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.
The next Great Lakes Regional Meeting will be held in Fargo, North Dakota. The Kalamazoo Local Section is part of the Great Lakes Region of the ACS.
Theme: Sustainability and Energy
Location: Holiday Inn, Fargo ND
Date: June 27–30, 2017
By Brian Eklov
Our Science Café Field Trip to Journeyman Distilling in Three Oaks, MI took place on May 14, and was attended by fourteen members and guests of the KACS and nine members of the St. Joseph Valley Local Section. We started with a discussion of the history of the facility, which started out as a featherbone corset and buggy whip factory, and then stood empty for decades before a major restoration effort turned it into a distillery. We then toured their production space, which currently includes a 1000 gallon still which they run for two twelve hour runs each day to collect about 25 gallons of spirit a day! We had a great discussion about the heads, hearts, and tails of the distillation run, and many of us were both amazed and disappointed to find out that all of their analytical chemistry in analyzing their cuts is done by taste! We ended our visit by tasting many of their fourteen bottled spirits, learning a little about proper tasting along the way.
Photos courtesy of Andre Venter and Tom Runge
By Gabe Kornis
Dr. Gabe Kornis, a 50-year member of ACS, attended the recent San Diego ACS Meeting. Below is a summary of a few presentations he found of interest. While in California, Dr. Kornis, a Pfizer/Upjohn retiree, attended predominantly the Organic and Medicinal Chemistry sessions at the meeting.
C-H activation and selective derivatizations were topics of many discussions and presentations. A few examples were:
In a memorable lecture, Scott Miller (Yale) discussed catalytic site-selective alterations of complex glycopeptide antibiotics. Vancomycin, the antibiotic of last resort has been associated with multiple drug resistant bacteria. It has nine hydroxyl groups each of which individually were catalytically removed or replaced by other groups. Promising antibacterial analogues were thus made in one or two steps. After many years of traditional research, antimicrobial resistance is causing large numbers of deaths, especially from hospital infections. Drug development in antibacterial compounds suffers a much lower success rate than in most other areas partially due to the lack of novel mechanisms of action. The dose of antibacterials is very high per day due to the lack of rapid diagnostic procedures, the ability of bacterial biomass to grow rapidly hitting several targets, the bacterial membrane which acts as a barrier to the entrance of antibacterials, and the cells ability to flush out whatever drug has gained entrance. To combat the problem two approaches were presented:
By Michael T. Walsh
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).
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.
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.
|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|
The honorable mention students each received a $50 gift card
|Christopher deGraca Lobo||Portage Northern|
|Joseph Flanagan||Portage Northern|
|Skyler Flietstra||KAMSC/Gull Lake|
|Harvey Flynn||KAMSC/Gull Lake|
|Austen Ford||Portage Central|
|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
By Brian Eklov
Our Miller Auditorium outing was to see Alton Brown on May 5th. Twenty members and their guests came out to see Alton Brown talk, sing, and rant. Many of you may know him from his show Good Eats on the Food Network, where he described not only the hows of cooking, but the science whys as well. All said, the three-hour show was entertaining, the music was good, the commentary was sharp, and it isn't every day that you get to watch someone pop popcorn on a searchlight.
By Michael T. Walsh and Christine Pruis
n May KACS continued its traditions of sponsoring end-of-school-year picnics for two local chemistry student groups. On Friday May 20th, the annual WMU Chemistry Graduate Student Association (CGSA) spring picnic occurred at the Oshtemo Township park on West Main. It was well attended by graduate and undergraduate students, WMU faculty, KACS members, as well as many family members. The weather was perfect for grilling, socializing, and just playing in the park! The Kalamazoo College ACS chapter hosted the annual DowBQ on May 24, 2016, for all of the science community at Kalamazoo College. This end of the year event allows students and faculty from the Biology and Chemistry departments to eat delicious food, mingle, and get to know each other in a casual atmosphere. First years and sophomores had the chance to ask upperclassmen about their Senior Individual Projects (SIPs), classes, and plans for after graduation. Over 180 students and professors attended the event and took time to celebrate the end of the year together.
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