SUMMARY OF ACTIVITIES
The New York Section of the American Chemical Society prides itself
on the commitment that its members demonstrate to both the profession
and the public to whose interests we are steadfastly committed.
Our activities are publicized in the Indicator, the Section’s monthly
magazine, and on our website at http://www.NewYorkACS.org. Our webmaster
is Dr. Brian Gibney, at email@example.com. The following summary
is a description of all the excellent activities of our subsections, topical
discussion groups and committees that do not appear in the Top Ten.
below are linked to their chair's reports that often include photos
and copies of brochures or flyers.
(Chair: Jill K. Rehmann, Ph.D.)
The subsection held 2 events this year: The Research
Poster Session XIV, the annual poster session for high school
students, took place on Sunday, October 19th at St. Joseph’s College.
There were 51 posters presented in this year’s event representing
an increase in participation over last year’s event, where 43 students
presented. Students from 8 highs schools in the areas attended.
Members of the Section members who served as judges included Jeonghee
Kang, Kone Moriamou, Margaret Mandziuk, and Mary Maier. Nadia
Makar assisted by bringing student competitors to the event and distributing
of the ACS New York Section certificates. Jin Montclare, Ph.D., of
NYU Polytechnic University presented the address entitled: Designing
Artificial Proteins as Therapeutics and Tissue Scaffolds.
The Twenty-Second Annual NCW Brooklyn High School Day
was held at Brooklyn College on October 23th, involving approximately
250 high school students, chemistry student affiliates and faculty.
The program included chemical demonstrations, a tour of the laboratories,
an awards program, refreshments and the Twenty-fourth Annual H. Martin
Friedman Lecture featuring MIT Chemistry Professor Daniel Nocera. His
address entitled "Powering the Planet with Artificial Photosynthesis”,
offered an inspiring vision of our energy future and the important role
that chemists will play in meeting the world’s energy and environmental
(Chair: Sorin Diaconesu, Ph.D.)
2008 was a year rich in activities at the HBCS. Beside
the monthly meetings (5) featuring invited speakers and a Career
Fair, one planning meeting of the Executive Board (in November) took
place. Topics varied trying to attract a broad spectrum of participants
from our area: students, chemists from companies and academia, and chemical
engineers. As a new approach, interdisciplinary topics and contacts with
scientists from other fields were sought. The members of the section
participated in a series of lectures, part of different local and national
programs, and an undergraduate poster session was organized in April.
The subsection continued its cooperation with the Sigma Xi chapter
of Ramapo College and the chemistry clubs of member colleges (Fairleigh
Dickinson University – Teaneck Campus, Ramapo College, New Jersey
City University, and Essex County College).
HBCS also brings chemistry and community together by organizing events
where high schools from the area are invited and their students are
introduced to chemistry and life beyond high school.
In celebration of National Chemistry week, a lecture on an interdisciplinary
topic was organized at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Members of
the subsection participated in the symposium organized by the Academe-Industry
Committee at Pace University on November 1.
Along the same lines: education of the public about chemistry, HBCS
organized twice “the Magic of Chemistry”, two sessions each
time. Over 300 high school students attended these event
Student members of the subsection participated in the section’s activities
and in research related activities. Their academic achievements and
research were acknowledged at the Student Achievement Award Night,
in April. Students involved in research presented their results in
an Undergraduate Research Symposium held the same day. Some of the students
involved in research and faculty presented their results at the Middle
Atlantic Regional Meeting organized by the ACS-NY section at Queensborough
Long Island Subsection
(Chair: David M. Sarno, Ph.D.)
If the New York Subsection were a train, the Long Island
subsection, rich in colleges, industry and members, would be its
locomotive. It continues as font of ideas and activities year after
year. The 2008 continued that tradition. In addition to
its ongoing 7 meetings and symposia, the subsection hosted a LI-ACS
Chemistry Challenge on April 10, 2008 in the format of a general/organic
chemistry “quiz show” contest between colleges in the LI area.
Most of the LIACS Executive Board was heavily involved in
the Regional meeting MARM, either serving on the Executive Committee
or organizing technical symposia. The annual Frances Sterrett
Symposium was cancelled this year, but the Environmental Chemistry symposium
at MARM was held in honor of Dr. Sterrett.
LI-ACS High School Awards: Chemistry teachers from area high schools
nominated 85 outstanding chemistry students who received personalized
certificates of achievement. An award dinner for them was held on
June 2, 2008. OSI Pharmaceuticals sponsored the event with a donation
of $2500 to the LI-ACS, and they also provided a conference room, a
buffet dinner and dessert, and a tour of the facilities. The guest speaker
this year was Dr. Cleveland Dodge from Brookhaven National Laboratory.
The title of his seminar was “Green Chemistry: A Challenge for the Future.”
The December Meeting ended a successful year with a Holiday Social.
Staten Island Subsection
(Chair: Wendy DeProphetis Driscoll, Ph.D.)
The Outstanding High School Student Award Night
was held on November 11, 2008 at 7:30pm in Spiro Hall at Wagner College.
The featured speakers were Thomas Beelsey, Corina Casey, and Kathryn
Chepiga, junior and senior chemistry majors at Wagner College who
presented their summer research projects. After the seminar and
presentation of awards, members of Gamma Sigma Epsilon National Chemistry
Honors Society conducted tours of some of the research chemistry
laboratories at Wagner College. Approximately 50 people were in
Westchester Chemical Society
(Co-chairs: Jean Delfiner and Joan Laredo-Liddell)
The Westchester Chemical Society had 6 varied and exciting
programs, including its Distinguished Scientist Award and Achievement
Chemistry Certificates for first year college chemistry students.
The meetings were held at Polytechnic Institute of NYU-Westchester Graduate
Center, 40 Saw Mill River Parkway, Hawthorne, NY. The Distinguished
Scientist Award was held at the Butcher Suite of Pace University-Pleasantville
and included Dinner.
The average attendance at the meetings was 20 – 30 people,
with nearly 60 at the Distinguished Scientist.
March 25, 2008: Dr. Boris Gorovits, director, Drug
Safety and Metabolism, Wyeth Research, Pearl River, NY spoke on “Biopharmaceutical
Drugs and Why They are Different.”
April 15, 2008: The topic “ Role of the Switch between
2 types of protein synthesis (cap-dependent to cap-independent translation)
in Breast Cancer was discussed by Dr. Ksenia Karpisheva of the Weill
Medical College of Cornell University.
May 7, 2008: Distinguished Scientist Award and Dinner
October 7, 2008: Dr. Rastislov Levicky, a Donald F.
Othmer Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering of
Polytechnic Institute of NYU discussed “Genetic Diagnostics at Interfaces:
From Self-Assembled Monolayers to Self-Integrated Devices.”
October 28, 2008: Dr. Paul Dillon of
Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics of Tarrytown, discussed Serum
Markers of Liver Fibrosis.”
TOPICAL DISCUSSION GROUPS:
Analytical Topical Group
(Chair: Robert Nolan, Ph.D.) The Analytical Topical Group
organized 3 seminars for 2008, and continues to benefit from
improved attendance (consistently 20 or more) and interest since the
partnership was formed with John Jay School of Criminal Justice.
The students in the graduate program in analytical chemistry at The City
University of New York are required to attend the seminars and the forensic
science students from John Jay can receive seminar credit for attending.
We continue to have little interest from the analytical chemist outside
of academia; a problem we are trying to address. We do have interest
from the scientific instrument companies to introduce their new technology
to the topical group. Many find these lectures to be of interest
therefore were have been successful in attracting outside attendance.
Biochemical Topical Group
(Chair: Barbara Petrack, Ph.D.) The Biochemical Topical
Group of the New York Section of the American Chemical Society in collaboration
with the Biochemical Pharmacology discussion Group (BPDG) of The New
York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) had an exceptionally active and successful
year. The combination represents a diverse group of scientists interested
in biochemistry, molecular biology, biomedical research, drug discovery
and related areas. Members are from pharmaceutical and biotechnology
companies and from university and medical center research facilities
across the Eastern United States. It sponsored 8 symposia in
2008, including 2 full-day symposia. They were held at the NYAS, without
cost to our group. The NYAS moved from its mid-town location to its new
spectacular home at 7 World Trade Center. The topics and speakers
for these symposia are selected by vote of the membership from approximately
25 potential programs proposed by members of the Steering Committee.
The proposed programs are based on many more submitted (any scientist
may propose a program). The scientists who suggest the topic then
chair that meeting, with support from the Steering Committee. This
selection process results in arranging programs of special interest to
the membership, with shared responsibilities for their success.
The Programs are announced each month in The Indicator to ensure that all
New York and North Jersey ACS members are informed. Each half-day
symposium included 5-6 speakers, and 8 scientists presented at the full-day
February and September symposia. Coffee breaks in the middle of each
session provided opportunities for interactions.
Chemical Marketing and Economics
Topical Group (Chair: Regis Schultis, Jr.)
The mission of this topical group is to inform members
and guests of economic and marketing issues of timely interest to
the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. The Group had 9 monthly
luncheon meetings that took place on the first Thursday of each month.
They were very well attended. The invited speaker gave a 45 minutes
presentation, which was followed by a question and answer period.
Luncheon and the presentation are preceded by an informal social hour for
networking and renewing and/or maintaining professional contacts.
The luncheon meetings are held at The Chemists' Club in New York City.
A plaque acknowledging the contributions of the speaker is presented at
each meeting. The Chemical Marketing and Economics Group kept the
section members updated in the area of research and industrial activities.
Since 2006, the CM&E Group and the Metro New York Section of the
AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) have sponsored full-day
conferences on Energy & Resources. The 2008 event was held on Thursday,
December 4th at the Con Edison Building, and was a great success. This
year's theme for the Third Annual Energy & Resources Conference:
"Water: The Next "Oil".
As the result of the financial success of the December conference
and the CM&E's strong financial position, we have pledged
funds to the ACS Scholars Program for a minority student at Columbia
High School Teachers Topical
Group (Co-chairs: Jean Delfiner and Joan Laredo-Liddell)
All of us in the New York Section recognize the pivotal
role that high school teachers play in promoting the health of our
society. Our physical and social well being requires that young people
be able to think critically and take on serious responsibilities.
Hence we depend on high school teachers to prepare societies children
for trades or college. In the ACS our immediate concern is with the
teaching of science and chemistry in particular. It is with great
satisfaction that we observe the high level of instruction and motivation
that many of our teachers bring to the classrooms of our schools.
We celebrate this in Chemagination, recognize the most outstanding teachers
in the Nichols award, and support excellence in the profession by sustaining
this topical group. The group met 8 times this year.
Each meeting featured a speaker. As an illustration of the breadth
of the presentations, speakers and topics for January and December meetings
respectively were: Dr. Stephen Gould, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
“Introduction to Corrosion: What it is, why it is of such concern, and some
of the places it occurs in everyday life” and Dr. Jin Kim Montclair, Polytechnic
University, Brooklyn, NY, “Bio Related Polymers.” The successful
“Demo Derby” meeting that features many non-stop demos by high school
teachers draws a very large attendance. The meetings were held at New
York University and were preceded by dinner at a local restaurant.
The HS Topical group invites members of the Physics Club of New York and
the Biology Teachers Association of New York to attend.
Metro Women Chemists Topical
Group (Co-chairs: Elise Megehee, Ph.D. and Margaret Mandziuk,
The MWCC helped plan and cosponsor the WCC luncheon
during MARM 2008 that was held on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 from 12:00
noon to 1:30 pm at Queensborough Community College. Hiroko Karan
and Nancy Tooney (MWCC) were the organizers of the event. The other
cosponsors were the Metro Women Chemists Topical Group of the North Jersey
ACS Section, Metropolitan New York Chapter of the Association for Women
in Science, and ACS Women Chemists Committee. The luncheon speaker
was Jodi Wesemann from the national ACS Department of Higher Education.
She gave a talk on “Fostering Access, Success, and Excellence.” The
program was well received and 50 – 60 people were in attendance.
In early July 2008, Nancy Tooney, the 2007 chair of MWCC, met with Margaret
Mandziuk and Elise Megehee to pass the chairmanship and they immediately discussed
revitalizing the MWCC. In October 2008, the MWCC met via telephone
conference to generate and submit the request for budget allocation for 2009.
At this meeting goals were for 2009 were set as well as the means to achieve
On November 1, 2008, the Metro Women Chemists Committee co-sponsored
the “Photochemistry and Photophysics: Harnessing Light to do our Work”
conference, held at St. John’s University. The MWCC co-sponsorship
was in the form of the travel support for the female speaker, Dr. Claudia
Turro from Ohio State University (Columbus, OH), who presented the talk
”Accessing Excited States of Metal Complexes with Visible and near-IR Light:
Potential Applications in Diagnostics, Photodynamic Therapy, and Switching”.
The meeting was attended by 52 people.
Nanoscience Topical Group
(Chair: James Canary, Ph.D.)
Since its inception in March 2003, The New York Nanoscience
Discussion Group has been enjoying a steady gain in popularity.
The NYNDG meets four times per year, twice in the fall semester
and twice in the spring semester. The meetings take place at
New York University on Tuesday evenings, beginning at 7:00pm with greetings
and refreshments, followed by science at 7:30pm. The science
consists of three speakers, representing different areas of nanotechnology
within different disciplines. Speakers have hailed from
universities such as Columbia, Yale, NYU and the California Institute
of Technology, as well as from research institutions and industry.
Departments represented have included, chemistry, physics, biomaterials
and biomimetics, radiology and pathology, and chemical engineering, to
name a few. Each speaker presents for 25 minutes and
entertains questions for 5 minutes. The atmosphere is
informal and collegial. In preparation, the schedule of meetings is
set, a series of diverse stimulating panels is decided upon, invitations
are extended to the speakers, and the event is promoted to an ever-growing
list of 100 scientists in the tri-state area, as well as the 150 members
of the NYU Department of Chemistry. Each evening is hosted by a member
of the committee and guests are encouraged to arrive early to exchange
ideas while enjoying a glass of wine and a snack before settling down
to business. We have received excellent feedback from all quarters
and are very pleased at the results of our efforts. Attendance at
each meeting is approximately 40.
Organic Topical Group
(Chair: Paramjit Arora, Ph.D.)
This topical group holds three-four meetings a year
at the New York Academy of Science as part of the “Chemical Biology
Discussion Group." These meetings are regularly attended by 70-80
students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty members from the Tri-state
area schools including members of Albert Einstein College of Medicine,
City College, Columbia, Hunter College, NYU, Polytechnic, Princeton,
Rockefeller, Sloan Kettering, Stony Brook, and Yale University.
These meetings are highlighted on the web pages of ACS Chemical Biology
and Nature Chemical Biology. The following meetings were held in
the 2007-2008 academic year:
Jun 2, 2008 Chemical Biology Discussion Group: Special Year-End
Keynote speaker: Michael Famulok, Universität Bonn.
Included in the program was a series of short presentations.
Feb 27, 2008 The Design of Molecular Systems: Implications for
Regenerative Medicine. Three speakers were featured.
Nov 8, 2007 Innovative Approaches to DNA Sequencing. This
program featured four speakers.
Retired Chemists Topical Group
(Chair: Ralph Stephani, Ph.D.)
Members of the New York Section who were celebrating 50
and 60 year memberships in the ACS were honored at a luncheon
on May 28 at the Tavern on the Green Restaurant in Central Park, NY.
Of the 63 invitees (37 50-yr & 26-60yr) 34 responded to the invitations,
9 positively (1 60-yr & 8 50-yr) along with their spouses Dr.
Marc Walters welcomed the honorees and presented beautiful certificates
issued by National ACS. The honorees and their guests enjoyed
a delicious lunch and reminisced about their chemistry careers.
Many thanks and compliments were made by the invitees about the awards
and the ceremony. Soon after, Dr. Stephani mailed certificates
to those 50/60 year members who could not attend. It was
recommended, for future luncheons, to seek a different venue that does
not require such a stringent contract and/or the written invitations be
followed up by telephone calls at some later date. Also, it was suggested
to offer transportation assistance to awardees to increase their attendance.
EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES COMMITTEES:
Many of the education committees are described in the Top
Ten – Chemagination, Olympiad, Project Seed, National Chemistry Week,
Nichols Foundation Teacher Award and the Student Affiliate’s Undergraduate
Chemical Education Committee (Chair: S. Mary
Maier, Ph.D.) SEE BROOKLYN SUBSECTION
The 13th Research Poster Session, an annual poster
session for high school students, took place on Sunday, October 19th
at St. Joseph’s College. There were 51 posters presented in this
year’s event representing an increase in participation over last year’s
event, where 43 students presented. Students from 8 highs
schools in the areas attended. Members of the Section members who
served as judges included Jeonghee Kang, Kone Moriamou, Margaret Mandziuk,
and Mary Maier. Nadia Makar assisted by bringing student competitors
to the event and distributing of the ACS New York Section certificates.
Jin Montclare, Ph.D., of NYU Polytechnic University presented the address
entitled: Designing Artificial Proteins as Therapeutics and Tissue Scaffolds.
Career opportunities in chemistry were discussed.
Continuing Education Committee (Chair: Donald
Clarke, Ph.D.) SEE METROWOMEN CHEMISTS TOPICAL GROUP
On November 1, 2008, the Continuing Education Committee
co-sponsored the “Photochemistry and Photophysics: Harnessing Light
to do our Work” conference, held at St. John’s University. The
speakers were: Claudia Turro of Ohio State University, Stefan Bernhard
of Princeton University, Jack Preses of Brookhaven National Laboratories
and Harry Gafney of Queens College. The successful meeting was attended
by 52 people.
MEMBER AFFAIRS COMMITTEES:
Awards Committee (Chair:
Stephen Goldberg, Ph.D.)
This committee is central to the recognition of excellence
that characterizes so many of the activities of our members and students
in our area. Awards are given to about 200 high school and college
students. Dr. Goldberg sends certificates to the high schools in
Manhattan and the Bronx. All of the subsections have awards nights.
Employment and Professional Relations
Committee (Chair: Hessy Taft, Ph.D.)
Activities for this Committee consist primarily of email
exchanges regarding interest for a position by job-seeking candidates
and the availability of jobs in industry and/or academia. Requests
for job seekers have been received primarily from the late spring through
early fall in the fields of environmental health, polymers and biomaterials,
analytical and quality management. At the request of the Board
of the NYACS Section, Dr. Taft contacted Linda Atkins, managing editor
of the Indicator to request that permanent announcement be published
in the Indicator encouraging Human Resources Departments in Industry
and Academia to contact her to post their job openings with the Employment
and Professional Relations Committee electronic roster.
The History of the New
York Section Committee (Chair: John Sharkey, Ph.D.) has
been active. Its notable achievement in promoting a National Historical
Landmark designation for Pfizer is described in the Top Ten Activities
The Indicator Committee
(Chair: Neil Jespersen, Ph.D.) is of central importance in guiding
the publication of New York Section events and activities. The
Indicator Newsletter has been an important source of revenue through
(Chair: Neil Jespersen, Ph.D.)
The Membership Committee is in charge of the following:
1. Welcoming and acclimating new members
to the New York Section
2. Attempting to increase the membership
of the New York Section.
To work on the first item, the committee e-mails new members
as they join the section and sends a welcoming letter. This
letter describes our section and invites new members to get involved.
For the second item, the committee has several activities. We provide
membership forms to colleges for their graduating seniors and to the
NY-ACS booth at the Eastern Analytical Symposium.
Outstanding Service Award Committee (Chair: Leslie
The award for 2008 was presented to Dr. Barbara Petrack,
chair of the Biochemical Topical Group, for the outstanding
and exemplary program and organization of that group. A committee
composed of the last five winners of this award review the nominations
and select the person to receive the award.
PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEES:
The Academe and Industrial
Relations Committee (Chair: Richard Goodman, Ph.D.)
organized a very successful symposium in 2008 as described in the Top
Ten section of the Annual Report.
The Environmental Committee
(Chair: Barbara Hillery, Ph.D.) continues to function. The annual
Frances Sterrett Symposium was suspended this year for the MARM, but
the Environmental Chemistry symposium at Middle Atlantic Region Meeting
was held in her honor. The Section’s symposium will recommence in 2009.
The Fundraising Committee, under the direction of
Mr. Frank Romano, was focused largely on MARM in 2008. The
efforts proved successful even during the initial phase of the economic
downturn, resulting in a profit for MARM.
The Government Affairs Committee
(Chair, Lori Zaikowski, Ph.D.) was very active in 2008 marked
by several meetings between the Chair and staff of the Office of Public
Affairs (OPA). The year culminated with a meeting on Capitol
Hill with the staff of Senators Clinton and Schumer, and Representatives
Israel and Bishop.
Speakers Bureau Committee
(Website database is maintained by webmaster Brian Gibney, Ph.D.).
A call for speakers appears on the main page of the New York Section
‘s website. Members volunteering to present talks provide their data
(name, contact information and title of talks) to the webmaster who adds
it to the database of speakers listed on the website.
The Information Technology
Committee (Chair: Anne O’Brien, Ph.D.) was instrumental
in guiding and instructing the Section in the use of WebEx.
We anticipate that Web based conferencing will greatly facilitate effective
administration of the Section.
Audit Committee (Chair, Philip Mark, Ph.D.) reviewed
the Section's financial information and books and reported that
all is in order.
By-Laws Committee (Chair:
Neil Jespersen, Ph.D.)
The Bylaws Committee is commencing a project to update
the New York Section bylaws. There are several issues that
must be considered. They are: 1. How to change the bylaws in order
to run elections using electronic media. Our major costs are
the printing and mailing of the ballots and information materials.
This costs about $2500 each year. If ACS regulations require that
material be mailed, our savings will be minimal. Indeed, if we need
to hire an outside firm to run the electronic ballot, our coats may increase.
However, we will be asking the Constitution and Bylaws Committee to give
us language that will allow many options. 2. Now that the elevation
of student affiliates to student members seems imminent, this committee will
seek advice from C&B as to the appropriate rewording of our bylaws.
We will need to decide for what offices students may vote and for what office
they may be elected. 3. We are seeking in our letter to
C&B any additional items that need to be addressed in our current
The Councilor Coordinating Committee
(Chair: Ronald D’Amelia, Ph.D.) Dr. D’Amelia maintains excellent
discipline among the councilors and has ensured 100% councilor
attendance at the 2008 ACS National Meetings.
The Eastern Analytical Symposium Committee (Delegate,
Mr. Frank Romano) always has Section personnel manning the New York
Section booth. 2008 was no exception. Several individuals
volunteered for that position resulting in complete coverage for
the duration of the exposition. The New York Section is a sponsor
and one of the founders of the EAS. In 2008 it attracted
over 3000 participants. Numerous New York Section members
sit on its Board of Directors, oversee committees and have chaired the
Symposium. See EAS at http://www.EAS.org
The Long Range Planning
Committee (Chair: Hiroko Karan, Ph.D.) met four times during
2008. To continue revitalization of the Section, the LRPC recommended
the Section to systematically investigate the status of each committee,
sub-section and topical group. To increase the number of younger NY
section members, LRPC recommended a survey of the Section members to determine
younger member’s expectations. A survey was sent to the membership
in December 2008.
The MARM Committee
(Chair: Paris Svoronos, Ph.D.) organized a highly successful
conference in 2008. (See Top Ten.)
In 2008 the Nichols Medal Jury Committee (Chair:
James Canary, Ph.D.) met at St. Johns University where it selected
Dr. Carolyn R. Bertozzi of the University of California, Berkeley to
be the recipient of the 2009 William H. Nichols Medal.
The Nominating Committee, chaired by Dr. Barbara
Hillery (2008 Chair-elect), met in 2008 by teleconference, to select
potential candidates for NY Section offices. A slate resulting
from that meeting was assembled by Mr. Frank Romano (2009 Chair-elect).
It should be noted that tele- and web-conferencing are highly enabling
technologies particularly for sections with large geographic areas.
However, for maximum effectiveness we have found that electronic conferencing
should be interspersed with face –to-face meetings.