Submitted by Sophia Hayes
Awards Night was a particular special evening this year, with honors for many, dinner and conversation amongst chemical scientists (current- and future-) from across the region, and celebration of achievements. Organized expertly by Prof. Leah O’Brien (SIUE), the event was held at Vue17 in Clayton that gave us exceptional 180-degree vistas of the St. Louis skyline and a colorful ACS-themed display. Honors were presented to both high school students who had competed in the 2019 High School Chemistry Contest and their teachers, with citations given by Myron Reese. We also recognized outstanding college juniors on their quests to become chemists across the region, presented by Dr. Michael Hauser, Chair of College Student Awards. Arthur Wilde of Bayless High School was given an award as our 2019 STLACS Teacher-of-the-Year and Prof. Sally Schwartz, Prof. of Radiology and co-director of the Cyclotron Facility at WUSM, was cited for her scientific contributions as the 2019 Chemical Science and Technology Award. Both gave inspiring and heartfelt presentations in front of a large audience, including a number of high school students and college juniors who must be thinking about the wide range of chemical science career paths shown by these awardees.
An engaging and laughter-filled after-dinner presentation was given by Prof. Rich Loomis (WashU), who brought out copies of his 8th grade notebook from class, if only to let the high school students know they aren’t alone in their head-scratching moments over the vagaries of quantum mechanics, which Prof. Loomis continues to study. (Remember everyone: waves, waves, waves.)
A delightful evening was had by all. We hope you’ll all join us next year, for the terrific views, wonderful conversation, laughter and companionship, all in the name of celebrating chemistry!