NEW YORK SECTION OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY
2009 NARRATIVE REPORT
The New York Section of the American Chemical Society continues
its tradition of supporting chemists, mentoring students, and engaging
the public. The following summary is a description of the superlative
activities of our subsections, topical groups and committees, beyond those
that appear in our Top Ten list.
Brooklyn Subsection (Chair: Jill K. Rehmann, Ph.D.).....FULL
The Brooklyn Subsection held 2 events this year. The annual
poster session for high school students took place on Sunday, October 18th
at St. Joseph's College. There were 32 posters presented in this
year's event, with students from 5 local high schools. Zhaohua Dai,
Ph.D., of the Pace University Chemistry Department, presented the keynote
address related to synthesis and application of ligands for metal ions
that can be used as chemical sensors. His address was entitled "Sensor
Research and Forensic Science."
The Twenty-Third Annual NCW Brooklyn High School Day was
held at Brooklyn College on October 22nd, involving approximately 150 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-Fifth Annual H. Martin Friedman Lecture
featuring Columbia University Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics &
Microbiology Professor Maxwell E. Gottesman, with an address entitled "The
Beautiful Life of a Simple Virus."
The Brooklyn Subsection also held two organizational meetings
at Polytechnic University this year to rejuvenate activities in 2010.
Plans were made for future activities and new officers chosen.
Hudson Bergen Subsection (Chair: Ish Kumar, Ph.D.).....FULL
REPORT WITH PHOTOS
2009 was a year rich in activities at the HBS, beginning
with four meetings featuring social hour, dinner and lectures by invited
speakers and culminating in a planning meeting of the Executive Board and
the Board of Directors was held in November, 2009.
Activities geared towards students included a Preprofessional
and Career Fair in February, with participation from professional and graduate
programs and companies hiring science graduates. Students' academic
achievements and research were acknowledged at the Student Achievement
Award Night, in April, and students involved in research presented their
results in an Undergraduate Research Symposium held the same day.
The subsection continued its cooperation with the Sigma Xi chapter of Ramapo
College and the chemistry clubs of member colleges (Fairleigh Dickinson
University - Metropolitan Campus, Ramapo College, New Jersey City University).
HBS also brings chemistry and community together by organizing
events (in March and November) for area high schools students, introducing
them to chemistry and life beyond high school. In honor of National
Chemistry Week they were invited to FDU where they were told about careers
in chemistry, and hands-on activities were organized as well. The
section also organized two sessions of "The Magic of Chemistry",attended
by over 600 high school students.
Long Island Subsection: (Chair: Jun Shin, Ph.D.).....FULL
REPORT WITH PHOTOS
The LI Subsection, with new leader Dr. Shin at the helm,
continues to be a vibrant and active section. Eight Board meetings
were held in 2009, as well as seven seminars followed by dinner. The LIACS
Chem Challenge, a "Quiz-show" competition, featured sixteen teams (3 students
each) answering 30 multiple-choice questions from General and Organic Chemistry.
The LIACS High School Awards Ceremony was held on June 9, 2009 at St. John's
University. Awards were presented to students receiving the highest
mark in chemistry from Suffolk, Nassau and Queens high schools, with 26
students nominated. The event featured a seminar by Dr. Denton Ebel
of the American Museum of Natural History who spoke about meteorites and
their formation and properties. The Sterrett Symposium, which had
been cancelled last year in favor of MARM, was back in its normal position
on May 21. The theme of the Twelfth Frances Sterrett Environmental
Chemistry Symposium was "Reducing Out Ecological Footprint."
In keeping with the ACS goal of increasing collaboration with other scientific
organizations, the Sterrett Symposium was co-sponsored by the Metro New
York Section of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
Staten Island Subsection (Chair: Wendy deProphetis Driscoll,
The Staten Island Subsection has had a distinguished history
of activity under the Leadership of Wendy DeProphetus Driscoll. She
is now stepping down from that position, and the subsection is in transition
as new leadership steps in.
Westchester Chemical Society (Chairs: Joseph Sencen, Ph.D.).....FULL
Dr. Sencen is new to leadership in the Westchester Subsection,
and has continued the impressive record of activity set by his predecessors.
The section held five Free and Open to the Public meetings, with a capacity
crowd of 25, at the NYU/Poly Graduate Center. In May, they held their
annual Distinguished Scientist Award dinner, at Pace University, honoring
Dr. Thomas Hintze from the New York Medical College. At that same
meeting, awards were given to undergraduate students who excelled in chemistry
during the year. For the first time, a high school student was also
presented an award because of her achievement on the Chemistry Olympiad
exam. In April 2009, 10 students from a local high school,
trained by the Chair, performed science demonstrations and hands-on experiments
for more than 2000 people at the Westchester Kids's Fair.
TOPICAL DISCUSSION GROUPS
Analytical (Chair: Robert Nolan, Ph.D.).....FULL
In keeping with our section goal of increasing collaborations,
the Analytical Topical Group has formed a partnership with The John Jay
School of Criminal Justice, resulting in improvements in attendance and
interest. 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 get seminar credit
for attending. Last year we only had one seminar as we were reformatting.
We have rescheduled the three fall 2009 seminars for January 22, 2010.
New CUNY faculty will be presenting the seminars as part of the Chemistry
Doctoral Programs Seminar Day.
Chemical Marketing and Economics (Chair: George Rodriguez,
The mission of the Group is to advance the chemical and related
industries and help its members by promoting networking and organizing
events where industry leaders can give their insights on the business,
economic and technological developments in energy, materials and life sciences.
To this end, the Group held monthly luncheon meetings from September through
June on the first Thursday of each month. The December meeting, a
full day conference on Energy and Resources, was co-sponsored with the
New York Chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
Meeting attendance was increased during the second half of the year by
increasing promotional activities including: global webcasting of meetings,
establishing a LinkedIn group for increased networking worldwide, and enhanced
mailings using Constant Contact. The group also began the updating of Bylaws
and supported an ACS Scholarship Program.
Computers in Chemistry (Chair: Seogjoo Jang, Ph.D.),,,,,FULL
This group was re-invigorated in 2009 under the leadership
of Dr. Jang. The new committee dedicated most of their efforts to planning
a new event, New York Theoretical and Computational Chemistry Conference
(NYTaC3), to be held in January of 2010. The objective of this event
is to establish a network of expert researchers and students from academia
and industry and to help them share their experiences and ideas so as to
nurture new collaborations and synergistic activities. In addition,
this will enhance awareness of the successes and the promises of theoretical
and computational chemistry within the broad scientific community in greater
New York area. There has been discussion about changing the name of this
group to more appropriately reflect their focus.
High School Teachers (Co-chairs: Jean Delfiner and Joan
We are fortunate in NY to have such a vibrant High School
Teachers Group. In 2009 they organized eight meetings, with speakers
guaranteed to excite the interest of the audience. Who wouldn't want
to learn about the chemistry of barbecue sauce (Dr. Jerry DeMenna) or how
to use magic to grab the attention of your students (Jay Rogoff and Chris
Ward). The April meeting featured the ever-popular "Demo Derby" an
evening of non-stop demonstrations (5-8 minutes max.) where participants
just bring their demo, clean-up equipment and safety apparel, sign up,
and go. Attendance was close to 70 at most meetings, and never lower
Metro Women Chemists (Chair: Elise Megehee, Ph.D.).....FULL
The Metro Women Chemists Committee cosponsored a networking
dinner on Thursday, May 28, 2009. The event was held at *Taro* Eclectic
Asian Cuisine at 32 Church Street in Montclair, NJ. The evening's
speaker was Anita Brandolini who talked about her 'Transition from Industry
to Academe." The program was well received and 40 women were in attendance.
Nanoscience (Chair: James Canary, Ph.D.).....FULL
Since its inception in 2003, the NY Nanoscience Discussion
Group has enjoyed a steady gain in popularity. They meet four times
per year at New York University. The science consists of three speakers,
representing different areas of nanotechnology, in an informal and collegial
setting. Guests are encouraged to arrive early to exchange ideas
while enjoying a glass of wine and a snack before settling down to business.
Events are 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.
Organic (Chair: Paramjit Arora, Ph.D.).....FULL
The Organic Topical Group held two meetings last year: one
in February with three speakers and one in June with five speakers, at
the New York Academy of Science as part of the Chemical Biology Discussion
Group. The meetings are regularly attended by 70-80 students, postdoctoral
fellows, and faculty members from the Tri-state area. The group has
followed the lead of our Biochemical Topical Group and has established
a collaboration with the New York Academy of Sciences and their Chemical
Biological Discussion Group. These meetings are highlighted on the web
pages of ACS Chemical Biology and Nature Chemical Biology.
Younger Chemists (Chair: David Cormode, Ph.D.).....REPORT
IS AS WRITTEN BELOW
The New York ACS Younger Chemists' Committee was reinvigorated
in 2009 under the leadership of its new Chair, David Cormode. As
a kickoff event, the Chair organized a social mixer held at the Galway
Bar on 36th Street in Manhattan, on December 5th. Twenty five future
leaders attended, enjoying drinks and chicken wings while meeting each
other and making contacts. Chemists attended from Tarrytown, Long
Island, Manhattan, New Jersey, Queens and Brooklyn. There were chemists
from pharmaceuticals, plastics, medical schools, universities and patent
law. Thus most subsections of the NY Section were represented, as
well as a few representatives from the North Jersey Section, and multiple
topical groups. The event was a great success and members are looking
forward to an exciting 2010 with more programs.
EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES COMMITTEES
All of us in the NY Section are deeply committed to the advancement
of chemistry education, both formally and informally, hence many of the
education committees are described in the Top Ten List, including Chemagination,
High School Olympiad, Project Seed, and the Undergraduate Research Symposium.
Chemical Education Committee (Chair: Jill Rehmann, Ph.D.)
The year started with the NY Section honoring S. Mary Maier
for her many years of service to the section and to students. The
Committee's activities also included the High School Poster Session
described in the Brooklyn Subsection category above.
Activities not reported elsewhere include a poster contest and a Haiku
contest. Each year the NY Section sponsors a NCW poster contest for
K-12. Eighteen posters were received, an increase over last year.
NY was immensely pleased that the poster Elemental Power, submitted
by Courtney Bissonette of Division Avenue HS in Levittown, received 2nd
place in the National ACS contest, and her teacher received a Merck Index
from the NY Section. The NY Section also sponsored an Earth Day Haiku
Contest. Over 20 Haikus were submitted and the appropriate number
sent to national in 2009......PHOTOS
Also under this category I am pleased to report the NY Section's
acquisition of the Merck Index, generously donated to the ACS by Merck.
The section submitted a request for 1000 copies to be used as awards at
activities throughout the section. We were tremendously excited when
approximately 3 tons of books were delivered to the section office in November
(though I assure you the lone delivery man did not share our enthusiasm).
Copies of the Merck Index have been dispersed to subsections for use in
upcoming high school award ceremonies, to colleges for recognition of achievement
in undergraduate chemistry, and to committees for activities such as Chemagination
and the Undergraduate Research Symposium. All high schools participating
in the Olympiad will receive a copy. We are extremely grateful for
this donation, and dispersal will continue throughout 2010.
Nichols Foundation Teacher Award (Co-chairs: Stephen Radice
and Richard Goodman) BIO
In keeping with the NY Section tradition of developing new
leaders, two new co-chairs were appointed to this committee in 2009, both
former winners of this award. The committee membership, also new, was drawn
from across the geographic areas of the section. Mr. Steven Borneman, of
Byram Hills High School in Armonk, NY, was selected to receive the 2009
Nichols High School Teacher Award. Mr. Borneman holds BS, MAT and
MS degrees in Chemistry from SUNY Binghamton, and in the words of one of
his students, likes to get the class involved in SHOCK FACTORS which are
some of the best demonstrations. The award, including a Merck Index,
was presented at the section wide conference in January 2010.
MEMBER AFFAIRS COMMITTEES
Awards Committee (Chair: Stephen Goldberg, Ph.D......FULL
Activities of this committee have focused on recognizing
the high achievement of high school chemistry students. All of the subsections
have awards nights, and other committees are frequently involved in award
programs. As part of the sectionÕs review of committee functions, we are
discussing the responsibilities that fall within the purview of this committee.
Employment and Professional Relations Committee (Chair:
Hessy Taft Ph.D.).....FULL
Activities for this Committee consisted primarily of email
exchanges regarding interest for a position by job-seeking candidates and
the availability of jobs in industry and/or academia. The responsibilities
that fall within the purview of this committee are under discussion as
we review our committee functions.
Indicator Committee (Chair: Neil Jespersen, Ph.D.).....FULL
The INDICATOR continues to experience significant financial
difficulties. The North Jersey Section decided to follow the New York Section
lead in going to an electronic copy, though many people still desire a
hard copy. In 2010 it will be decided whether or not to continue
any hardcopy mailings.
Membership Committee (Chair: Neil Jespersen, Ph.D.).....FULL
The membership committee maintained its efforts in keeping
members informed and interested in section and subsection events.
Innovations included bulk mailing of postcards announcing multiple meetings,
and a new e-mail system that allows us to personalize e-mail messages.
Outstanding Service Award Committee (Chair: Robert Beer,
Ph.D.) BIO AND PHOTO
The 2009 award was presented to Dr. David Sarno, of Queensborough
Community College, for his contribution to the Section in administrating
MARM. Dr. Sarno received the award at the Section Annual Meeting
in January 2010. The committee consists of the five past winners
of the OSA and it solicits nominatons from April to June.
PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEES
Environmental Committee (Chair: Harold Berger, Esq.)
The Twelfth Annual Frances Sterrett Symposium was held May
21, 2009 with the theme "Reducing Our Ecological Footprint." In keeping
with the section goal of increasing collaborations, the symposium was co-sponsored
this year by the Metro New York Section of the American Institute of Chemical
Engineers, a relationship that will continue.
Fundraising Committee (Chair: Mr. Frank Romano)
Due to the off economy in 2009, it was decided that the NY
Section would not spend money to solicit donations. Most fundraising
activities were carried out by the individual event organizers. Fundraising
was fairly successful for the Undergraduate Research Symposium, National
Chemistry Week, Chemistry Olympiad and the Nichols Award Symposium.
Speakers Bureau Committee (Database maintained by webmaster
Brian Gibney, Ph.D.).
A call for speakers appears on the main page of the NY Section
website. Members can provide their data (name, contact information and
title of talks) to the webmaster who uploads it to the online database
of speakers. Those seeking speakers are also encouraged to contact
the section for information.
Information Technology Committee (Chair: Anne O'Brien,
The committee recommends gaining experience in alternative
ways of meeting for conferences/meetings. The recent change by ACS from
WebEx to A+ is expected to reduce costs. There is a plan to enlarge
this endeavor in 2010.
Audit Committee (Chair: Philip Mark, Ph.D.)
The Section's financial information and books were reviewed
and it was reported that all is in order.
By-Laws Committee (Chair: Donald Clarke, Ph.D.)
The Bylaws Committee has submitted updated NY Section bylaws
to the Committee on Constitution and Bylaws. Issues considered for
change deal with running elections electronically and the elevation of
student affiliates to student members. The C&B has examined the
proposed amendments and submitted their comments back to the Chair of this
Councilor Coordinating Committee (Chair: Ronald D'Amelia,
Dr. D'Amelia maintains excellent discipline among the councilors
and has ensured 100% councilor attendance at the 2009 ACS National Meetings.
We have created a Councilor Corner link on the NY section web page, containing
all the important Councilor activities from both ACS national meetings
held in CY 09. The Councilor Corner also had an article, written
by Dr. D'Amelia, in the NY Indicator, outlining the functions of the National
ACS Committee on Community Activities (CCA)
Eastern Analytical Symposium Committee (Delegate: Mr.
Frank Romano) PHOTO
The EAS represents a long standing collaboration between
our two organizations. In 2009, Section personnel manned the New
York Section booth in the Exhibit Hall, as always. The NY Section
Chair (B.Hillery) also co-organized a full-day symposium on making the
transition from academics to industry, and called on the expertise of several
NY members as speakers, including the chair of the Academe/Industry Committee,
Dr. Richard Goodmen. The New York Section is a sponsor and one of
the founders of the EAS. In 2009 it attracted over 3000 participants.
Numerous New York Section members sit on its Board of Directors.
Finance Committee (Chair: Barbara Hillery, Ph.D.)
This committee met in October to review the section's current
finances and budget requests for 2010. The committee developed a
2010 budget for presentation to the Executive Board at the November 13
Long Range Planning Committee (Chair: Hiroko Karan, Ph.D.).....FULL
LRP met four times during 2009. The LRPC recommended:
resending the survey to committee chairs regarding revitalization, as response
had been low previously; obtain student membership information in the NY
Section from ACS data and observe any impact on Local Section membership;
and promote Brookhaven National Laboratory as a candidate for the
National Historic Chemical Landmark.
Nichols Medal Jury (Chair: Jill Rehmann, Ph.D.)
The Jury met at St. Joseph's College where it selected Dr.
Tobin Marks of Northwestern University to be the recipient of the 2010
William H. Nichols Medal. Described in the Top Ten.
Nominating Committee, chaired by Mr. Frank Romano (2009
The Nominating Committee met by teleconference in December
to select potential candidates for NY Section offices. A slate resulting
from that meeting was assembled by Dr. Hiroko Karan (2010 Chair-elect)
and presented at the January 2010 Sectionwide Conference