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As a long-time ACS fan-boy I am honored to be the 2019 chair of the Kalamazoo Section. We all have an information flood of epic proportions bombarding us almost every waking minute. While the street value of high-quality information is at an all-time low (due to an historic oversupply of low-quality information), ACS hasn't flinched and continues to crank out some of the top journals and most reliable information in the world. It is particularly satisfying in these times to be affiliated with an organization synonymous with world-class technical content, and amazing career resources and assistance are also major attractions of ACS membership. It is truly remarkable how KACS' volunteers have kept this organization running. To be welcomed onto this amazing team is humbling.
Chemical education has long been a core objective of KACS. In its heyday, the KACS Education Committee was an organization in and of itself, with dozens of members actively engaged in various initiatives and subcommittees. Fast forward to today, the KACS Education Committee needs to be revitalized! If we don't have an educator heading up the education committee by the time chair-elect Hershel Jude takes over, I will have failed him. I love to hear any and all ideas on how to make KACS relevant and useful to chemical educators in our area and how best to sustain KACS' roots in chemical education.
The KACS website has a fresh look, check it out! Please share your ideas how to make kalamazooacs.org a primary resource for all-things-chemistry in Kalamazoo.
As this icy winter continues, I look forward to spring, and wish everyone a very productive 2019. If you can only make it out for one KACS event this year, I'd recommend the Kalamazoo National Historical Chemical Landmark dedication, (it's kind of a big deal) but I hope to see you at one of the many exciting 2019 KACS events listed below (and encourage you to check: our events page for updates and finalized event info).
Thank you for your valuable attention and for supporting KACS.
Lucas R. Chadwick, Ph.D.
Our 2019 ACS president, Bonnie Charpentier, would very much appreciate the thoughts of our KACS membership about how to best meet the challenges we face as chemists, and what we believe are the most important priorities for ACS to address - your input may be a new idea, an encouragement, or a concern. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
At the Orlando ACS Council Meeting on April 3, 2019, the council will take time to consider the matter of ACS Relevance to Current and Future Members: Challenges and Opportunities. There are likely many ways to improve the ACS value proposition. As your councilor, I have been asked to bring your input, as a local section member, on that topic to the floor during that open discussion. Please send me an e-mail, with any ideas you may want to express, by Wednesday, March 27.
Lydia E. M. Hines
On Nov. 13, 2018, the Kalamazoo section of the American Chemical Society (KACS) hosted its 8 th annual poster session titled Sustainable Science - Recycle a Poster at Bell's Eccentric Café in downtown Kalamazoo. This is a public event made possible through a generous grant from Zoetis, and this year it attracted over 100 attendees of whom approximately 58% were ACS members.
The keynote speaker was Dr. Katie Whalen, Principal Scientist and Team Lead Biotechnology & Food Protection R&D at Kalsec, Inc., who presented a very engaging talk entitled Digging for Gold in Your Own Backyard: Novel Enzymes for Use in Flavors & Fragrances during which she informed on how one proceeds to discover novel enzyme needles in a haystack that grows by 5 million every month.
In addition to the keynote speech, there was a poster session with 23 posters, 70% of which had students identified as major contributors to the research. Attendees 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, Bell's Brewery, Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan University (WMU), among others.
Students who submitted a poster abstract by an announced early deadline had the opportunity to win a $50 cash prize. This year's winners were Zach Whitacre, Nicole Burke and Troy deHagen. They presented the following posters:
The KACS Executive Committee is grateful for the financial support that Zoetis has provided since the event's debut to help defray the expenses associated with it and the help by many volunteers.
I grew up in Eastern Kentucky and received a B.A. in chemistry from Berea College in Berea, Kentucky where I served as president of the Berea College Student ACS chapter. I earned a M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati with Professor William B. Connick, where my research focused on the synthesis and characterization of two-electron platinum reagents. After graduate school, I spent two years as a post-doctoral associate at the University of Utah with Professor Peter J. Stang and three years as a Post-Doctoral fellow at Los Alamos National Lab with Dr. Reginaldo Rocha. While in Professor Stang's group, my research focused on the development and characterization of two- and three-dimensional supramolecular assemblies and while working with Dr. Rocha I developed ruthenium polypyridyl catalysts for the oxidation of water. In 2008, I moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan and joined Kalsec as a lead scientist where I currently focus on developing new hop products and processes for the brewing industry.
I live in Kalamazoo township with my wife and two children (10 and 7). In my free time, I enjoy bowling, camping, biking and reading. I am very passionate about the ACS and what it offers it members, particularly the education and career components. My adventures with the ACS started with my first oral presentation late on Thursday afternoon at a national meeting in Washington, D.C. That 20-minute talk, which lasted 10 minutes due to being nervous and speaking so fast, was a great learning experience. An interview at the 2008 National Meeting in New Orleans led to me relocating to Kalamazoo. My first experience with an ACS local section was the KACS Sustainable Science - Recycle a Poster event at Bell's Eccentric Café and I have since volunteered several times at the Chemistry Day at the Museum event and participated in many other KACS events. I would love to hear from KACS members about their experiences with KACS and the types of events and activities they would enjoy attending.
The WMU Chem Club will participate with the Western Michigan Section by contributing the element Br (for Broncos) to the "World's Largest Periodic Table" to be presented on October 19, 2019, at Grand Valley State University in celebration of IYPT.
As the 2019 Chair Elect of the Kalamazoo Local Section of the American Chemical Society, I attended the ACS Leadership Institute (LI) from January 25 to 27, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. In order to train ACS members and elected officials to become better and more effective leaders, the American Chemical Society hosts the LI in January of each year. Participants gain an understanding of the essential elements of effective leadership and an opportunity to interact with other local section leaders, technical division officers and ACS governance. Leadership development courses help participants develop core skills important in ACS leadership roles as well as in the workplace. In 2019, over 400 chemists participated in the Leadership Institute.
As we all know, traveling out of West Michigan in January can be tricky. The trip started with a 4 am text informing me that my Kalamazoo to Chicago flight was cancelled due to weather. After rescheduling my flight and an interesting snowy drive to Grand Rapids, I arrived at the Leadership institute only 4 hours after it started! The Institute offered 16 courses to participants, of which we could choose two to attend. I chose Fostering Innovation and Collaborating Across Boundaries. In addition, all participants attending as part of their local section leadership team attended specialized sessions and a Planning Successful Activities course. The courses were hands on with a lot of activities to help participants understand the concepts being taught and there were many opportunities to share event ideas with other attendees. As Lydia Hines reported last year in the April 2018 KACS newsletter, we were regularly reminded about writing reports of our activities as they occur through the year and placing them in FORMS in preparation for the Annual Report submission. Also stressed upon at LI is the need for members to recruit new members. In 2011 there were 164,000 ACS members and in 2018 that number had dropped to 151,000. In 2019, as part of the member get a member campaign the ACS is offering a special commemorative periodic table of the elements blanket in recognition of 2019 being declared the International Year of the Periodic Table.
The leadership institute was a very productive, busy and enjoyable two-day event filled with lots of opportunities to learn and network. While these sessions were geared specifically to the ACS, most if not all of the information gained is directly applicable to being a productive member of any organization and well worth attending. Being able to attend the LI is a valuable benefit of volunteering our time and serving our professional society. We are looking for dedicated members to run for the KACS chair-elect seat for 2019, and maybe I will be reading your report from the LI next year!
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