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Chemical Bond title
Volume 62, Number 8 November, 2011

In this issue

go to Looking back at the MWRM/GLRM

go to Alexa Serfis wins Diversity Award

go to Continuity Dinner: reserve now

go to Chemistry merit badge clinic strikes again

go to Kids and Chemistry serves up NCW at Science Center

go to Two awards seek nominations

go to Meetings and Seminars

go to About the Chemical Bond

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next contents  Highlights of a successful meeting

MWRM2011 logo

The Midwest/Great Lakes Joint Regional Meeting came off pretty much without a hitch October 19–22. Here are just a few of the facts and figures that indicate success.

Preliminary registrations show attendance topped 1050! Approximately 300 of these were regular ACS members, 300 graduate students, 250 undergraduate students; the balance included exhibitors, 50-year members, retired members, and guests.

The exposition hall was set up with 46 booths, but those sold out, and then some, in the waning premeeting hours: we ended with 26 academic and 26 commercial exhibitors plus one booth for the organizers of next year’s meeting.

As many as ten topical and special symposia were in session simultaneously; over 620 papers and posters were presented. The full slate of special activities included the opening Sci-Mix session in the Expo area, the Diversity Luncheon with guest speaker ACS President Nancy Jackson, Awards Banquet, and the ACS Governance lunch with ACS President-Elect Bassam Shakhashiri. Special programming for undergraduate students and a Saturday program for high school chemistry teachers rounded out the event.

organizing committee and others

Some of the St Louis Section’s meeting involvees: (l to r) Eric Ressner (webmaster), Lisa Balbes (co-exposition chair), Jeff Cornelius (Section Chair), Bruce Ritts (treasurer), Leah O’Brien (general chair), Leith Stine (program chair).

Jim O’Brien, Keith Stine, and Leah O’Brien receive plaques for their work on the meeting from (left) ACS President Nancy Jackson and (right) meeting planning partner John Michael Sophos.

next previous contents SLU chemist wins regional diversity award

The Stanley C Israel Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences is given at the Regional level to recognize individuals and/or institutions that have advanced diversity in the chemical sciences and significantly stimulated or fostered activities that promote inclusiveness.

portrait of Alexa Serfis

Alexa Serfis, 2011 Stanley C Israel Awardee for the Midwest Region

The winner of the 2011 Stanley C Israel Award in the Midwest Region, announced and conferred at the Midwest/Great Lakes Regional Meeting Awards Banquet, is Alexa Serfis of Saint Louis University.

Alexa Serfis is Professor and Associate Chair of Chemistry at Saint Louis University. She has advised pre-professional undergraduates on their educational options, as well as mentoring any number of undergraduate students and research assistants.

In 2001, she led the Student Affiliates of the ACS (SA-ACS) group at SLU to start a mentoring program for Gateway Middle School (a predominantly African-American St Louis City school). The students work on high-quality scientific projects which are presented as science fair projects and orally at the Junior Academy of Sciences. The SA-ACS students serve as advisors to the middle school students.

In 2007 and again in 2010, Dr Serfis developed a Senior Girl Scout Interest Project around chemistry. The first program was centered around spectroscopy and included hands-on use of a UV-Vis spectrometer to investigate properties of sunscreens. The second program included activities focused on forensic science and the use of chemical methods to characterize physical evidence. In each case, the Girl Scouts took the indicator home, and in order to earn the badge used their new knowledge to conduct an outreach activity at a local elementary school.

Dr Serfis has hosted a Project SEED student in her laboratory, and is currently helping to start an internship program and bring another round of students to Saint Louis University next summer. She is a regular volunteer for the ACS local section with the Boy Scout Chemistry Merit Badge clinic and has twice chaired outreach activities for National Chemistry Week.


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

next previous contents Come to the Continuity Dinner

banquet icon

The December Board of Directors meeting is also our Continuity Dinner, a fancier than usual affair to celebrate the year’s achievements, recognize certain members, announce the Distinguished Service Award (conferred in March), and pass the gavel to the incoming section officers. There is also the Henry Godt Memorial Lecture, recapping the past year, which is given by a surprise speaker.

There is usually a General Meeting of the Section to vote on issues that must be put to the entire membership. And there are almost always some new and old members whom we see only at this event. So come!

Please join us: Thursday, December 8
C J Muggs, 101 West Lockwood Ave, Webster Groves, MO 63119 (map)
Free covered parking in municipal garage behind restaurant, entry off North Gore Ave
5:30 pm social hour with cash bar
6:30 pm dinner, meeting, and Continuity events

Please send your reservation by December 5th to:

Dr Jeff Cornelius
Department of Chemistry
1 Maybeck Place
Principia College
Elsah, IL 62028

Make checks payable to St Louis Section–ACS
Name(s) ____________________________________________________
Number attending _____ × $20 each = amount remitted $___________
Choice of entrée (number of each): salmon ______ or steak ______

Sigma-Aldrich Corp. placement

next previous contents Chemistry Merit Badge Clinic packs ’em in

The 7th Chemistry Merit Badge Clinic, hosted by Jost Chemical Company, attracted a capacity crowd of 41 Boy Scouts. A total of 34 volunteers from the SLU Chemistry Club, Alpha Chi Sigma, and others staffed the event.

Scouts don PPE

Chemistry merit badge scouts in personal protective equipment ... or ... rushing the Halloween season?

First, the merit badge candidates were introduced to the four classical fields of chemistry by Jeff Cornelius, St Louis Section–ACS Chair, and to chemical safety by Mark Mans of Jost Chemical. They then rotated through four 45-minute stations (each run by two professional chemists), during which they made a cartesian diver, learned about chromatographic separations, MSDSs, abrasives, emulsions and mixtures, and took a tour of a working chemical manufacturing plant. There were interactive demos during lunch, and door prizes provided by Ameren.com/PurePower, Sigma-Aldrich, Steve Spangler Science, Covidien, Oxford University Press, Monsanto, Firestone, Merck, and the St Louis Section–ACS.

Scouts on lab tour

Scouts on tour at Jost Chemical

Comments from attendees and their parents included:

Huffman Laboratories placement

next previous contents NCW/K&C @ SLSC is a SXS

enzyme analysis

Sheryl Loux and Jeff Cornelius with enzymes

In celebration of National Chemistry Week, the Kids and Chemistry outreach at the St Louis Science Center on Saturday, October 15, was a big hit with the roughly 400 people who came through.

Many kids and adults tried their hands at the wet chemistry experiments, learning all the while about the function of Enzymes for Digestion and Cleaning and which foods and materials contain starch in doing the Starch Scavenger Hunt! Children of all ages were equally fascinated to learn about Crushing Cans.

Kids and Chemistry is a program sponsored by the St Louis Section–ACS and coordinated by Sheryl J Loux. Thanks also to Chris Glass and Don Sartor for taking the lead on Starch Scavenger Hunt and Crushing Cans, respectively. Sheryl sends more thanks to the volunteers who helped with the Kids and Chemistry outreach tables: Mary Prince, Terry Shipman, Michelle Griffin, Erica Washington, Shaunta Keel, Heather LeGrand, Billie Jean Schorgl, Jeff Cornelius, JoAnna White, and Jessica Schey.

crushing cans

Don Sartor crushing cans

seeking starch

Chris Glass and Mary Prince test for starch

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next previous contents Nominate someone deserving for....

Chemical Science & Technology Award

The St Louis Chemical Science and Technology Award is presented to a chemist in the St Louis area who has demonstrated a high degree of professionalism and scientific contribution. Criteria used to judge the award include technical proficiency, presentations, coaching/teamwork, and additional professional activities. The award will consist of a plaque, a $500 honorarium, and dinner for the awardee and a guest at Recognition Night in March, 2012.

To be eligible, the nominee should have an Associate, Bachelor, or Masters degree in chemistry or a chemistry-related curriculum. The nominee need not be a St Louis Section–ACS member to be eligible.

Letters of nomination must be received by December 16 of the year preceding the award. The nominating letter should address the criteria above. A current work address, phone number, fax number, and email address should be provided for both the nominee and the nominator.

To submit a nomination, contact the Chemical Science and Technology Award coordinator, Adrienne Mazdra.

High School Chemistry Teacher of the Year

The St Louis Section–ACS is seeking nominations for the 2012 High School Chemistry Teaching Award. This award is to recognize, encourage, and stimulate outstanding teachers of high school chemistry within the St Louis Section. The award winner will receive a $500 check and a plaque, presented at an awards dinner and program next April.

Please consider nominating a teacher in the Greater St Louis Area who exemplifies excellence in the teaching of high school chemistry. The nomination packet must include the following items:

From the Nominee:

  1. the Nominee Information Form
  2. your current teaching assignment including course titles and grade levels. What is your involvement in extracurricular activities?
  3. on a separate sheet, a statement of not more than 500 words in which you present your teaching philosophy or otherwise describe your commitment to the profession.
  4. a curriculum vitae or résumé that includes a list of honors, professional activities, and additional evidence of service to the profession; limited to no more than two pages of activities within the last five years.

From the Nominator:

  1. the Nominator Information Form
  2. nominator recommendation of not more than 1,000 words submitted by the nominator. This statement should clearly demonstrate as many of the following attributes as possible:
    · the quality of the nominee’s teaching: unusually effective methods of presentation should be emphasized
    · the nominee’s ability to challenge and inspire students
    · extracurricular work in chemistry or a chemical science by the nominee, including science fairs, science clubs, and activities that stimulate the interest of young people in chemistry and related sciences
    · a willingness to keep up-to-date in the field, as evidenced by the pursuit of a higher degree in chemistry or a chemical science, enrollment in refresher courses and summer institutes, regular attendance at scientific meetings, membership in professional organizations, and other means of self-improvement
    · evidence of leadership or active involvement within the profession
  3. at least one, but not more than three, letters of support; one must be from the teacher’s current principal or supervisor. Additional letters of support may be sent by colleagues, members of the American Chemical Society who are familiar with the nominee’s achievements, or former students and parents of former students.

To submit a nomination, please request a nomination packet by November 1, 2011, and submit the nomination (five copies) by December 1, 2011. The ACS High School Teaching Award chair is:

Sandra Mueller
John Burroughs School
755 S Price Road
St Louis, Missouri 63124
314.993.4040 x362

Chemir Associates placement

next previous contents meetings and seminars

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 to Glen Echo CC map). 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. Usual cost of the dinner is $24 ($12 for post-docs and unemployed members). Members wishing to become active in section activities are welcomed for their first dinner as guests of the section.

Date: Nov 10
Social hour: 5:30 pm
Dinner: 6:30 pm
Business meeting: 7:15 pm
Future meetings: Dec 8 (special Continuity Dinner), Jan 12

Saint Louis University

Seminars are on Fridays at 12 noon in Carlo Auditorium, Tegeler Hall, unless noted otherwise. Refreshments follow. For more information, contact Ryan McCulla, dbaum1@slu.edu.

Nov 4
Qingfeng Ge
Southern Illinois University–Carbondale
Molecular modeling for CO2 conversion

Nov 18
Christopher Mulligan
Illinois State University
Chemical information on demand: Portable mass spectrometers capable of ambient ionization

University of Missouri–St Louis

Mondays at 4 pm in 451 Benton Hall, unless otherwise specified. Refreshments 15 minutes prior to seminar time. For more information, contact the Chemistry Department, 314.516.5311.

Nov 7
Mikhail Berezin
Washington University
Contrast agents for optical imaging: From synthesis to in vivo applications

Nov 14
Robert E Smith
Total Diet and Pesticide Research Center
Açaí—rich source of antioxidants

Nov 28
Christopher Cummins
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Washington University

Seminars are in McMillen 311 at 4 pm unless otherwise noted. For information, contact: Liviu Mirica, mirica@wustl.edu.

Nov 1
Nick Polfer
University of Florida
Mass and its limitations—what more can vibrational spectroscopy tell us about ion structure?

Nov 3
Deborah Leckband
Universit of Illinois

Nov 10
John MacMillan
University of Texas Southwestern

Nov 17
James Rusling
University of Connecticut
Nanoscience approaches to arrays for metabolic toxicity screening and cancer diagnostics

Nov 29
Kit Cummings
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dec 1
Emily Weiss
Northwestern University

previous contents About the Chemical Bond

The Chemical Bond is published at www.stlacs.org January through May and September through December by the St Louis Section–American Chemical Society. If you would like to receive email notification when each issue is posted, you can subscribe to the bond.remind listserv. You can also follow the link to “Manage bond.remind options” from the home page at www.stlacs.org.

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Editor Eric Ressner 314.962.6415
Assistant Editor & Advertising Manager Sue Saum 314.513.4808
Business Manager Donna Friedman 314.513.4388

Correspondence, letters to the editor, etc., should be emailed to editor@stlacs.org
or mailed ℅ St Louis Section–ACS, PO Box 410192, Saint Louis, MO 63141-0192

Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society and the St Louis Section–ACS