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.

Actions of the Council

  • Election Results - By electronic ballot, the Council selected Peter K. Dorhout and William A. Lester, Jr. as candidates for 2015 President-Elect. These two candidates, along with any candidates selected via petitions, will stand for election in the Fall National Election.
  • Candidates for Directors-at-Large - The Committee on Nominations and Elections announced the selection of the following candidates for Directors-at-Large for a 2015-2017 term: Dawn A. Brooks, William F. Carroll, Jr., Barbara A. Sawrey, and Ellen B. Stechel. The election of two Directors-at-Large from among those candidates and any selected via petition will be conducted in the fall.
  • Committee Continuance - As part of a regular performance review, the Council VOTED unanimously to continue the Committees on Chemical Safety, on Chemistry and Public Affairs, and on Minority Affairs. Continuation of these three committees requires Board concurrence.
  • 2015 Member Dues - The Council voted to set the member dues for 2015 at the fully escalated rate of $158. This rate is established pursuant to an inflation-adjustment formula in the ACS Constitution and Bylaws.
  • Divisional Allotment Formula - The Council voted to approve a revised formula for allocating dues funds to divisions. This formula, which was presented by the Committee on Divisional Activities, will be effective with allocations for 2015 division performance.
  • New International Chemical Sciences Chapter - On recommendation of the Committee on International Activities and subject to the concurrence of the Board of Directors, the Council voted to approve petitions to charter the South Korea International Chemical Sciences Chapter and the Malaysia International Chemical Sciences Chapter.

Committee Reports

  • Education (SOCED)
    • SOCED approved a pilot program to form ACS International Student Chapters.
    • The American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT) – the first of its kind - will be ready for teacher participation in September of this year; members of this subgroup will not be ACS members (thought they are free to join) but will have access to educational offerings of the Society.
  • Economic and Professional Affairs (CEPA)
    • Findings from the ACS 2013 New Graduate Survey have been compiled and reveal troubling news: overall unemployment among new graduates rose from 12.6% in 2012 to 14.9% in 2013. This is primarily due to the high unemployment among recent Bachelors. New graduates must be at the top of our priority list for employment assistance in 2014.
  • Meetings and Expositions (M&E)
    • As of the morning of March 19, 2014, this national meeting had attracted 13,680 registrants, including 6,853 regular attendees and 5,140 students. The meeting had 10,050 papers presented.
    • The new ACS Mobile Application had over 6,000 downloads by meeting attendees.
  • Divisional Activities (DAC)
    • Operating as a DAC subcommittee, the Multidisciplinary Planning Group is proposing the following 2017 national meeting themes to the divisions for their consideration:
      • Spring, San Francisco: Advanced Materials, Technologies, Systems and Processes
      • Fall, Washington, DC: Chemistry’s Impact on the Global Economy
  • Local Section Activities (LSAC)
    • LSAC will initiate the process to dissolve the Ocean County (New Jersey) Section as a result of the group’s failure to meet the criteria to remain an active section.
  • Chemical Safety (CCS)
    • CCS has published its first-ever Safety Alert concerning the Rainbow Demonstration, in Chemical and Engineering News, March 17, 2014. Copies were distributed to Councilors with a request that the information be distributed as widely as possible to High School teachers – Our Kalamazoo Section teachers have been forwarded the information.
  • Chemists with Disabilities (CWD)
    • The committee has updated and digitized its publication Teaching Chemistry to Students with Disabilities. It will be available in April 2014 and linked to the CWD website.
  • Community Activities (CCA)
    • Copies of the publication Celebrating Chemistry – The Wonder of Water, a product of the ACS Department of Volunteer Support in conjunction with CCA, were distributed to Councilors. Local Sections can order up to 750 copies of this publication for Chemists Celebrate Earth Day.
    • The following were announced as topics for CCED and NCW in subsequent years:
CCED2015“Climate Science – More Than Just a Weather Report“
 2016“Chemistry of the Great Indoors”
NCW2014“The Sweet Side of Chemistry: Candy”
 2015“Chemistry Colors Our World”
 2016(tentative) “Forensics, OR Solving Mysteries with Chemistry”
  • Committee on Minority Affairs (CMA)
    • The ACS Scholars Program is celebrating its twentieth anniversary in 2015. The program has enabled 1,400 students to achieve university degrees in the chemical sciences. CMA will highlight accomplishments and successes of the Scholars Program throughout 2015.
  • Membership Affairs (MAC)
    • 24,000/161,000 ACS members are from outside the United States
    • ACS is launching the “Career Navigator “– a “one-stop shop” for careers

Special Discussion Item

ACS President Tom Barton presented and moderated a discussion on “What can ACS do to increase the quality of science education in grades K-12?” Following the presentation, 39 Councilors offered comments on the factors impacting the quality of K-12 science education in the U.S.

Actions of the Board of Directors

  • The Board held a discussion on operational issues relating to virtual versus face-to-face committee meetings, the appropriate detail and format of information presented to the Board and committee members, and the proper length of committee meetings.
  • The Executive Director/CEO and her direct reports updated the Board on the ACS financial trends and near term outlook; the launch of the recently approved American Association of Chemistry Teachers, which will support K-12 teachers of chemistry by providing them with a professional home that addresses and is responsive to their needs; and the activities and plans of CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service) and the ACS Publications Division.
  • The Board expressed its gratitude and thanks to Madeleine Jacobs, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, who on March 6 announced her plan to retire at the end of the year.
  • The Board held a lively, well-attended open session which featured a special forum focused on the question: “What is the one thing you like that ACS does, and why?” Members attending the session also received a brief review of the questions posed at the spring 2013 Board Open Session in New Orleans and the follow-ups undertaken by governance and staff. Board members continue to be pleased by the new format, turnout and quality of the discussions.

Additional Information

The following is a list of URLs and email addresses where helpful information may be found

ACS President-Elect Diane Grob Schmidt
ACS President Miranda Wu
Update Councilor Preference Form (membership number required)
Committee on Nominations and Elections and to submit questions to Town Hall Meetings
Information on the Society’s audited finances and IRS Form 990 filings
Committee on Chemical Safety
ACS governing documents including information on petitions and certified bylaws for all units
Send petitions (deadline 23 April 2014)
Chemists Celebrate Earth Day (CCED) 2014
Conversations with Celebrated Chemists
Local Section Resources
Grant information, important deadlines and officer resources
Submit annual reports, record meetings, activities and events year-round