2022 ChemLuminary Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2022 ChemLuminary Award winners!

American Chemical Society

Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society

Mamie W. Moy, Covestro

For your outstanding volunteer efforts and for contributing to the goals and objectives of the American Chemical Society.

Committee on Public Relations and Communications

Helen M. Free Award for Public Outreach 

R. J. Dwayne Miller

University of Toronto Professor R. J. Dwayne Miller founded Science Rendezvous. With the help of 6,000 volunteers, this STEM festival attracts 200,000 attendees to learn about the importance of science — and chemistry in particular.

Best New Public Relations or Communications Program of a Local Section

New York Local Section

The New York Section produced a video highlighting the diversity of chemists and their careers. It was created to humanize chemists and chemistry for the public and to inspire students to pursue STEM careers.

Outstanding Continuing Public Relations or Communications Program of a Local Section

Eastern U.S. Younger Chemists Committee Partnership 

During the pandemic, this team launched a virtual series, titled “A Day in the Life.'' These monthly webinars offer insight into the typical day of chemists in various professions, and they include time for Q&A.

ACS Strategic Planning Committee

Best Activity or Program Highlighting ACS Change Driver(s) or Strategic Planning

Indiana Local Section

PRomoting Equity and Diversity In ChemisTry (PREDICT) provided members with tools to share learnings and have conversations about DEIR in a safe environment and with a diverse range of role models to make DEIR content relatable and engaging. 

Membership Affairs Committee

MAC Industry Engagement & Outreach Award

Philadelphia Local Section

The Philadelphia section organized a virtual award ceremony for outstanding industrial chemists, which was one of the highest attended for the section and provided an opportunity for companies to share what kinds of work they engage in, highlight impressive employees, and network with industrial chemists and students.

Women Chemists Committee

Outstanding Women Chemists Local Section Event 

Northeastern Local Section

The Northeastern Local Section partnered with Northeastern University to host the section’s 2021 DEIR Series to support career development of scientists, encourage women and minority entrepreneurs, and learn about implicit bias and its effect on underrepresented groups. 

Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs

Outstanding Divisional  Career Program

Division of Small Chemical Businesses

The Small Chemical Businesses (SCHB) Division offered 3 webinars on "Starting A Company" in the ACS Webinars series, where they explored the topic Sole Proprietorship to Incorporation. 3,000 people registered for these events of which 40% were international. After each one a Continue the Conversation Zoom event was held that was advertised in the presentation where attendees got a chance to ask individual questions as well as socialize, network, interact, and engage with members of the Division. This has resulted in strategic partnerships, speakers for events, and otherwise raised the visibility of the Division.

Younger Chemists Committee

Outstanding Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Award

Greater Houston Local Section

The Greater Houston section has strived to build the younger chemist’s community by providing fun social and networking events to its members like an Ancient Egypt Chemistry tour at the Houston Museum of Science and a chemistry-themed trivia night.

Outstanding or Creative Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Event

Eastern United States Younger Chemists Committee Partnership

This 2021 ACS Eastern U.S. Younger Chemists Committee Partnership Virtual Research Symposium and Chemistry Career Expo event featured virtual programming, a career fair, and online networking events. 220 people from 20 countries attended, with 102 abstract submissions. This event allowed younger chemists a platform for career development and opportunities during the pandemic.

Committee on Chemists with Disabilities

Chemists with Disabilities Inclusion Award 

Lehigh Valley Local Section

Cedar Crest College’s Signs Club hosted a Sign Language in STEM webinar, that gave attendees opportunity to learn words and phrases often used in STEM fields, using American Sign Language alphabets, numbers and general words.

Committee on Divisional Activities

Recognition of Innovation and Outstanding Service to Members of a Division

Division of Organic Chemistry (ORGN)

The database website was expanded and upgraded for mobile devices and features approximately 1,500 HTML pages and 650 PDF documents fundamental to understanding organic chemistry. More than 225,000 visitors (approximately 1,000 users per day) accessed the site in 2021.

Most Unique Project funded by a Division Innovative Project Grant

Division of Small Chemical Businesses (SCHB)

Members participated virtually and in-person in the Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference in Montreal. Attendee engagement included various technical topics, promotion of ACS and the division’s membership benefits, and their weekly Discuss Business: Happy Hour.

Society Committee on Education

Fostering Interactions Between Local Sections & Student Chapters

Georgia Local Section

The 16th Herty Medalist Undergraduate Research Symposium (HMURS) was held virtually on October 1, 2021. The 2021 Herty Awardee, Dr. Anne-Francis Miller (University of Kentucky), was announced and in the #HertyAward address, Dr. Miller discussed “How flavoenzymes can light our way to sustainable energy, without breaking the laws of thermodynamics". A virtual poster presentation section was held and the organizing committee received poster presentation abstracts from 15 institutions.

Outstanding U. S. National Chemistry Olympiad

North Jersey Local Section

In 2021 to meet the challenges of testing during the pandemic, a secure electronic testing program was used to successfully reach many students, with assistance of 21 Local Section volunteers who served as online proctors.

Outstanding High School Student Program Award

North Jersey Local Section

In 2021, North Jersey successfully conducted the second virtual New Jersey Chemistry Olympics. Attendees spanned from England to California and included 134 high school students and 14 different high schools across New Jersey.

Outstanding Engagement with K-8 Students

Midland Local Section

In 2021, Midland sponsored dozens of school events, covering various topics that were conducted virtually, hybrid, and in person.  Notably, some events were in partnership with Science Coaches, Michigan State University Science Festival, and the H20Q Program.

Joint SOCED and AACT Governing Board Award

Outstanding American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT) Support Award

Chicago Local Section

The Chicago section created a formal AACT liaison to help bridge between K–12 teachers, AACT, and ACS; hosted several round table discussions for K–12 educators via Zoom; provided peer-peer mentoring program; created activity kits for teachers; published resources for teachers in a monthly newsletter.

Committee on Environmental Improvement

Outstanding Sustainability Activities Award

Silicon Valley Local Section

The Silicon Valley Local Section, working with the Redwood City Library and volunteers from San Jose State University, developed an innovative, hands-on outreach program during COVID times. Silicon Valley developed and distributed take-home kits, as well as instructional materials, so that middle school students could measure pH, salinity, and other important parameters that determine the quality of water in their community.

Committee on Corporation Associates

Outstanding Local Section Industry Event

North Jersey Local Section

North Jersey is recognized for a symposium, poster session and happy hour it organized for the 2021 ACS Award for Creativity in Molecular Design and Synthesis. This virtual event was attended by 500 and both the audience and speakers represented diverse backgrounds.

Committee on Technician Affairs

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

Midland Local Section

The Mid Michigan Technician Group’s 30th Anniversary Banquet brought techs and corporate leadership together outside of the work setting. Those attending felt inspired by the leaders’ discussions on how the industry relies on their work.

Committee on Minority Affairs

Best Overall Local Section Minority Affairs Committee

Midland and Richland Local Sections

The Midland Section hosted a suite of events in 2021, including celebrating local chemists with profiles for National Coming Out Day and Black History Month, an Industrial Career Panel, and a pre-symposium on diversity in STEM.

The Richland Section hosted several virtual outreach events for students and families, including a bilingual lab outreach event for Hispanic 7th graders, activities for young women in 6th – 8th grades, and a chemistry-themed family game night.

Committee on International Activities

IAC Global Engagement Award 

Georgia International Chemical Sciences Chapter

The ACS Georgia Chapter hosted ten hybrid sessions at the 7th International Caucasian Symposium on Polymers and Advanced Materials in Tbilisi [tuh-blee-see]. The sessions promoted international collaboration among polymer chemists and featured participants from seven countries.

Outstanding Global Partnership Award

Malaysia International Chemical Sciences Chapter

The Malaysia Chapter partnered with the International Islamic University Malaysia Student Chapter to host the Southeast Asia-Global Innovation Challenge. The event featured undergraduate research projects on waste management and hosted 197 participants.


Fostering Interactions between International Chapters & International Student Chapters

Malaysia International Chemical Sciences Chapter

The Malaysia Chapter collaborated with five ACS student chapters and iDiscovery World to host ChemFest 2021. The festival included three experiments for 200+ students focusing on water surface tension, acid/base pH, and slime making.

Senior Chemists Committee

Best Continuing Senior Chemists Activity within a Local Section

Midland Local Section

The Midland Local Section continued planning for an update to the "Midland ACS: A Century of Science and Service" exhibit located at Central Michigan University. Progress included display updating and educational components, and the exhibit is expected to reopen in 2022.

Best New Senior Chemists Activity within a Local Section  

California and Huron Valley Local Sections
Puget Sound Local Section

The California and Huron Valley Local Sections held the first in a series of panel discussions focusing on climate change. The event was held virtually to better serve the senior chemist community.

The Puget Sound Local Section organized a virtual Senior Committee Breakfast during NORM 2021. Attendees enjoyed a diverse program and included members of the ACS presidential succession, Board Members, the national Senior Chemists Committee Chair and committee members.

Committee on Meetings & Expositions

Outstanding Regional Meeting

2020 Rocky Mountain Regional Meeting (RMRM)

The 2020 Rocky Mountain Regional Meeting was hosted by the Colorado Local Section. The meeting was hosted fully virtual with 170 presentations and 346 attendees. The event featured a world-class technical programming for both chemistry and public audiences and an emphasis on lab safety, young talent in the Rocky Mountains, sustainability, celebrating the accomplishments of senior chemists in the region, and medicinal and biological chemistry.

Committee on Community Activities

Outstanding Public Outreach Event Organized by a Student Group

Orange County Local Section

The Orange County Younger Chemists Committee conducted chemistry experiments at the Orange Home Grown Farmers & Artisans Market. The free event included demonstrations such as Elephant Toothpaste, and one hands-on activity (Slime) for K-8 children.

Most Creative & Innovative Use of the Chemists Celebrate Earth Week Theme

Midland Local Section

Despite COVID-19 limitations, the Midland Local Section celebrated CCEW enthusiastically, launching four virtual seminars, a virtual illustrated Poem Contest, and an in-person Earth Action Expo with food trucks, raffles, giveaways, and 38 exhibits.

Most Creative NCW Celebration Using the Yearly Theme

Lehigh Valley Local Section

The Lehigh Valley Local Section celebrated at the Da Vinci Science Center. They designed noteworthy demonstrations for 100 students illustrating the NCW theme, including the effect of temperature on rate using ‘Pop Rocks’ and light sticks.

Outstanding Community Involvement in CCEW

Chicago Local Sections

This year the Chicago Local Section constructed 150 solar oven kits and distributed them to hundreds of underserved students. The local section also established an Earth Day Pledge, contests and more via their website!

Outstanding Community Involvement in NCW

South Florida Local Section

The South Florida Local Section developed interactive activities that were shared at elementary schools, virtually, and at two Science Museums: Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science and the Frost Museum of Science.

Outstanding NCW Event for a Specific Audience

South Florida Local Section

The South Florida local section, alongside the DLR Foundation, hosted a “STEM@home” Virtual Event. They presented two activities illustrating how temperature affects reaction rates using pop rocks and they also crafted homemade lava lamps.

Outstanding Ongoing CCEW Event

Orlando Local Section

The Orlando Local Section and representatives from The University of Central Florida and Full Sail University, participated in Central Florida Earth Day. The group developed a survey, pamphlets and engaged the public concerning recycling.

Outstanding Ongoing NCW Event

Pittsburgh Local Section

The Pittsburgh Local Section celebrated NCW by partnering with the Carnegie Science Center for “ChemFest.” Exhibitors hosted tables during the in-person festivities and volunteers provided video demonstrations for virtual attendees to observe in classrooms.

Outstanding Virtual Event for CCEW or NCW

New York Local Section

The New York Local Section celebrated NCW via an online event. College students constructed over 15 chemistry demonstrations focusing on “Fast or Slow: Chemistry Makes it Go”. There were also speakers and games in-between demonstrations.

Committee on Local Section Activities

Best Activity or Program in a Local Section Stimulating Membership Involvement

New York Local Section

In collaboration with its Minority Affairs Committee, the New York Local Section launched the #IAMNYACS program to create memes highlighting the accomplishment of members in the service of chemistry, fellow members and the greater community. Participating was simple; members provided a photograph and two short phrases to highlight themselves. One phrase identified what they do as a chemist, the other indicated the broader context of their contributions/accomplishments.

Local Section Partnership Marinda Li Wu Award

Kanawha Valley Local Section

In 2021, the Kanawha Valley Local Section organized a community event to celebrate the dedication of the National Chemical Historic Landmark to recognize birthplace of the petrochemical industry with the world’s first commercial grade ethane cracker. The section partnered with the local community, West Virginia State University, local industry and the state’s Division of Science and Research to make the dedication a success.  

Most Innovative New Activity or Program

Lehigh Valley Local Section

The Lehigh Valley Local Section partnered with the Penn State Berks Student Chapter for the Lehigh Valley Afterschool Chemistry Partnership Program (ASCPP). During this 13-week program students learned about chemistry careers and summer research opportunities. They participated in weekly activities including free experiments, themed demonstrations, guest speakers, a movie watch party, book club, and much more.

Outstanding Performance by a Local Section – Small Size Category Award

Kentucky Lake Local Section

The Kentucky Lake Section actively engaged members in a variety of activities throughout the year. In 2021, the section was proud to highlight three major activities: the Professional Chemist Panel, a hybrid meeting in collaboration with the University of Tennessee, and the "Chemists Celebrate Earth Day - Illustrated Poem Contest among its accomplishments.

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

Brazosport  Local Section

The Brazosport local section continued to make significant progress towards meeting the goals as stated in their strategic plan. These goals include: increasing current membership engagement by attracting and retaining new members through targeted programs, maintaining multiple channels to communicate effectively with members and community/schools, and developing the Brazosport local section into the leading chemistry outreach and educational presence in Brazoria County

Outstanding Performance by a Local Section – Medium Size Category Award

Midland Local Section

The Midland local section was unstoppable in 2021. The section conducted over 90 events that attracted well over 1,400 participants. Section volunteers recorded more than 4,500 hours leading new efforts, re-igniting older programs and celebrating 30 years of our Mid-Michigan Tech Group. These numbers are a testament to the Section’s dedication to the ACS and its mission of outreach, education, and membership.

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

Cincinnati Local Section

The Cincinnati local section conducted a wide array of virtual and in-person events in 2021. Highlights from the section include virtual Executive Committee and regular meetings, a virtual beer tasting, an in-person picnic sponsored jointly with the Dayton Section and the annual in-person Oesper Symposium. The Section also reinstated the CINTACS Newsletter, its Facebook page, and three discussion groups.

Outstanding Performance by a Local Section – Large Size Category Award

North Jersey Local Section

The North Jersey Local Section continued to deliver on its mission to 'advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners by providing resources, programs, and outreach during 2021. The section’s topical groups continued to be very active and used virtual platforms to host numerous online events. The local section continued sponsoring and organizing various outreach activities in the local community. Among these, the North Jersey Local Section successfully initiated a partnership with the Fair for Emerging Researchers, a science fair for middle school students that provides an opportunity for students from different backgrounds to discover passion for science.

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

Philadelphia Local Section

Collaboration was key to the success of the Philadelphia local section. The section coordinated programming with several sister societies, industry partners, technical divisions, and neighboring local sections. The section relied on a core team of dedicated volunteers to host a variety of virtual programs throughout the year.