2019 ChemLuminary Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2019 ChemLuminary award winners!

American Chemical Society

Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society

Carolyn Ribes

For contributing impactful leadership, an extraordinary commitment to diversity, and tireless volunteerism to the ACS at the local, divisional, and national levels.

Committee on Public Relations and Communications

Helen M. Free Award for Public Outreach

Frankie Wood-Black

Frankie Wood-Black writes a weekly science column for her local newspaper. As an ACS Expert, she has been quoted on topics including tattoo inks and pool safety. She also wrote a book on how to safely perform hands-on science.

Outstanding Continuing Public Relations Program of a Local Section

Nashville Local Section

For the second year, chemists from the ACS Nashville, East Tennessee, and Northeast Tennessee Local Sections hosted hands-on public outreach events as part of the state-wide Tennessee STEAM Festival. More than 20,000 people participated in the events.

Best New Public Relations Program of a Local Section

Silicon Valley Local Section

Free performances of "No Belles" -- vignettes about female scientists -- took place on college campuses in the Silicon Valley ACS region. More than 1,000 attendees benefited from learning the stories of determined women in science.

Women Chemists Committee

Outstanding Women Chemists Local Section Event

East Central Illinois Local Section

The East Central Illinois Local Section’s Bonding with Chemistry camp hosts 120 girls from several local middle schools over two separate weekends. Campers participate in rotating stations to gain hands-on laboratory experiences and engage with chemistry in ways that are often inaccessible in a middle school classroom. The primary goal of the Bonding with Chemistry camp is to introduce middle school girls to chemistry and nurture a deeper interest in a field that they may not otherwise have had much exposure.

Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs

Outstanding Local Section Career Program Award

Greater Houston Local Section

The Greater Houston Local Section organized a Career Fair with the help of ACS National Career Resource team. The Career Fair included three Career Consultants who gave individual talks on relevant topics, provided career consulting, workshops, and one-on-one resume reviews. Employers were present, and interacted with participants and conducted job interviews. The event also provided a great platform to meet members from neighboring local sections in the Greater Houston area.

Younger Chemists Committee

Outstanding Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Award

East Central Illinois Local Section

The ACS East Central Illinois Local Section YCC worked closely with diverse organizations to educate and serve their community. Some highlights include providing a shadow opportunity for local students, hosting a seminar series on mental health and hosting science demonstrations.   

Outstanding or Creative Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Event

Georgia Local Section

The Georgia Local Section YCC invited a panel of Atlanta based scientists to talk to younger chemists. They shared how they got their start, gave career and networking advice, and how to create a healthy work/life balance.

Committee on Chemists with Disabilities 

Chemists with Disabilities Inclusion Award 

New York Local Section

The New York Section, with co-sponsorship from the ACS Committee on Chemists with Disabilities and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and cooperation from the ACS Committee on Chemical Safety, held a day-long symposium on methods for adapting chemistry lectures and laboratories for students with disabilities. The onsite program was livestreamed and had 52 attendees and 72 institutions were represented.

Committee on Divisional Activities

Recognition of Innovation and Outstanding Service to Members of a Division

Division of Energy & Fuels

An Energy & Fuels student award session was developed for students conducting research at the undergraduate and graduate level. The intent of the award is to help engage with professionals from industry, government, and academic backgrounds which provides feedback on relative information and discuss their career path. During this time, Energy & Fuels members talk to the students about the benefits of being active in the ACS and the division and how it has helped grow their network in the chemistry community.

Most Unique Project as Funded by a Division Innovative Project Grant

Division of Chemical Health & Safety

The division created a short cartoon video about performing lab risk assessments and it can be downloaded at the ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety website. 

Joint LSAC & DAC Award

Outstanding Collaboration Between a Local Section and Technical Division

Division of Polymeric Materials: Science & Engineering and the New York Local Section

A one day symposium entitled Advances in Space Exploration was organized by the NY ACS Chemical Marketing & Economics Group and the Division of Polymeric Materials: Science & Engineering. Among the highlights were plenary sessions featuring Dr. Robert Langer, Dr. Emily Carter, and Dr. James Green who gave overviews of their research and how it would affect certain aspects of long-term space travel.

Society Committee on Education

Fostering Interactions Between Local Sections & Student Chapters

Georgia Local Section

In 2018, the Georgia section interacted with Georgia Gwinnett College ACS Students Affiliates organized and 18 events attended by 2694 participants. One example of an event was the Super Saturday Series, an all-day hands-on science and technology workshop. The event is targeted toward middle-school and high-school girls in order to address the gender gap that is currently present within science and technology fields.

Outstanding U. S. National Chemistry Olympiad

Georgia Local Section

850 students from 33 high schools participated in the competition. A 300% increase in participation. Local Section provided the teachers with a detailed Excel spreadsheet, that highlights key features about their students' performance, to easily recognize what areas of chemistry their students need more help with when preparing for the exams.

Outstanding High School Student Program Award

Georgia Local Section

The Georgia local section distributed teacher care packages to over 70 K-12 institutions, and engaged over 7,000 high school students at outreach events including Chemists Celebrate Earth Week, National Chemistry Week, the Atlanta Science Festival, the Gwinnett Science Fair and others.

Outstanding Kids & Chemistry Award

Greater Houston Local Section

The Greater Houston local section held 36 events for pre-college students and their families, attracting more than 12,000 participants. These events increased awareness of education and career opportunities in STEM.

Committee on Project SEED

Outstanding Project SEED Program Award

New York Local Section

The New York site had 46 SEED participants.  Of them, 29 presented at the Fall National Meeting.  Two students received SEED Scholarships.  Students participated in additional poster competitions with many awardees, including Seton Hall University and the regional Intel STEM Showcase.  Donors included the New York Local Section, CME, and the Union City Board of Education.

Committee on Chemistry and Public Affairs

ACS President’s Award for Local Section Government Affairs

Chicago Local Section

The Chicago local section collaborated with the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois in a state advocacy workshop followed by legislator meetings. Local section members also observed an Illinois Senate session to learn legislative procedures.

Committee on Environmental Improvement

Outstanding Sustainability Activities Award

Central New York Local Section

The local section partnered with a local high school and community groups to host a Green Chemistry Think Tank. Attendees enjoyed speakers from academic, environmental and STEM groups. The event featured demonstrations on composting, urban gardening, and recycling, as well as pizza and liquid nitrogen ice cream.

Committee on Ethics

Outstanding Local Section Programming Related to the Promotion of Ethics in Chemistry Award

Silicon Valley Local Section

The Silicon Valley Local Section brought six performances of No Belles, stories about female scientists who have and have not received the Nobel Prize, to over 1000 attendees on four local college campuses, thus raising awareness both of the unethical behaviors that result in the current gender imbalance in STEM fields and of the achievements of women who have persevered.

Leadership Advisory Board

Outstanding Leadership Development Program Award

Savannah River Local Section

The Savannah River Local Section provided two very successful Leadership Development Program courses in conjunction with the hosting of SERMACS 2018. The courses selected were: 'Leading Change' and 'Coaching and Feedback'. The section advertised the courses to a mailing list comprised of the local section officers in all 37-southeastern region local sections.

Corporation Associates

Outstanding Local Section Industry Event

Detroit Local Section

The Detroit Local Section sponsored a symposium on sustainable polymers. The poster session highlighted students work in the polymer field and the networking portion allowed discussions between the industry and academic speakers.

Committee on Technician Affairs

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

Brazosport Local Section

The Brazosport local section hosted a joint event with Dow Chemical’s Big Techs Organization that hosted a poster session and included a presentation.  The event was open to all technicians in the area.

Committee on Minority Affairs

Best Overall Local Section Minority Affairs Committee

Georgia Local Section

The May meeting is held in honor of Dr. Percy Julian, a chemist who pioneered the chemical synthesis of human hormones from plant sterols. The program honored Dr. Julian by awarding book scholarships to two worthy graduating high school seniors bound for college. The event was attended by over 100 people, of which approximately 90 were from underrepresented groups.

Committee on International Activities

Global Engagement Award for International Chemical Sciences Chapters

Saudi Arabia International Chemical Sciences Chapter

The Saudi Arabia Chapter launched the Chemistry for Community workshop program. The program brought together 700 chemistry teachers for professional development training, which addressed effective teaching methods and reforms to the Saudi public education system.

Global Engagement Award for Local Sections

Northeastern Local Section

The Northeastern Local Section hosted twelve student delegates from the 2018 German Exchange Program (GEX). The students participated in a number of events with the Northeastern Younger Chemists Committee and attended National Meeting technical sessions.

Global Engagement Award for Technical Divisions

Division of Chemical Health & Safety 

A Division of Chemical Health and Safety Officer helped facilitate at a workshop organized by ACS and sponsored by the U.S. State Department in Kuala Lumpur. The workshop highlighted chemical safety and security best practices.

Senior Chemists Committee

Most Innovative Activity in a Local Section for Senior Chemists

Lehigh Valley Local Section

The Lehigh Valley held a meeting for senior chemists demonstrating expertise in chemistry to K-12 and undergraduate students. Students discussed using social media and practical approaches to capturing, editing, and uploading pictures and video.

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

Corning Local Section

Visits were made by retired chemists to six Corning elementary schools. During National Chemistry week, four schools were visited covering third and fifth grades doing hour-long hands-on activities entitled "Quality Control" and "Catapult Engineering".  A total of 200 students participated. Visits were made throughout the school year as an ongoing effort to continue the initiative that's taken place for more than 30 years.

Committee on Meetings & Expositions

Outstanding Regional Meeting

2017 Southeastern Regional Meeting

The Carolina Piedmont Local Section hosted the 2017 Southeastern Regional Meeting in Charlotte, NC. A record number of 2,228 attendees participated. The meeting sought participation from local industry, academia within the Charlotte community, which contributed to the offering over 107 technical sessions. Programming included 69 oral presentations, 328 poster presentations, and 6 Workshops.

Committee on Community Activities

Best NCW Event Organized by a Student Group

Mississippi Local Section

The Mississippi Local Section and local students worked together to produce their biggest celebration of National Chemistry Week yet. Dozens of Mississippi State’s Student Members spent six months and countless hours planning, fundraising, practicing, and promoting outreach activities. Over the course of the week, members and students reached thousands of people through eight different events including a rally, bake sale, photo contest, seminars, and ended the week with a tailgate extravaganza.

Most Creative & Innovative Use of the CCED Theme

Virginia Local Section

The Virginia Local Section organized their 2018 Chemists Celebrate Earth Week event at the Science Museum of Virginia. The event included 15 tables of creative and innovative marine chemistry-based activities about hydrophobic fish, pH measurements, oil spills and their effects on marine life, magic sand castles, Cartesian diver races, and much more. Each of the 300 attendees left with a seaweed snack pack and other materials for further exploration of marine chemistry.

Most Creative NCW Celebration Using the Yearly Theme

Binghamton Local Section

The Binghamton Local Section hosted National Chemistry Week 2018 at the Kopernik Observatory in Vestal, New York. The Section engaged the public in space chemistry with ten themed hands-on activities, including some from the Explore Science: Let’s Do Chemistry kit offered through the ChemAttitudes Partnership. Additionally, attendees learned how the observatory studies chemistry, watched a liquid nitrogen demonstration, toured three large telescopes, and took home freeze-dried ice cream.

Outstanding Community Involvement in CCED

Northeastern Local Section

The Northeastern Local Section hosted Chemists Celebrate Earth Week 2018 with an event involving 80 science educators from 10 different organizations. Volunteers were students, teachers, faculty, and retirees from community groups such as local high schools, colleges, universities, the younger chemists committee, the senior chemists committee, and non-profit organizations like Beyond Benign and the Museum of Science, Boston. The event reached over 700 members of the public.

Outstanding Community Involvement in NCW

Georgia Local Section

The Georgia Local Section involved over 9,400 community members in National Chemistry Week events in 2018. Event attendees came from 76 educational institutions, including 36 high schools, 15 middle schools, and 25 elementary schools. Educational giveaways, including issues of Celebrating Chemistry, which were distributed to more than 8,500 K-12 students, 500 undergraduate students, and 400 visitors to a local science center.

Outstanding NCW Event for a Specific Audience

Orange County Local Section

The Orange County Local Section celebrated National Chemistry Week 2018 with its annual Science at the Zoo event. The event welcomed all members of the Santa Ana and Tustin communities, which are predominately Hispanic and economically disadvantaged. The Section’s yearly collaboration with the Zoo has resulted in free admission for local residents and the introduction of “Science is Fun” to an underrepresented population in the sciences.

Outstanding Ongoing CCED Event

Midland Local Section

The Midland Local Section has hosted their annual Chemists Celebrate Earth Week Expo for 15 straight years, 14 of them in partnership with the Midland Center for the Arts. The annual event features between 15-20 exhibitors with hands-on activities, and has included unique elements such as themed talks for adult audiences, food collection campaigns, and drawings for prizes such as plants and community garden plots.

Outstanding Ongoing NCW Event

Princeton Local Section

The Princeton Local Section has conducted their National Chemistry Week event for 19 consecutive years. The ongoing goal of the event is to explain the varied and vital roles of chemistry and to make chemistry interesting and accessible. Since 2000, the event has become community-wide with hundreds of guests, two start times, multiple activity stations, formal presentations, and more than 130 volunteers from high schools, Princeton University, other colleges, and industry.

Outstanding Public Outreach Event Organized by a Student Group

Alaska Local Section

The Alaska Local Section and the University of Alaska Anchorage Chemistry Club conducted outreach as part of the 2018 Science Olympiad. ACS members and students demonstrated chemistry concepts using hands-on activities from the Let’s Do Chemistry kit, provided through ACS’s ChemAttitudes Partnership. Approximately 300 people attended the STEM expo and learned about chemistry and its impact on everyday life.

Joint CCA, LSAC & SOCED Award

ChemAttitudes Partnership Award 

Kentucky Lake Local Section

The Kentucky Lake Local Section conducted 5 hands-on science events, serving over 500 children across their rural region using the Let’s Do Chemistry kit. They partnered with Discovery Park of America to offer a free chemistry program; with the University of Tennessee Martin STEM Center to ensure that science had a prominent role at Martin Elementary School’s Family Fun Night; and with the ACS Student Chapter at Tennessee Martin to host a chemistry merit badge clinic for area Boy Scout troops.

Committee on Local Section Activities

Best Activity or Program in a Local Section Stimulating Membership Involvement

Upper Peninsula Local Section

The Upper Peninsula Local Section live-streamed the keynote address from their 2018 Student Research Symposium.  Providing remote access to the symposium as part of the section’s strategy to engage members that are unable to attend events in person.  The section live-streamed several other events throughout the year including their science cafe.

Local Section Partnership Award

Indiana Local Section

The Indiana Local Section is an active partner in the annual Celebrate Science Festival. The local section worked closely with other non-profit, industry, and government sponsors to conduct the event, which attracted over 3,000 participants.  Among the highlights for the section was the participation of Andrew Wu, the 2018 Chemistry Olympiad gold medal winner from the local section who partnered with former ACS President Allison Campbell to conduct chemistry demos.

Most Innovative New Activity or Program

Chicago Local Section

The Chicago Section preserves a large archive of photos dating back almost 125 years.  However, most photos bear no information about the individuals or events pictured. To gain more insight, the section engaged in a crowdsourcing exercise by posting photos galleries online and in a reoccurring newsletter column titled “Who is this?” As subjects are identified, facial recognition algorithms are applied to automatically propagate information across other photos in the archive.

Outstanding Performance by a Local Section – Small Size Category Award

Kentucky Lake Local Section

Being a small section in a rural area is particularly challenging because members may have to drive upwards of 100 miles (each way) to attend meetings, activities, and events.  The Kentucky Lake local section met this challenge—and maintained good attendance—by rotating programming through four regional locations and providing consistent, high quality programs that engaged students, academic, and industrial members.

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

Savannah River Local Section

The Savannah River Local Section was able to make incredible strides towards becoming more active, involved, and useful to the Central Savannah River Area in 2018. Notable achievements included development of a Strategic Plan, technological advancements and migration, modernization of communication materials including the use of social platforms, and execution of the Southeastern Regional Meeting.

Outstanding Performance by a Local Section – Medium Size Category Award

Midland Local Section

The Midland local section celebrated its centennial in 2018.  With the unwavering commitment to the Section, volunteers organized and hosted more than 100 events, which have an invaluable impact for our nearly 600 members and close to 20,000 professionals, students and the broader community of the Great Lakes Bay Region.

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

Portland Local Section

The Portland Section continued to demonstrate its commitment to promoting education, career advancement, industry involvement and community service, as highlighted by the Section’s many events and activities. Among the sections highlights is it commitment to promote innovation/entrepreneurship as the organizer of the 3rd Annual Oregon Science Startup Forum.

Outstanding Performance by a Local Section – Large Size Category Award

Greater Houston Local Section

The Greater Houston Section continues to build momentum and increase the involvement and impact of their existing activities.  In 2018, the section focused on leveraging technology and social media to support its many events.  Skype, Dropbox, and Slack enabled communication among board members and new volunteers who have brought innovative technology ideas.  Their monthly newsletter is more polished and their social media presence is becoming more regular and impactful.

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

New York Local Section

The New York Local Section offers a wide variety of opportunities for members to participate in technical and social activities.  In 2018, the section, its subsections and topical groups conducted over 90 events.  In addition to serving the needs of their local members, 22 leaders from the New York local section served on 19 national ACS Committees in 2018.