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.
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.