Kalamazoo Section of the American Chemical Society

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Sustainable Science - Recycle a Poster

Tuesday 07 November 2017

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

Bell's Eccentric Café

Free and open to the public
17:00 - 21:00

Download event flier

Download keynote abstract

Download call for abstracts

The Real Crisis with Flint's Water

Monique Wilhelm headhost

It Was Preventable and Can Happen to You!

By Monique Wilhelm, University of Michigan-Flint Laboratory Manager and Chemical Hygiene Officer

Everyone has heard about the health effects that resulted from the change of the source of water for the city of Flint. The national media has chosen to focus on the health issues and on whom to blame. But do you really know what made Flint's water unsafe? Without going into the politics of the decision or trying to identify blame, the audience will participate in a hands on activity to learn more about what happened with the water from an elementary chemistry viewpoint. The presenter will also discuss some of the side effects this community is experiencing that aren't being addressed in the media from the viewpoint of someone living through this crisis.

Water quality test results

Funding provided through a generous grant by Zoetis logo

Current ACS members, poster presenters and Zoetis employees are eligible for two complimentary drink tickets.


5-7 pm Poster Setup, Registration, Reception
6:45 pm KACS Announcements
7 pm Keynote: The Real Crisis with Flint's Water
8-9 pm Poster Session, Network with Scientists and Speaker
8 pm Prize Announcement

Report: Sci-Mix Poster Session at Bell's Eccentric Café

By Elke Schoffers (KACS Publicity)

Photos by Denis Billen (DB Family Photography)

On Nov. 7, 2017 KACS hosted its annual poster session titled "Sustainable Science - Recycle a Poster" at Bell's Eccentric Café in downtown Kalamazoo. For the 7th year in a row, KACS organized this public event, which was made possible through a generous grant from Zoetis. There was a record turnout of 153 people. This keynote speaker was Monique Wilhelm from the University of Michigan-Flint. In her roles as Laboratory Manager and Adjunct Lecturer, she witnessed the water crisis first hand when it first unfolded in 2014. Her presentation “The Real Crisis with Flint’s Water - It Was Preventable and Can Happen to You!” included a demo with hands-on activities for the audience. It involved three pennies, a salt pack, vinegar and plastic containers to learn about the influence of the water’s pH on metal. In addition to the keynote speech, there was a poster session with over 30 presentations, including 21 student presenters. At least 50% of those in attendance were ACS members. Participants enjoyed hot appetizers and beer from 5 to 9 pm while listening to the keynote speech, mingling and reviewing the displays. Posters highlighted work from Zoetis, Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan University (WMU), among others. Some work was done in collaboration with other institutions.

Students who submitted a poster abstract for this event ahead of time had the opportunity to win a $50 cash prize, which was handed out by KACS Treasurer Bill Schinzer. The lucky winners were Daniel Corey, Jashaun Bottoms and Gabriel Aleida Alves. The prizewinners presented the following posters.

Chemistry, the Flint Water Crisis, and You by Catherine Wilhelm, Daniel Corey, Anthony Maxwell, Noor Alawwa, Mohammad Alsarraj, Wendy Yahr, Tomas Sanson, Lina Eltahir, Maryam James, Hannah Nettleton, Monique Wilhelm*, Jessica Tischler, Samantha Grathoff; Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Michigan – Flint, MI

Organic-inorganic hybrid metal halide perovskites for water-resistant solar cells: Tetraphenylphosphonium metal halide crystal structures by Saja Althobaiti, Jashaun Bottoms, Ekkehard Sinn* Department of Chemistry, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI

The Effects of Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide on the Expression of Nerve Growth Factor and Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in Cardiac Cells by Gabriel Almeida Alves, *John Spitsbergen, John-Mary Vianney, Department of Biological Sciences, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI

This year’s event also included the celebration of the “Partners for Progress and Prosperity (P3) Award” that was given to the Kalamazoo ACS Local Section, Zoetis, and Bell’s Eccentric Café for offering this annual poster event in a 3-way collaboration. The award was given for incorporating 3 important categories, specifically for 1) organizing a public event to help improve the public image and perception of science in general and of chemistry in particular; 2) helping improve career development through networking opportunities in an informal setting; and 3) supporting the importance of STEM education and research via its keynote speaker and poster session.

KACS Chair Dr. Steve Secreast also showed a brief video he filmed at the Kalamazoo pedestrian mall that showed public volunteers reciting the elements of the periodic table. Last but not least, the KACS Board is grateful for the financial support that Zoetis has provided to help defer the expenses associated with this event.

audience at key-note

KACS rented "The Back Room" at Bell's Eccentric Café for this event. It was a full house where 153 people showed up, scientists and non-scientists, situated downstairs and upstairs to hear a presentation about the Flint water crisis by Monique Wilhelm from UM Flint.

freeman award
glaab award

Dr. Steve Secreast (left) and Dr. Elke Schoffers (right) presented the ACS P3 award to Dr. Jim Freeman, Vice President, Laboratory Sciences, Veterinary Medicine Research & Development at Zoetis (left) and to Liz Glaab at Bell’s Eccentric Café.

research posters

Posters highlighted research done at or in collaboration with scientists at K-College, Loyola University - Chicago, WMU, UM Flint, GVSU, as well as in industry.

chemists networking

The event was a great opportunity to network and catch up with fellow scientists (Dr. Brian Eklov, Luke Chadwick, Jake Kirkendall, Dr. David Pinkston, and Dr. Lydia Hines (left to right)).

Key-note address

There was great interest to learn about the Flint water crisis at this public KACS event.

Research posters

Poster presenters from industry and academia participated.

Pennies demo

Young and old attendees enjoyed the hands-on demo with pennies, salt and vinegar.

Student presenters

Many student presenters from K-College (some shown here) and from WMU participated.

Prize winners

The lucky cash prize-winners were Daniel Corey, Jashaun Bottoms and Gabriel Aleida Alves, shown in the picture next to KACS chair Dr. Steve Secreast (left) and event co-organizer Dr. Elke Schoffers