|Volume 65, Number 1||January, 2014|
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Greetings and a happy new year to all of our St Louis Section members.
I have enjoyed my term as the Chair of the St Louis Section. I would like to thank all of you for doing your best to continue promoting and advancing our programs so as to maintain the St Louis Section as one of the premier local sections in the ACS.
The twelve months as chair have passed quickly. We did great things this year. Again we were a finalist for four ChemLuminary Awards and we won the Outstanding Local Section Younger Chemists Committee (YCC) and Outstanding Performance by a Local Section for 2013. The St Louis Award Symposium and banquet were a great success, thanks to Joe Ackermann and Lol Barton. I would like to thank the YCC for the Career Management Seminar Series, Chemistry Career Night, and the Leadership Development Forum. They were very successful and helpful to many of our community members.
We have been fortunate to have many wonderful volunteers serve as officers over the years. The St Louis Section has provided very valuable activities to both our own members and to the community. I would like thank all our Board members and Steering Committee for their help and suggestions for the advancement of our Section. We move forward into 2014 with a new Board and a continued vision for success. Finally, I wish Jim O’Brien a successful year as a Chair in 2014.
... and you can hear about his vision and plans for 2014. Check this space next month.
On December 3rd, the YCC hosted the final Career Management Seminar of 2013. The topic: Technology Transfer. Featured speakers included N’Goundo Magassa, Licensing Associate at the Office of Technology Management at Washington University in St Louis, and Christopher D Spilling, Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at University of Missouri–St Louis.
Over 20 people attended and heard about Dr Magassa’s job: facilitating technology transfer from the university laboratory to commercialization. She provided valuable insight into the process, and suggested what investigators should consider when they discover something interesting in the lab. Dr Spilling shared his story of developing a solution to an existing medical problem, and starting the company Alkymos to nurture his technology into a product.
The Q&A session of the event provided an engaging discussion among the speakers and the attendees, who came from academia, and both small and large businesses. The event was hosted by Dentons law firm in downtown St Louis.
Look for more information on 2014 CMS events and other YCC events in January!
It was a fine night—weather-wise, food-and-wine-wise, and compatriot-wise—for Continuity Dinner on December 12. Among the 25 or so attendees was a nice sprinkling of new faces and the rest, old friends.
Getting under way, the General Meeting elicited no business, new, old or otherwise, so it was adjourned while the convening gavel still echoed. The regular business meeting of the Board went quickly as well, everyone seemingly primed for the special events to come.
The Distinguished Service Award goes to ... Sheryl Loux ... for her tireless outreach as Kids & Chemistry, Chemistry is pHun, National Chemistry Week at the Science Center, Science Fair judge advocate general, and more. Her programs are wildly successful—contacts with the public numbering in the thousands every year—and she’s equally tireless at getting others involved (and always room for more) to spread the joy farther. The official award presentation happens at Recognition Night in March, but you heard it here first.
The surprise Henry Godt lecturer for the 2013 wrapup was ... Sean Dingman. After “threatening” us all with a rendition of mechanistic organic chemistry that he tentatively titled SN2 Nucleophilibuster—bringing on a near-rush for the doors (there being no windows in our banquet room)—he smoothly segued to his intended format:
Nine haikus, each one a strict 3-line, 17-syllable paean to an activity or event from 2013.
Cryptic they all were
which added to the challenge
guessing what had been
The full transcript is below, with spoilers concealed. If you are stumped, just highlight the area below the haiku for the big reveal.
On Wednesday, February 20th, 20 teams from 10 local high schools participated in the Battle of the Burets competition at St Louis Community College–Florissant Valley. The top team from each of three preliminary rounds (Parkway West, Villa Duchesne, and Westminster Christian Academy) advanced to the winner-take-all championship round. Rachel Arnold and Mary Hogan of Villa Duchesne took home the top trophy.
Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville and the St Louis ACS Section Women Chemists Committee celebrated the life of Rita Levi-Montalcini, Washington University Professor and Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, who passed away on December 30, 2012, at age 103. The event was held on March 16th at SIUE in conjunction with the International Women’s Day observance.
Monday, April 15, was the 2013 ACS Awards Night at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Brentwood. The evening honored our region’s Outstanding College Juniors, and winners of the High School Chemistry Contest. The Chemical Science and Technology Award and High School Chemistry Teacher Award were also presented. There were 125 people in attendance, including the award winners, professors and mentors, parents, and ACS members. Bill Doub gave the keynote speech. John Gleason (Chem-Sci Tech), Michael Hauser (Outsanding College Junior) and Sandi Mueller (Teacher Awards) presented awards. Apologies to Myron Reese who also presented awards that night, but whose name added would have made a hypersyllabic haiku.
The 1st place winners of the 2013 Greater St Louis Science Fair Held May 1: 9-12 Grade Honors Division: Ravali Inja, Determination of Caffeine and Theobromine Concentrations of Chocolate in Saliva Using High Performance Liquid Chromatography, Grade 12, Rockwood Summit High School, Fenton, MO
9-12 Grade Regular Division: Liesl Thome, Testing Effects of pH Levels on Marble, Grade 11, St Joseph’s Academy, Saint Louis, MO
6-8 Grade Regular: Daniela Duban, Got Juice?, Grade 7, St Angela Merici School, Florissant, MO
The Ninth Annual St Louis Section Picnic at Tilles Park in the Skow Shelter on June 15. Food and fun had by all and apparently some Branta canadensis were seeking admission to our ranks. Thanks to Eric for organizing and hosting.
Runpeng Liu, of Ladue Horton-Watkins High School, earned a gold medal at the 45th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) hosted July 15-23 in Moscow. His three teammates also earned high scores, receiving one gold and two silver medals. Moscow is sometimes called the Third Rome (its leaders were czars, i.e., Caesars) and pankration is an ancient Olympic freeform wrestling. Aurum is the Latin for gold, whence the symbol Au.
Of course I am referring to the Career Management Seminars put on by the YCC. The highly appreciated series helps our members with their career path. We are all looking forward to next year’s seminars. Thanks to Natalie who chairs the YCC for putting these together.
The 2013 Saint Louis Award winner was André d’Avignon of Washington University. André has managed the Washington University High Resolution NMR Facility. He was at Wash U when I was a grad student and he helped me with many NMR problems. I am pleased André won the award and sorry I could not attend. Avignon in France was the home to seven Popes between the years 1305 and 1378.
The two ChemLuminary awards the section took home in 2013: Outstanding Local Section YCC and Outstanding Performance by a Local Section (medium-large category). We were also nominated for Outstanding local section career program, large to very large section, and Outstanding Regional Meeting: Leah O'Brien, meeting general chair. Great job to the section but especially Natalie, Eric, Leah and Lisa who helped drive these activities.
Sean concluded, “So I close the 2013 Godt Lecture and raise a toast to the section for 2014. I thank you all for letting me serve as secretary for the past two years and wish Natalie LaFranzo the best in taking over for next year. I look forward to serving as PR chair for 2014-2017. Happy Holidays All!!”
And finally, in the ultimate act of Continuity, Ziad Ramadan peaceably, gleefully, eagerly passed the Gavel and the Book of Office to the 2014 Chair, Jim O’Brien.
Good night and Happy New Year.
Note: our default photojournalist, Vic Lewchenko, has made his Continuity Night photostream public. For more photos of the event, check it out.
Volunteer for any or all of these opportunities by contacting Sheryl J Loux at 636.237.5149 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your participation as an ACS judge would be greatly appreciated!
One of the most popular outreach programs sponsored by the St Louis ACS section is Chemistry is pHun! Sheryl Loux is offering training in this program for retired ACS members in an effort to expand its reach and impact in the St Louis area.
The 35 Chemistry is pHun programs in calendar year 2013—all given by Sheryl—have had an educational impact on 1378 students in 16 or more schools. Program activity has started strongly this fall. The program modules offered by Sheryl are “States of Matter,” “Chemistry is pHun,” and “What is Matter?,” “Using the Scientific Method for a Science Fair Project,” and “Polymers are Marvelous Molecules” (includes DNA extraction from strawberries). Sheryl thanks Don Sartor and Amy Kerkemeyer for helping with some programs.
New this year were the adaptations of the “What is Matter? " and the “States of Matter" programs for presentation to blind students at the Missouri School for the Blind in St. Louis. The feedback was enthusiastic from the teachers and staff.
The States of Matter program was designed for elementary students and is popular for the 2nd and 3nd grades. States of matter are explored mainly with water, demonstrating the addition or release of energy in the form of heat when changing physical states. Examples of plasma are mentioned and ”Gluep“ is made to show a substance that has properties of both liquids and solids.
Another program for K-3 is What is Matter? where the periodic table of elements is introduced and water molecules are made with marshmallows for atoms and toothpicks representing electron bonds.
The Chemistry is pHun program is designed for grades 4-12 and covers pH, a review of states of matter, dissolution, chemical reactions, and various polymers.
Of the 1378 students participating this past calendar year, 971 students have enjoyed the "States of Matter" program, 350 students have enjoyed the "Chemistry is pHun" program, 5 participated in "What is Matter?", and 52 students extracted DNA in the "Polymers are Marvelous Molecules".
If you would like to offer some of these programs in a school district close to where you live, please contact Sheryl J Loux by email, email@example.com or 636.237.5149 to discuss the programs. Training is available.
Every January, our organization plays a little game of musical Chairs. No pun intended, unless you think it might have been worth a chuckle. The Section’s Chair succession always advances, and several officers and committee chairs assume new duties. New faces and names join the ranks of the involved. So, if you are cultivating an urge to get involved, here’s how.
The members listed below are responsible for organizing, promoting, and staffing Section activities in 2014. Pick the function that most closely mirrors your interests, and get in touch with the responsible person. Not sure where you niche is? Have a question about a specific activity? Have an issue or suggestion about section governance, policies, activities? The Chair is your man.
You’re always welcome at a Board of Directors meeting, and your first dinner at a Board meeting is on the house. (Our Section runs on volunteers, and our volunteers run on food.)
|Immediate past chair||Ziad Ramadan|
|Directors||2013-2014: Jeff Cornelius, Bill Doub, Steve Kinsley, Brent Znosko
2014-2015: Eric Ressner, Keith Stine
|Councilors||2012-2014: Donna Friedman
2013-2015: Lisa Balbes, Alexa Serfis
2014-2016: Lawrence Barton
|Alternate Councilors||2012-2014: Hal Harris
2013-2015: Ben Outlaw
2014-2016: Ted Gast, Chris Spilling
|Education||Open, but soon to be filled, so check back.|
|Professional Activities||Brent Znosko|
|Publicity and Public Relations||Sean Dingman|
|Special Events and Services|
|Kids and Chemistry||Sheryl Loux|
|National Chemistry Week||Greg Wall|
|Younger Chemists Committee||Natalie LaFranzo|
Did you always wonder about the chemistry of scent and fragrance? Here’s your chance to find out, through a free ACS webinar:
Love Potion #9: The Chemistry of Scent & Fragrance
Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014, 7–8 pm EST (that’s 6–7 pm St Louis Time), link: acswebinars.org/chemistry-of-fragrance.
The Careers Committee is looking into a group viewing venue. If you’re interested, please contact Lisa Balbes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314.966.5298.
St Louis SectionACS Board of Directors meets the second Thursday of each month, usually at the Glen Echo Country Club (map and driving directions). Meetings are open to all members, and all are encouraged to attend. Elected officers and chairs of major committees vote on questions put to the Board; others in attendance have voice but no vote.
If you want to attend for dinner, please contact the section Chair at least a week in advance. Usual cost of the dinner is $24 ($12 for post-docs and unemployed members). Members wishing to become active in section activities are welcomed for their first dinner as guests of the section.
Date: Jan 9
Social hour: 5:30 pm
Business meeting: 6:30 pm (suspended for dinner when served)
Future meetings: Feb 13, Mar 13
Seminars are on Fridays at 12 noon in Carlo Auditorium, Tegeler Hall, unless noted otherwise. Refreshments follow. For more information, contact Jim Edwards, email@example.com.
At publication time, there were no seminars scheduled for January.
Mondays at 4 pm in 451 Benton Hall, unless otherwise specified. Refreshments 15 minutes prior to seminar time. For more information, contact the Chemistry Department, 314.516.5311.
Thomas Albrecht-Schmitt, Florida State University
Martha Oakley, Indiana University
Seminars are in McMillen 311 at 4 pm unless otherwise noted. For information, contact: Liviu Mirica, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Federico A Rabuffetti, University of Southern California
Perovskite oxide nanocrystals: Room temperature synthesis, crystal structure, and applications
Brian Walker, University of Cambridge
Singlet exciton fission: Applications and mechanistic insights
Eric L Dane, Boston University
Novel bioinspired carbohydrate polymers: Synthesis, characterization, and bioactivity studies
Jesse V Jokerst, Stanford University
Ultrasound imaging with nanoparticles
Cody W Schlenker, University of Washington
Chemistry for controlling charge dynamics at organic interfaces
Bryce Sadtler, California Institute of Technology
Solution-phase growth methods for building complex inorganic nanostructures
Jan 21, 3 pm
Jonathan Owen, Columbia University
Jan 21, 4 pm
Luisa Whittaker-Brooks, Princeton University
From energy to electronics: What will nanostructured materials do for us?
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