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.

Annual Awards Gathering

Monday 11 May 2015

This event has already taken place. For a list of upcoming events, see our events page.

Chemistry Building Atrium
Western Michigan University
6 pm

For a list of previous Section Award recipients, click here.

KACS Awards Ceremony

by Mike Walsh

The Kalamazoo section of the American Chemical Society held its forty-second annual awards program on Monday, May 11, 2015 at Western Michigan University. Awardees gathered along with family members, educators, and KACS members at 6 pm for a reception in the Chemistry Building Atrium with light hors d’oeuvres.

The ceremony followed at 6:45pm when KACS Chair Brian Eklov formally assembled all in attendance in the large lecture hall. Award presentations began with ACS 50+ members. First up was 50-year member Dr. Malcolm W. Moon who shared with the audience his career and love of organic chemistry.

Not to be outdone, Dr. Thomas Houser received an award as a 60-year member. He explained how he was transformed from factory worker to physical chemist to educator while injecting a couple of "propellant experiments gone awry" anecdotes.

Next up, Western Michigan University Chemistry Department honored Nicholas Kapolka as their outstanding college chemistry student while Thanh Thanh Phan was honored with the same distinction from the Kalamazoo College Department of Chemistry.

Dr. Malcolm Moon

50-year ACS Member Dr. Malcolm W. Moon

Charlene Dailey

Charlene Dailey accepting Outstanding High School Chemistry Teacher award from KACS chair Brian Eklov

Outstanding high-school students

2015 Outstanding High School Students

Thanh Thanh Phan

K-College Outstanding Chemistry Student Thanh Thanh Phan

Competitive scholarship awardees

2015 Competitive Scholarship Awardees

Names of deserving teachers are solicited from the principals of our section's high schools. After a thoughtful and rigorous evaluation of all nominees, Charlene Dailey of Comstock High School was this year’s Outstanding High School Chemistry Teacher.

High school teachers are asked to nominate an outstanding senior chemistry student. This year thirteen students were recognized. Each Outstanding High School Chemistry Student received a $25 Amazon gift card. A list of recipients and the student's high school appears below.

Outstanding High School Chemistry Students

  • Andrew Bingham – Plainwell High School
  • Paige Blinkiewicz – Loy Norrix High School
  • Sam Brouwer – Kalamazoo Christian High School
  • Robin DeClercq – Hackett Catholic Prep
  • Jed Forster – Portage Central High School
  • Amy Hartfield – Lawton High School
  • Mikayla Hostetler – Gull Lake High School
  • Dan Lyons – Paw Paw High School
  • Ranae Mroczek – Mattawan High School
  • Jorge Ochoa – KAMSC
  • Sonia Parikh – Portage Northern High School
  • Jeff Torano – Kalamazoo Central High School
  • Kathryn Way – Comstock High School

On 25 April 2015, sixty-seven students sat for the ACS Competitive Scholarship Final Exam. The top twenty students were awarded checks and certificates for their accomplishments. The names of these students and their schools are listed below.

2015 Competitive Scholarship Winners

1st Place
Daniel Whitcomb – Kalamazoo Central
2nd Place
Aheer Alvi – Portage Central/KAMSC
3rd Place
Josiah Turpin – Gull Lake
4th Place (tie)
Andrew Bingham – Plainwell
Renae Mroczek – Mattawan
6th Place
Kathryn Way – Comstock
7th Place
Anne Heidelberg – Hackett
8th Place
Hannah McQueen – Gull Lake
9th Place
Christopher Vennard – Gull Lake
10th Place
Benjamin Mayoras – Portage Central

2015 Competitive Scholarship Honorable Mentions

  • Emma Hettinger – Kalamazoo Christian
  • Cheyenne Horn – Gull Lake
  • Mikayla Hostetler – Gull Lake
  • River Leversee – Portage Northern
  • Ashley Pepple – Plainwell
  • Becca Radomsky – Hackett
  • Sam Ratliff – Loy Norrix/KAMSC
  • Jason Taft – Portage Northern/KAMSC
  • Jeff Torano – Kalamazoo Central
  • Michael Wheeler – Portage Central

I would like to thank James Kiddle, Sherine Obare, Andre Venter, Robin Lenkart, Lydia Hines and Brian Eklov for organizing a wonderful reception and awards ceremony.