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.

43rd Annual Awards Gathering

Monday 09 May 2016

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.

The Kalamazoo section of the American Chemical Society held its forty-third annual awards program on Monday, May 9, 2016 in the chemistry building atrium on the campus of Western Michigan University. Awardees gathered along with family members, educators, and KACS members at 6pm for a reception with light hors d’oeuvres. The ceremony began at 6:45pm when KACS Chair Brian Eklov formally assembled all in attendance. Award presentations began with ACS 50+ members Al Blum, Herman W. Smith, and Roger G. Williams (pictures below). All three spoke briefly of their careers and love of chemistry. Additional 50-year members recognized but unable to attend were William E. Heyd, Gabe I. Kornis, Thomas L. Miller, and Ekkehard Sinn.

Next up were the 60-year members! This year we recognized two chemists who have achieved this milestone. Both David G. Martin and Howard A. Whaley were present and briefly spoke of their professional experiences in the chemistry field (photographs below).

Outstanding High School Chemistry Teacher Award

Western Michigan University Chemistry Department honored Casey Wright as their outstanding college chemistry student while Mara Birndorf was honored with the same distinction from the Kalamazoo College Department of Chemistry (picture below). This year’s Outstanding High School Chemistry Teacher Award went to Chris Orlaske of Lawrence Junior-Senior High School.

Outstanding High School Chemistry Student Awards

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

Meredith Adams Portage Central High School
Garrett W. Amstutz Paw Paw High School
Jawad Aqeel Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center (KAMSC)
Olivia Harlow Plainwell High School
August Jarzambek Portage Northern High School
John McKenney Lawton High School
Hannah McQueen Gull Lake High School
Bryant Neal Hackett Catholic Prep
Alex Pease Kalamazoo Christian High School
Austin Salome Comstock High School

On April 23, 2016, Sixty-eight students sat for the 2015 ACS Competitive Scholarship Final Exam. The top twenty students (this year 22 due to ties) received certificates for their accomplishments and cash prizes! The names of the scholarships award winners and the honorable mention students are listed below.

ACS Competitive Scholarship Final Exam

2015 Competitive Scholarship Winners

(pictured above)

1st Siddhant Pagariya KAMSC/Portage Northern $600
2nd Praneeth Medepalle KAMSC/Portage Central $500
3rd (Tie) Meredith Adams Portage Central $400
Helen Foldenauer Gull Lake $400
Aheer Alvi KAMSC/Portage Central $400
6th Emma Hettinger Kalamazoo Christian $100
7th Josiah Turpin Gull Lake $100
8th (Tie) Owen Langejans KAMSC/Portage Northern $100
Hannah McQueen Gull Lake $100
Anthony Reo Paw Paw $100

2015 Honorable Mention (11th – 20th place)

The honorable mention students each received a $50 gift card

Josie Crane Mattawan
Christopher deGraca Lobo Portage Northern
Joseph Flanagan Portage Northern
Skyler Flietstra KAMSC/Gull Lake
Harvey Flynn KAMSC/Gull Lake
Austen Ford Portage Central
Jason Higdon Mattawan
Rebecca Radomsky Hackett
Austin Salome Comstock
Latharia Smith Loy Norrix
Christopher Vennard Gull Lake
Cassandra Ward Loy Norrix

The program ended just before 8pm with two ACS Service awards. Angela Willson, KACS secretary, received the 2016 ACS Committee on Community Activities Local Section Volunteer of the Year Award. James Kiddle, KACS Competitive Exam Chair, received the KACS Local Section Volunteer Award for 2016. Congratulations to both and thank you for everything you do for ACS.

Thanks go to James Kiddle, Lydia Hines, and Brian Eklov for a wonderful awards ceremony