AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY DIVERSITY, EQUALITY, INCLUSION AND RESPECT CORE VALUE STATEMENT
"We believe in the strength of diversity in all its forms, because inclusion of and respect for diverse people, experiences, and ideas lead to superior solutions to world challenges and advances chemistry as a global, multidisciplinary science." 
More information on ACS Policies and Actions
Our Friday, February 18th Section Meeting was a hybrid affair with 7 in-person attendees in East Stroudsburg University’s Beers Lecture Hall and 9 virtual attendees present. After a brief snack/social interval, the meeting was devoted to a panel discussion of “PRIDE in STEM: Processing the LGBTQ Identity in STEM Professions” with panelists Bryan Trimm of IBM, Christopher Dubbs of ESU and moderator Ariel Tucci of ESU’s Gender & Sexuality Center. After introducing themselves with a summary of their STEM careers, Bryan and Christopher
answered questions posed by the moderator and the audience. Here are some of their responses:
 
Why did you choose a STEM career?
B: Both of my parents were in STEM but I initially chose finance. That only lasted 6 months! I returned to the STEM fold interested in materials.
C: Neither of my parents attended college. I started as a Spanish major and went through business and IT before I settled on mathematics.
 
Can you describe your LGBTQ identity experience at the start of your STEM career?
C: I started my career at Chrysler which had a GALA program with spaces for posts.
B: I had a good experience at my undergrad school which had an RPU. IBM is very supportive for both general and technical employees.
 
What is the current atmosphere for LGBTQ in STEM?
C: LBGTQ are most likely to go the STEM route – not sure why. Important to listen carefully to job interviewers for a sense of the atmosphere in an organization.
B: Look for networks that will provide support.
 
What are the challenges you have faced and how did you address them?
B: Be an ally: listen and offer help to others.
C: I second that! Inclusion in the workplace is key: shift the climate.
 
How can we break the glass ceiling?
C: Is there a glass ceiling? Where? I have found lots of variety with respect to fields and depth.
B: Push more people into STEM period! Zoom, etc. helps to increase reach.
 
What was your ‘Aha!’ moment? 
B: There were lots of them! I’ve found it to be more of a journey of learning steps.
C: There were two: one was during my master’s. I was a TA and loved it! But I went to industry for 2 years before coming back to teaching. Second one was during PhD: making a unique contribution.
 
So why are we talking about this?
B: We need outreach of this kind to encourage LGBTQ youth to consider STEM.
C: Visibility is key: we need ‘windows and mirrors.’
 
Reflecting on your experiences, do you have any advice for being authentic?
B: ‘Don’t worry so much!’ ‘You’re not alone.’
C: Be safe; it’s a process. Look for allies and safe spaces.
 
[There was no section business meeting this month]
 
LVACS would like to thank Prof. Steve Boyer of ESU’s Chemistry Department and Lyesha Fleming of ESU’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee for hosting this meeting!

After School Chemistry Partnership Program

The Penn State Berks Chapter of the American Chemical Society partnered with the Lehigh Valley Section of the American Chemical Society (LVACS) for the LVACS Afterschool Chemistry Partnership Program in the Spring of 2021! 

The K-12 students learned about chemistry careers, summer research opportunities for high schoolers through the ACS Project SEED Program and did weekly activities including free fun experiments, themed demonstrations, guest speakers, a movie watch party, book club, and more!
Here's what the students said about ASCPP: "I think that the ChemSTEM Club is really good and I enjoyed it a lot. I got to learn about new things and overall think about what I want to do with my future in STEM."  "Yes, I really like the program. I have learned a lot in that program and I have been very interested in science since I began to hear about the various things you can do as a scientist and as an inventor. They treat me well and they are all very kind, the classes are good and they give me a lot of inspiration to be able to be with my dream."
Liliana Arias, student support specialist for MEP in the Lehigh Valley, comments: "Thank you for giving our middle and high school migrant students such an awesome opportunity to be a part of the LV ACS after-school partnership program.  They are not only engaged in virtual and hands-on science activities and discussions but thinking about what to do now and in the future for their post-secondary goals."
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE: Press Release
2021 PROGRAM SCHEDULE:
 Schedule
WATCH THE RECORDINGS
: LVACS YOUTUBE

PROGRAM CONTACT: Greglynn Gibbsgreglgibbs@gmail.com, ASCPP Project Coordinator

*|END:WEB_VIDEO|*
In this February 17, 2021 ASCPP episode, Robert Coller of Enersys tells us all about battery chemistry and technology and shows us how to build simple batteries from things we have around the house. Charge up!
Project SEED Announced for the Lehigh Valley in 2022
LVACS has SEED projects this year!

Jeremy Heyman of Steppingstone Scholars in Philadelphia continues to coordinate the Lehigh Valley ACS SEED program. Projects this summer have been identified at two area schools (PSU/Berks and Lafayette).
Lorena Tribe, PSU/Berks (virtual computational project):
Computation and visualization of species in coastal carbon dynamics in freshwater systems
Global warming leads to changes in coastal systems that must be explored to predict its effects and implement remediation processes. During this project, students will explore chemical species involved in the carbon cycle and learn the computational skills to model them with atomic level ab initio software. In addition to molecules present in the atmosphere, in aqueous solution, and in soil fractions, mineral substrates will also be modeled. The adsorption process will be visualized, and the energetics will be calculated.
Chip Nataro, Lafayette College:
Synthesis of Novel Organometallic Catalysts
Students will be involved in the synthesis of organometallic compounds. By bonding organic molecules to metal atoms, the reactivity of the organic molecules is greatly enhanced. In the lab, students are generally making compounds that have never before been prepared, so you have the opportunity to create the world’s supply of a brand new compound. After making the compounds, we are interested in the properties of these compounds. In particular, we are interested in how these molecules behave as catalysts. Catalysts are compounds that enable reactions to proceed more efficiently that they would without a catalyst (for example taking place at a lower temperature, or taking less time). By making subtle changes to the catalyst molecules such as their shape, the catalytic effectiveness can be significantly altered.
 
SEED Project proposals typically consider: Goals/purpose of the project, in language a high school student would understand; Project activities: what would a typical week look like for a student; How many students would be working on the project (1 or 2, unless you have multiple different mentors involved, in which case it could be up to 2 per mentor); What are the most likely safety hazards for the student(s) in the lab, if any, and what safety training, PPE, engineering controls, or other changes will be implemented to minimize the risks from those safety hazards; Any additional training that the student will receive. If necessary, could this be a virtual project?
Program link student info and flyer.

The LVACS Executive Committee strongly supports Project SEED and encourages members to contribute to this important ACS strategic program. LVACS CONTACT: Jeremy Heyman, Northampton CC, jbheyman@gmail.com

DEIR Contacts

Greglynn Gibbs, Chair, Membership Committee, greglgibbs@gmail.com

Celia Williams, Chair, Committee on Minority Affairs, lvacscma@gmail.com

Lorena Tribe, Chair, Women Chemists Committee, lut1@psu.edu

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LEHIGH VALLEY SECTION OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY

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