April 25th was the day of the annual Awards Banquet, held at Favazza’s on the Hill.The theme of the evening was Will you take the torch? This was meant as a charge to the next generation of scientists, and Elizabeth Bergman started a reflection in this manner. When the Olympic torch is lit the flame originates in Greece and is passed via relay to the Olympic cauldron where the games will be played. No single runner accomplishes this task on their own. So it is in science, we don’t accomplish and discover on our own, fully. To quote Sir Isaac Newton, “If I have seen further, it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants.” She then asked the chemists in the room to reflect on whose shoulders they have stood upon and to share where they studied, who were their mentors and what was their greatest scientific accomplishment with the audience. The microphone moved around the room and many shared their stories of who inspired them. Jeff Cornelius, Michael Hauser, and Alexei Demchenko were called out as mentors to at least 4 folks in the room and it was neat to have them present to see their influence come full circle as these folks are now thriving in the chemistry field and mentoring others in teaching roles. The reflection ended with a question and charge to those beginning their scientific journey in the room. “Will you take the torch?”
We had a full cadre of 2023 Outstanding College Junior awardees from award coordinator Michael Hauser. Each college and university in the local section territory chooses its winner.
The full list of awardees:
- Ashley R Chirchirillo, Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville*
- Louisa Hansen, Principia College
- Lane Hartman, Saint Louis University*
- Destiny Johnson, McKendree University
- Nicholas Nedved, Lindenwood University
- Colin A Nicks, Maryville University
- Sarah Olsen, Washington University*
- Zahria Patrick, University of Missouri–St Louis*
- Conrad Powell, Webster University
- Adam Cole Wellen, Greenville University
* ACS Approved ProgramsAs its name implies, Awards Night is when we hand out a bunch of awards. Science and Technology Award winner Daria Sokic-Lazik was also in attendance to receive her award.