Vol. 71, No. 1, January, 2020
- The Immediate Past Chair reflects on the past year 20 December 2019
As my year as Chair draws to a close, my thoughts are on physics, rather than chemistry. Specifically, I have been thinking about the concept of momentum. In its simplest terms, momentum is the product of mass and velocity, and it can also be used to describe an individual, team or organization. In the book “Nine Lies About Work” by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall, the authors debunk what they see as the “Nine Lies” encountered in the workplace. Each “Lie” is given its own chapter and Chapter 7 addresses the lie that “people have potential”. The authors argue that assigning the term “potential” to some and not others is absurd. Potential is inherent in all of us and to say some have it and others do not would be equivalent to saying some of us are human while others are not. Indeed, in those terms it does sound ridiculous. They believe the better descriptor is momentum as it describes how we move through the world. The mass is our knowledge, and the velocity is how we have applied it. Like potential, we all have it, but it is in flux based on our own mass and velocity at a particular point in time.
When I look at the St. Louis Section, I see a local section with growing momentum. The mass is the knowledge that exists within each of our members and volunteers. The velocity is seen in the application of our knowledge throughout the course of the year. Two examples of areas with a high velocity at the moment are our educational outreach and career development programs. Thanks to a highly engaged and energetic group of volunteers, we are inspiring the next generation of scientists through events such as Chemistry Is pHun and the Scouting Merit Badge Clinic. Additionally, the Leadership Development Forum and monthly “Coffee and Cocktails” networking events are connecting more and more professionals to discuss today’s career opportunities and challenges.
Going into 2020 the momentum will continue. The St. Louis Section has been awarded a grant from National ACS to hold a strategic planning retreat, and we are one of a handful of local sections who have been selected to hold a Career Day in the fall. These opportunities would not have been available to us had it not been for our amazing members and volunteers. It has been a privilege to serve as your Chair.
Now, let’s bring the momentum for 2020!
- 2019 Continuity Dinner ushers in the Roaring (20)20’s 22 December 2019Signaling the end not only of an organizational year, but an entire decade, the 2019 Continuity Dinner delivered fitting fanfare on December 12 at Robust Café and Wine Bar in Webster Groves. Our group ju-s-s-st fit into the event space with tables set like service stripes in the long, narrow room.
After a convivial social 0.5-hr with greetings, chat, drinks, and a nice spread of appetizers, we got down to the business of dispensing with business: a short-shrifted General Meeting of the Section with no business to conduct and no minutes to inscribe, followed by a Board Meeting with a lot of gracious reports along the lines of “pass” by Board members.
Dinner was good … and quiet, except for the enforced attendance to the piped-in holiday music that could only be turned louder, never down, let alone off. And then the true purposes of the gathering took hold:
The closely guarded secret Henry Godt Memorial Lecturer (who shall henceforth be subtitled “The Giver of the Godt”) was Ben Barth, soon to be Penultimate Past Chair. His lecture recapped the year-of-STLACS as a series of tweets with an at-at here and a hashtag-hashtag there, here an at, there a hashtag … well, you get the idea. And you get the full-length version below. Go there!
The spoiler-alert announcement of the Distinguished Service Award (to be conferred at Recognition Night in March) seemed to come as a gratifying surprise to Sue Wiediger, who is, yes, the winner. Sue has been Chair of the Education Committee for several years, and has variously contributed to Battle of the Burets, the Undergraduate Research Symposium, Women Chemists Committee events, and surely more, over the years. Congratulations, Sue!
And finally, the passing of the Book and Gavel, the ceremonial symbols of Chairship, from outgoing Chair Suzy Hartmann to incoming Chair Sophia Hayes. Not surprisingly, Suzy looked relieved and didn’t try to hide it, and Sophia apprehensive, but managing a smile.
Jim O’Brien, the new Vic Lewchenko, wielded his camera and flash with aplomb. The photos on this page are all attributable to him. And there are more, if you wish to follow up, on our Flickr photostream.
The 2019 Henry Godt Memorial Lecture
“The Giver of the Godt”, Ben Barth
We are in the season of giving, but the local section has been giving its time and energy all year. The result of this is many people “Godt” awards and recognition throughout the year. For this evening’s Henry Godt Memorial Lecture, I have a sample Section twitter feed that has been #HenryGodtified.
- @LaFranzo coffee and cocktails have #HenryGodt everyone’s attention! @Woerndle @bohac you’ve
- @Chapple has #HenryGodt the Mentor-A-Chemistry-Class up and running at UCityHS #CMA
- #NotCountryMusicAwards #CommitteeForMinorityAffairs
- @Campisi @Grobelny @Natraj @Perry @Neisch #HenryGodt Undergrad Research Symposium Awards!
- @Reith @Azad Great work organizing! #URS2019
- @Cornelius Congrats! You #HenryGodt the Distinguished Service Award! #RecognitionNight
- 2019 #HenryGodt designated as the International Year of the Periodic Table #IYPT2019 Thanks @Wiediger for the #periodic updates
- @Ridley You have #HenryGodt to be kidding me! Chemistry is pHun reached 1803 Students over 27 programs at 14 different schools or organizations for ’18-’19 school year. #OutOfSight
- @LOBrien @Hayes #AwardsNight @Schwartz and @Wilde #HenryGodt to take home awards. Congrats to all
HS Chemistry Contest Award winners and Outstanding College Junior Chem Students! Thanks to @Loomis for
a fun talk #WaveWaveWave or #ParticleParticleParticle is it #InsideTheBox or #OutsideTheBox ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- Those of you at the #SummerPicnic #HenryGodt to try some of @Barth’s Dad’s BBQ. #Brisket #PulledPork
- @Moeller #HenryGodt the Midwest Award. #SyntheticChemistry #Congrats
- @JOBrien and @Jun #HenryGodt recognized as @ACS fellows! Thanks for your great contributions to
#science, #chemistry, and the #ACS
- @Keire #HenryGodt the #StLouisAward. #AnalyticalChemistry #FDA #NMR #Congrats
- @STLACS You’ve #HenryGodt a truly remarkable set of volunteer leaders in your chemistry community. It’s
great to see those of you who #HenyGodt elected for the coming year. #ContinuityDinner
- @Barth Ok. We #HenryGedt the point. You have #HenryGodt to sit down.
- @LaFranzo coffee and cocktails have #HenryGodt everyone’s attention! @Woerndle @bohac you’ve
- Our New Chair Welcomes in the New Year 24 December 2019
Dear ACS Friends and Colleagues,
I am so thrilled to be a part of this many-faceted group. We have a vibrant section with so many activities between social networking events, to school outreach, to professional education in the chemical sciences—the St. Louis section offers something for everyone. 2020 will be just the start of a new decade and new things to come.
What a year it has been! We have had to say “goodbye” to former Chair and visionary section member, Dr. Natalie LaFranzo. She showed so many of us – myself, included – about all the good that participation in the ACS and membership in our Society can offer.
The start of a new year and a new decade offers opportunities for reflection: what a great time to think about becoming more active in the chemical sciences community, networking with others from industry, academia, government, consulting. We have common interests and complementary expertise, which sparks new conversations at every event I attend.
Come to a “Coffee / Cocktails with Chemists” event! This is a terrific way to meet a wide range of people in our community, from those students new to chemistry, to experienced practitioners who have retired from the field. Each event is held in different locations around our metropolitan region, and no two gatherings that I’ve attended have been alike.
If you’d like to get more involved but aren’t sure how best to do so, we have monthly dinners that are a combination of social gatherings and Section Board meetings. Quite a few new participants come to learn about activities, to propose new directions, and simply to learn what our section is all about. Importantly, all are welcome (and your first dinner is free).
And to all of you who have made this year as Chair-Elect an adventure, I’d like to say a heartfelt “thank you”. I think we are on a terrific pathway – buoyed by the energy and enthusiasm of the tremendous long-time members of this section, and the new members who bring fresh perspective and innovative directions. I’m excited about all that we’ll see coming in 2020.
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