2016 ChemLuminary Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2016 ChemLuminary Award winners!

American Chemical Society

Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society

H.N. Cheng

Dr. Cheng is being recognized for his exemplary efforts and leadership in ACS Governance and for his consistent and notable contributions in a large number of assignments.

Committee on Public Relations and Communications

Helen M. Free Award for Public Outreach

Howard and Sally Peters

Howard and Sally Peters are best known for their activities in teaching about chocolate – in presentations about its history, preparation, and health effects. They also have volunteered many hours with science fairs and student activities. 

Outstanding Continuing Public Relations Program of a Local Section

Northeastern Local Section

Northeastern’s “STEM Journey II: Ocean Discovery” was organized by NESACS, Cape & Islands Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and Cape Cod Community College. More than 1,100 people attended this K-12 and beyond event on a snowy Saturday on Cape Cod. 150 Scout merit badges in oceanography and chemistry were completed, hands on exhibits were run by 100 volunteers, and 450 people attended the four keynote talks on sharks and discovery of the Titanic.

Best New Public Relations Program of a Local Section

Lehigh Valley Local Section

Lehigh Valley's Summer Science Spectacular brought together ACS members, colleagues, and science friends to provide a fun-filled day of outreach for families at a Reading Fighting Phils baseball game. More than 400 kindergarten through 12th-grade students, their families, and baseball fans experienced many fun and engaging applications of chemistry.

Women Chemists Committee

Best Overall WCC Local Section

Chicago Local Section

Chicago hosted numerous activities which included a nontraditional career forum, an American Association of University Women $tart $mart Workshop about negotiating salaries, a mentoring event, and a Mix & Mingle held with Iota Sigma Pi featuring a chemistry-based, Jeopardy-style game.

Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs

Outstanding Technical Division Career Program

Division of Inorganic Chemistry (INOR)

INOR supported 50 students’ travel to the ACS National Meeting through the DIC Travel Award Program (DIC-TAP).  This was the 15-year anniversary of the creation of the DIC-TAP. Since 2000 the Division has supported about 750 students to present their work.

Outstanding Local Section Career Program

Detroit Local Section

Detroit held a number of events throughout the year which were designed to provide career and skill support and promotion ranging from the needs of the unemployed, the students, the currently employed and prospective students.

Younger Chemists Committee

Outstanding Local Section Younger Chemists Committee

Northeastern Local Section

Northeastern YCC participated in 22 career development, networking, and community outreach events.  Through local, national, and international collaborations, each program had an average of 30 participants and with the largest being a reception held during the National Meeting where over 250 participants were in attendance.  After a restructuring, they expanded their board by 60% to include 13 people from 10 institutions.  Currently they are discussing creating a community for young chemists in Boston.

Outstanding New Local Section Younger Chemists Committee

Nashville Local Section

Nashville YCC hosted a social at the joint regional meeting between the Southeast and Southwest regions.  The Nashville YCC invited numerous other YCC groups to collaborate, with a state goal of introducing undergraduate and graduate students to the YCC, and encourage them to use this group as a stepping stone into involvement with their local section.

Outstanding or Creative Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Event 

San Diego Local Section

San Diego held an "Academics 2 Industry: UCLA" where over 30 people were in attendance.  The Academics 2 Industry is a lecture series intended to give students studying chemistry a primer course on the transition to research as a medicinal chemist.

Committee on Divisional Activities

Recognition of Innovation and Outstanding Service to Members of a Division

Division of Cellulose and Renewable Materials (CELL)

CELL continued an overhaul of their division awards and recognition program to address a gap in recognition of emerging scientists.  The Division initiated the new "KINGFA Young Investigator Award" while expanding two existing awards, the Eastman Graduate Student Award and the Graduate Poster Award, as part of the 2016 San Diego National Meeting.

Most Unique Project as Funded by a Division Innovative Project Grant

Division of Inorganic Chemistry (INOR)

INOR held recruitment activities at ACS National Meetings in 2015 that included activity tables, on-the-spot QR code registration, and custom made INOR t-shirts for staff and participants. The efforts resulted in a 31% increase in 2015 new memberships vs. 2014, including a nearly three-fold increase in undergraduate memberships and a 20% increase in student memberships overall.

Society Committee on Education

Fostering Interactions Between Local Sections & Student Chapters

Kentucky Lake Local Section

Kentucky Lake received an ACS Innovative Project Grant (IPG) to host children science centers at monthly meetings in conjunction with three ACS student chapters. After eight science centers, the IPG culminated with an evening at the ball park and day at Discovery Park.

Outstanding U. S. National Chemistry Olympiad

Orange County Local Section

Orange County arranged awards programs to honor the top students and teachers, 135 students from 37 schools competed; two students received High-Honors and four Honors. Winners received medallions, gift-cards, and their names engraved on a perpetual plaque.

Outstanding High School Student Program Award

Puerto Rico Local Section

Puerto Rico worked with high school chemistry clubs to foster their interaction with Student Chapters’ members during the Section’s NCW celebration. Nearly 150 high school students and 20 teachers served as volunteers during this exciting community activity.

Outstanding Kids & Chemistry Award

Midland Local Section

Midland's Kids & Chemistry events inspired and astonished with the power and relevance of chemistry in a variety of venues and formats.

Committee on Project SEED

Outstanding Project SEED Program Award

California Local Section

California supported 49 SEED students; and successfully raised funds to support the program. SEED students participated in symposia, presented a poster on their research, and interacted with professional and academic scientists. Three students won ACS Scholarships.

Committee on Chemistry and Public Affairs

ACS President’s Award for Local Section Government Affairs

Chicago Local Section

Chicago worked with U.S. Senator Mark Kirk to ensure support for science education in the Every Student Succeeds Act, which led to legislation funding professional development for STEM teachers, an ACS priority.

Committee on Environmental Improvement

Outstanding Sustainability Activities

Dallas-Fort Worth Local Section (Tied for first place)

Dallas-Fort Worth organized a workshop with a keynote speech by the Texas State Climatologist, Texas A&M’s Professor John Nielsen-Gammon. This was followed by panel discussion with representatives of four STAT disciplinary affiliates moderated by Dr. Landolt, with a Q/A session.

Midland Local Section (Tied for first place)

Upon receipt of a sustainability grant, Midland started two community garden plots at Creative 360 and then built a greenhouse of recycled bottles on the property over three days during the summer. The produce from the garden (and later, the greenhouse) as well as in-kind donations were given to local food pantries and used to make food at the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. Some food was also given to Chef Aaron Gaertner to use for his culinary arts classes at the Saginaw Career Complex.

Leadership Advisory Board

Outstanding Leadership Development Program Award

Midland Local Section

In the fall of 2015, twelve leaders from Midland convened to participate in an ACS Leadership Development System® Strategic Planning Retreat.  As a result, the section leaders developed three actionable goals to support their newly crafted mission and vision statements.  The leadership team also identified goal champions and action team leaders to ensure the operational success of its newly adopted strategic plan.

Corporation Associates

Outstanding Local Section Industry Event

Northeastern Local Section

Northeastern sponsored an event that brought chemists from industry and academia to Vertex in order to learn about and discuss innovations in process chemistry.  The symposium drew in over 150 attendees from over 40 different local companies and academic institutes to Vertex's state of the art campus on the Boston waterfront.  The symposium hosted four high impact academic speakers and four industrial speakers.

Committee on Technician Affairs

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

Midland Local Section

Midland's Mid-Michigan Technicians Group offers professional development-focused Lunch & Learn workshops to chemical technicians. In 2015, a program on emotional intelligence helped attendees find ways to boost personal and social competencies.

Committee on Minority Affairs

Best Overall Local Section Minority Affairs Committee

Richland Local Section

Richland held an outreach for Native American elementary and middle school children. Over 38 Native American children attended a day of festivities which included CCCED themes.  Children learned about CO2, UV Sensitive beads to assess the efficacy of sun blockers, used bouncy balls and flowers to explore how liquid nitrogen changes the characteristic properties of matter, and then enjoyed making liquid nitrogen ice cream.

Committee on International Activities

Global Engagement Award Division

Division of Small Chemical Businesses (SCHB)

SCHB organized three symposia at PacifiChem 2015 that served as a model for international collaboration. These symposia featured speakers from the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, Chemical Society of Japan, and the Canadian Society for Chemistry. This was the first time for the division to organize an event with sister society participants, and created new connections with international partners. Over 200 participants attended these events.

Global Engagement Award  International Chemical Sciences Chapter

Nigeria International Chemical Sciences Chapter

Nigeria held Abuja Festival of Chemistry with help from the Chemical Society of Nigeria. Over 300 school students attended to perform experiments managed by over 30 volunteers.

Senior Chemists Committee

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

Colorado Local Section

Colorado has hosted the Summer Senior Lunch Program for the past 10 years. During the event, 50- to 60-year members are given certificates and senior members have a chance to meet and socialize with section members.

Most Innovative Activity in a Local Section for Senior Chemists

Detroit Local Section

Detroit held a Senior Chemists Meeting at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Attendance was filled to capacity and included a tour of the Conservation Labs, networking, and future planning for senior chemists.

Committee on Meetings & Expositions

Outstanding Regional Meeting

2014 Central Regional Meeting

Pittsburgh hosted the CERM 2014 where over 800 attendees participated.  There were three plenary lectures, 247 oral presentations, 259 poster presentations, 4 workshops, and 5 vendor seminars that were presented during the meeting.

Committee on Community Activities

Best NCW Event Organized by a Student Group

Western Carolinas Local Section

Western Carolinas hosted an NCW event at the Spartanburg Science Center which brought hands-on activities and chemical demonstrations coordinated by two Student Member Chapters and two High School Chemistry Clubs to 150 community members. Copies of Celebrating Chemistry, pencils, and other giveaways were presented to all attendees.

Most Creative NCW Celebration Using the Yearly Theme

California Local Section 

California organized “Family Science Night” where volunteers and students from UC Berkeley, CSU East Bay, and Las Positas College entertained hundreds of students and their families at Bancroft Middle School in San Leandro, filling classrooms with numerous NCW themed activities.

Outstanding Community Involvement in CCED

Midland Local Section

Midland organized Earth Day Passport Programs including one event with Dr. Rick Foster who discussed the urgency of finding food globally, and explained a variety of new programs in Detroit to establish urban farms and reclaim some of the abandoned cityscape for food production.

Outstanding Community Involvement in NCW

Cincinnati Local Section

Cincinnati coordinated events for NCW for an estimated 8,530 attendees with community organizations like the Cincinnati Museum Center and about 30 libraries in Hamilton and Warren Counties, and with ACS partners like Northern Kentucky Student Affiliates and Wilmington College Chemistry Students.

Outstanding NCW Event for a Specific Audience

Pittsburgh Local Section

Pittsburgh’s WCC led an event for NCW at the Ronald McDonald House which featured seven stations of hands-on experiments, activities, and demonstrations, and served approximately a dozen families who were staying at the facility.

Outstanding On-going CCED Event

Virginia Local Section 

For 10 years now, Virginia has organized on-going CCED events. This year’s Climate Science Event was held at John Tyler Community College, Midlothian Campus with an estimated 2,530 attendees and a large tent containing different quadrants that supported the different parts of the climate.

Outstanding On-going NCW Event

Northeast Tennessee Local Section 

Northeast Tennessee organized their 28th Annual Celebration of NCW and 25th Annual Celebration of Chemistry for 4th Graders. With over 175 volunteers and 1,480 attendees, the event consisted of numerous booths, a one-hour chemical demonstration, and segments on the two big news stations in the region. To date, Northeast Tennessee has had over 33,000 students attend their on-going NCW event.

Committee on Local Section Activities

Best Activity or Program in a Local Section Stimulating Membership Involvement

Midland Local Section

In celebration of Pi day and Einstein's birthday, Midland held a math and science workshop with the assistance of SVSU Chem Club students. Students approximated pi with calculation activities, and then carried out activities related to the properties of light and luminescence.

Local Section Partnership Award

Tampa Bay Local Section

Tampa Bay used an IPG and a Bridging-the-Gap Nano-Grant to help chemistry undergrads from the University of Puerto Rico and the International University of Puerto Rico to present at the Raymond Castle Research Conference held at USF. Dr. Ingrid Montes was plenary speaker, and ACS members volunteered to judge student presentations and posters.

Most Innovative New Activity or Program

Kentucky Lake Local Section

Kentucky Lake received funding through an IPG to host children science centers at the monthly meetings. Themes included “Periodic Table and Glassware”, “The Science of Candy”, “Women Chemists and the Nobel Prize”, among several others. These activities culminated with an evening at the ballpark and day at Discovery Park.

Outstanding Performance by a Local Section – Small Size Category Award

Erie Local Section

Erie addressed problems of low attendance at meetings, encouraged participation of industrial chemists, and enticed young faculty to participate in ACS.

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

Brazosport Local Section

Brazosport held excellent outreach events involving the Lil' Champs Childcare Center, Festival of Lights, a local library, and a museum, engaging more than 1,000 children from pre-K to high school age. Moreover, Brazosport conducted networking and seminar events to augment the professional development of our members and raised its awareness through presentations at BCPC, ISA, and CAP.

Outstanding Performance by a Local Section – Medium Size Category Award

Midland Local Section

2015 was a busy, successful year for Midland. The Section smoothly handled leadership transitions, updated its website and member handbook, produced quality newsletter publications, and launched its SCC. Midland also sponsored a sustainability project with a garden/greenhouse activity, generating significant food donations to a local school and food pantry. The Section’s Kids & Chemistry (K&C) and NCW Committees provided outstanding programs for adults, students, teachers, and families. Midland held five science cafes and three technical and informational science programs, and its science coaches worked with K&C members to bring activities to the classroom.

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

Dallas-Fort Worth Local Section

Dallas-Fort Worth elevated its member-centered focus. One noteworthy event included an awards banquet held in the Spring to honor 50- and 60-year members and award undergraduate students. In the Fall, the Section held its 5th annual NCW celebration supported by 195 volunteers from nine universities and four high schools, reaching 3,275 people. In addition to various demonstrations and hands-on experiments, there were resources and events tailored to home-schooled students and educators.

Outstanding Performance by a Local Section – Large Size Category Award

North Carolina Local Section

North Carolina reached broader constituents in the community through a Mole Day celebration and collaboration with Fayetteville State University. The Section’s SCC held visits to Nomacorc, Metabolon, and the North Carolina Natural History Museum, and its WCC held a networking brunch and breakfast. Moreover, North Carolina’s Education Committee committed $3,000 of the Section’s budget to subsidize AACT membership for local chemistry teachers.

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, which hosted dozens of excellent events in 2015. Just a few excellent examples of outreach to young people included the Section's Home Scientist Workshop for Daisy & Brownie Girl Scouts, Chemistry Olympiad with 313 participating students from 57 schools, and Teen STEM Night.