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Chemical Bond, May 2020

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Vol. 71, No. 5, May, 2020

  • Summer notes 9 April 2020

    Will you be hanging around home this summer? (Haven’t you had enough of that?)

    You should be aware:

    1. The 16th Annual Section Picnic had been scheduled for June 21st. Had been. Won’t be. We are looking for a date later in the summer or early in the fall to give COVID more time to cool its heels, but only if it is safe. Keep an eye out for more information as it becomes available.
    2. Speaking of information, the May issue will be the last issue of the Chemical Bond for awhile. Our regular summer hiatus means no issues in June, July, and August. Items of interest will still be posted here in real time. If you’re not one to keep your fingers on our pulse, you’ll see the full summer of posts digested for you in the September Chemical Bond.

    Best wishes for the old normal. Who knew we’d be looking forward to it.

  • Chemistry is pHun: Year in Review 17 April 2020

    During the academic year 2019-2020, “Chemistry is pHun” outreach activities benefited from the contributions of many excellent volunteers. The efforts of these volunteers made it possible to present 28 programs that reached 908 school children within 13 different schools or organizations in the Rockwood, Kirkwood, Lindbergh, and Lutheran Missouri Synod school districts. Crestwood Elementary School in the Lindbergh District and Immanuel Lutheran Elementary School in the Lutheran Missouri Synod district were first-timers.

    Clip from Maryville Magazine featuring Will Ridley and 2nd graders enjoying Chemistry is pHun

    Will Ridley, Coordinator of the “Chemistry is pHun” program, and Dr. Anuradha Vummenthala, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Maryville University, established a partnership where students from Maryville would assist with “States of Matter” presentations to 2nd graders. A very successful March 7, 2019, “States of Matter” program at Stanton Elementary School was featured in a photo-essay Fall 2019 issue of the Maryville Magazine (see here, pp. 23-25).

    St. Louis Section outreach participated for the first time in a STEM fair sponsored by STEMSTL Ecosystem in St. Louis as part of National STEM Day, November 2, 2019, at The O’Fallon Park Recreation Center in North St. Louis. “Chemistry is pHun” partnered with Maryville University students Caleb Holaway, Marilyn Vazquez, and Austin Simmons to provide a hands-on chemistry experience titled “Polymers are Marvelous Molecules” for 40 students of all ages.

    Maryville University Chemistry students, Caleb Holaway, Marilyn Vazquez and Austin Simmons present “Polymers are Marvelous Molecules” at STEMSTL event.

    A new program titled “Transforming Matter” was developed for 5th grade students including a detailed lesson plan, PowerPoint presentation and list of requirements. The transformation of matter was demonstrated by the evolution of carbon dioxide when sodium bicarbonate is mixed with vinegar, the change in color of red cabbage juice when titrated with lemon juice and ammonia cleaning solution and the hydrolysis of starch to glucose by barley and human saliva amylase using iodine indicator. The program was well received by 5th graders at Kellison Elementary School on February 12th.

    The contributions of volunteers Andrew Grattendick and Dr. Joe Smith and Maryville University Chemistry students Caleb Holaway, Marilyn Vazquez, Austin Simmons and Morgan Bertolino, are gratefully acknowledged. For more information on volunteer opportunities with “Chemistry is pHun” please contact Will Ridley at or phone 314-920-1507.

    Submitted by
    Will Ridley
    Coordinator for Chemistry is pHun

  • Our COVID-19 response (and national press) 28 April 2020

    Hey, did you notice the red “help wanted” banner on the home page, the one that solicits donations of PPE and other items needed to save lives of COVID-19 victims?

    Our Section’s response has been a help to area healthcare providers, and has been noticed and noted by national ACS. In the April 27th edition of C&E News, you can find the story that singles out three local sections for their efforts. To quote, re us:

    Some volunteers have helped pick up and deliver donations of PPE and other equipment. [St Louis Section Chair Sophia] Hayes says a local beer-brewing company, where the local section has occasionally gathered for monthly meetings, has donated three industrial-scale hydrometers for use in measuring specific amounts of alcohol for making hand sanitizer.

    Others have contributed their chemistry expertise. For example, Hayes assisted industrial hygienists in the Environmental Health and Safety group at the Washington University School of Medicine in fine-tuning their alcohol calibration for hand sanitizers. “They just needed a little bit of chemistry expertise,” she says. “They were using these sets of meters that they weren’t familiar with.”

    We extend our thanks to all those who extended their helping hands. Our thanks are surely on top of copious thanks from those who needed all the donated items and expertise.

  • And in another nod from national, Lisa Balbes 28 April 2020

    Lisa Balbes, career coordinator and independent consultant

    In addition to C&E News (the house organ), national ACS puts out another general interest weekly, Industry Matters Newsletter, with “information, insights, and advice to help you thrive in a dynamic, challenging, and exciting working world.”

    This week’s “What I Learned” column (member login required) is about our own career services coordinator, Lisa Balbes.

    When she’s not busy career-coordinating for the Local Section or national ACS, she’s pursuing her own career as an independent consultant, technical writer, and workshop presenter. Over her quarter-century of consulting, the general nature of finding a job and developing a career, as well as the more specific nature of the consulting and technical-writing segment have changed — ebbed and flowed — and she has adapted both her presentations and her ways of obtaining project contracts.

    Ya gotta read the whole thing … for the insights gained over the years, if not for the brief introduction to Miles the Office Rabbit, who provideed “paper shredding and comic relief” until his departure for the Great Carrot Patch about seven years ago.

  • Sciencing the Heck out of Climate Change 30 April 2020

    Sophia Hayes (Chair, St. Louis section) gave a TEDx talk in St. Louis “Science the Heck out of Climate Change”, just released on YouTube. It’s an 8 min. video, highlighting how chemists and materials scientists have helped address problems in atmospheric pollution, from catalytic converters (for acid rain) to new carbon capture materials for CO2.

  • Be on the Lookout for 2021 Officer Nominations 30 April 2020

    In the next few weeks, you will receive a Google Forms link about nominations for the 2020 election in which officers are elected for terms beginning in 2021. Please consider nominating one or several of your talented colleagues to participate in the governance of the local section and contribute to the building excitement in the local chemistry community.

    If you would prefer not to use an online service, you can send this pdf to the section secretary by email ( or you can print the ballot and mail it (Henry Rohrs, 440 South Gore Avenue, Webster Groves, MO 63119).

    Please keep in mind that you should only one method to nominate people: the Google Forms link, e-mailing the PDF to Henry, or mailing Henry.

  • Call for Nominations: Saint Louis Award 2020 – Deadline Postponed to May 31 30 January 2020

    Nominations are solicited for the St Louis Award, which has been sponsored Bayer and administered by the St Louis Section–ACS. Nominees should be individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the profession of chemistry and demonstrated potential to further the advancement of the chemical profession. The awardee is selected by a review committee constituted by the St Louis Section–ACS. The award, consisting of a $1,500 honorarium and a plaque, is presented at the St Louis Award Banquet, which is typically held in October during National Chemical Week.

    At the time of the nomination, nominees must not have previously received the Midwest Award or any national ACS-sponsored award. Nominees must be members or affiliates of the St Louis Section of the ACS. Nomination packets received by May 31 are considered for award presentation in October.

    Nomination packages (vide infra) should be prepared as a single Portable Document Format (PDF) file and sent by email to John-Stephen Taylor

    Nomination letters, required as an integral component of the nomination PDF-file-package, can be formally addressed to:

    John-Stephen Taylor, Ph.D.
    ACS Saint Louis Award Coordinator
    Department of Chemistry
    Campus Box 1134
    Washington University
    1 Brookings Drive
    Saint Louis, Missouri 63130.

    Nomination packages (single PDF-file) should include, in this order:

    1. a face page with the award name, the nominees name, and the date of the nomination;
    2. a nominating letter, which includes note of any significant activities with the Local Section;
    3. two additional seconding letters (not more) from individuals who have had a close professional affiliation with the nominee;
    4. a brief biography of the nominee (one page or less);
    5. a concise description of the nominee’s chief accomplishments in the field (one page or less); and
    6. a list of publications and patents.

    Additional details can be found at URL

meetings and seminars heading

Board of Directors

St Louis Section–ACS 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. The usual cost of the dinner is $22 ($11 for post-docs and unemployed members). Bar service extra. Members wishing to become active in section activities are welcomed for their first dinner as guests of the section.

Date: May 14 (via Zoom)
Social hour, cash bar: 6:00 pm
Call to order: 6:30 pm (Board Meeting suspended during dinner service)
Future meetings: Sept 10, Oct 8

Maryville University

Seminars are approximately once a month on Thursdays, 4-5 pm. Details are available on the university’s seminar page. All seminars are free and open to the public. Contact Jason Telford for more information.

St. Louis College of Pharmacy

The Center for Clinical Pharmacology hosts a monthly seminar series in ARB 212 unless otherwise noted. For the most up to date information refer to the center’s seminar page or contact Jodi Maslin.

Saint Louis University

Seminars are generally on Fridays at 12 noon in Carlo Auditorium, Tegeler Hall, unless noted otherwise. Refreshments follow. For the most up-to-date information, refer to the department’s seminar page or contact Brent Znosko,

University of Missouri–St Louis

Mondays at 4 pm in 451 Benton Hall, unless otherwise specified. Refreshments 15 minutes prior to seminar time. For timely information on visiting seminar speakers, contact the Chemistry Department, 314.516.5311, or visit the seminar schedule. The department has additional seminar series which are also accessible from this page.

Washington University

Seminars are in McMillen 311 at 4 pm unless otherwise noted. For information, consult the departmental events page. Related seminars, including endowed seminar series and the WU med school biochemistry series, are linked here as well.


American Polymer Standards Corporation
8680 Tyler Boulevard, Mentor, OH 44060
Phone: 440-255-2211 Fax: 440-255-8397

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Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society and the St Louis Section–ACS

Editor Jeramia Ory 314.446.8169
Associate Editor Eric Ressner 314.962.6415
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