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.
One of the key strengths of the ACS has been the enduring and varied contributions made by its thousands of dedicated volunteers.
Another unassailable strength of the ACS is its local meetings and events program. ACS local meetings/events offer scientific professionals a legitimate platform to present, publish, discuss, and exhibit research discoveries and technologies in chemistry and its related disciplines in a local setting. Furthermore, ACS local meetings/events facilitate networking opportunities, career development and placement, and provide organizations with opportunities to exhibit products and services to targeted audiences.
The Society's Congressional Charter explicitly lists among its objectives "the improvement of the qualifications and usefulness of chemists through high standards of professional ethics, education and attainments…". The ACS expects its volunteers and local meeting/event attendees to display the highest qualities of personal and professional integrity in all aspects of their ACS-related activities. Indeed, every chemical professional has obligations to the public, to volunteer and staff colleagues, and to science.
Accordingly, and to foster a positive environment built upon a foundation of trust, respect, open communications, and ethical behavior, the Committee on Local Section Activities (LSAC) recommends this Conduct Policy. It applies to ACS Volunteers, i.e., it applies to individuals conducting the business and affairs of the ACS without compensation for that conduct. It also applies to attendees at ACS local meetings/events and is consistent with the policy issued by the ACS Board of Directors for volunteers at ACS National Meetings. Volunteers and meeting/event attendees should at all times abide by this Conduct Policy. Specifically:
Adopted by the Board of Directors 2015-03-22
This ACS outreach and communication feature provides tips and tools to help us communicate effectively and engage with scientists and non-scientists alike about our work, research, studies or activities. The goal is to help us tell our story about science and, in the process, put a human face on chemistry.
Everyday conversations are great opportunities to shape others' perceptions of who chemists are and what chemists do. And there's no better spokesperson for chemistry than you!
In 2018, ACS celebrated the 50th anniversary of Project SEED, which provides summer research experiences in chemistry for high school students from low income households. This has been a powerful program. Over 11,000 students have participated and ACS assessments show that it has been very influential in shaping the academic and career pathways of those students. The Kalamazoo local section has sponsored 75 student projects in the last 25 years. Three of these participants were highlighted in a three part mini-series, culminating in the next article. We especially encourage you to check the ACS Project SEED website for some short, inspiring videos that explain how the program has changed student lives.
Under typical funding arrangements, each Project SEED fellowship costs our local section about $1750-$2000 per year to ensure that students receive compensation equal to State of Michigan minimum wage. ACS provides $1250 or $1500 per year to match our local contributions for year one and year two fellows, respectively. We are presently budgeted to sponsor two students for Project SEED in Summer 2019. Any additional projects will require additional funds from sponsoring institutions or local section funds.
ACS is gratefully receiving donations to the national program on their website but we are asking all members to consider a direct donation to our local program, which will ensure that funds have maximum value to students in our section. Any donation of any amount will be appreciated and 100% of donated funds will go directly toward student compensation. Project mentors and their institutions receive no payment for their participation in Project SEED.
If you are interested in making a donation to Kalamazoo ACS for Project SEED, please send an email to Doug Williams, our local section Project SEED coordinator. KACS will provide gift receipt acknowledgement and send updates to you on the progress of the program throughout the year of your donation to help you follow the impact of your contribution. Thank you for your consideration. Proposals for Summer 2019 Project SEED projects are due Jan 31. If you or your institution would like to submit a proposal to host a student project next summer, please see our call for projects.
Article Three of a Three-Article Mini Series "The Faces of Project Seed"
This article is the third in a series celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ACS program Project SEED. Project SEED was established in 1968 to provide lab experience opportunities for high school students who historically lack exposure to scientific careers. More information on Project SEED is available on the ACS website.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the program, KACS is catching up with Kalamazoo Project SEED alumni, who are sharing with us memories of their experiences with the program and its effect on their careers.
Here we caught up with Kalamazoo Project SEED alumnus, Mrs. DeShawna (Stevenson) Ladd, whose career shines as an outstanding example of putting to work the Project SEED experience in an approach that goes beyond that of traditional chemistry applications.
After graduating from Kalamazoo Central High School, Mrs. Ladd (Ms. Stevenson at that time) earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Michigan State University.
After MSU, she has applied her psychology degree in a truly impressive fashion, working at various times as an Environmental Services Associate at Bronson Methodist Hospital, a Community Support Specialist at Summit Pointe, a Student Services Coordinator at Office Team, a Correspondence Research Specialist at Spherion, a Behavior Technician at Centria Healthcare, a Resident Coordinator at KPEP, a Substitute Teacher at EDUStaff, LLC, and a Behavioral Health PCA at Borgess Health.
In addition, in 2017, Mrs. Ladd started her own jewelry company, Celestial Intentions, of which she is owner and designer. Here are some of the questions and responses from our catch-up time with Mrs. Ladd.
KACS: Can you please tell us a little about how you originally learned about Project SEED in Kalamazoo, and what were your 2003 and 2004 Project SEED projects?
Mrs. Ladd: I learned about Project SEED in my 11th Grade Chemistry class.
Our teacher presented it to us towards the end of the year as an opportunity to gain more experience in the sciences.
In 2003, I worked in Dr. Reinhold's lab on the Effects of Carnosic Acid in Nickel Toxicity. In 2004, I worked in Dr. Stapleton's lab on the Effects of Cadmium on Proteins in Liver Cells in Culture.
KACS: What would you say was the best part of your Project SEED experience?
Mrs. Ladd: The best part of my Project SEED experience was experiencing college, before college! I learned so much about BioChemistry, Chemistry, and life while I participated in this program. It matured me for the better before I went off to college.
KACS: And the worst part?
Mrs. Ladd: After the first week or two of the program in 2003, Dr. Reinhold was out of town. While he was gone I continued my research according to the instructions left for me. (Well at least I thought.) Upon his return, he asked to see the cell cultures I had been working on. As he looked at the petri dishes under the microscope, he noticed none of them had cells! I had wasted at least a gallon of media thinking they had cells in them! It was an embarrassing learning experience!
KACS: Would you say that participation in Project SEED influenced your decision to attend MSU after high school? And at MSU you majored in psychology, not a traditional chemistry program. Even so, would you say that participation in Project SEED helped you in any way with successfully obtaining your MSU degree?
Mrs. Ladd: Project SEED did not exactly influence my choice to attend Michigan State University. My original major was Engineering, however I wasn't the best with math, and realized that wasn't the studies for me! I switched to Psychology because I was always intrigued by how the mind works. Participating in Project SEED also got me get my first work-study job on campus. I was a Lab Aide in the Biological Sciences Department.
Having the work-study opportunity helped out a lot in paying to get my degree! Participating in Project SEED helped a lot with things I encountered while at MSU. I learned how to better conduct myself in the classroom and on campus from Project SEED. My time in Project SEED showed me how to push myself academically.
KACS: After MSU, your career involved working in the social services and education areas. Even though those are not necessarily chemistry-involving areas, did your experience with Project SEED help you in anyway?
Mrs. Ladd: Yes. I "learned" people better during my time in Project SEED. I was a very shy teenager, in High School, on a college campus doing research with college students and professors. I was forced out of this shell I was in at the time. Project SEED gave me more confidence in engaging, and working with all kinds of people.
KACS: And now as owner and designer of Celestial Intentions, working with materials like metals and stone, do you find your chemistry background helpful in any way?
Mrs. Ladd: Absolutely! I make jewelry using copper, and healing stones. Copper is a conductor of energy. It is said to help the body repair tissues, oxygenate the blood, increase vitality, ease pain, and stimulate the brain, among many others. When the copper is wrapped around the healing stones, it amplifies the energy of the stone. Increasing the healing capabilities and overall benefit of the wearer.
KACS: Looking back in 2018, to your 2003-2004 Project SEED experiences, would you recommend participation in Project SEED to today's high school chemistry students?
Mrs. Ladd: I would definitely recommend participation in Project SEED to today's students!!! It is a wonderful, once in a lifetime opportunity that very few students get! It is an awesome learning experience. One preparing you not only for college, but the future!
KACS: And finally, any recommendations or words of advice to today's and future Project SEED participants for getting the most out of their Project SEED experience?
Mrs. Ladd: Don't be afraid to ask questions! The more you ask, the more you will benefit. Get to know your professors, and students you're in the lab with. You can make some lifelong connections. Take it seriously! It's an honor to be selected to participate in this program. Please don't take the experience for granted!
Our brief discussion with Mrs. Ladd provided yet another excellent validation of the value of KACS' and area high school students' participation in Project SEED.
Thanks DeShawna, for helping us with this 50th anniversary celebration project.
The programming committee for the 2019 Great Lakes Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society would like to personally invite you, your colleagues, and your students to contribute to the call for abstracts. The meeting will be held at the Sheraton Hotel in Lisle, IL on May 1-4, 2019.
Details, including names and contact information for program and session chairs, can be found on the meeting website. The final program summary will be published in C&EN in the Spring of 2019; the online program will be available on March 11th, 2019.
The theme of the meeting is Chemistry Connections: Careers, Education, and Sustainability, and the program will feature technical sessions from areas including Inorganic Chemistry, Electrochemistry, Chemical Education, Materials Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Consumer Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, and Bio-related Chemistries. Symposia sessions within these areas will highlight advances in the field of chemistry as they pertain to the 46 topic-specific sessions being offered. In addition to the technical symposia sessions, a general poster session and 9 different technical workshops will be offered. The workshops will cover topics related to Sustainability in Education, High School Chemistry Education, Safety, Careers, ACS Student Chapter Success, Social Media and Technology in Chemistry, Building Connections Between ACS, and Industry, and utilizing the IONiC VIPEr in Teaching. The meeting will also feature 2016 Nobel Laureate Sir Fraser Stoddart as the plenary speaker, as well as several social events and an awards ceremony.
ACS's Meeting Abstracts Programming System (MAPS) is currently open for submissions. Please visit either the symposium website or MAPS at maps.acs.org, to submit an abstract. Abstracts are due February 4th, 2019.
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