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  Our webmaster is Dr. Brian Gibney, at  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.

The groups below are linked to their chair's reports that often include photos and copies of brochures or flyers.


Brooklyn Subsection  (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 challenges.

Hudson-Bergen Subsection  (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 Community College.

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 attendance.  

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.”


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 University. 

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, Ph.D.)
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 them. 

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 Meeting
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.  


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 Research Symposium.  

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.


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 section.

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 advertising.  

Membership Committee  (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 Davenport, Ph.D.)
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.


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 bylaws.

The Councilor Coordinating Committee
 (Chair: Ronald D’Amelia, Ph.D.)  Dr. D’Amelia maintains excellent discipline among the councilor
s 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

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.