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 KVCC 2019 Instructional Award recipients were announced in the September 2019 edition of KV Focus, the Kalamazoo Valley Community College newsletter. The awards are designed to reward those instructors at Kalamazoo Valley who actively encourage students’ intellectual curiosity, engage them in the enterprise of learning, and have a lifelong impact. Current students, faculty and staff may nominate for the recognition.
Congratulations go out to 2019 Award recipient, KVCC Chemistry Instructor and KACS member, Charissa Oliphant.
A student said this about Charissa:
Mrs. O. has been a phenomenal instructor. I was not excited about having to take chemistry and she has made the class so accessible and as easy to understand as possible. She actively works to make sure her students are informed about all the opportunities available to them for both learning and professional development. She is extremely patient with questions and is always willing to spare the extra time to help a student having trouble with a problem or concept”
Another nominator said,
Mrs. Oliphant helped create my love for chemistry. She is a great instructor and really cares about her students. She is very organized and puts her students in a position to succeed. Chemistry isn’t the easiest class, but she was always willing to help and ensure her students were prepared. I would recommend her to anyone taking chemistry. She is a great instructor who explains everything clearly and is so helpful.
In addition to teaching chemistry at KVCC, Charissa has been a long-term active member of KACS. She received the Local Section Award for Meritorious Service in 2014. Her service continues today with her participation in KACS events like the Speed Networking Event for local college students, where she has been serving as a mentor.
Great work, very well done Charissa. You are a KACS hero.
Café (Back Room)
355 E Kalamazoo Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
by Prof. Benjamin Swarts
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Central Michigan University
Chemistry plays essential roles in understanding biology and creating new ways to combat human diseases. Ben Swarts, an Associate Professor at Central Michigan University, will discuss how chemical biology—the use of synthetic small molecules to study and manipulate biological systems—has been used in his research to explore novel approaches to diagnosing and treating the devastating bacterial disease tuberculosis. This story spans nearly two decades, ranging from Ben’s early experiences as an undergraduate chemistry major, through his time studying as a postdoc in South Africa, and to his current work as a chemistry professor and director of a biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) tuberculosis research facility. It is hoped that this talk will illustrate how a passion for chemistry and a bit of serendipity can crystallize into an exciting, fruitful, and sometimes unpredictable career in the chemical sciences.
Present a poster – see instructions below!
|17:00 – 19:00||Poster Setup, Registration, Reception|
|19:00||Keynote Speaker: Prof. Benjamin Swarts|
|20:00 – 21:00||Poster Session, Network with Scientists and Speaker|
Current ACS members, poster presenters and Zoetis employees are eligible for two complimentary drink tickets (if 21 years and older)
Undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to participate. Your poster can either be newly prepared or a "recycled" poster. Poster presenters who submit their abstract (150-200 words) by Monday, Nov. 4 can win a $50 cash prize! Non-prize eligible presentations will still be accepted until Friday, Nov. 8. To reserve an easel, presenters should email the following information to kelly[dot]teske[at]wmich[dot]edu.
Funding provided by a generous grant by
We are off and running with our IYPT celebrations in the Kalamazoo Local Section. About 30 ACS members and supporters joined us at One Well Brewing on Mon, Oct 21 for a Dine to Donate event to raise funds for Project SEED. We raised over $50 for Project SEED and had a great time. Check out our local IYPT events page here and mark your calendar for our next appearance at Bell's Eccentric Café Back Room on Nov 12. Hopefully, you will have a chance to meet our Summer 2019 Project SEED fellows as they present their research results during the poster session. If you would like to make a direct donation to our local Project SEED fund, please go our NEW KACS Project SEED webpage and follow the link to PayPal. Thanks, and see you around the table…periodically.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of Mendeleev's development of the first periodic table of the elements, making 2019 the International Year of the Periodic Table. Visit the ACS periodic table page and our IYPT events page events and resources.
On October 12th, 2018 the 33rd Annual Chemistry Day at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum drew 550 patrons for an early celebration of National Chemistry Week. Approximately 60 volunteers presented 15 hands-on activities to the attendees. The theme of 2019's National Chemistry Week is Marvelous Metals, and volunteers did a great job showcasing the theme with activities including a penny demo that heated a zinc coated penny to form brass, shiny pennies, using metals to clean up oil spills, magnets, metal detectors, and iron in cereal. At another table, members shared the significance of Kalamazoo's designation earlier this year as a National Historic Chemical Landmark for the development of steroid medicines at the Upjohn Company.
KACS Volunteers from the Air Zoo, Kalamazoo Valley Museum, Pfizer, Perrigo, Kalsec, Kalexsyn, Western Michigan University, and Kalamazoo College, graciously volunteered their time to share these and other activities with the Kalamazoo community. A big THANK YOU to everyone that worked so hard to make this event a huge success. It is hard to describe the joy one experiences seeing the smile on young children’s faces as they begin to understand the concepts behind these demonstrations. Hopefully some of these curious young attendees will remember this positive event when deciding a college major 5 to 10 years from now and choose the chemical sciences.
Anyone willing to present a demo at the Museum Day event in early November 2020 send me an email (hjude[at]kalsec[dot]com) and I will stay in touch as next year's event approaches. The theme of 2020's National Chemistry week is Sticking with Chemistry (Glues and Adhesives).
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