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The ACS Committee on Local Section Activities is sponsoring two mini-grant programs for local sections: the Local Section Science Café Mini-Grant and the Local Section Bridging-the-Gap Mini-Grant. Local Sections are invited to apply for either or both grant opportunities; the deadline to apply falls on the same date: May 31, 2016. What follows is an explanation of both grant opportunities.


Science-Café Mini-Grant

If you are looking to plan an activity for your Local Section beyond just the ordinary monthly meeting, consider organizing a Science Café! Funding of up to $500 is available to local sections to host a single science café or ongoing science café series in their area. Science cafés provide a relaxed, open venue for non-scientists and scientists alike to discuss current general or special interest topics.

Learn more about Science Cafés and apply online.


Note: if your Section was awarded this mini-grant in 2015, your Section must submit a summary report if it wishes to be considered for this grant period.


Bridging-the-Gap Mini-Grant

The 2016 theme for this grant program is "New Technology to Increase New Member Involvement." With available funding of up to $500, ACS Local Sections are encouraged to identify and implement technology to engage new section members. "New technology" is defined as something that has never been used previously by the applying local section; it need not be cutting-edge.


Potential technology ideas for this mini-grant opportunity can include, but are not limited to:

  • Webinars for section meetings and other events
  • Regional Meeting Mobile Apps
  • Electronic Voting for Local Section Elections
  • Audience response systems (e.g., "Clickers")



Learn more about the 2016 Bridging-the-Gap Mini-Grant and apply online.


May 31, 2016 is the deadline to apply for both the Science Café and Bridging-the-Gap Mini-Grant programs.


If you have questions, concerns, or comments about either grant program, please contact

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.

American Chemical Society offers scholarships for chemists who want to become teachers and grants for chemistry teachers.


Have you ever wanted to teach chemistry? Or do you already teach chemistry, but you need some funding to back a creative idea for the classroom? If so, the American Chemical Society (ACS) is offering grants and scholarships that could make your dreams a reality.


Two types of scholarships are available, worth up to $6,000 per year:


The ACS-Hach Second Career Teacher Scholarships are awarded to chemists with an interest in pursuing a teaching career at the secondary or postsecondary level.


The ACS-Hach Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Scholarships are awarded to recent graduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral professionals with limited work experience and an interest in pursuing a teaching career at the secondary or postsecondary level.


In addition, ACS-Hach High School Chemistry Classroom Grants of up to $1,500 are available for high school chemistry teachers. The grants can be used to support ideas that enhance classroom learning, foster student development and reveal the wonders of chemistry.


Applications for the grants and scholarships are due April 1.


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.

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.

Professor of the Year 2015.jpg


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.

To supplement the online resources available to local sections on, we are featuring several exemplary Innovative Project Grants (IPG) proposals and final reports. Through reading these documents, you can get an in-depth understanding of the types of programs that LSAC has funded recently. Moreover, you can get a sense of the level of planning and reporting detail that is preferred by LSAC reviewers.

The LSAC Grants and Awards Subcommittee identified the following IPG proposals as outstanding in a particular area.

  • The Akron Local Section proposal involves many members for a self-sustaining project.
  • The Central Arkansas Local Section proposal is a prime example of small sections getting together to share resources.
  • The Tampa Bay Local Section proposal consists of specific planning details.
  • The Virginia Local Section proposal uses a unique opportunity (a centennial celebration) to stimulate member involvement.

Model IPG Reports

If you’re looking for further guidance on how to summarize your IPG-funded activity, feel free to resource these well-written IPG final reports (attached):

You can learn more about the Local Section IPG Program at The next deadline for submitting applications is January 31, 2016.

Contact with any questions about this program.

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

U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad program proudly announce the success of the Alpha Theta Team at the 47th International Chemistry Olympiad competition, which concluded July 29, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan.


David Wang of Monta Vista High School, CA, won the seventh highest ranking gold medal as well as the highest score in the lab practical examination.

Soorajnath Boominathan of Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, OK, Bryce Cai of Barrington High School, IL, and Janice Ong of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, VA, each earned a silver medal.


The USA Team competed against 286 students from 74 countries.


Congratulations Team USA for this great achievement!

Visit the Attendee Networking Lounge -- Need a Place to Talk?  Have a coffee, charge your phone, get the ACS Meeting app, win a prize…?

Attendee Networking Lounge

Sunday 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM, Mon and Tues 9 AM – 5 PM

Town Center of the ACS Exposition

Exhibit Halls A&B1

Boston Convention & Exhibit Center

These ads can be used in newsletters and websites to promote ACS Chemistry Ambassadors. For more information, visit

The U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad is proud to announce the finalists who will represent the U.S. at the 47th International Chemistry Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan, July 20-29, 2015.


The members of the U.S. Team Alpha Theta are:

Soorajnath Boominathan of Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, OK, Oklahoma Local Section;       

Bryce Cai of Barrington High School, IL, Chicago Local Section;

Janice Ong of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, VA, Chemical Society of Washington; and

David Wang of Monta Vista High School, CA, Santa Clara Valley Local Section  



1st alternate: Rueih-Sheng Fu, Arcadia High School, CA, Southern California Local Section

2nd alternate: Richard Wang, North Hollywood High School, CA, Southern California Local Section


The Team U.S. will travel to Azerbaijan accompanied by mentors:

  1. Dr. Kelli Slunt, University of Mary Washington, VA, Head Mentor
  2. Dr. Michael Danahy, Bowdoin College, ME, College Mentor
  3. Dr. Patrick Chan, Benjamin N. Cardozo High School, NY, High School Mentor


We wish the U.S. Team lots of luck in Baku!

Angela Morris

Become a Science Coach

Posted by Angela Morris Jun 5, 2015



Share your enthusiasm for chemistry with a teacher as an ACS Science Coach. As a year-long science coach, you will help students love science in a variety of roles such as presenting demonstrations, helping in the lab, or answering content questions. ACS donates $500 to each school participating in the Science Coaches program. Rolling admission is now open. Find out more at