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:
The “What Did We Do?” Haikus.
Nine haikus, each one a strict 3-line, 17-syllable paean to an activity or event from 2013.
Cryptic were they all
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.
Many youth expert with valves
Two West and Villa
Answer (highlight to envisibilize): 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.
We honored her life
Divined the nerve growth factor
Answer: 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.
Bill spoke approval
John Mike Sandi bestowed glory
Tech Students Teachers
Answer: 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 (Outstanding 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.
Mentored and measured
Tomorrow they take our place
Caffeine Marble Juice
Answer: 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
Some new, June sylvan feast
Food games geese skulking
Answer: 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.
In the third Rome
Aurum awards earned
Answer: 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.
Transfer writing skills
Non-verbal network art
Think before you send
Answer: 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.
A city of seven Popes
Answer: 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.
Outstanding Outstanding twice!
Answer: 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.