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.
The Kalamazoo Section belongs to the Great Lades Region of the ACS; for more information and to learn about Regional Meetings please visit their website.
In the mid-1940s, when travel was a bit more cumbersome than it seems to be today, and The War (WWII) interrupted a National Meeting, chemists within the American Chemical Society decided to join informally with others in proximal geographical areas to host meetings featuring presenters from academia and industry within that area so that those who might not be able to attend a National meeting could have a way of presenting their work in a professional environment at lesser expense than at a National Meeting. In this way 10 Regions* were formed in the “Lower 48”– that is how our Region, the Great Lakes Region (GLR), was formed (see map below). Meetings were held on University campuses to keep participants’ costs to a minimum. With the increasing desire for comfort, air-conditioned hotels became an increasingly-used venue; as corporate donations waxed and waned, to help fund the meetings a larger exposition was also incorporated, and hotels included available space which took into account the needs of exhibitors for more visibility and easier access to participants in a frequently-traveled location.
Such meetings were more accessible to graduate and undergraduate students, younger faculty members and to those in industry who had modest travel support; they also provided valuable networking possibilities to the participants. Over the years the importance and prestige of presenting at Regional meetings in our Region has paralleled the content of the program selected by each Program committee and the “name” of the presenters invited to give seminars and organize symposia. Teaching and Volunteer Awards are given at Regional Meetings, and in the last 5-10 years meeting abstracts (oral and poster) which are presented, are archived in the CAS database just like they are for National Meetings. With the smaller size of Regional Meetings program planning and execution is more “nimble”. Currently, the National ACS Office offers the services of a staff member to help in several aspects of the organization of a Regional Meeting but primarily in the registration and the abstract-gathering processes.
Our Kalamazoo Section hosted its first Great Lakes Regional meeting (GLRM) on the WMU campus in 1973 with Robert B. Moffett as General Chairman; our second meeting was also on the WMU campus under the General Chairmanship of Lydia Hines in 1984 – it was a Joint Meeting with the Western Michigan Section (Central Region); we have since co-hosted three more Joint Meetings: in 1994 with the Huron Valley Section (Central Region) in Ann Arbor (Jed Fisher was our representative program co-chair); in 2001 with the Western Michigan Section (Central Region) in Grand Rapids (Brian Stockman was our representative general co-chair); and in 2015 with the Western Michigan Section (Central Region) in Grand Rapids (Lydia E. M. Hines was our representative General co-chair).
The GLR was the last to become incorporated, in 2009 at the GLR Meeting in Chicago. In an effort to maintain a schedule of annual Regional Meetings, our Region’s Board of Directors (one representative from each Local Section in the GLR – KACS’s representative for the last 30 years has been Lydia Hines, who was elected chair of the region in 2015) is considering assigning Sections, based on size and location so as to distribute the responsibility equitably, to act as hosts or co-hosts for a Regional Meeting.
Support of Regional Meetings by our attendance and/or hosting or co-hosting is very important if this more intimate venue of networking and professional development is to continue. The importance to the ACS of such smaller and more intimate meetings has grown as we seek to reach our younger constituents and the general public.
*Northwestern, Rocky Mountain, Great Lakes, Central, Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic, Southeastern, Midwestern, Southwestern, Western (see map below).
Map of Meeting Regions:
Compiled by Lydia Hines - August 2011