2023 ChemLuminary Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2023 ChemLuminary Award winners!

American Chemical Society

Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society

Mamie W. Moy

For more than 40 years of volunteer service to 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

California Local Section

The California Section hosted the third annual Bay Area Chemistry Symposium, which connects students and academics with scientists from the pharma and biotech industries to network and exchange ideas.

ACS Strategic Planning Committee

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

Western Carolinas Local Section

The Western Carolinas and Carolina-Piedmont local sections co-hosted a “Creating Successful Student Chapters” Workshop for faculty and student leaders from 10 colleges and universities. This event furthered the strategic planning of student chapters.

Membership Affairs Committee

MAC Industry Engagement & Outreach Award

Indiana Local Section

The Indiana Section hosted a successful in-person mentoring event between high school and college students and industry professionals, achieving the goal of introducing the students to the academic and professional experiences of the industry professionals.

Women Chemists Committee

Best Local Section Women Chemists Committee Event/Activity 

Puerto Rico Local Section

The Puerto Rico Local Section held a “The Power of Women in Science” symposium to bring awareness to the challenges society faces in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and offer educational opportunities for students and educators of all levels.

Most Outstanding Local Section Women Chemists Committee 

Nashville Local Section

The Nashville Local Section held its “26th Tennessee Girls in STEM” event that offered middle and high school girls the opportunity to meet women role models, ask questions in a comfortable environment, and meet other girls interested in STEM.

Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs

Outstanding Local Section Career Program

Kentucky Lake, Memphis, and Nashville Local Sections

The Nashville, Kentucky Lakes, and Memphis ACS Local Sections partnered to co-host a joint local section meeting on November 3, 2022 at Austin Peay [Pea] State University. Each section sponsored a speaker that gave a 20-minute presentation. Graduate and pharmacy schools from all sections participated in a recruiting fair to inform students about their programs. Aegis [ee-juhs] Sciences Corporation, Florim USA and Zochem sponsored the event, so attendance was free. Aegis Sciences Corporation and Florim USA conducted resume reviews and mock interviews with students. There were door prizes and dinner courtesy of our sponsors. The event was a success and talks have begun about holding it again next year.

Outstanding Divisional Career Program

Division of Professional Relations

The ACS Division of Professional Development launched their inaugural support of next generation leaders by establishing the PROF Leadership Development Award that provided full scholarship to a PROF member under the age of 35 to attend the ACS Leadership Institute held in Atlanta, GA as part of the Younger Leaders Track sponsored by the ACS Younger Chemists Committee. 

Younger Chemists Committee

Outstanding Local Section Younger Chemists Committee

Virginia Local Section

The Local Section YCC co-hosted a two-day Professional Development Workshop that provided awareness and open dialogue about diversity and inclusion in school and the workplace, especially in the field of STEM.

Outstanding or Creative Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Event

Greater Houston Local Section

The Local Section YCC organized a virtual seminar: “Do I Need a New Job or Career?” A panel of chemists offered advice to help guide younger chemists in answering this question.

Committee on Chemists with Disabilities

Chemists with Disabilities Inclusion Award 

Indiana Local Section

The Indiana section organized PREDICT 2022. This webinar promoted a safe space for chemists with disabilities to be heard and empowered to speak their truth. ASL interpreters and closed captioning were provided for the inclusion of all.

Committee on Divisional Activities

Recognition of Innovation and Outstanding Service to Members of a Division

Division of Analytical Chemistry (ANYL)

The division organized DEIR-focused symposia celebrating diverse analytical career paths, forensic analysis needs for social justice, and the inspirational life of Marie Daly (co-organized with the Committee on Minority Affairs and the Division of Biological Chemistry).

Most Unique Project funded by a Division Innovative Project Grant

Division of Energy and Fuels (ENFL)

The Division of Energy and Fuels LIFT MORE project leveraged technical leadership in the division to disseminate technical talks using a social network for recruitment, highlighting the commonality of technical interests and potential career path trajectory.

Society Committee on Education

Fostering Interactions Between Local Sections & Student Chapters

Puerto Rico Local Section

After almost three years without in-person activities due to the pandemic, the Puerto Rico Section held a coordination meeting with Student Chapters & Chem Clubs, engaging them in plans for the section’s 75th anniversary celebration. The meeting had three aims: 1) Open communication with Student chapters and ChemClubs to better understand their goals and needs. 2) Promote interaction amongst the different student chapters and also with ChemClubs. 3) Organization and coordination of the semester's activities, which included special events such as the Southeastern Regional Meeting and the Chemistry Festival.

Outstanding U. S. National Chemistry Olympiad

Greater Houston Local Section

Implementation of innovative measures by the Greater Houston Local Section resulted in the increase of numbers of students and schools participating in the US National Chemistry Olympiad. Students performed well in the national competition. One student was chosen for Team USA and won a silver medal at the International Chemistry Olympiad.

Outstanding High School Student Program Award

Orange County Local Section

The Orange County Local Section hosted their annual First Year Exam, as well as the High School Banquet to honor top-scoring students on the Exam, top Chemistry Olympiad participants, and their teachers.

Outstanding Engagement with K-8 Students

Midland Local Section

The Midland Local Section facilitated dozens of science and chemistry events for K-8 students, including classroom visits to elementary and middle schools, extracurricular activities, summer camps, and virtual events.

Joint SOCED and AACT Governing Board Award

Outstanding American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT) Support

North Jersey Local Section

The North Jersey Local Section created a “ChemEnthusiasts” group for local K–12 teachers of chemistry, hosted in-person and virtual meetings, created a ChemExpo program, organized a seminar series, and hosted a chemistry Olympics for high school teachers and students.

Committee on Project SEED

Outstanding Efforts by a Local Section to Organize a Project SEED Program

California and Midland Local Sections

During 2022 the California section hosted 20 SEED students and paired them with mentors that helped them develop professional and research skills. Additionally, a SEED mentor was a former SEED student and Scholarship recipient.

The Midland Project SEED site hosted seven in-person and two virtual research students. These students also participated in industrial tours and presented posters on their research at scientific conferences like the 2022 ACS Chicago Meeting.

Committee on Environment and Sustainability

Outstanding Sustainability Activities

Brazosport Local Section

The Brazosport section organized two events during the 2022 Earth Week, which were strongly tied to the Sustainability theme. The first event targeting middle and high school students helped introduce the concept of Sustainability, Scientific Thinking, as well as the need to develop and adopt renewable sources of energy in the long run to achieve a sustainable future. The second event targeted our industrial members and helped provide an overview of the sustainability efforts currently being undertaken and those that need to be invested in the future by the chemical industry at large

Committee on Chemistry & Public Affairs and Committee on Environment and Sustainability Joint Award

Outstanding Promotion of the Society’s Sustainability Position Statements

Princeton Local Section

The Princeton Section organized an "Earth Day Eve Event" where a diverse group of thirty attendees learned about ACS public policy statements on sustainability and climate change and engaged in discussions and presentations.

Committee on Ethics

Outstanding Local Section Industry Event

Chemical Society of Washington

Chemical Society of Washington held a virtual discussion on Chemical Commercialization: What to Know about Federal Regulations. This was a one-time event with invited speakers. This program addresses the federal regulations at issue in chemical commercialization, from R&D to commercial sales.

Committee on Corporation Associates

Outstanding Local Section Industry Event

California Local Section

The California section is recognized for the 2022 Bay Area Chemistry Symposium. The event brought together over 250 students, postdocs, and professionals from the biotech/pharma industry to network and learn how chemistry is applied in an industrial setting.

Committee on Technician Affairs

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

Midland Local Section

Mid-Michigan Technician Group held their year-end party and membership drive to share the accomplishments of the year, engage with chemical technicians, and present the volunteer of the year award. MMTG gained nine new members.

Committee on Minority Affairs

Best Overall Local Section Minority Affairs Committee

Indiana Local Section

The Indiana Local Section hosted a remarkable series of events in 2022, such as the PREDICT Webinar, uniting a global audience to honor diverse speakers' research. They also introduced innovative platforms for advancing the professional growth of underrepresented minorities through the PREDICT Dinner, PREDICT Symposium, and Career Development Symposium.

Committee on International Activities

Global Engagement Award 

Division of Polymeric Materials: Science & Engineering (PMSE)

The award and ceremony recognized two exemplary researchers in the polymer science and engineering field globally. This is the first ACS award that recognizes the scientific achievements of a graduate student and their thesis advisor.

Outstanding Global Partnership Award

Puerto Rico Local Section

The Puerto Rico Local Section hosted a meeting as a bridge between ACS Members in the US, the Caribbean, and Latin America to create an inclusive environment that promotes participation of students, faculty, and professionals.

Senior Chemists Committee

Best Continuing Senior Chemists Activity within a Local Section

Midland Local Section

The Midland Local Section completed an update to the "Midland ACS: A Century of Science and Service" exhibit located at Central Michigan University. The exhibit opened in September 2022 and included augmented reality technology allowing the visitor to view and rotate molecules in 3D. The exhibit is expected to be displayed for two years.

Best New Senior Chemists Activity within a Local Section  

Philadelphia Local Section

The Philadelphia Local Section held an event at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia, PA. The goals of the event were to enhance cooperation with smaller committees by pooling expertise and resources, engage undergraduates and have them become aware of the benefits of ACS membership, and to provide guidance to students who want to learn how to network in a safe environment.

Committee on Meetings & Expositions

Outstanding Regional Meeting

2021 Southwest Regional Meeting (SWRM)

The 2021 Southwest Regional Meeting, hosted by the Central Texas Local Section had more than 950 attendees. The entire meeting was accessible both in-person and virtually for both presenters and attendees. As a comprehensive and indispensable provider of chemistry-related information, the meeting adapted by reformatting to a hybrid meeting to feature more than 650 oral presentations and over 250 posters, presented by faculty and students in the Southwest region. The three-and-a-half-day conference provided attendees with a much-needed venue for research and networking opportunities.

Committee on Community Activities

Outstanding Public Outreach Event Organized by a Student Group

Nashville Local Section

The Tennessee Tech ACS Student Chapter hosted a week of free activities celebrating NCW. Activities included a green chemistry lecture, a sustainability discussion, a demo show, an activity bag giveaway, and “chemistry of fibers” presentation.

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

Virginia Local Section

The Virginia local section held a CCEW event at the Virginia Science Museum, using theme the Buzz about Bugs. Over 700 people participated in activities like “firefly wand making,” “slime,” and “how bees produce honey.

Most Creative & Innovative Use of the National Chemistry Week Theme

Richland Local Section

The Richland local section attended the “Investigators of Science" event at Eastern Oregon University. They prepared a day of hands-on STEM exploration that involved solving a Halloween-themed forensic mystery.

Outstanding Community Involvement in CCEW

Georgia Local Sections

The Georgia section organized month-long CCEW activities. Bees wax candles, liquid crystals, and other materials were examined at schools, the Georgia World congress center, and a museum. Over 24,000 people participated in all.

Outstanding Community Involvement in NCW

Orlando Local Section

The Orlando Local Section organized an event at the Orlando Science Center. There were eight experiments relating to the NCW theme. Additionally, attendees had the opportunity to participate in the Illustrated Poem Contest. 

Outstanding NCW Event for a Specific Audience

Lehigh Valley Local Section

The Lehigh Valley section united with the PA Migrant Education Program Fair for fiber-dying activities. Youth attendees participated in hands-on demonstrations of “colored water absorption,” using various fibers. 

Outstanding Ongoing CCEW Event

Midland Local Section

Midland ACS and the “Dow High Go Green Club” sponsored a free Earth Day event attended by approximately 350 participants. Booths included “green” businesses, environmental clubs, informational stations, arts and crafts activities, and free refreshments.

Outstanding Ongoing NCW Event

Western Michigan Local Section

The Western Michigan local section held "Chemistry at the Mall”, where there were hands-on activities and a demo show. They also provided Celebrating Chemistry magazines and an area for completing an illustrated poem poster.

Outstanding Virtual Event for CCEW or NCW

Chicago Local Section

Due to lingering COVID restrictions, the Chicago local section created a virtual “STEM Expo”. At-home chemistry kits and videos were provided for 100 participants. The videos were carefully crafted for easy public consumption.

Committee on Local Section Activities

Best Activity or Program in a Local Section Stimulating Membership Involvement

Hawaii Local Section

Congratulations to the Hawaii local section for achieving its 100-year anniversary in 2022. The section celebrated this milestone with a daylong event at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu.  The centennial celebration included NCW activities during the day and an RSVP-only banquet later in the evening.  Among many notable activities, the Governor of Hawaii issued a proclamation to declare October 29 Green Chemistry Day in Hawaii. 

Local Section Partnership Marinda Li Wu Award

Lehigh Valley Local Section

The Lehigh Valley Local Section partnered with local industry, a large university, and a venture tech business incubator to conduct it’s “Adhesives at the Beach” program.  In addition to the exciting talk topic, the evening featured poster sessions from Chemagination contest winners and award presentations to the Outstanding Teacher of the Year and the Foundations in Chemistry scholarship winners.   

Most Innovative New Activity or Program

Chicago Local Section

The Chicago Local Section awards the Willard Gibbs Medal each year to an eminent chemist. To celebrate the Gibbs Medalists, the ACS Chicago Section sponsored a "Meet the Gibbs Medalists" reception during the Fall 2022 ACS Meeting in Chicago.  Nine Gibbs recipients were in attendance including a special guest appearance by the 1921 Gibbs medal recipient, Marie Curie, in costume, of course.

Outstanding Performance by a Local Section – Small Size Category Award

Brazosport Local Section

The Brazosport Local Section has been a long-standing and dedicated advocate of STEM education and awareness in the southern Houston area since the early 1960s. In 2022, the section organized a wide range of events targeting K-12 and college students, as well as industry professionals. The section continued to make significant progress toward its three strategic goals: (1) increasing current membership engagement and attracting and retraining new members; (2) updating and maintaining diverse avenues to communicate effectively with members and community/schools; and (3) leading chemistry outreach and educational presence in Brazoria County.

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

Midland Local Section

The Midland Section continued to regain its pre-pandemic energy and impacts in 2022. Building on strong 2021 momentum, section volunteers delivered once again for the community with over 5300 hours of service in support of events and initiatives to engage and inspire. The community responded with total attendance figures exceeding 5700 people.  The section continues to measure success across three dimensions – Members & Contributors, Programming & Events, and Community and Collaborators

Outstanding Performance by a Local Section – Medium Size Category Award

Rochester Local Section

The Rochester Local Section’s Women Chemists and Younger Chemists Committee held several events that were well attended by members and non-members.  The YCC continues to be the section’s most active group, hosting many events and partnering with other YCC sections to expand their outreach and engagement.  In addition to their regular programming, Rochester welcomed over 950 people to their section during NERM 2022; their first in-person event in the area since COVID-19.

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

Indiana Local Section

2022 was a banner year for the Indiana Local Section.   In addition to pre-planning two significant events for the Spring 2023 ACS Meeting, the section conducted over 20 events.   A strong cadre of younger chemist leaders within the local section shepherded a number of impactful events, including the PRomoting Equity and Diversity in ChemisTry or PREDICT Webinar event which featured participants from eight different countries. As with previous years, the sections programming focused heavily on DEIR and satisfying this key pillar of the ACS’s strategic plan. 

Outstanding Performance by a Local Section – Large Size Category Award

Greater Houston Local Section

The Greater Houston Section is most proud of its volunteers, who made themselves available to achieve its mission to “empower members and their diverse communities to thrive in a global economy and to promote public understanding of the value of chemistry.”  In 2022, the section partnered with 15 different organizations: to host and conduct a wide array of programming for its members and the community.  Notable achievement were science demonstrations at CCEW, NCW and the Education Rainbow Challenge, social events with the women’s, younger and senior chemists committees and a hybrid annual awards banquet. 

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

New York Local Section

The New York ACS Local Section continued its over 130 years of excellence, building on the successes of 2021 and expanding its in-person and hybrid events, The section achieved significant progress towards its 2022 goals to improve inclusivity and accessibility of NYACS activities, continue implementation of new communication strategies, and the reactivation of groups and committees post-Covid. Among other activities, the section produced an outstanding chemistry career video featuring diverse chemists, made progress towards full translation of its website into Spanish, and continued its work on the dedication of the National Historic Chemical Landmark at Columbia University. honoring Dr. Marie Daly, the first African American woman Ph.D. in Chemistry.