Kalamazoo Section of the American Chemical Society

We are a dynamic and visionary organization committed to improving people’s lives in our community through the transforming power of chemistry.  We strive to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Kalamazoo, Allegan and Van Buren counties.

Operations Manual

Kalamazoo Section of the American Chemical Society

Last updated 2018-03-20


  • The major functions of the Local Section Chair are to preside over monthly executive committee meetings and to make sure the necessary committees are fully operational with a good cross-section of the membership participating. The current committees are Archives, Awards, Communications, Education, (incl. Competitive Exam), National Chemistry Week, Project SEED, Public Relations, and Women Chemists Committee.
  • The chair acts as host (or arranges for another member to host) Local Section meeting speakers: this includes making local accommodation arrangements, dinner arrangements (the Local Section has in the past paid for the host, the guest and two additional people) and being in contact with the speaker or speakers about meeting site arrangements. Following a meeting, a report is submitted to the National Speakers Tour Service (optional).
  • The chair introduces or arranges for the introduction of Local Section meeting speakers.
  • The chair makes an effort to keep informed of Local Section members’ wants and needs in respect to Section activities. The chair keeps aware of new activities originating from National, which represent opportunities to serve local members better. The chair brings the above information to the executive committee with suggestions for appropriate action, and also makes an effort to present National ACS activities to the membership through one-on-one contact, or by means of the Section Newsletter.
  • The chair keeps a record of the year’s activities and prepares the Annual Report for his or her year of service.
  • The chair appoints Tellers to verify annual election results. See Bylaw VII for details.


  • Attends all Local Section Executive Committee meetings as a voting member.
  • The chair-elect is responsible for drawing up the program for the calendar year during which he or she is chair (or the year after serving as chair-elect). He or she may convene an ad hoc committee of representatives from the local membership to help with program development. Services that can be used to develop a program are the National ACS Speakers Directory or other sources as directed by the Executive Committee.
  • Serves as acting chair at meetings in chair’s absence and in other capacities as assigned by the Local Section chair and executive committee.
  • Attends the ACS Leadership Institute held in January of the year before term as chair-elect (year of election as chair-elect).
  • The chair-elect organizes nominations for annual elections with optional assistance from an appointed Nominations Committee (ad hoc). See Bylaw VII for details.
  • Attends those Local Section committee meetings to become acquainted with Section activities, in preparation for the year as chair.


  • Maintains records for the section.
  • Participates in Executive Committee meetings as a voting member; records the proceedings; prepares and distributes the minutes to board members.
  • Prepares and distributes election material annually. See Bylaw VII for details.
  • Prepares and sends correspondence, on direction of the Executive Committee.


  • Pays all section bills and maintains financial records.
  • Submits federal income tax return.
  • Prepares annual budget.
  • Attends monthly Executive Committee meetings and presents Treasurer’s report.
  • Sends in request for Section allotment.
  • Makes sure Councilors’ expense reports are submitted.
  • Applies for rebate for Councilors’ travel within one month of the National Meeting for which rebate is requested.
  • Oversees investment of section funds over and above operating budget, subject to Executive Committee approval.


Makes every effort to represent the Section by attending at least one of the two yearly meetings of the Council. Ordinarily Council meetings are held in conjunction with the Spring and Fall National Meetings of the Society. Voting at Council meetings is in accordance with instructions from the Section Executive Committee; or, in the absence of instructions, according to his or her best judgment. The Councilor brings before the Council, or any of its committees, subjects of particular interest to the Section either on his or her own judgment, or by instruction of the Executive Committee. The Councilor answers inquiries, questionnaires etc., that are submitted to Councilors by the National Society.

Prepares a summary report of each Council meeting attended and submit written and oral reports to the Section Executive Committee at the next meeting following the Council meeting. Participates and votes in all meetings of the Section Executive Committee. If no Councilor can attend a scheduled Council meeting, the Secretary of the Section should be advised as early as possible so that the Secretary can notify the Alternate Councilor who will then represent the Section in the Council meeting. The Alternate Councilor must be properly certified by the Secretary to be admitted to the meeting.

The duties of the Alternate Councilor in this instance are the same as those of the Councilor.

Archives Committee

Each year, gathers and organizes monthly minutes, agenda, Treasurer’s reports, important Section correspondence, programs, event summaries, Newsletter publicity, and other materials relevant to Section operations along with the annual budget and the Annual Report. These are submitted every 5 to 10 years to the Regional Archives Library housed at Western Michigan University.

Awards Committee

Solicits names from the Local Section membership of those member(s) who have served selflessly for an extended period of time and selects awardee.

Communications Committee

The leader of this committee shall coordinate and distribute announcements of local section activities to members as requested by the elected officers of KACS. The committee will include at least one member who maintains the section web page (i.e., the webmaster) or other assigned venues in timely manner. Web site content may be submitted by the elected officers of KACS and posted directly without Executive Committee approval. The committee will explore new approaches to improve the efficiency and impact of local section announcements. The committee will initiate and recruit help to collect written summaries and photos of local section activities.

Education Committee

Calls and conducts any necessary meetings for planning and implementation of:

  1. Spring Science Symposium
  2. Spring awards event (high school)

Communicates arrangements for meetings, plans, etc. to members of the committee and the Section Executive Committee.

Attends meetings of the Kalamazoo Section ACS Executive Committee and submit yearly report and budget.

Spring Science Symposium:

  1. Plans date, agenda, publicity, places, food, arrangements, allocation of responsibilities, etc.
  2. Sends flyers to all Section high schools in tri-county area (Kalamazoo, Allegan and Van Buren) and possibly to neighboring areas, e.g. Battle Creek.

Spring Awards Event:

  1. Plans (as in a above)
  2. Solicits high school teacher nominations from principals
  3. Solicits high school student nominations from teachers
  4. Sends letters/flyers to: Kalamazoo Section publicity committee, high school principals, high school teachers, high school students, high school principal of Outstanding Teacher (with check)

Holds meeting after awards ceremony to evaluate programs and do advance planning for Fall.

Designates a person to administer high school chemistry exams.

Competitive Exam Subcommittee

Conducts the annual Competitive Exam under the authority of the Education Committee. This includes selecting and reviewing exam questions, scheduling of the preliminary and final exams, distribution of the exams with instructions to the high school chemistry teachers, proctoring (the final exam) and grading the exams.

Chemists Celebrate Earth Day (CCED) Chair

  • Contacts the Kalamazoo Nature Center Outreach Coordinator by early March to arrange for opportunity to present Chemistry and the Earth Day Theme there in conjunction with their Earth Day Celebration (half-day weekend event).
  • Recruits volunteers to assist in the presentation of appropriate educational materials at our table during the Kalamazoo Nature Center open house.
  • Oversees activity as needed to ensure that the program runs smoothly and summarizes activity in a brief report to the Executive Committee and to the membership through the website.
  • Promotes and coordinates participation in other Earth Day-related ACS activities, such the spring theme Illustrated Poster Competition for K-12th grade students.
  • Coordinates team visits to schools to present chemistry activities that are pertinent to the CCED theme around April 22.

National Chemistry Week (NCW) Committee

The Chair of the NCW Committee can operate alone or select a committee. The main function of this committee is to design and execute an effective National Chemistry Week celebration for our Section. Detailed duties are listed below.

  • Makes contact by early August with the interviewer of Monday Night Live, a presentation of Public Media Network, to identify an appropriate time for a televised interview in advance of the Chemistry Day at the Museum; makes arrangements for appropriate interviewees for that opportunity.
  • Solicits volunteer workers from the Local Section membership and local schools to help with our annual Chemistry Day of hands-on activities at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum. Coordinates the scope and nature of the activities to reflect the annual theme for NCW.
  • Works closely with Kalamazoo Valley Museum Program Coordinator to facilitate registration of volunteers, assignment of activities, submission of material needs, development of experiment plans and descriptions. Provides timely updates and reminders to volunteers in advance of Chemistry Day. Ascertains that volunteers are appropriately recognized for their service.
  • Creates timely advertising messages about NCW and Chemistry Day activities for the Communications and Publicity Committees to distribute to Local Section members, schools and local media in Kalamazoo, Allegan and Van Buren counties.
  • Promotes and coordinates other NCW-related ACS activities, such as the fall theme Illustrated Poster Competition for K-12th grade students.
  • Contacts the clerks of the county seats in Kalamazoo, Allegan and Van Buren counties to request the reading of a proclamation at a meeting of each body during NCW.
  • Coordinates connections with the major libraries in each county and oversees the distribution (free of charge) of theme-specific publications, provided by the ACS National office, which may be given to patrons.
  • Coordinates team visits to schools to present chemistry activities that are pertinent to the NCW theme.
  • Summarizes activity in a brief report to the Executive Committee and to the membership through the website.

Project SEED

(Summer Educational Experience for the Disadvantaged)

Project SEED is part of the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) commitment to the development of a scientific work force that is more broadly representative of the American population. The program was established in 1968 by the ACS to help expand the career outlook of high school students from families defined as economically disadvantaged by federal poverty guidelines. Each student performs research with a mentor in an industrial or academic chemistry lab. Participating students are divided into two groups, Summer I students, participating for the first time and Summer II students, who are in their second and final summer of the program. The committee (coordinator) is expected to:

  • Solicit matching funds from the local chemical community and recommend annual budgeting for KACS Project SEED funding.
  • Solicit scientists to act as mentors for the Project SEED Program.
  • Submit applications to National Project SEED Office by the beginning of February each year.
  • Contact high school chemistry teachers in Allegan, Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties to recruit students to apply to the program. This invitation will provide eligibility requirements and instructions for how to apply.
  • Select the students to be involved in the program, match them with mentors and send award letters with work permit applications for any students who are under 18 years old.
  • In May, send the Institutional Verification Form and the Direct Deposit Form to the ACS Project SEED Office.
  • Once the program starts in June, meet regularly with the students and mentors to ensure that program is running smoothly and to pay the students
  • Encourage mentors and students to plan a presentation activity, such as a poster session or half-day symposium, to allow students to present their work. Help to coordinate this with mentors from different institutions.
  • Collect student written reports and ensure that they are submitted at the end of the program.
  • Ensure that ACS mentor and student surveys are completed by the end of the program.
  • Prepare summary report for the local section and follow up with the KACS treasurer to ensure that all financial transactions are properly executed and logged.

Publicity Committee

The Chair of the Publicity Committee can operate alone or select a committee. The main function of the Publicity Committee is to provide publicity to nonmembers for Local Section activities. Detailed duties are listed below.

  • Maintains a current mailing list of HS teachers, Middle School teachers and Elementary teachers in the schools in Kalamazoo, Allegan and Van Buren counties.
  • Maintains a list of contacts for local media outlets (newspaper, radio, TV).
  • Issues communications to school teachers and media outlets throughout the year to support ACS activities and education initiatives in our section. These typically include NCW and Chemistry Day, Earth Day, tour speakers, Science Cafés or other activities of potential interest to these communities.

Women Chemists Committee (WCC)

Organizes and conducts the Girl Scout chemistry badge event.

The Women Chemists Committee (WCC) serves the membership of the American Chemical Society. Its mission is to be leaders in attracting, developing and promoting women in the chemical sciences. The committee shall:

  1. Serve as a forum for women in chemistry and related professions.
  2. Develop recommendations regarding issues of interest to women chemists.
  3. Provide a means of increasing and improving participation of women in the chemical sciences and the SOCIETY.
  4. Promote the recognition of women chemists.