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REMEMBERING NED HEINDEL
Our November 9th Section Meeting at Lehigh University attracted 50 LVACS members to share their love of chemistry and their recollections of former ACS President and Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, Lehigh University, Ned Heindel, PhD., who died June 27th at age 85. After a social hour and dinner at the Gander Room, we proceeded to Neville Hall for extemporaneous reminiscences of Ned followed by the Inaugural Ned Heindel Memorial Lecture, "Design and Development of Vasopressin V1a Antagonists Derived from a Unique Azetidinone Platform," delivered by two long-time colleagues and collaborators, Neal Simon, Professor of Neuroscience, Lehigh University and Christophe Guillon, Principal Research Scientist, Azevan Pharmaceuticals Inc. We also celebrated yet another of our 2023 student award winners, Tyler Roberts of Lafayette College, winner of the Organic Chemistry Scholarship, henceforth to be known as the Ned Heindel Scholarship in Organic Chemistry. We are all looking forward to future Heindel Lectures, jointly sponsored by LVACS and Lehigh University, about which more information will be forthcoming on this site and in the Octagon Newsletter.
National Chemistry Week 2023 (NCW; October 15-21) was celebrated in the Lehigh Valley with section-wide events at Da Vinci Science Center and at the Allentown Public LIbrary as part of the PA Migrant Education Program's annual "Lights on Afterschool." On Saturday, October 21st, LVACS members Guido Pez, Kurt Stork, LVACS Secretary Nigel Sanders and LVACS NCW Coordinator and Chair-elect Philip Elias demonstrated The Healing Power of Chemistry at Da Vinci Science Center with about 50 visiting young scientists and their parents with Build-a-Better-Bandage, Warm Up to Some Cool Reactions and Red Cabbage Indicator. Then, on the following Monday, October 23rd, which just happened to be Mole Day (!), Philip and Nigel introduced the H2O2 decomposition to 25 students in the MEP from a wide range of countries. Take a look at the links above: this could be YOU with the magic chemistry wand next year!
Our October 12th Section Meeting at Albright College featured Benjamin Groff of Yale University speaking on the topic of "Steering the selectivity of hydrogen atom transfer (HAT) reactions: bond strengths and polar effects." Ben very nicely positioned his work in the context of our usual notions of pKa and the reduction potential, E, of the H-X bond being cleaved and their joint effects on the kinetic barrier to the HAT reaction. He also gave the numerous student attendees some insight into his own student research journey and what he loves about his current work in inorganic chemistry: all the beautiful colors! We also got a chance to celebrate two more of our 2023 LVACS awardees: our High School Teacher-of-the-Year, Audrey Smeltzer and our Foundation in Chemistry scholarship winner, Elizabeth Sterner: congratulations to you both! Relive the event through a slideshow. Many thanks to Ian Rhile, Pam Artz and the Albright Chemistry Department for a great fall night!
LVACS 2023 Elections draw near!! It's nearly fall and that means time to nominate your colleagues (or yourself!) for a role in LVACS! Mike Bertucci, Nominations Committee Chair and Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Lafayette College, has issued a Call for Nominations to all members and community associates to consider serving your section as an officer or a standing committee chair. Not ready for a officer or chair role? Why not be a volunteer at an outreach event or join a judging panel for one of our annual awards? There are so many ways you can contribute. Interested? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The September LVACS Section meeting Thursday, September 14th, broke all records in recent memory: 91 registered with 80 attending as Evonik Corporation hosted us at their 1-year-old Innovation Hub in Trexlertown. Participants, including 28 students, toured the labs and pilot areas while Evonik personnel explained the functions of each area, safety considerations and what it's like to work there. The group then gathered to enjoy a buffet dinner and hear from Michael Popule, VP, Global Process Research on Carbon Capture technologies and Ali Javadi, Senior Scientist, on rheological additives and new fumed silica products. LVACS also took the opportunity to award this year's Chemagination winners (Kendra Montalvo, David Marlwood, Jackson Smith, Reid Bagans, Leonardo Carbajal, Andrea Santiago and Salem Davis) from Muhlenberg High School and their teacher/mentor, Dr. Audrey Smeltzer-Schwab, our 2023 LVACS Teacher-of-the-Year. Here's the full story as published in the October Octagon Newsletter!
August 30th was a night for the Pigs to Fly! 40 LVACS members and guests joined with our Fe-fortified Lehigh Valley AAA club to cheer the 'boys of summer' on to victory (5-3 over the Syracuse Mets) at Coca-Cola Park. Enjoy a few images of our contingent letting LVACS take them out to the old ball game!
Our section members attending the 2023 ACS Fall Meeting in San Francisco were happy to report that of 4 categories (including overall best medium-sized local section) in which Lehigh Valley section was a finalist for ACS ChemLuminary Awards for 2022 activities, your section won 2 Awards! The Local Section Partnership (Marinda Li Wu) Award for the September 15, 2022 meeting at Ben Franklin Technology Innovation Center co-hosted by start-up Mussel Polymers, Inc. and the Outstanding NCW Event for a Specific Audience held October 18, 2022 at Allentown Public Library to celebrate the Migrant Education Program of PA's annual Lights on After School Educational Activities & Health Fair. The awards were given during the Fall Meeting's Awards Ceremony Tuesday, August 15th.
Our inaugural 50/60/70-year brunch on July 14th at Chris' Family Restaurant shone with pride for chemistry! Everyone that attended thanked the section for doing it. There was a lot of storytelling, laughter, and fun. The only complaint heard was it was the first time happening, they wished we had done something like it before this! One attendee commented afterward by email: "Thank you and your colleagues for organizing the wonderful gathering of the local OLDIES of the ACS members. I enjoyed the conversation with several of them. I look forward to receiving the group photo and their email addresses. Wishing you all the best for a wonderful summer." Share the moment with these pictures of the event.
LVACS is saddened to report the Passing of Ned Duane Heindel, PhD., on June 27th, 2023, at age 85.
Ned was a 60+ year ACS member, Past ACS President (1994), Emeritus Professor at Lehigh University and a Shining Star of Chemistry to our local section and the world. Memorial plans by the section are being developed and will be reported here soon. Please contribute any remembrances of Ned's long and devoted service to email@example.com. He will be greatly missed. Morning Call obituary.
Great time at Violet Vintage Wine Company in Bernville on June 29th thanks to Lorena Tribe and the LVACS Women Chemists Committee! Cultural Historian Dr. Michelle Mart of PSU/Berks and author of the recent book "Pesticides, A Love Story: America's Enduring Embrace of Dangerous Chemicals," gave us a whole new perspective on the history of ag chemicals while we sampled the fruits of the (hopefully safer) vine. Keep watching for future summer 2023 events...we hear the smell of rosin might be in the air (no, not from the forest fires!) for Aug 30th.
Strategic Plan 2022-2027 Year 1 Progress Update. The LVACS Executive Committee and Strategic Planning Team reviewed progress in the plan goals/strategies developed during last year's Strategic Planning retreat on June 14th 2023. The review showed 3 of the 8 strategies complete and on time and 3 in progress and on schedule. See a Gantt Chart of the progress. Follow the Strategic Plan page of this website for the latest on this important effort.
Southern Lehigh Middle School held a STEAM Expo Tuesday, May 30th from 6-8 pm to bring 25 organizations on the SoLeMS Center Valley campus to demonstrate STEAM in many ways. LVACS had 2 activities which amazed and delighted the students: Spartan Blue Bottle and Siphon Effect, expertly demonstrated, respectively, by Past Chair Lindsey Welch and Chair Elect Philip Elias. Lindsey reported that "We had a steady presence of students and parents at our table. Several parents asked about summer camps and what else we do for youth, so maybe we should talk about that at a future meeting?" No question, Lindsey, we're on it! Our thanks to SoLeMS parent Charu Chaturvedi and Principal Deanna Webb for inviting us to participate in their STEAM Expo.
It was our traditional May social meeting at Yergey Brewing Co. in Emmaus on May 18th with tours of their 'Nano-Brewery' and sampling of the whatever the taproom afforded. Many thanks to Lindsey Welch, past chair, and Jim Yergey, brewer and patriotic LVACS member, for welcoming us to this Hoptileitious event!
Monday, May 8th was a very special day for science in Monroe County as Mount Pocono elementary students were invited to attend the Inaugural Night of Science at Pocono Mountain West High School, hosted by WHS’s Science National Honor Society. In addition to demonstration tables run by the Honor Society students, several guest groups brought in exhibits and experiments including Lehigh Valley ACS volunteers and East Stroudsburg University’s Chem Club. ESU’s Steve Boyer, Oliver Paszkowski, Carolyn Knowlton, Lennox Lewis and Chris Kloppenburg presented the ever-popular make-your-own slime/bouncy balls; iodine clock reaction; shaving cream/dye swirls and CO2 color change while LVACS’ Nigel Sanders and Philip Elias demonstrated alginate water pods (popping bobas). Amazing Algae (aka seaweed) also made an appearance in honor of Chemists Celebrate Earth Week. The kids (about 100) had a great time and so did we! See a pictorial summary here.
Earth Day is celebrated globally, and the American Chemical Society (ACS) has turned it into a week-long affair, Chemists Celebrate Earth Week, this year from April 16 to 22. LVACS featured two main events this year.
Earth Day Symposium
This special symposium focused on sustainability of new technologies and their impact on the environment and was co-hosted by the Lehigh Valley Section of the ACS and the ACS Division of Environmental Chemistry. The symposium took place Saturday, April 22, at Cedar Crest College. Specific topics included renewable fertilizers, climate change modeling, community engagement for environmental justice and the future impact of nanotechnology on environmental issues. The speakers were: Sherine Obare, Dean of Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, University of North Carolina— Greensboro and Chair of the ACS Environmental Chemistry Division; Jonas Baltrusaitis, Associate Professor, Dept. of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Lehigh University; Laura McBride, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Albright College and Karen Pooley, Professor of Practice, Director of Environmental Policy Design Program, Lehigh University. The Symposium was organized and hosted by Lindsey Welch, Associate Professor, Dept. of Chemical, Physical and Forensic Sciences, Cedar Crest College. The Symposium received local media coverage through Lehigh Valley Live and a spot on Channel 69 TV!
Community Outreach Event
It may have been thundering outside but our LVACS volunteers sure made the inside of Da Vinci Science Center rock with their enthusiasm for science Saturday, April 15th, 2023 for Chemists Celebrate Earth Week! Curiosity and Amazement were definitely everywhere to be seen and heard with education about the Earth and its algae the ultimate winner. The Lehigh Valley ACS local section thanks our member volunteers for taking the time out of their schedules to bring 'science to life and lives to science.' Avi the mole salutes you!
The Annual Undergraduate Research Poster Session was hosted by DeSales University on Wednesday, April 12th, 2023 with 26 students/teams presenting posters for the edification of attending members. The attendance of around 70 topped last year's and approaches some of our best pre-pandemic numbers. After a full 90 minutes of poster-browsing, we enjoyed a tasty dinner and then awarded our best graduating seniors with sincere commendations and a special prize useful for research at the beach! Capping the evening was a engaging talk by Prof. Robert Hickey of Penn State's Department of Materials Science and Engineering entitled "Nanostructured Polymer Muscles." Wish you were there? See the Abstract Book and some pics!
LVACS Chemists Celebrated Research (and Spring!) at the ACS Spring 2023 Meeting in Indianapolis, March 26-30, 2023. Here are some happy LVACS faces at Sci-Mix on March 27th. Got a story from this meeting you'd like to share with the LVACS section? Let us know!
Our March 23rd Section Meeting at Muhlenberg College combined a tasty social hour and dinner with an excellent talk by Dr. Todd McEvoy, Senior Director of Laboratory Services of Azzur Group, entitled “Developing the Formula for a Rewarding Career in Science.” Todd started out by emphasizing the difference between the usual ‘1st grade’ self-analysis assignment of “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and the more nuanced “Who do you want to be when you grow up?” Todd continued to explore that question throughout his presentation. Topics included deciding career paths (don't be afraid to change!), self-assessment (why science? strengths, interests, values), traditional vs non-traditional career paths (there’s more out there than you think!), utilizing resources to find the right job (advice + exploration) and, finally, putting it all together. Todd graciously provided us his wisdom gained through his own career experiences and fielded many great questions from our student audience. Review his slides. While you’re at it, learn more about ACS member career growth support and how to chart the next steps in your job search: here !
LVACS participated in our local Science Fairs over the past 3 weeks with exhibit tables at the annual PA Junior Academy of Sciences (PAJAS; Region 3 meeting on Saturday, February 25th at Northampton CC) and Reading-Berks Science and Engineering Fair (RBSEF; March 14-16 at Albright College). Eight of the judges at PAJAS and four at RBSEF were Section members (we could use more next year!). At the 2023 RBSEF (71st annual event: second oldest in the nation!), LVACS sponsored two special awards of $250: to the best chemistry project/poster by a middle school and by a high school student. This year's winners were Muhlenberg MS 7th grader Morgen Dieter for her project "Paper Chromatography: What Makes Those Colors?" and Wilson HS 10th grader Sindura Sridhar for "Iron Deficiency Anemia: A New Supplement for Fortified Foods." There were 450 students from 19 schools in all - a fantastic turn-out! See more event pictures and the awards ceremony brochure.
The February 16th section meeting at Lafayette went very well with a couple of twists! Thirty-one members enjoyed dinner and attended the meeting and seminar afterwards. For the first time in many years a cash bar was offered as a ‘pilot’ test for future meetings. The Executive Committee will report back to members soon with a decision on this. The meeting and seminar portions were held in a newly renovated set of classrooms on the 5th floor of the Acopian Engineering Center. A very nice new space! Steve Boyer, LVACS 2023 Chair, presented a brief summary of the Section’s upcoming activities and opportunities for grants and awards. Of special note was the premier announcement of a new LVACS section award: The George Ruger LVACS Student Travel Award, a $150 travel award for students presenting at an ACS Conference. The first deadline for submission is March 7th, 2023. For details, contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, Prof. Oriana Fisher of Lehigh University presented an invitation to rising seniors to participate in a new NSF grant-supported research experience program called BOUNDS, beginning in the summer of 2023. For more info and an application form visit: https://sites.google.com/lehigh.edu/bounds/home. The speaker, Prof. E. James Petersson of the University of Pennsylvania, told us about an area of biomedical science obscure for many of us: protein aggregation processes often associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. James's talk, Visualizing α-Synuclein in Neurodegeneration: From all-atom simulations to in vivo imaging, was very impressive with examples from his lab’s multidisciplinary approach to the problem including computation, synthesis of α-synuclein bearing post-translational modifications and photochemical probes, single molecule biophysics, structural biology, cellular and animal models for microscopy and proteomics, and development of positron emission tomography (PET) probes for clinical imaging. (Wow and all in ~60 minutes!) The seminar culminated in his discussion of a new molecule that is being tested for improved visualization of alpha-synuclein in PET and other diagnostic scans for neurodegenerative disorders at U. Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. Four people asked questions before the meeting ended at 8:35pm.
The third week of January was a busy one for LVACS with our January Section Meeting on the 19th at Moravian University and the ACS Leadership Development Institute on the 20th-22nd in Atlanta, Ga.
***About 25 members came to a workshop at Moravian University where Profs. Heidi Hendrickson (Lafayette), Carl Salter (Moravian) and Lorena Tribe (PSU/Berks) demonstrated the concept of using mobile devices to do molecular modeling calculations using web software. The audience found the demo of WebMO quite interesting and engaging. Quite a few were doing the demos on their phones, following along with handouts provided. Most of the interest and focus was on using this as a teaching tool. There were questions about the teaching resources available and how Moravian University implements the program. They bought the software ($1000 permanent license) and host it on an internal server. However, it is possible to run wholly on-line with no up-front outlay and no cost at all if the calculations are simple enough (<30 sec CPU time). Some attendees were also interested in it as a low cost way to get calculations done for research purposes, particularly the possibility to use cloud computing resources and not need to buy your own high powered computer.
***Meanwhile, in Atlanta, LVACS officers Nigel Sanders, Jeanne Berk and Philip Elias were attending and/or teaching Leadership Development Institute courses sponsored by ACS. The ACS Local Section Activities Committee (LSAC) invited us to present our four ChemLuminary Award-winning events in the "Share Your Story" portion of the Local Section Operations course and in a poster for viewing by all attendees of the meeting. See a few pictures of the event.
The newly-elected LVACS Officers for 2023 are: Philip Elias, chair-elect, Sherman Cox, treasurer and Nigel Sanders, secretary. Review their bios here. Philip, who graduated from Muhlenberg College last spring and now works at Evonik in Allentown, has been very active in community outreach events. Sherman, just retiring in December from a long career at Minerals Technologies Inc. in Hanover Township, has been LVACS treasurer before (in the 1990s!) and brings a wealth of experience in many areas of chemistry and chemical engineering. They join Steve Boyer, chair, Lindsey Welch, past chair, Jeanne Berk and Kelley Caflin, councilors and Mike Bertucci and Ned Corcoran, alternate councilors. Come out to our meetings in 2023 and meet your LVACS governance team in person!
Our November 17th section meeting at Penn State / Lehigh Valley campus was devoted to student member career exploration. A comprehensive career guidance talk by ACS Career Consultant Greglynn Gibbs was followed by ample career opportunity discussion and networking time with member representatives from six companies: Sanofi Pasteur, Gold Coast Ingredient Inc, Roquette Global Business Unit Pharma, DSM, Evonik and Minerals Technologies Inc. The response from students and presenters was, in a word, OUTSTANDING! We'll be repeating this kind of event next year so stayed tuned to our Careers page. A full report will appear in the January 2023 issue of the Octagon Newsletter.
The annual LVACS election ballot for 2022 has been emailed so be on the lookout for the link which will be emailed to all qualified voters. The deadline for voting is 11:45 pm Saturday, December 3rd.
LV, Philadelphia, Trenton and Princeton Sections jointly sponsored a Leadership Development Day at St. Joseph's College in Philadelphia on November 5th. According to facilitator Ajay Mallia, "it was great to facilitate the Delaware Valley Leadership Institute on Nov 5 at Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia, with Jodi Wesemann Jason Ritchie and Bryan Tweedy, organized by the Philadelphia Section - American Chemical Society, Lehigh Valley Section of the American Chemical Society Princeton American Chemical Society Local Section, and Trenton local section of the ACS. I enjoyed working with professionals from academia, industry, and graduate / undergraduate students. Congratulations to all attendees and to the organizers for putting together such a successful event." ACS leadership development workshops: https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/careers/leadership.html
National Chemistry Week 2022, “Fabulous Fibers: The Chemistry of Fabrics,” saw LVACS participate in the Migrant Education Program's Annual 'Lights On Afterschool' Educational Activities & Health Fair October 18th, host a special Mole Day (well, it was actually the 20th!) pizza party at Lehigh University featuring speaker Crystal Chu presenting "Bioinspired Fibrous Materials for Medicine" and sponsor an outreach event on Saturday, 22nd, with Spring Township Parks and Recreation, Sinking Spring, PA. Rayon rhymes? Take a look at what our LVACS poets did with the NCW theme! See the summary as published in the November Octagon Newsletter.
Our October 5th meeting at Albright College brought speaker Kathryn Riley of Swarthmore College to address the members on the topic of "Advances in Nanometrology: From Engineered to Incidental Nanomaterials." The unique properties of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) have enabled their increased use for a range of environmental, medicinal, and commercial applications. However, the uncontrolled release of ENMs into the environment (e.g., through human waste repositories) can have detrimental impacts. Her talk explored the development and application of several in situ analytical techniques, including capillary electrophoresis and electrochemistry, for the analysis of engineered and incidental NMs and their physicochemical transformations.
October brings our annual call for nominations to fill LVACS section offices: Chair-elect, secretary and treasurer positions are due to be filled this year. See the descriptions of the offices here. Nominee in mind? Contact 2022 Nominations Committee Chair Mike Bertucci of Lafayette College email@example.com.
It was the best monthly LVACS meeting since before the pandemic as featured speakers Jonathan Wilker of Purdue University and David Schmidt, CFO, told us about the science and technology behind Mussel Polymers, Inc.'s wet adhesive products during their exciting talk “Adhesives at the Beach: Characterization, Synthetic Mimics, and Commercialization of Marine Biological Materials.” The Thursday, September 15th meeting, co-hosted by Mussel Polymers, Inc. at the Ben Franklin Tech Ventures business incubator, also featured displays by Specialty Minerals Inc., Mussel Polymers, Inc., Chemagination Award winning posters from the June MARM and a poster celebrating our record win of 4 ACS ChemLuminary Awards. It was also a perfect night to honor our 2022 award winners in person (yay!): High School Teacher-of-the-Year Deanna Quay, Foundation in Chemistry scholarship winner Lauren Conrad, Organic Chemistry scholars Abigail Stocker and Oliver Paszkowski and, last but not least, Audrey Smeltzer Schwab and 6 of her MARM Chemagination winners from Muhlenberg High School! Kudos all around! Here's the story as it appeared in the October Octagon Newsletter.
The Lehigh Valley Local Section won FOUR (4) Chemluminary Awards at the ACS Fall 2022 Meeting! This was a clean sweep of the categories for which LVACS was a finalist as summarized in a Summer 2022 Octagon article. No cakewalk this - we were up against some stiff competition from larger sections (Midland, Silicon Valley, et al). The activities/events awarded are representative of the breadth of media/formats LVACS uses to engage its members and the community. JOIN US! All it takes is a love of Chemistry and a few hours of your time. CONTACT Nigel Sanders, LVACS Secretary
A small but vibrant LVACS group sampled the wines of Sorrenti Family Estates in Saylorsburg, PA on July 16th to celebrate summer and the 95th Anniversary of the Women Chemists Committee. Hopefully, we'll all feel more like socializing when we put nagging viruses to rest. Thanks to LVACS WCC Chair Lorena Tribe for organizing!
LVACS had a VERY PRODUCTIVE Strategic Planning Retreat that was hosted at Cedar Crest College June 11-12. The planning group dedicated a day and a half to the creation of goals and strategies to engage, educate, and provide value to our Lehigh Valley local section's members. However, their work does not stop here! The Champions who have been identified for each of our projects should in the very near future be creating timelines for their approach. Then, the fun begins! ALL LVACS members will be asked to join in to view the plans, make suggestions and participate on the action teams. Chair Lindsey Welch and chair-elect Steve Boyer will be ushering this strategic plan forward. We were fortunate, once again, to have the capable guidance of Carol Duane and Amber Hinkle of ACS to help us develop strategies to move our section forward with strategic goals and projects to be implemented over the next 3-5 years. See the Strategic Planning page for all the details of the new plan!
The 95th Anniversary of the Women Chemists Committee (WCC) was celebrated at Reading Science Center (RSC) on Wednesday, May 25th with a special exhibit and talk on the Sisters-in-STEM program. Sarah Troy, aka Solar System Sarah, introduced a workshop on the program for 4th and 5th graders in the greater Reading area. With the vision to "Empower young women & they will change the world," Sisters-in-STEM aims to excite, encourage, educate and foster a love for science in young girls. Building this foundation of love for science will inspire each girl to want to continue their education in STEM related courses, eventually leading to more women in STEM jobs. CONTACT our LVACS WCC Chair, Lorena Tribe, for more info.
LVACS celebrated Earth Week in many ways including a special event at Da Vinci Science Center in Allentown on Saturday, April 23rd. "THE BUZZ ABOUT BUGS: insect chemistry" was the theme as about 50 kids and their parents did hands-on demonstrations of cochineal scale insect (carmine) dye extraction, insect spectral/faceted vision, aroma matching and more! Many thanks to Jennifer Pors of Da Vinci and all of our volunteers: Nigel Sanders, Jane Bedell, Philip Elias, Jade Marshall, Zoe Monogan, Faith Candelora, Erica Nemitz, Savannah Labukas and Maximus Garganta. Super job team!
Nearly 60 members attended the April 11th meeting featuring our annual undergraduate research poster session, our graduating seniors who have shown exceptional chemistry aptitude over their academic careers and a great talk by Dr. Joe Bennett of UM/BC. Here's the Program with the Poster Abstracts and the story as reported in the May 2022 Octagon Newsletter.
Our March 10th meeting at Muhlenberg was our first truly face-to-face meeting in 2 years! A small but cheerful bunch gathered in Muhlenberg's Seegers Union to enjoy the evening with dinner and a fascinating talk by Dr. Lauren Zarzar of Penn State, "Color from Colorless Materials," which was also offered remotely via Zoom. In this lecture, Lauren explained why interference (structural) color can arise from even microscale structures (~ 100 microns) by Total Internal Reflection, such as when water droplets of different sizes form by condensation on a clean, low energy surface. Join the lecture on our YouTube channel, LVACS
On Friday, February 18th the LVACS section co-sponsored a PRIDE in STEM panel discussion held at East Stroudsburg University and online. Bryan Trimm, IBM and Christopher Dubbs, ESU answered questions posed by the moderator, Ariel Tucci, ESU Gender & Sexuality Center and the audience. The event was sponsored by ESU's Gender & Sexuality Center and Diversity and Inclusion Committee. The discussion was not recorded but a summary will appear soon on the Diversity page of this site and in the Octagon Newsletter. Thanks to Steve Boyer, LVACS Chair-elect, and ESU for presenting this topic!
The Thursday, January 27th, virtual section meeting was High School Teachers Night. Lehigh Valley ACS and the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT) invited all Lehigh Valley section members, student members and all High School chemistry/science teachers to learn about the resources available to them through the ACS, the LV section, the AACT and other local area organizations. Some of the joint LVACS/HS activities we covered were Chemagination/Foundation in Chemistry Award/HS Teacher of the Year, SEED, Science Coaches/Science Fairs/NCW/CCEW, Chemistry Olympiad and After-School Chemistry Partnership Program. In between presentations were two sets of demonstrations of topics of possible interest to the High School chemistry community by Carl Salter, Moravian University, on light absorption/spectroscopy and Nigel Sanders, ESU, on simple nanotechnology examples. The Zoom recording may be viewed here.
2022 LVACS Organic Chemistry Scholarship Competition Announced. Mike Bertucci of Lafayette College has announced the 2022 Competition. See the announcement here.
Lehigh Valley ACS welcomes our new officers and Executive Committee members for 2022! They are: Steve Boyer, ESU, Chair-elect; Lorena Tribe, PSU/Berks, Treasurer; Nigel Sanders, ESU, Secretary; Jeanne Berk, Cedar Crest, Councilor; Ned Corcoran, ExxonMobil, Alternate Councilor. Read their bios in the January 2022 Octagon Newsletter or here.
During our November 18th Virtual Meeting, Chip Nataro of Lafayette College, spotlighted the recent work of the The Interactive Online Network of Inorganic Chemists (IONiC), a community of transformation dedicated to improving the teaching and learning of inorganic chemistry. From how to Zoom to developing remote laboratory experiences, IONiC has been helping countless members get through the Pandemic offering students the best experience possible given the circumstances. As shutdowns remained, the leadership of IONiC developed a way to keep the community engaged via a biweekly series of presentations/discussions: Supporting Learning with Interactive Teaching: A Hosted, Engaging Roundtable or SLiThEr. Chip's presentation covered some background on the IONiC community, the development of the SLiThEr series and provided a sneak peek into some of the interesting things learned along the way. View the recording here.
Lee Silverberg, LVACS member and associate professor of chemistry at Penn State Schuylkill, has recently published a peer-reviewed paper on a novel method he has devised to create organic compounds that have demonstrated antiparasitic properties. Until this research was conducted, the structure of the starting material used to synthesize the chemical compounds was unknown. Read the full article.
Volunteers from the Lehigh Valley Section celebrated Mole Day 2021 with visitors to the Da Vinci Science Center on October 23rd (when else?) with exhibits and demonstrations illustrating this year’s National Chemistry Week theme, “FAST/OR SLOW…Chemistry Makes It GO!” The group, consisting of representatives from across the section area, presented the importance of chemical kinetics and catalysis to approximately 100 parents and kids by showing how heat, concentration and catalysts/inhibitors affect chemical reaction rates. Read the report here. LVACS thanks Jennifer Pors and the Education staff of DSC for generous support of this event!
Lehigh Valley Section extends its congratulations to Prof. Chip Nataro of Lafayette College on winning the 2022 ACS Award for Research at an Undergraduate Institution. The award, sponsored by Research Corporation for Science Advancement, is given annually to a chemistry faculty member whose research in an undergraduate setting has achieved wide recognition and contributed significantly to chemistry and to the professional development of undergraduate students. This is the second time Lafayette faculty have won this award, the other being emeritus professor Joe Sherma in 1995. Chip had previously received the E. Emmet Reid Small College Teaching Award from the Mid-Atlantic Region of ACS in 2017.
October brings our annual call for nominations to fill LVACS section offices: Chair-elect, secretary, treasurer, councilor and alternate councilor. See the descriptions of the offices here. Nominee in mind? Contact 2021 Nominations Committee Chair Mike Bertucci of Lafayette College firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our September 30th virtual meeting featured a presentation and discussion of a new ACS Innovative Project Grant “Creating a Community of Practice for Faculty Mentoring Undergraduate Research in the Lehigh Valley.” Project leaders Lindsey Welch of Cedar Crest College and Fran Mayville of DeSales University introduced the goals of the project and invited area faculty to ask questions and propose ideas for collaboration and resource sharing. View the recording here.
The ACS Philadelphia Section and LVACS regret that the Leadership Courses scheduled for September 11th had to be postponed. You should have received instructions to obtain reimbursement. Tentatively, the courses will be given in April 2022 at the same location. Stay tuned to lvacs.org for future updates.
The year 2020 was an exceptional one for so many reasons. Planning and running events to offer members some sense of continuity in local section activities was a challenge to say the least. The ACS ChemLuminary Awards Committee has recognized our section as finalists for two events which ‘bridged the COVID-19 gap’ in bringing chemistry content to members and the community during pandemic. See the Summer 2021 edition of the Octagon Newsletter for more details. The date and format of the ChemLuminary Awards Ceremony has not yet been set but be sure to root for us to win ChemLuminary Au once again this year!
Lehigh Valley Section is incredibly pleased to be able to congratulate Dr. Marsha Baar of Muhlenberg College as the 2021 E. Emmet Reid Small College Teaching Award winner for the Mid-Atlantic Region! Already honored with this year's LVACS Small College teaching award, this regional ACS award places Marsha in the company of an elite group of undergraduate educators. The award was presented at the virtual #MARM2021 on Thursday evening, June 10th.
Our May 18th Section Meeting took a virtual approach to our traditional May Social with a fun and informative look at the Chemistry of Cheese and cheesemaking provided expertly by Jeanne Berk of Cedar Crest College. As we separately nibbled on a selection of cheeses (and accompaniments in some cases!), Jeanne explained how those products are made from milk (cow, sheep, goat, whatever...) and why they have the unique combination of textures and flavors which they do. The video recording may be found on our YouTube channel. Also, don't miss the May 2021 edition of the Octagon Newsletter! Stay tuned for announcements of future events as we finally put COVID-19 behind us!
On Monday, May 3rd we were informed that our pilot virtual SEED Project has been approved by ACS! Congratulations to mentor Lorena Tribe, PSU/Berks for an awesome proposal and to Jeremy Heyman, LVACS SEED Coordinator, for guiding the application. The program will support two SEED students over this coming summer. Other students have applied for the virtual camp program: more to come. See our Diversity page for more on Project SEED.
In this second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, LVACS presented a CCEW virtual panel discussion on Tuesday, April 20th focusing on how our members are “reducing their footprint through chemistry” by making individual choices that contribute to a more sustainable world. We heard stories about building your own EV, creating a sustainable college campus, encouraging recycling at home/work and being wise about food choices, among other things. See the video recording.
Our April 15th Section Meeting featured 10 Virtual Undergraduate Research Presentations by students from across the Lehigh Valley area. Take a look at their topics in the Abstract Book and catch up on the details of the talks on the LVACS YouTube Channel recording. We also congratulated top graduating seniors, many of whom are continuing their chemistry careers in graduate schools. Many thanks to the students, their advisors and our Chair-elect, Lindsey Welch of Cedar Crest College, for making this happen in another pandemic year! Also, don't miss the April 2021 edition of the Octagon Newsletter.
The LVACS After School Chemistry Partnership Program continues to bring chemistry demonstrations and career insights each Wednesday from 4-5 pm to middle and high school students throughout the area via Zoom. Visit the Diversity and ASCPP News pages to find out more about this ACS-sponsored program and how to register your students!
On March 25th, ACS Webinars presented “The Resilience of Women in Chemistry,” a panel discussion moderated by our LVACS Treasurer, Lorena Tribe of PSU/Berks.The pandemic affected professional lives in many ways and forced us to confront challenges and modify ouractivities. As the effects of the pandemic abate, we are beginning to realize that understanding resilience is at the heart of moving forward. Patricia Silveyra of Indiana University Bloomington, Sara Mason of University of Iowa, and Allison Aldridge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reflected on lessons learned and the paths to success during difficult times.
On March 18th, Cedar Crest College’s CCC Signs ASL Club joined us for our March Webinar and Virtual Section Meeting and gave us an overview of American Sign Language (ASL) alphabet, numbers and general words related to STEM. "Signing for STEM" was a great "eye/hand opener" and LVACS thanks CCC Signs members Leannan Feldman, Julie, Asher Atwood, Kayla Whitehead and Danielle Finocchiaro and event host Jeanne Berk for enhancing our diverse abilities! Enjoy reading our March 2021 Octagon!
On International Women’s Day, March 8th, LVACS' Greglynn Gibbs joined a panel of dynamic chemists presenting their stories – past, present, and future. With a special focus on students in grades 4 – 8, they explored what sparked their interest in chemistry, their education and career journeys, and the work they do today. See the video.
Greglynn Gibbs, 2021 LVACS Outreach Volunteer Of The Year
Greglynn successfully hosted and facilitated online and outdoor (socially distanced) outreach events celebrating National Chemistry Week, including Undergraduate Resume Workshops and community-wide Halloween Chemistry and Online Slime workshops through partnerships with the Penn State Alumni Association, Spring Township Parks and Recreation, and the Reading Science Center. In addition to her service as Membership Chair of the Lehigh Valley Local Section, she serves as Student Chapter Advisor at Penn State Berks, an ACS Career Consultant, a member of the Reading Science Center Programming Committee, and is on the Committee on Community Activities. Congratulations, Greglynn, on a terrific year!
Our very own Berks Chemical Society (otherwise known as the PSU/Berks Student Chapter) has piloted a new program on Berks Community Television (BCTV). It's called "Chemistry Fun" and the pilot featured different ways, and different things to use, to make a home made battery with special guest, battery expert Robert Coller from Enersys, Reading, PA. https://youtu.be/CiChpnzWsZY. Watch for future episodes on BCTV and join the fun! See our Community Outreach page.
The February Virtual Section Meeting and Webinar brought out 31 participants to listen to Dave Lewis of UW/Eau Claire tell us about "A hatred that still haunts undergraduate organic chemistry 150 years later." - the Markovnikov-Zaitsev feud (no, not Hatfields and McCoys; more like Boris Badenov and Rocket J Squirrel!). Missed it? Watch it on our LVACS YouTube channel. Also, the February 2021 Octagon Newsletter has been posted on this site.
The LVACS After School Chemistry Partnership Program launched February 3rd and continues each Wednesday from 4-5 pm. Visit the Diversity page to find out more about this ACS-sponsored program and how to register!
Our January Virtual Section Meeting and Webinar featured a 'scintillating' review of Radiochemistry history, terminology and applications provided by ACS Emeritus Member Robert Artz. If you missed it, watch it on our LVACS YouTube channel. Also, the January 2021 Octagon Newsletter is out.
LVACS announces our newly-elected 2021 Officers and Councilors: Chair-Elect, Lindsey Welch; Secretary, Nigel Sanders; Treasurer, Lorena Tribe; Councilor, Kelley Caflin; Alternate Councilor, Mike Bertucci. They will join Chair, Roger Egolf; Past Chair, George Ruger, Councilor, Jeanne Berk and Alternate Councilor, Celia Williams to form the 2021 Executive Committee of the section.
The November 2020 issue of the Octagon Newsletter is now available! Read about this fall's section activities including NCW events, our special LVACS Colleges and Universities video presentation, ChemLuminary Award, annual officer/councilor elections, plans for a virtual Spring 2021 and, not least, take a second ride on our LVACS WAYBAC machine (highlighting another prominent chemist in LVACS history and penned by our 2021 Chair, Dr. Roger Egolf of PSU/LV).
The November 2020 virtual section meeting was our first foray into the world of Facebook Live! 31 attendees listened to a premier performance of our brand new section history video: "Our Pioneers in Chemistry Teaching: How College Chemistry Education Came to the LVACS" with contributions from nine of our local colleges and universities, coordinated and introduced by Prof. (emeritus) Ned Heindel of Lehigh University. Members had the opportunity to win a special prize for satisfying their curiosity about the formative exploits of our chemical forbears. The first place submission won an authentic 1876-1976 ACS Centennial plate courtesy of Dr. Heindel.
NEWSFLASH! LVACS has won another ACS ChemLuminary Award! These annual awards recognize special achievements by the local sections, divisions, international chapters and regional meetings. Once again, Lehigh Valley Section has received such an honor with ACS recognizing us for “Most Creative & Innovative Use of the CCEW Theme” in its 22nd Awards Event December 9th 2020. As you may recall, 2019 Chemists Celebrate Earth Week had the theme: ‘Take Note: The Chemistry of Paper’ which LVACS interpreted for the local community via a multi-media event at Da Vinci Science Center, co-sponsored by Minerals Technologies Inc., a worldwide supplier to the paper manufacturing industry. The Octagon reported on the event in its January 2020 issue (www.lvacs.org/Octagon-Newsletters). We illustrated the chemistry of paper through hands-on papermaking, exhibits of the wide variety of paper grades and testing equipment used to qualify them, video feeds of the papermaking process and presentations on the history of paper - a material that has changed human communication over two thousand years! Thanks to Sherman Cox of Minerals Technologies Inc., Lindsey Welch, our CCEW Coordinator and Nigel Sanders for running this award-winning event!
It was a beautiful, if chilly, day outside of Da Vinci Science Center on Saturday, October 17th as we kicked off National Chemistry Week 2020 with a few sticky reminders about the chemistry of adhesion! Jeanne Berk and Nigel Sanders demonstrated tack and adhesive strength of several common types of tape while a somewhat familiar punny bovine advocated "Use Mor Casein" (for glue) instead of synthetic variants. Berks Chapter sponsored a resume workshop, Halloween Chemistry for kids and Slime Time Online [in cooperation with the Reading Science Center, the Cape Cod Science Cafe and STEM Journey] ...so what did U do for NCW this year? Let us know!
25 members tuned in for our Thursday, October 15th meeting with speaker Lorena Tribe of Penn State/Berks, providing some answers to: “Where will all of the CO2 go?”. Employing computer modeling techniques, Lorena discussed simulations of the thermodynamic of interactions between CO2 and the clay minerals kaolinite and montmorillonite. So where did the CO2 prefer to go? Read all about it in the upcoming November issue of the Octagon Newsletter.
It's Fall already, the leaves are turning and LVACS has just issued a newsy October edition of the Octagon including upcoming section events, plans for celebrating NCW and our newest feature which highlights prominent chemists in LVACS history, penned by Dr. Roger Egolf of PSU/LV.
Our first meeting of the 2020-2021 year at the Da Vinci Science Center September 17th was a socially-distanced success! 35 members gathered for a tour of the BRICKLive-Ocean outdoor exhibit, brief talks by Da Vinci staff about our community outreach partnership, presentation to LVACS of Da Vinci's Grand Maestro Award and future expansion plans for the Center, followed by our LVACS awards presentation, delayed from the spring. Congratulations once again to our awardees for HS Teacher-of-the-year, Corinne Long; Foundations in Chemistry Scholar Abigail Stocker and our Chemagination winners from Muhlenberg HS with their teacher/coach Audrey Smeltzer Schwab !! A full report on the event will be published in the October Octagon Newsletter in a couple of weeks so be looking out for that. Thanks to Lin Erickson, Judy Belaires and Tyler Groft of Da Vinci for hosting us and to John Freeman for organizing the awards ceremony!
We launched our first email campaign with MailChimp on September 2nd and with it the September 2020 issue of the Octagon Newsletter.
On August 12th LVACS was awarded full funding of $1400 for its proposal "High Quality Presentations for Lehigh Valley Members" submitted to the ACS Members Engaging Through Technology (METT) grant program in June. Thanks to George Ruger (Section chair), Greglynn Gibbs (Membership chair) and Caroline Multari (Safety chair) for putting together the winning proposal!
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly had a chilling effect on our normal in-person activity style but we are continuing to plan a 2020-2021 schedule of events, whether in-person or virtual (see the Meetings and Events page). We hope this new website and regular MailChimp emails will help increase member awareness as we flex to accommodate the restrictions which SARS-CoV-2 has thrown at us.
The Lehigh Valley ACS Section launched this website, https://www.lvacs.org, hosted by MailChimp, on August 1, 2020. The site, replacing one hosted by ACS.org and discontinued in May of 2019, will be used to further inform members of the section's activities and invite the local community to find out more about chemistry and how it impacts their daily lives.
Beginning in August, 2020, the Lehigh Valley Section will begin using MailChimp as its email campaign provider. Mailings to members will include monthly posts about the latest issue of The Octagon Newsletter, the section's journal of record, and more frequent e-newsletters and alerts about upcoming events and social media posts of interest.