior Activity in a Local Section that Benefits the Community, Local Schools, or Legislative Government

St. Louis Local Section

With senior chemist volunteers, St. Louis sponsored the Chemistry is pHun outreach programs that had an impact on 822 students in 10 local schools.  Providing expert education to students, seniors served as role models and found this activity rewarding and a way of staying connected with the community.

Most Innovative Activity in a Local Section for Senior Chemists

Toledo Local Section

Utilizing a Senior Chemists and IPG mini-grant, the Toledo section, in partnership with the Toledo Library, hosted an evening with Science Author Sam Kean.  The program had a capacity crowd of over 200 including teachers, students, and the general public and was videotaped by a local PBS station.  ACS 50-year members were also recognized at the event.

Committee on Meetings & Expositions

Outstanding Regional Meeting

2013 Southeastern Regional Meeting 

The Georgia Local Section hosted the Southeast Regional Meeting in Atlanta where over 1700 attendees participated.  There were 23 symposia, 12 general sessions, 5 workshops and 11 poster sessions that were presented during the meeting.  Two plenary lectures were broadcast live, with video and audio, worldwide.

Committee on Community Activities

Best Chem Club NCW Event

Puerto Rico Local Section

Festival de Quimica was celebrated with involvement of Chem Clubs, Student Member Chapters, and Local Section members. Nearly 100 high school students volunteered. Each Chem Club had a topic related to the chemistry of candies and designed a drama to explain the relevance of chemistry. Students also conducted demonstrations for elementary school-aged children.

Best Student Member NCW Event

San Joaquin Local Section

The San Joaquin Valley Section and Fresno State Student Chapter held several events for this year’s NCW that increased the scientific literacy of students and the community.  Events included a chemistry fact scavenger hunt, Wine and Cheese Social, Pumpkin Festival, and a science-themed haunted house to engage students of all grades, the academic community, and industry. 

Creative & Innovative Use of Chemists Celebrate Earth Day Theme

Virginia Local 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 40 tables and 4 classrooms full of activities that focused on every aspect of water.

Most Creative NCW Celebration Using the Yearly Theme

South Florida Local Section 

More than 100 teachers were invited to a one-day, hands-on, professional development workshop in reengineering candy. Teachers learned how to apply their physical science knowledge to develop a new candy, based on the common “no cooking required” Tootsie Roll recipe. Teachers would then have their students re-engineer the candy, name it, and present a marketing strategy.

Outstanding Community Involvement in Chemists Celebrate Earth Day

North Jersey Local Section

The North Jersey Section partnered with Turtle Back Zoo and Alpha Chi Sigma in “Party for the Planet”. Undergraduate student chapters from five local institutions participated in a competition for the best interactive, hands-on demonstration on the topic “Wonders of Water”. A total of 4100 people attended and participated in the demonstrations.

Outstanding Community Involvement in NCW

Pittsburgh Local Section

For the 16th year, the Pittsburgh Section held their NCW event at the Carnegie Science Center to encourage higher education and careers in the STEM areas.  More than 40 groups conducted hands-on activities for approximately 4,000 K-12 students; a Career Café was held for high school students, and tours were given in a mobile museum.

Outstanding NCW Event for a Specific Audience

Northeastern Local Section

For the second year, the Northeastern section sponsored “Cape Cod Celebrates National Chemistry Week”, a science cafe for kids held in conjunction with the Boy Scouts of America fall event. Using the NCW topic, Chemistry of Candy, a local candy man demonstrated the science behind candy making.

Outstanding On-going NCW Event

Indiana Local Section 

For more than 20 years, the Indiana Section held its National Chemistry Week at the Children’s Museum where several local, science-related organizations and educational institutions were invited to host kid-friendly and interactive educational booths.  About 2800 people from the community attended. 

Committee on Local Section Activities

Best Activity or Program in a Local Section Stimulating Membership Involvement

Ole Miss Local Section

The Ole Miss Section held a year-long series of member development book club activities.  Three books, "Warmth Disperses, and Time Passes," "The Alchemy of Air," and "The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York" were purchased and distributed to local section members who met and discussed the scientific, historic, and social aspects of the books.

Local Section Partnership Award

North Carolina Local Section

The North Carolina Section partnered with the Science Olympiad Program to provide resources and volunteers to develop their ‘Green Generation’ Program for high school students.  Using the resources provided in the ACS Climate Change Toolkit, these topics will be included in Science Olympiad tournaments across the state, reaching approximately 1,000 high school students over a 2-year period.

Most Innovative New Activity or Program

Maryland Local Section

Maryland sponsored a Science Café where 42 middle and high school students, teachers, and undergraduates attended two half-day training programs.  In addition, a STEM Café on "What is 3D Printing" was held that consisted of a presentation and demonstration followed by hands-on activities to design and print items.

Outstanding Performance by a Local Section – Small Size Category Award

Erie Local Section

The Erie section had well-rounded activities that included a successful National Chemistry Week demo at the mall; a webinar for members on speaking simply about science to the public; and a celebration for Black History Month.  The newsletter and website were frequently updated, and to increase attendance at activities, a passport was initiated for attendance offering prizes for winners.

Outstanding Performance by a Local Section – Medium Small Size Category Award

Savannah River Local Section

Working from a completed strategic plan, the Savannah River section had a strong year with events that spanned every aspect of a successful local section’s performance – including members, students, public outreach events, and collaborations with other societies and organizations.  A Hispanic community center was also engaged to foster an interest in the chemical sciences among underprivileged children.

Outstanding Performance by a Local Section – Medium Size Category Award

Midland Local Section

The Midland section had an excellent program in 2014 with 74 events, 31 of which were new to the section, and all activities supported the ACS goals.   Program highlights focused on education, women and younger chemists, community outreach, and included 7 Science Café’s and various workshops.

Outstanding Performance by a Local Section – Medium Large Size Category Award

Nashville Local Section

The Nashville section hosted a very successful SERMACS and continued with their many outreach activities including a disabilities program in collaboration with the Disability and Access Center and the Women in STEM Center.  Eight new programs were launched and activities covered all aspects of the ACS goals.

Outstanding Performance by a Local Section – Large Size Category Award

Pittsburgh Local Section

The Pittsburgh section is revitalized partly due to excellent programming for members including career workshops, an energy technology group, and a National Chemistry Week program that brought together more than 40 organizations. With a successful Central Regional Meeting and growing WCC and YCC in 2014, Pittsburgh is being recognized for its outstanding performance.

Outstanding Performance by a Local Section – Very Large Size Category Award

New York Local Section

New York continues to thrive through its multiple subsections, committees and topical groups. There is a robust outreach and community engagement series at many locations including the New York Hall of Science and the Brooklyn Bridge.  They have increased revenue, assets, number of events and election participation, each by more than 30% over the last five years.