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.
By John Miller and Brian Eklov
National Chemistry Week is coming up soon!
Please join the FUN! Contact Brian Eklov at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can help.
National Chemistry Week 2015 will be celebrated during the week of October 18-24, and this year’s theme is Chemistry Colors Our World! exploring the chemistry of dyes, pigments, and light. The Kalamazoo Section's largest and most extensive annual outreach to the community is our Chemistry Day at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum on 17 October from 12 noon to 4 pm. During the Chemistry Day event, our members and friends present chemistry-related hands-on activities to hundreds of young people and their families who come to visit the museum and to learn about the joys and impacts of chemistry and its usefulness.
If you have an experiment or demonstration in mind, or you would like to volunteer to help with the many activities we already have ready to go, please join us in showing Kalamazoo why chemistry has been, and continues to be, so important to this community and to share some of your excitement about science!
Please contact Brian Eklov at email@example.com.
By Brian Eklov
I want to introduce our new Education Committee Chair, Mike Walsh. Mike has a varied and interesting background, earning his BS in Chemistry at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. After a stint as an Army Medical Officer, Mike earned his Masters Degree from Mississippi State in 1992. Since then, Mike has served as a substitute teacher and tutor in Saginaw County, and as a Wastewater Analyst and Analytical Chemist in a number of places across the state. Mike landed in Kalamazoo in 2000 with KAR Labs, and has been the Director of Chemical Laboratories at K College since 2010. We are excited to have Mike on board, and you can read his report of our annual Awards Gathering below. Education in all forms is a pillar of our Section. Welcome, Mike!
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.
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.
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.
ACS is looking to send 250 chemists back to the classroom as ACS Science Coaches. Will you consider being one of them? You can choose the teacher/grade you want to work with, the school will get $500 to enhance science education, and you get the satisfaction of making a difference. Coaches help teachers by answering tough chemistry questions, advising students on careers in chemistry, assisting during science labs, or giving chemical safety tips. The requirements: Commit to six, 1-hour teacher visits over the course of a year; be a current or retired professional chemist, graduate student, or postdoctoral scholar; and have a passion for inspiring future generations of chemists. Enrollment for 2015-16 school year is now open. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until October 30, 2015.
To apply to be a Science Coach, visit the sign-up page.
By Lydia E.M. Hines
In 2015, the KACS, through our coordinator Dr. Donald Schreiber, identified two eligible students, both from Comstock High School, who expressed an interest in science as a career; they availed themselves of this summer research opportunity in the labs of Drs. Ramakrishna Guda and Blair Szymczyna at Western Michigan University
The students, Kathryn Way, here for her second summer with Dr. Guda (i.e. a Summer II student) and Jacob Wasyliw, a Summer I student with Dr. Szymczyna presented posters describing their research in the Haenicke Hall Atrium on the WMU campus on Wednesday, August 5, between the hours of 10am and 12 noon. They, along with presenters preparing to become science educators, welcomed a small but interested group of visitors, which included some KACS members. The pictures shown below were shared with us by Robin Lenkart of WMU.
The following is what Dr. Guda has to say about Kathryn:
Kathryn Way (2014, 2015 Project SEED student) has been working on a project to sense blood glucose with novel macromolecule/nanostructure composites. She has been working on DNA/gold nanoparticles, porphyrin aggregates/graphene oxide composites to build colorimetric and luminescence-based glucose sensors. A senior at Comstock High School, she recently was named a recipient of Excellence In Education recognition. She has been awarded a full scholarship at Yale University where she plans to begin her undergraduate study in chemical engineering in the Fall of 2015.
Jacob plans to attend Michigan State University to study Business.
Dr. Ramakrishna Gudax (WMU), a KACS member who has served a mentor to SEED students for the last 4 years is happy to share another comment about a former Project SEED mentee: Mikayla Markus (2012, 2013 Project SEED student) worked on novel spectroscopic techniques to monitor protein unfolding and aggregation; she demonstrated that two-photon spectroscopy can be a potential imaging technique for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. With the support of ACS Project SEED, she was motivated to pursue an undergraduate degree and is currently a sophomore at Western Michigan University pursuing her degree in Nursing.
By Sarut Jianrattanasawat
On May 22, the Chemistry Graduate Student Association (CGSA) of Western Michigan University hosted its 5 th annual spring picnic for local chemists at Oshtemo Township Park. First and foremost, CGSA would like to thank KACS and Western’s Graduate Student Advisory Committee for the generous financial support. The event was successful. We had more than 60 attendees, including faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students from WMU, and KACS members from around Kalamazoo. Many participated in activities such as volleyball and soccer. We are glad to see this event remaining a popular local tradition.
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