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A U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad program proudly announced the success of the Alpha Iota Team at the 48th International Chemistry Olympiad competition, which concluded August 1, 2016, in Tbilisi, Georgia.


Alex Liu of The Village School, TX, won the eighth highest ranking gold medal;  Kevin Tang of Solon High School, OH, and Joyce Tian of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, VA, earned silver medals, and Zilu Pan from Canyon Crest Academy, CA, won bronze medal.


The USA Team competed against 260 students from 66 countries.


Congratulations Team USA for this great achievement!

ACS recognizes 57 members this year for outstanding achievements in and contributions to the science, the profession, and the ACS community. The new Fellows will be honored in Philadelphia at a ceremony hosted by ACS Immediate Past-President Diane Grob Schmidt. Learn more about the 2016 class of Fellows at

The Chemical Society of Washington and ACS are seeking speakers to discuss emerging developments in the chemical sciences for a U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) Technology Fair on July 12-13. Speakers can give their presentations at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, (just outside of Washington, D.C.) or via webcast. Presentations should be roughly an hour long and designed for patent examiners working in technologies related to your topic.

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     Photo credit: USPTO                                   Photo credit: Keri Moss Stearns

“You can’t relax for a second but it’s worth it!” Brian Colon-Rodriguez describes his schedule at the Illinois Institute of Technology where he is earning a chemical engineering degree and on the baseball team. In a brief interview Brian shares the similarities between baseball and chemical engineering, the best advice he’s received, and how the ACS Scholars Program has influenced his life.

U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad Program is proud to announce the 20 finalists who will attend the Chemistry Olympiad Study Camp, May 31-June 15, 2016, at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA. The students will compete for a spot on the team representing the United States at the 48th International Chemistry Olympiad in Tbilisi, Georgia, July 23-August 1, 2016.


U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad Program is proud to announce the 20 finalists who will attend the Chemistry Olympiad Study Camp, May 31-June 15, 2016, at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA. The students will compete for a spot on the team representing the United States at the 48th International Chemistry Olympiad in Tbilisi, Georgia, July 23-August 1, 2016.


The 20 finalists: thirteen boys and seven girls, representing fifteen ACS local sections and ten states are:

1. Miles Dai*, Carmel High School, IN, Indiana Local Section

2. Brian Daniels, Beavercreek High School, OH, Dayton Local Section

3. Lily Ireton, Brighton High School, MI, Detroit Local Section

4. Alex Liu, The Village School, TX, Greater Houston Local Section

5. Steven Liu, Monta Vista High School, CA, Santa Clara Valley Local Section

6. Benjamin Nguyen, Valencia High School, CA, Orange County Local Section

7. Zilu Pan, Canyon Crest Academy, CA, San Diego Local Section

8. Eric Qian, Stevenson High School, IL, Chicago Local Section

9. Jeffrey Shi, Marcellus High School, NY, Central New York Local Section

10. Yusha Sun, A&M Consolidated High School, TX, Texas A&M Local Section

11. Kevin Tang*, Solon High School, OH, Cleveland Local Section

12. Joyce Tian, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, VA, Chemical Society of Washington Local Section

13. Anjali Walia, Irvington High School, CA, California Local Section

14. Anushka Walia*, Irvington High School, CA, California Local Section

15. Harrison Wang, Hinsdale Central High School, IL, Chicago Local Section

16. Shannon Weng, West Windsor Plainsboro High School South, NJ, Princeton Local Section

17. Junyu Yang**, Troy High School, CA, Orange County Local Section

18. Brendan Yap, Carmel High School, IN, Indiana Local Section

19. Allen Zhang, Carmel High School, IN, Indiana Local Section

20. Lillian Zhu, Buchholz High School, FL, Florida Local Section


* Students who participated in 2015 USNCO Study Camp

** Students who participated in 2014 USNCO Study Camp


At the Study Camp the students will be mentored by faculty of the Department of Chemistry of the UMW and the following mentors:

Dr. Kelli Slunt, University of Mary Washington, VA, Head Mentor

Dr. Patrick Chan, Benjamin N. Cardozo High School, NY, High School Mentor

Dr. Christine Saber, Gannon University, PA, College Mentor

Dr. Jacob Sanders, Harvard University, MA, Peer Mentor

Mr. Sidharth Chand, Harvard University, MA, Peer Mentor

As a retired professor of chemistry and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Wyoming, Dr. E. Gerald Meyer has dedicated his life to promoting education in the sciences. Still active in this pursuit at the age of 95, Gerry knows that passing the torch to a new generation of scientists requires professional and financial support from current members of the American Chemical Society. "You've got a responsibility to see to it that there are capable people who study chemistry to take your place when you're no longer able to do the work," he says. Read more about Gerry


If you’ve put off writing your will or making plans for your estate, you’re not alone. However, now is a great opportunity to establish your legacy. Don’t wait to take the first step—you may actually feel relieved as you get things in order. Follow five straightforward steps provided in the Personal Planning Road Map. For a complimentary copy, email with your name and address. Or visit the ACS Legacy Planning website for financial and estate planning information.

Angela Morris

The Power of a Mentor

Posted by Angela Morris May 5, 2016

For someone who has encouraged countless students to pursue their dreams, it is no surprise Zaida defines her life by her mentors and lives by the golden rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” From a small town in Puerto Rico to the only woman in her class at Penn State to keeping tabs on hundreds of ACS Scholars, learn how “Mama Z” came to be.


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Photo Credit: Linda Wang/C&EN

We have all heard of chemical lab fires and accidents and even 1 or 2 law suits relating to them. In response to members’ interest, the ACS Member Insurance Program is now offering a new Chemical Educators Legal Liability policy.  It provides the coverage necessary for chemistry educators in case of lab accidents. Currently the insurance marketplace offers minimal protection for chemical educators by excluding Contingent Bodily Injury and Pollution Liability from their standard educators’ legal liability policies. This new ACS plan will help educators protect themselves against risks within classrooms, teaching and research labs, and community outreach activities.  With a choice of four risk categories and annual rates that range from $250 to $550, members can select the option that best fits their needs.  If you would like to know more, call 202-263-4018 to speak to the Program Administrator for the Chemical Educators plan.


The ACS Member Insurance Program offers coverages and policies for every stage of life to ACS and AACT members. To learn more about the insurance plans available to you, visit, or call 800-227-5558 x6037.

See attachment for information on the 2016 Spring Presidential Symposium in San Diego, CA during the 251st ACS National Meeting.

Nominations are now open for the 2016 class of ACS Fellows; the deadline for nominations is April 1, 2016. The ACS Fellows Program recognizes ACS members for excellence and leadership in both of two areas: (1) science, the profession, education, and/or management, and (2) volunteer service in the ACS community. Nominations are submitted online and are solicited from ACS National Committees, Local Sections, and Divisions, as well as from individual members. We look forward to receiving your nominations and the opportunity to recognize chemical professionals who are making an impact. Please visit for additional information.

Nominations for the 2016 Helen M. Free Award for Public Outreach> are also due.


The Award recognizes outstanding achievements in the field of public outreach by an ACS  member who improves public recognition and appreciation for the contributions of chemistry. Winners receive a crystal award and a $1000 prize.


Nominations must be submitted using the Helen M Free nomination form.

Sent on behalf of Dr. Alan M. Ehrlich

Vice Chair, ACS Council Policy Committee (CPC)

And Dr. Carolyn Ribes-Chair, CPC Long-Range Planning Subcommittee


To the ACS Local Section & Division Chairs and Councilors,

Election to Council represents, for many, a first opportunity to participate as a volunteer leader at the national level.  The American Chemical Society would like to thank you for your leadership and commitment to our vision, “Improving people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry.” 


On behalf of the ACS Council Policy Committee, we would like to ask for your support with encouraging new leaders from your local sections and divisions to attend special events that are being planned in 2016. All newly elected Councilors and Alternate Councilors are asked to participate in a one-hour New Councilor Webinar scheduled on Tuesday, February 2 at 3:00 p.m.; the ACS New Councilor Orientation Program and Reception which will take place at the ACS 2016 Spring National Meeting in San Diego, CA on Saturday, March 12 starting at 3:30 p.m.; and the ACS Council Meeting on Wednesday, March 16 at 8:00 a.m. 

These events are being planned to help new Councilors prepare for their first national meeting in this role and become more familiar with ACS and the responsibilities of being a Councilor. They will receive information on ways to enhance their leadership skills, and become more involved with the ACS community.  Given the importance of the new role, CPC has established the ACS Councilor Mentorship Program. We have assembled a number of experienced leaders who have volunteered to be a key resource for our new leaders.

We’ve prepared a calendar of events for advance planning. If you have any questions regarding the schedule or information relating to the events, please send a message to and someone will respond to assist you.

Thanks for your willingness to serve the American Chemical Society!



Alan and Carolyn

Chemistry educators honored as 2015 Professors of the Year


WASHINGTON, Nov. 24, 2015 — For her accomplishments both inside and outside the classroom, Amina K. El-Ashmawy, Ph.D., has been named a 2015 U.S. Professor of the Year. El-Ashmawy, who is a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS), is one of just four professors to earn this year’s national honor. In addition, 35 professors have been designated as 2015 state Professors of the Year, including five chemistry professors who are ACS members.

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El-Ashmawy, a professor of chemistry at Collin College in McKinney, Texas, was selected as Outstanding Community Colleges Professor of the Year through a program sponsored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.


“I teach to make a long-term, positive impact on students’ lives by making science fun, interesting and relevant,” El-Ashmawy says. “I use everyday examples and analogies to make each topic memorable and relevant. A bad hair day becomes a hydrogen-bonding phenomenon, and cooking spaghetti becomes an exercise in intermolecular forces and time management.” She also helps students understand how the material they are learning relates to important societal challenges.


El-Ashmawy earned an A.S. in science from Kilgore College in Kilgore, Texas; a B.A. in chemistry from Texas A&M University in College Station; and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of North Texas in McKinney.


The state winners who are ACS members are Neil K. Garg of the University of California, Los Angeles; Daniel Gurnon of DePauw University; Susan E. Shadle of Boise State University; Nevart Tahmazian of Montgomery College, Rockville Campus; and Vincente Talanquer of the University of Arizona.


The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 158,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals, and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.


To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact

Image credit: Collin College/Nick Young Click here for a high-resolution version.

The ACS Strategic Plan for 2015 and Beyond, developed by the ACS Board of Directors with input from our members, marks a new set of challenges/opportunities and strategic objectives in our blueprint for how the Society plans to support and provide value to our members and the chemistry enterprise. The four strategic goals are how ACS will marshal our unique resources to:

  1. Provide Information
  2. Advance Member Careers
  3. Improve Education
  4. Communicate Chemistry’s Value

Explore more ways to  engage with members at the National Meeting through the “Get Involved” tabs for each goal by visiting