Trenton ACS Local Section



Chemistry Safety Video Contest

The Trenton local section is holding a Chemical Safety Video Contest!


Trenton ACS members and friends, the time is here for an event which will give you a chance to express your creativity, network with your peers, share and enhance your knowledge of Chemical Safety, and win great $$ prizes!


From September 15th to October 15th, 2018, the window for submission for Safety Video proposals will be open. Once a team or individual submits a proposal, they will have the opportunity to interact with chemical safety experts from the ACS, create a great video, and participate in a fun awards ceremony at which outstanding videos will be recognized in multiple categories including "best picture".


The Trenton ACS invites members and friends of the ACS community to submit educational safety videos for the contest.

To submit a proposal please use the following link to the Trenton ACS Video Safety Contest.

We look forward to your participation in the event, if you have any questions please contact the current Trenton ACS Chair, Matt Crowe (

Here are the details to guide you through the proposal and video submission process:

Length of the video:  2-3 minutes

Format of the video:  Youtube uploads. Must follow youtube community standards.  No copyrighted materials can be used. Mp4 should also be submitted.  

All videos must be “PG” rated and have educational value.

All videos should be conducted using proper safety protocols. Please do not behave in an unsafe manner to demonstrate the benefits of safety!

Limit 4 people in production, unlimited number of actors (maximum of 4 gift cards)


The Process:

1.             Submit proposal for safety video

Proposal submission window:  September 15 to October 15, 2018

2.             Receive feedback on proposal, potential funding support, free ACS safety materials, and a safety mentor for your team

Proposal decisions will be communicated no later than November 1, 2018

Safety mentors will be assigned to each team and will be expected to check in with teams on November 15, December 1, and December 15.

3.             Create your video!!

4.             Submit your video

Final video submissions are due December 21!

5.             Participate in the Awards Ceremony

Nominees for awards announced no later than January 22

Awards ceremony:  February 9 (with a potential snow date February 23)


Proposal Format: (There will be a Google form available September 15 on Trenton ACS website)

Each proposal must include the following information:

  1. Production Team members
  2. Team leader
  3. Email address for team leader
  4. School/institution with zip code
  5. Local faculty/teacher mentor/champion
  6. Topic of video
  7. Anticipated learning outcomes
  8. 200 words describing the content of the video
  9. Estimated budget (itemized, Trenton ACS will support no more than $50)


Suggested Topics:

Safety in the undergraduate teaching lab (general, organic, etc.)

Safety in the high school lab

Chemical safety at home

            Kitchen chemicals


            Prescription medications

            Home improvement chemicals

Music parodies (must have an strong educational component)

Safety in the research lab

            Ionizing radiation safety

            Laser safety

            Gas cylinders

            Cryogen safety


Glove selection and proper use

Root cause analysis (analyzing a previous safety incident, do not reproduce)

Hazard labeling

Flammable chemical safety

Fume hood use

Waste disposal

Green chemistry (specifically minimizing toxicity, waste)


Awards Categories:

            Best video overall by undergraduate

            Best video overall by high school students

            Best use of costume design (PPE)

            Best educational drama or documentary

            Best educational comedy or musical


            Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners! 


Things to consider in videos:


Recognizing hazards

Assessing risk of hazards

Minimizing risks

Prepare for emergencies



Tech suggestions:

Free Mac options to edit videos:  iMovie

PC options to edit videos: lightworks,

Record videos using cell phones 


And here are some Examples with critiques:

 Content is accurate

 Presentation is not engaging

 Presentation is very engaging

 However, MANY unsafe practices are used in the video

 Presentation is engaging

 Education content is present, but may be too general to make an impact.

 Some safety concerns with with the open flame, inconsistent PPE

 Presentation is engaging

 Education content is very high but learning goals are demonstrated through the use of unsafe practices, which sends mixed messages and is not appropriate for this competition.

 Clear learning goals, no unsafe practices were demonstrated

 Could be updated using the most recent ACS Safety Guidelines

 Animations may be challenging for the short turn around of video production


Food Chemistry Careers Event


Are you getting your degree in chemistry and want to know more about your career options? Are you interested in food chemistry and the possibility of exploring a career in the food industry?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, then an event planned for October 6, 2018 is right up your alley!


The Trenton ACS is holding a Food Chemistry Careers Event, in which experts from the food industry will speak about their careers, what they do day-to-day, and how they got to their current positions, sharing tips for success they learned along the way. Event attendees will have the opportunity to network with area food scientists, interact with the food chemistry career panel, and of course enjoy tasty treats throughout the event!


The event will be held on October 6th, 2018, 1-5 pm at The College of New Jersey, Physics 101 lecture hall. See this posting for more details as the event gets closer.

If you plan to attend please RSVP at:



Link to Campus Map


We look forward to seeing you at the event!

If you have any questions please contact the current Trenton ACS Chair, Matt Crowe (

Support for this event is being provided by PittCon 2019.




Trenton Local Section Awards Dinner 2018

We invite you to help us honor the amazing chemistry talent in the Trenton Local Section: the Chemistry Olympiad students, high school scholarship award winners, college award winners, outstanding high school teachers, and 50+ year members of the ACS. Please join us for dinner and the awards ceremony. After dinner, we welcome guests to tour the chemistry facilities of TCNJ.

Place:  The College of New Jersey, in the 1855 Room (inside of Eickhoff Hall), 2000 Pennington Road, Ewing, NJ

Parking:  Parking Lot 12 (a.k.a. Packer Lot)

Date:  May 1, 2018

Time:  6:00 pm for buffet dinner; approximately 6:30 pm the ceremony begins

Cost:  $25/person (bring cash or check to the dinner)

RSVP:  April 24, 2018 by 12:00 pm,

Menu for Tuscan Garden Buffet

Herb Grilled Chicken

Penne Vodka (no meat)

Caesar Salad

Rolls and Butter

Antipasto platter

Mini Italian pastries

Iced Tea, Coffee, Tea, Water, Lemonade

If you or your guest(s) need a separate children’s meal (reduced rate) or have special dietary needs (vegan, Kosher, non dairy, gluten free, etc.), please indicate your needs in your RSVP.


Meet the Trenton Local Section ACS Executive Board Networking Session

Seasons 52, bar area

Thursday, February 22, 2018, 5-7 pm

We want your ideas!  Come chat with us in this informal session!  Dutch Treat, Happy Hour Pricing


Opioids:  Fighting Addiction with Chemistry

The TCNJ Student Chemists Association hosts the next ACS Program-in-a-Box

Join us for a live interactive webcast hosted by the ACS on this timely subject, prizes to be given out

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 7:00 pm. 

TCNJ Campus, Science Complex, Physics-128.  Parking can be found in the commuter lots 5 and 6 after 5 pm.

Questions?  email Benny Chan at





 Trenton ACS Councilors Attend National ACS Meeting in Washington D.C.!

Your Councilors represented the Trenton local section at the District III Caucus, Council meeting, and at Committee events, see 2017 Events & Opportunities below for more details.


Trenton ACS Election Results!

Your votes have been counted and your 2017 elected officials for the Trenton ACS board have been determined. See the Elections page for results and the Officers page for the 2017 board of the Trenton ACS. 



 Trenton ACS Annual Awards Banquet

At the annual Trenton ACS Awards Banquet, we honored our Chemistry Olympiad Winners, TrACS High School Scholarship Winners, 50-year members, Outstanding High School Chemistry Teachers, and Top Undergraduates at our local area colleges and universities!

Date and Time:  Tuesday, May 16, social mixer 6:00 pm, dinner 6:30 pm.

Location:  Piccolo Trattoria: Hopewell Crossing Shopping Center, 800 R Denow Rd, Pennington, NJ 08534


Mentoring Opportunities

We are seeking members who are interested in mentoring local high school students to pursue college degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.  Through many of our programs at TCNJ and Rider, we have discovered the importance of mentoring, particularly for underrepresented minorities.  We are hoping the active mentoring will assist students to enter local and regional science competitions.  Students from Rider and TCNJ will assist in the mentoring.  We will offer a short training session before the mentoring activities.  Interested members should contact Benny Chan,



254th ACS National Meeting & Expo: Trenton ACS Councilor Report

Benny Chan & Abby O'Connor


We had another exciting meeting in Washington DC. ACS did hand out free eclipse glasses at several kiosks throughout the convention center. Monday afternoon talks were a bit slim as ACS was outmatched by nature and many sessions took a break to let folks view the eclipse. The eclipse in DC was an excellent experience.

Dr. Chan attended the Committee on Minority Affairs meeting.  The ACS Scholars program is running strong.  We have two local students at TCNJ participating in the program.  Programming at national and regional meetings by CMA with co-sponsorship with several technical divisions is underway. Dr. Chan specifically worked with the membership engagement and training subcommittee.  One of his task this meeting was to work with the Diversity and Inclusion advisory board to develop the first workshop for diversity.  He with Lee Penn (U. Minnesota) and Ben Fiore-Walker (ACS) developed a workshop titled “Tools for creating equity in the chemical work, volunteer, and education spaces.”  This interactive workshop was advertised to committees and board members as a pilot.  We believe these types of activities will be incorporated into the ACS Leadership Development System. We are excited that the Trenton ACS will have representation in this important area.

Dr. Crowe did not attend the meeting. Alternate Dr. O’Connor attended the meeting on his behalf.  

Dr. O’Connor attended the MARM board meeting held on Tuesday morning. There is no MARM scheduled for 2018 and an awards dinner along with a Chemagination competition will take place most likely in the Lehigh Valley. The next MARM is scheduled to be held in 2019 at UMBC. A MARM for 2020 is not going to be scheduled because the national ACS meeting will be in Philadelphia in 2020. Jeanne Berk of the Lehigh Valley Local Section will be the MARM board regional awards chair. In addition, the MARM board voted to pay for travel to attend the ACS leadership institute for chair or co-chair in a local section hosting a MARM as the planning regional meetings workshops will be folded into the leadership institute.

Council meeting was quite interesting this fall. A council discussion and vote to allow international chapters to receive financial support failed the ⅔ margin by 1%. This is disappointing as many chemistry outreach programs that were planned on the international level cannot occur through the ACS. In addition a petition to add a new provisional Division of Space Chemistry failed. This is in alignment with previous attempts to add other divisions such as Nanotechnology. Finally, the South Jersey Local section acquired the Ocean County local section much to the Philadelphia local section’s dismay. Trenton had previously attempted to acquire Ocean County but we do not have a physical geographic border with those zip codes. The councilors of the Trenton section actively discussed plans to collaborate and bring boards together with area local sections to increase activities in the area.

Additional council actions are noted in the talking points.


Councilor Talking Points


Summary of Governance Issues and Actions

The following summary is provided to help Councilors report to their Local Sections and Divisions on key actions of the ACS Council meeting held August 23, 2017 and the Board of Directors meetings held August 18-19, 2017, at the 2017 ACS fall national meeting in Washington, District of Columbia. Full reports will be posted on the ACS Website as they become available.

Actions of the Council

Election Results:  Elected Committees of Council

§  By electronic ballot, the Council elected Karl S. Booksh, Mark D. Frishberg, Zaida C. Morales Martinez, and Linette M. Watkins for three-year terms (2018-2020), and Ella L. Davis for a one-year term (2018) on the Council Policy Committee (CPC).

*Karl S. Booksh                209

James C. Carver                                180

Dwight W. Chasar          140

*Ella L. Davis                     203

*Mark D. Frishberg        207

Lydia E.M. Hines                               165

Will E. Lynch                                        190

*Zaida C. Morales Martinez      215

Barbara P. Sitzman                         150

*Linette M. Watkins                      260


·    By electronic ballot, the Council elected Michael Appell, Neil D. Jespersen, Mamie W. Moy, Eleanor D. Siebert, and Julianne M.D. Smist for three-year terms (2018-2020) on the Committee on Nominations and Elections (N&E).

Anthony W. Addison    159

Joe D. Allison                    103

*Michael Appell              165

Mark A. Benvenuto       149

Arindam Bose                   140

*Neil D. Jespersen        237

*Mamie W. Moy              269

*Eleanor D. Siebert       252

*Julianne M.D. Smist   228

Keith R. Vitense                                134


·    By electronic ballot, the Council elected Mitchell R. M. Bruce, Jetty Duffy-Matzner, Martha G. Hollomon, Diane Krone, and Robert A. Pribush for three-year terms (2018-2020) on the Committee on Committees (ConC).

*Mitchell R. M. Bruce 225

*Jetty Duffy-Matzner   223

Rick Ewing                           177

Barbara R. Hillery          115

*Martha G. Hollomon 187

Judith M. Iriarte-Gross  163

Russell W. Johnson      123

*Diane Krone                    192

*Robert A. Pribush        227

Susan M. Schelble         184

Other Council Actions

Amendments to the ACS Bylaws

§  A recommendation by the Committee on Membership Affairs that Council approve the Petition on International Chemical Sciences Chapters narrowly failed to achieve the two-thirds majority required to amend the Bylaws.  The proposal would have amended Bylaw IX, Section 4, to permit financial support for International Chemical Sciences Chapters and to remove language from the Bylaws prohibiting Chapters from having representation on Council.

Probationary Division of Space Chemistry

§  The Council defeated a proposal from the Committee on Divisional Activities that it establish a probationary Division of Space Chemistry, effective January 1, 2018.

Change in Local Section Territory

§  On the recommendation of the Committee on Local Section Activities, the Council approved a petition from the South Jersey Local Section to annex the unassigned and adjacent territory of Ocean County, New Jersey.


§  The Council passed resolutions in memory of deceased Councilors; acknowledging President Allison A. Campbell’s service as presiding officer of the Council; and in gratitude for the officers and members of the Chemical Society of Washington, the host Section for the 254th National Meeting, the divisional program chairs and symposium organizers, and ACS staff.

Highlights from Committee Reports

Nominations and Elections

The Committee on Nominations and Elections solicits Councilors’ input of qualified individuals for President-Elect and/or Directors for future consideration. Suggestions may be sent to

Ballots for the 2017 fall national election will be distributed on September 29, with a voting deadline four weeks later, on October 27. In a change of procedures, all members with an email address on file and eligible to vote will receive an electronic ballot with the option to request a paper ballot. Those members with no email address on file will be sent a paper ballot with the option to still vote electronically. The ACS election vendor, Survey & Ballot Systems, will send three email reminders during the voting period to those who have not voted as of the reminder date.

Budget and Finance

The Society’s 2017 Probable 1 Projection calls for a Net from Operations of $25.3 million. This is $2.1 million favorable to the Approved Budget and $1.6 million higher than 2016.  Total revenues are projected to be $553.0 million, which is $2.4 million unfavorable to the budget, but 5.0% higher than the prior year. Total expenses are projected at $527.6 million, which is $4.5 million favorable to the budget, and 4.9% higher than 2016.

The Committee considered several program funding requests for 2018, and on its recommendations, the Board subsequently approved funding for the ACS Online Course in Laboratory Safety and the New Faculty Workshop Series for inclusion in the 2018 Proposed Budget and the 2019-2020 Forecast.

Additional information can be found at, at the bottom of the page, click ‘About ACS’, then ‘Financial’.  There you will find several years of the Society’s audited financial statements and IRS 990 filings.

Washington Meeting Attendance

The theme of the 254th ACS National Meeting was “Chemistry’s Impact on the Global Economy.” As of Tuesday evening, August 22, attendance was:

Attendees             7,938   

Students                                  2,997   

Exhibitors              1, 068

Expo only                 475

Guest                         426

Total               12,904

Petitions to Amend the Constitution and Bylaws

New petitions to amend the Constitution or Bylaws must be received by the Executive Director no later than November 29 to be included in the Council agenda for consideration at the spring 2018 meeting in New Orleans. Contact the Committee on Constitution and Bylaws with any questions or requests for information at

Actions of the Board of Directors

The Board’s Executive Session

At this meeting, the ACS Board of Directors considered a number of key strategic issues and responded with several actions.

The Board’s Committees

The Board of Directors received and discussed reports from its committees on the Petroleum Research Fund, Strategic Planning, Corporation Associates, Executive Compensation, Professional and Member Relations, the Society Committee on Budget and Finance, the ACS Governing Board for Publishing, and the Joint Board-Council Task Force on Governance Design.

  • On the recommendation of the Committee on Professional and Member Relations, the Board voted to approve the Society’s nominees for the 2018 Perkin Medal, and the 2018 National Science Board Public Service Award.

  • On the recommendation of the Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications and an Editor Selection Committee, the Board voted to approve the appointment and reappointment of several editors-in-chief for ACS journals.

  • On the recommendation of the Society Committee on Budget and Finance, the Board voted to approve the advance member registration fee for national meetings held in 2018 at $475; and to authorize two new program funding requests: an ACS Online Course in Laboratory Safety, and a New Faculty Workshop Series.

The Executive Director/CEO Report

  • The Executive Director/CEO and his direct reports provided updates to the Board on the activities of Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) and the ACS Publications Division. He offered current and proposed strategies to increase membership in the Society; reported on safety initiatives, resources and security; and provided an update on the Atlantic Basin Conference on Chemistry (ABCChem) scheduled for January 2018.  As part of his report, he invited the Treasurer to brief the Board on the Enterprise Financial Systems Program (EFSP), which is unifying several financial operations for Society staff; the Financial Planning Conference in early November; and ACS Development Activities.

Other Society Business

  • The Board held discussions with members of the Presidential Succession on their current activities and those planned for 2018.

  • The Board also held a discussion with officers and members of the board of directors of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) on what governance participation might look like at the organizations’ annual meetings, possible meetings between ACS and NOBCChE at the ACS Leadership Institute, dual membership between both organizations, strategic alliances of student chapters at the local section and regional levels, and ACS Board participation at NOBCChE Annual Conferences.

The Board’s Regular Session

The Board held a well-attended regular session which featured a discussion on the role ACS and its members play in advocating for adoption of important public policy priorities to foster scientific advancement and innovation.  Mr. Glenn Ruskin, Director, External Affairs & Communications in the Office of the Secretary and General Counsel, and Mr. Anthony Pitagno, Director of Government Affairs and Outreach, External Affairs & Communications, spoke about the critically important role federal investment in basic research plays in driving U.S. innovation, job creation and economic growth.  A question and answer session followed the presentation, first with the presenters, and then with the Board for general concerns and comments.

Prior to the presentation, members of the presidential succession and the Executive Director and CEO offered brief reports on their activities. The officers provided more extensive reports on their activities and/or future plans as part of their written and oral reports to the Council.


253rd ACS National Meeting & Expo: Trenton ACS Councilor Report

Matt Crowe & Benny Chan

Trenton ACS Councilors Matt Crowe and Benny Chan traveled to San Francisco to attend the 2017 Spring National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The Councilors represented the Trenton local section of the ACS at the District III Caucus, at the ACS Council meeting, and at ACS Committee events. Matt is an associate member of the Committee on Chemical Safety (CCS) and participated in activities relevant to that committee. Benny is a member of the Committee on Minority Affairs (CMA) and participated in activities relevant to that committee. The following are highlights of the meeting from the perspective of the Trenton ACS Councilors.

District III Caucus

The 2017 Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting (MARM) will be held June 4-6 at Hershey Park. Additional information can be found at:

The remainder of the District III Caucus covered many of the same topics captured in the Council Talking Points (below); those items will not be re-stated here.

MARM Board Meeting

The next few MARMs have been announced.  Hotel Registration for the 2017 MARM has opened, the Hershey lodge is a steal at $190/night (normally $400/night).  Register soon!  The 2018 MARM is questionable at this point and was to be hosted at UDel.  The 2019 MARM will be held at UMdBC.  The 2020 MARM was originally slated for the North Jersey Section but they have not made a final decision.

Committee on Chemical Safety (CCS)

Since the past ACS national meeting, progress has been made by the Committee on Chemical Safety on many fronts. Here is a list of the most significant accomplishments:

1.       Safety has been added to the list of core values of the ACS. The core value formerly described as “Professionalism”, now reads “Professionalism, Safety, and Ethics.” CCS and the Division of Chemical Safety (CHAS) have been working to improve safety culture in the chemical profession and applaud the ACS board for making this change. Safety is featured prominently in the 2017 ACS Strategic Plan.

2.       ACS journals have initiated a new safety reporting requirement due to research and efforts by CCS and several recent high profile safety incidents. Starting in 2017, authors must “address and emphasize any unexpected, new, and/or significant hazards or risks associated with reported work”. Reviewers are also now asked to comment on safety aspects of work being reviewed. Safety, which had been part of the “ethics” portion of many journals, has been moved to the author guidelines for ACS journals.

3.       The 8th edition of Safety in Academic Laboratories (SACL) has been published. This edition includes new sections on safety culture and incorporates changes in the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard to reflect the use of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS).

4.       CCS, CHAS, and ACS public policy have issued a public policy statement entitled Safety in the Chemical Enterprise. This statement is targeted at regulators and policymakers and addresses the ACS’s position on regarding laws and regulations impacting chemical safety. The full statement can be found at:

Committee on Minority Affairs (CMA).

The Committee on Minority Affairs met on Sunday of the ACS meeting. Councilor Chan is now a full member of the committee. The agenda was fully packed with several interested parties presenting to the CMA. CMA had discussions on the current strategic plan and how to weave diversity and inclusion more into the society. There was also had an update on the ACS Scholars program from the new program manager Racquel Jemison. CMA is preparing a diversity and inclusion statement to be adopted by The Society and the committee’s version is being forwarded to the directors. The Engagement and Professional Development Subcommittee is working with the Diversity and Inclusion Board to create a new diversity and inclusion module in the ACS Leadership Development System. CMA plans to pilot a module at the DC meeting. A significant amount of programming occurred at the 253rd meeting and more is planned for the 254th meeting in DC.

Council Meeting

The official Councilor Talking Points can be found at the end of the report. An additional topic which warrants further consideration is the topic of “bathroom bill” legislation, the ACS stance on this issue, and contributions to the discussion made by groups within the ACS. This legislation, recently repealed in North Carolina and currently being discussed in Texas, has the potential to infringe upon the civil rights of ACS members attending national meetings and violates the ACS core values of Diversity and Inclusion. The following was contributed by the Trenton local section.

During the Meetings and Exhibition report we made a stand on the bathroom bills around the country. The Division of Inorganic Chemistry made a statement first to boycott the San Antonio meeting. The Trenton local section made a statement. M&E is ready to pull the meeting if SB6 passes. SOCED in their earlier report included a statement on the trans issue from their meeting. Division of Fluorine chemistry announced the support of Division of Inorganic Chemistry on this matter. Talking to a bunch of people throughout the meeting on this issue, in the form of a policy and/or public statement (this part of is very nebulous right now), will be going through all the committees. So we will have more opportunities to offer important feedback on this policy/public statement. I am working Lee Penn with the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board to work on a bias workshop.  We are trying to push for an intersectionality and privilege model to respond to bias.   After council meeting, I received many glowing comments. I also received some major glares. We still have a lot of work to do on issues of inclusion and education. 

Statement prepared approved by the Trenton local section executive board. Actual oral statement varied a bit in an attempt to add information from the current discussions of that occurred.

“Benny Chan from the Trenton Local Section.  I want to thank all of the people, especially from SOCED and the Division of Inorganic Chemistry, for bringing this to council.  I am a cis gender male who recognizes my privileges and personal biases.  I use my privilege to fight for the rights of others and I constantly self reflect on my personal biases to create a more just society. This pending bathroom bill in Texas, SB6, is not just about bathrooms being used by chemists at the San Antonio ACS meeting. It’s about a part of our chemistry community to have the right to exist; to exist in an environment without fear of harassment and violence. This bill not only affects the trans chemists, but also affects anyone who does not follow binary gender expression. A cis gender man with feminine dress or features, or a cis gender woman with masculine dress or features could all be targets. These bills embolden the confrontation of anyone who does not fit traditional masculine and feminine expression. This results in a dehumanizing form of harassment that is completely against the Core Value of the ACS. We all deserve the right to exist and attend our meetings without harassment and violence. 

The "repeal" of the North Carolina law is not really a repeal at all and the parts being maintained to allow for significant discrimination to continue. The Texas bill may not pass in the end but that should not stop the ACS from being proactive on inclusivity. The specific recommendation I have for the ACS is that we should use our Diversity and Inclusion statement to create a policy to ensure that our meetings are held in places where our attendees can attend without harassment laws. The AAAS and the American Physical Society have moved their meetings when the local laws have changed. The ACS should do the same. I recommend that our future contracts with the host cities have an escape clause to relocate our meeting to a different city and/or state if nondiscrimination protections are withdrawn between the signing of the contract and the meeting. My final recommendation is to work with our membership; the STEM disciplines have ignored social identities and how our identities affect how we do science, which creates biases against marginalized populations. We need to change our culture to be more inclusive.”


Councilor Talking Points:

Summary of Governance Issues and Actions

The following summary is provided to help Councilors report to their Local Sections and Divisions on key actions of the ACS Council meeting held April 5, and Board of Directors meetings held March 31 – April 2, at the 2017 spring national meeting in San Francisco, California.

Actions of the Council

Election Results

Candidates for President-Elect, 2018

§  The Committee on Nominations and Elections presented to the Council the following nominees for selection as candidates for President-Elect, 2018: Bonnie A. Charpentier, Mark D. Frishberg, Anne M. Gaffney, and Willie E. May.  By electronic ballot, the Council selected Bonnie A. Charpentier and Willie E. May as candidates for 2018 President-Elect.  These two candidates, along with any candidates selected via petitions, will stand for election in the Fall National Election.


                                                President-Elect, 2018a


1st Round

2nd Round

3rd Round

*Bonnie A. Charpentier




Mark D. Frishberg




Anne M. Gaffney




*Willie E. May





a431 valid electronic ballots were cast, with 216 being the majority. The results of the first preference vote totals are shown in the 1st round column. No nominee attained a majority. Following the procedures approved by Council, second-preference votes were distributed in two subsequent rounds. Those marked with an * were declared elected as candidates.


Candidates for Districts III and VI

§  The Committee on Nominations and Elections announced the results of the election held prior to the San Francisco meeting to select candidates from the list of nominees for Directors from District III and District VI on the Board of Directors for the term 2018-2020.  By internet ballot, the Councilors from these districts selected Alan B. Cooper and Teri Quinn Gray as District III candidates; and Rita R. Boggs and Paul W. Jagodzinski as District VI candidates.  Ballots will be distributed on or before October 1 to all ACS members in District III and District VI for election of a Director from each District.




1st Round

2nd Round

3rd Round

Margaret A. Cavanaugh




*Alan B. Cooper




Anne S. DeMasi




*Teri Quinn Gray







1st Round

2nd Round

3rd Round

*Rita R. Boggs




Kevin P. Gable




*Paul W. Jagodzinski




Richard V. Williams





The results of the first preference vote totals are shown in the 1st round column. No nominee attained a majority. Following the procedures approved by Council, second-preference votes were distributed in two subsequent rounds. Those marked with an asterisk (*) were declared elected as candidates.


Candidates for Directors-at-Large

§  The Committee on Nominations and Elections announced the selection of the following candidates for Directors-at-Large for 2018-2020 terms:  Kenneth P. Fivizzani, Wayne E. Jones, Bonnie A. Lawlor, and Barbara A. Sawrey.  The election of two Directors-at-Large from among those candidates and any selected via petition will be conducted in the fall.  Ballots will be distributed to the Council on or before October 1, 2017.


Other Council Actions

Amendments to the ACS Bylaws

§  A recommendation by the Council Policy Committee to approve the Petition for the Removal of Officers and Councilors (Bylaw III, Sec. 1, i; Bylaw VII, Sec. 1, c; Bylaw VIII, Sec. 4, d) failed.


§  The Council approved the Petition on the Rights of Affiliates (Bylaw II, Sec. 1, a, 2, a, 3, b, (3) and (4)).


Procedures for Removal of a Councilor or Alternate Councilor

§  The Council voted to approve the Procedures for Removal of a Councilor or Alternate Councilor, contingent upon approval of the Petition for the Removal of Officers and Councilors.  As the petition subsequently failed, given the interdependence of the petition and related procedures, the procedures will not take effect.


2018 Member Dues

§  The Council voted on the recommendation of the Committee on Budget and Finance to set the member dues for 2018 at the fully escalated rate of $171. This rate is established pursuant to an inflation-adjustment formula in the ACS Constitution and Bylaws.


Distribution Formula for Division Funding

§  On the recommendation of the Committee on Divisional Activities, the Council approved a formula for allocating dues funds to divisions, effective with allocations for 2017 division performance.


Extension of Market Data Collection Test: International Chemical Sciences Chapters

§  On the recommendation of the Committee on Membership Affairs, the Council voted to extend the provision of $15 commissions to International Chemical Sciences Chapters which recruit new members.


Continuation of Committees

§  The Council approved the recommendation of the Committee on Committees that the Committee on Project SEED be continued; and that the committees on Chemists with Disabilities, on Public Relations and Communications, and on Women Chemists be continued contingent on approval of the Board of Directors.


Change in Local Section Name

§  On the recommendation of the Committee on Local Section Activities, the Council approved a petition from the Santa Clara Valley Local Section in California to change the name of the section to the Silicon Valley Local Section.



§  The Council passed resolutions in memory of deceased Councilors; in gratitude for the officers and members of the California and Santa Clara Local Sections, hosts for the 253rdNational Meeting; the divisional program chairs, symposium organizers, and ACS staff, for the planning and execution of the meeting.


Special Discussion

The Council conducted a special discussion, “ACS Yesterday and Today: Paving the Way to Tomorrow,” to gather input for the Joint Board-CPC Task Force on Governance Design.  Forty Councilors approached the floor microphones to share observations, comments, and suggestions to assist the task force in identifying opportunities and issues for governance improvement.  The task force offered three questions to guide the discussion:  What should the Society and its governance do differently to achieve its objects? If you could change one thing about ACS governance, what would it be?  What should the task force leave “as is”?  A poll conducted at the conclusion of the discussion revealed that 57% (222) of the Councilors disagreed that the current governance structure, processes and procedures are already optimal to achieving the objects of ACS in the 21st century, 16% (54) agreed, and 27% (104) needed more information.  Three-hundred and six (84%) said they would be willing to provide additional input and feedback to the task force.  They will be contacted by the task force in the coming weeks.

Highlights from Committee Reports

Online Preference Forms for Councilors

All Councilors, including new Councilors, were reminded to complete their online committee preference form for 2018 committee assignments, which is open from March 27 – June 9, 2017 at (log in required).

Nominations and Elections

The Committee on Nominations and Elections solicits Councilors’ input of qualified individuals for President-Elect and/or Directors for future consideration.  Suggestions may be sent to

Budget and Finance

In 2016, ACS generated a Net from Operations of $23.8 million, which was $7.2 million higher than 2015.  Total revenues were $526.8 million, increasing 2.9% or $15 million over 2015.  Expenses ended the year at $503 million, which was $7.8 million or 1.6% higher than prior year.  This was attributable to a continued emphasis on expense management across the organization.  The Society’s financial position strengthened in 2016, with Unrestricted Net Assets, or reserves, increasing from $163.3 million at December 31, 2015 to $206.5 million at year-end 2016.

Additional information can be found at  At bottom, click ‘About ACS’, then ‘ACS Financial Information’.  There you will find several years of the Society’s audited financial statements and IRS 990 filings.


As of December 31, 2016, the ACS membership was 156,129, which is 0.5% less than on the same date in 2015.  The number of new members who joined in 2016 is 23,700.  The Society’s overall retention rate is 83.5%.  The Committee on Membership Affairs also reported that the number of international members has increased to 27,388, exceeding the committee’s target by 5%.  Retention of graduate students increased by 2% to 76.2%.

San Francisco Meeting Attendance

As of Tuesday, April 4:

Attendees             9,797

Students                                6,914

Exhibitors              1,198 

Expo only                  475

Guest                        466

Total                    18,850



Petitions to Amend Constitution and Bylaws

New petitions to amend the Constitution or Bylaws must be received by the Executive Director no later than May 3 to be included in the Council agenda for consideration at the fall 2017 meeting in Washington, DC.  Contact C&B with any questions or requests for information at

Actions of the Board of Directors

The Board’s Executive Session

The ACS Board of Directors met March 31 – April 1, 2017, and considered a number of key strategic issues and responded with several actions.


The Board’s Committees

The Board of Directors received and discussed reports from its committees on Executive Compensation, Strategic Planning, Corporation Associates, Professional and Member Relations, and the Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications.


§  The Board received an extensive briefing and approved several recommendations from its Committee on Executive Compensation.  The compensation of the Society’s executive staff receives regular review from the Board.


§  On the recommendation of the Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications, the Board voted to approve the reappointments of Editors-in-Chief for several ACS journals.


§  On the recommendation of the Committee on Professional and Member Relations, the Board approved screened lists for the 2018 Priestley Medal and the ACS Award for Volunteer Service. From these lists, the Board will select the recipients of these awards.


The Executive Director/CEO Report

The Board received a report from the Executive Director and CEO on issues relating to the Information Technology area, the Executive Leadership Team retreat, ACS financials, and Board Regulations on the Governing Board for Publishing.  His direct reports updated the Board on the activities of Membership Division, Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) and the ACS Publications Division.



Other Society Business

The Board heard reports from the Presidential Succession on their current and planned activities for 2017.


As part of its ongoing commitment to consider the most important strategic issues facing the Society, the Board held a discussion and provided input to its Strategic Planning Committee on context setting and change drivers to be addressed during the strategic planning process.


The Board is developing a statement based on the Society’s Core Value of diversity and inclusion in response to the repeal of the North Carolina law known as House Bill 2 (‘bathroom bill’) and similar proposed legislation in Texas, and is assembling a representative group of stakeholders to advise it on actions relating to the location of Society meetings.


Board Retreat

The Board held a discussion on timing and topics of a possible facilitated retreat for all Board members during 2017.  The Board regularly holds these retreats to consider strategic issues in depth or for ongoing development.


Board Resolution

The Board passed a resolution expressing appreciation to Denise L. Creech for her 27 years of service in the Membership and Scientific Advancement Division, which she led as director for nearly 14 years.


The Board’s Regular (Open) Session

The Board held a well-attended open session which featured two “TED type” presentations.  Dr. Joseph M. DeSimone, CEO and Co-founder of Carbon, Inc.; Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry, UNC-Chapel Hill; and William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at NC State University and of Chemistry at UNC, spoke on  “Future Fabricated with Light: The Launching of Carbon.”

Anne Milasincic Andrews, Professor of Psychiatry and Chemistry & Biochemistry; Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior, Hatos Center for Neuropharmacology, and California NanoSystems Institute; University of California, Los Angeles, spoke on how “The Brain is More Than a Computer.”

Prior to the presentations, members of the presidential succession and the Executive Director and CEO offered brief reports on their activities.  The officers provided more extensive reports on their activities and/or future plans as part of their written and oral reports to the Council.

Contact the Board


Your Board of Directors is elected by and acts in the best interests of the members of our Society.  Please contact them with your comments, concerns, ideas, and suggestions at




Fall 2016 National ACS Meeting Events

Science Behind Pixar EventCo-organized by the Younger Chemist Committee, Undergraduate Programming Advisory Board

When: Sunday, August 21, 2016 at 6:00 pm.

Location:  Franklin Institute, Philadelphia (parking usually available under the Franklin Institute)


LGBTQ Safe Zone Ally Training for STEM professionals

When: Monday afternoon, August 22, 2016

Location: To be determined


Trenton Local Section Members, The College of New Jersey Alumni, Rider University Alumni, and friends Happy Hour

When: Monday 5-7 pm, August 22, 2016

Location: Field House, first floor by the bar, 1150 Filbert Street


Hidden Gems in Philly:  Family and student friendly park gathering

When: Tuesday 10 am-12 pm, August 23, 2016

Location:  Franklin Square, Meet near the carousel.  200 6th Street.  


Trenton ACS Networking/Social Event

When: April 9th, 2 pm - 4 pm

Where: Vault Brewing Company

            10 S Main Street

            Yardley, PA 19067

The Trenton local section of the ACS hosted a networking/social event at Vault Brewing Company in Yardley. This was a great opportunity to relax and mingle with colleagues in the Trenton area. Appetizers were provided by TrACS, and a great time was had by all!  


Art Conservation at the Barnes Foundation

When Thursday, April 21, 6-8 pm

Where:  To be determined

As part of our Community Outreach program on April 21st, the Trenton section of the ACS (TrACS) hosted Margaret Little, Senior Objects Conservator at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. The well attended talk entitled “The Art and Science of Art Conservation: When works of Art begin to deteriorate, How are they repaired?” was cosponsored with the Student Chemists Association and the Art Department of The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). The topic drew an audience from several academic disciplines (chemistry, art, art history and archeology) and institutions as well as a number scientifically inclined members of the public. The example Ms Little chose to discuss was the restoration of a Greek pyxis which dates from 750 BCE. She began by giving an overview of the “process” she goes through when planning and executing a conservation project, including a discussion of very real practical concerns (age, fragility, availability of funding and useful technology) as well as concerns for the cultural heritage of the piece. Ms Little took us through the conservation of the pyxis including “before, during and after” photos.

During a lively post lecture period question ranged from the details of the analytical techniques used in conservation to how one becomes an art conservator (education, experience, curricula). At the end of the question and answer period Dylan Nguyen, from the Student Chemists Association of TCNJ, presented Ms Little with a Thank You gift of a beaker coffee mug (which she said she had REALLY wanted to get for herself), TCNJ engraved pen set and SCA magnet. -By Thom Caggiano, Alternate Councilor


Trenton ACS Annual Awards Dinner

When:  Tuesday, May 10, 2016, Time to be determined

Where:  Tessara Restaurant Bar and Banquets, 812 Route 33 Hamilton, NJ 08619

We celebrated our Award winning Students, Teachers, and 50/60 year members! 


251st ACS National Meeting Councilor Report

By Matt Crowe, Councilor, and Benny Chan, Councilor and Trenton ACS chair

Councilors Matt Crowe and Benny Chan traveled to San Diego to attend the 2016 Spring National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). Both Councilors attended the Mid-Atlantic Regional (District III) Caucus and the Council Meeting. Matt attended committee meetings relevant to his involvement with the Committee on Chemical Safety (CCS). Benny attended committee events relevant to his involvement with the Committee on Minority Affairs (CMA).

At the Mid-Atlantic Regional Caucus, a presentation was given highlighting The Society’s focus on increasing the diversity of backgrounds represented on Committees of The Society. Interestingly, “industrial chemists” were included in the list of under-represented groups. So, why are so few industrial chemists involved in ACS governance? Perhaps a question that is of more interest to the industrial chemists reading this: What are the benefits, to industrial chemists, of being involved in ACS governance? Here are some answers, but please reach out to your Councilors if you think of others:

•  Leadership experience

•  Visibility in the field of chemistry

•  Outreach opportunities

•  Networking

•  Freedom & opportunity to create events and opportunities for others

•  External presentations (practice & visibility)

•  Learn about new science

• Interact with scientists from diverse backgrounds, including career paths (academic,  industrial, government, EH&S)

•  Sense of accomplishment

• Represent and positively impact select groups of chemists: women chemists (WCC), technicians  (CTA), chemists with disabilities (CWD), chemists from under-represented ethnic and racial groups (CMA), senior chemists (SCC), international chemists (IAC)

If you are an industrial chemist and you want to get involved in ACS governance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your local Councilors to find out how.

Benny attended several meetings as a member of the Committee on Minority Affairs (CMA).

CMA has been very active. The ACS Scholars program is running strong and just closed their current round of funding for the fall semester. The ACS Scholars program aims to give funding to underrepresented minority students who wish to pursue a degree in chemistry. In addition, CMA is working to recognize local sections and professionals who have had a major impact on diversity issues for chemists. They choose ChemLuminary and Stanley Israel awards every year.

Information about the ACS Scholars program can be found at:

Information on the Stanley Israel Award can be found at:

A variety of diversity and inclusion programming will be occurring at the Philadelphia and San Francisco meetings.  Check out the program for the specific programming topics.

Benny is working actively on the Membership Engagement and Professional Development subcommittee. The purpose of the committee is much clearer now that ACS is beginning to develop diversity training for our volunteers. We will actively engage the Society to give input on the training program Benny’s expertise in the social science of diversity will be critically important to the design and implementation of the modules. 

Matt attended several meetings as an associate member of the Committee on Chemical Safety (CCS).

At the Solutions subcommittee meeting, several new efforts were presented by subcommittee chair Harry Elston. First, the subcommittee will review the existing CCS safety documents and decide: 1) if they should be kept or discarded, 2) if kept, if they need revision, and 3) if they need revision, what is the priority? Second, the committee will take, evaluate, and provide feedback on a Pilot Safety Data Usability Survey. Once finalized, this survey will be used to determine advantages and disadvantages of various methods of storing, accessing, and maintaining chemical safety data sheets (SDSs).

At the CCS Executive meeting, speakers from the ACS Planning Committee, the Chemical Safety Board, and the Division of Chemical Health and Safety (CHAS) presented, and each subcommittee shared an update.

Barbara Sawrey from the ACS Planning Committee led a discussion about the Environmental Scan (EScan) that the Society is undertaking. The EScan is an effort to address major Economic/Social/Technology/Political external influences on the ACS and its members, to help the society to respond constructively.

Representatives of the Chemical Safety Board led a discussion with the CCS about what each group could do to assist the other in achieving their goals. The main discussion points were: 1) that the ACS could help broaden the reach of the CSB and provide additional expertise in chemical safety, 2) that the CSB could help publicize chemical safety findings of the ACS more broadly using news media.  Kristen Kulinowski spoke about her experience with the Board and how her career led up to and prepared her for serving on the CSB. She and Mary Beth Mulcahy spoke about the role of the CSB, benefits and challenges, and described the CSB’s general approach to incident root cause evaluation. Two high profile incidents that the CSB has investigated in recent years were Deepwater Horizon and the West Fertilizer plant explosion. The CSB is a non-regulatory organization that performs root cause investigations and makes recommendations. The benefits of this approach are realized when what is learned from one incident is used to prevent future incidents.

Representatives from the Division of Chemical Health & Safety (CHAS) spoke to the CCS about its current effort to have safety included as a core value of the ACS. At the Fall National Meeting of the ACS in Philadelphia, there will be a Town Hall meeting about Safety, Ethics, and Diversity. All ACS members are encouraged to attend this Town Hall meeting, planned for Thursday morning in Philadelphia, and to voice their opinions about whether safety should be included as a core value of the ACS.

Benny and Matt both attend the Council Meeting, held Wednesday morning from 8 am to noon. Follow the link to access Councilor talking points:


Updates from the Student Affiliates


The College of New Jersey’s Student Chemists Association (SCA)

by Katie Fomchenko, SCA President


     With the end of the semester drawing near, the SCA has participated in many events over the past few months and still has a few events left on our schedule. SCA is still holding biweekly meetings in order to inform our members of upcoming events, as well as contribute to their professional development by hosting short presentations on various sub-disciplines of chemistry and research opportunities in the Chemistry Department. In March, a few SCA members participated in Yardley Elementary School's science fair, where they judged student's projects and encouraged their interest in science, as well as presenting 2 demos: one involved cleaning old pennies with vinegar to visually illustrate acid chemistry, and the second involved placing vinegar and baking soda into an Erlenmeyer flask with a balloon over the top of it to illustrate the properties of a gas-producing reaction. Also in March, SCA participated in the NJ State Police Museum and Learning Center trip and enjoyed the museum. A new Inter-Chapter relations event is being planned between TCNJ and Rider students to be in April at TCNJ, where attendees will be able to network with students from Rider's ACS student chapter as well as enjoy an archived ACS Webinar and pizza. This past month, SCA members attended the Chemical Heritage Foundation's First Friday event "Scholarfest," where fellows of the museum gave presentations on their research into chemical and art history and engaged the audience with an interactive version of the game "two truths and a lie" with facts regarding their research. After this event, attendees enjoyed the social event of going out to dinner in Philly, with SCA paying for appetizers to catalyze the fun. Upcoming SCA events include an Earth Day lecture from TCNJ's own Dr. Aucott on renewable energy titled "Climate Change and Renewable Energy - More Must be Done, and Soon" discussing how chemistry can be used to make energy greener.  SCA is hosting a green chemistry demo in conjunction with the TCNJ Environmental Club's Earth Day Celebration, where students will be able to enjoy a demonstration about green chemistry in action through biodegradable packing peanuts, relating the fun of watching them melt into nothing when placed in water to important concepts in chemistry such as the structure of sugars and polymer chemistry, as the peanuts are made out of starch. SCA will be holding its annual Chemistry Semi-Formal, “Chemiformal,” which will be a fun, relaxing night featuring a DJ and catering from Mama Flora's; a nice break from all the studying we usually do on Fridays! We also had our elections for our new Executive board and I will be returning as president next year.


Rider University’s Student Affiliate of the American Chemical Society (SAACS)

by Anthony Borkowski, SAACS President

     Since our last update, the Rider Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society have been busy preparing for our end of the semester events. Our most important event, the 2016 Chemistry Olympiad, will be taking place at Rider University in April. This year SAACS will welcome 21 high schools students to our campus and then test their metal with a laboratory experiment. SAACS executive members Elizabeth Urban, Grace Ogungbile, and Anthony Borkowski will be taking the responsibility for setting up the experiments and organizing breakfast and lunch for the students.

Also in April, SAACS will also be hosting its annual Spring BBQ, which will once again feature the culinary skills of Dr William Fobare as he masterfully prepares pulled pork, hot dogs, and hamburgers for our guests. As a sign of tolerance towards our vegetable loving students, SAACS will proudly serve vegan-friendly foods for the first time in the history of our BBQ. Anthony Borkowski (SAACS President) will put his own culinary skills to the test by preparing a tofu-chili and organizing a fruit platter for our animal-concerned students and faculty. When reached for comment, Anthony assured us that “this is not a plan to round up all the vegans and be rid of them”. In addition to the tofu-chili, Anthony will also be preparing a meat-creation in the shape of a 5-coordinate metal complex.

During the end of the 2016 Spring semester, the Rider Student Affiliates of the ACS welcomed John Patrick Gulliver (Freshmen) to our executive board for the 2016-2017 school year. After a strong performance in both semesters of General Chemistry, and high recommendations by Dr David Laviska, he was quickly welcomed into the position of Vice President.


National Chemistry Week, which occurs annually the fourth week of October, was another greatly successful event sponsored by the Trenton section of the American Chemical Society.  The theme, “Chemistry Colors Our World,” focused on the chemistry of food colors and fireworks, rainbows, natural dyes and pigments.  Approximately 700 students from 39 different schools from Fort Dix, Roosevelt, Ewing, Hamilton, Hopewell, Lawrence, East Windsor, West Windsor, Bordentown, Allentown, Cranbury, Princeton, Lambertville and Trenton were amused and inspired by about 30 volunteers from the Trenton section, including faculty and students from Mercer County Community College (MCCC), Rider University, TCNJ, Princeton as well as collaborators from the local ACS section.  Students participated in interactive chemistry demonstration including the crowd favorite – making slime!  A special thanks to Helen Tanzini from MCCC for planning and preparing for the event, designing the experiments, and organizing the volunteers.


Super Science Saturday (SSS) at the N.J. State MuseumThis event featured chemistry demonstrations sponsored by the local Trenton section of the ACS.  More than 30 MCCC faculty, staff and students worked long hours beside Rider University students, Trenton section volunteers and the Doyle group from Princeton University to make this event a success!  Led by Helen Tanzini from MCCC, SSS provided an educational experience to over 4000 event visitors and has boasted over 40,000 visitors to this educational experience for over the 16 years of her leadership.   This year, participants received hands-on experience with slime-making, polyacrylate polymerization, melting blocks, chromatography, magic sands, “bubble fantasia,” dry ice, extraction, “glo germ,” liquid nitrogen, gigantic spheres, nitinol wire, energy sticks, and thermal squares.  Each experience drew a huge crowd and the successful event was both enlightening and fun! 


Trenton ACS Councilors Travel to Fall 2015 National Meeting 

250th ACS National Meeting Councilor Report

Benny Chan & Matt Crowe

Trenton Local Section of the American Chemical Society

The 250th meeting of the American Chemical Society took place in Boston, MA from August 16 to the 20th.  Both our Councilors are members of governance committees, Committee on Chemical Safety and Committee on Minority Affairs.  Both attended the Mid Atlantic Councilors Caucus meeting to be briefed about the upcoming council meeting.


Matt Crowe attended the Committee on Chemical Safety (CCS) executive committee meeting and CCS Solutions subcommittee meetings. At the CCS executive committee meeting, summaries were given by the Education, Solutions, and Communications subcommittees. The Education subcommittee informed the CCS that the Division of Chemical Education (CHED) has been given approval to for a safety subcommittee. The Solutions subcommittee discussed its activities since the Spring National ACS Meeting, as well as next actions (see below for more details). The Communications subcommittee led a discussion around how hazards are rarely communicated in peer-reviewed articles, and asked for recommendation on how to change publication policies in order to get safety and hazard information included more regularly in journal articles. There has been increasing concern in recent years over chemical safety in research laboratories, and including safety & hazard information in journal articles could significantly improve safe practices of scientists attempting to recreate or improve upon published procedures. The CCS held a lengthy discussion around how to influence academic researchers to be more proactive about safety. Questions were raised like, “How do we empower students to speak up about safety concerns without fear of repercussions?”, and “How do you achieve a culture of safety, not just a culture of compliance?” Potential solutions involving clear communication of safety expectations at various levels of education, including safety requirements in job advertisements, and making a safety program a requirement for tenure and promotion were discussed by the committee. In the spring of 2015, The CCS completed a report on Identifying and Evaluating Hazards in Research Laboratories, which received very positive reviews from the Chemical Safety Board (CSB). Lastly, the CCS plans to introduce a Chemluminary award in the near future recognizing ACS-sponsored events and initiatives that highlight chemical safety.


The Solutions subcommittee discussed its activities since the Spring National ACS Meeting, which included writing a communication to secondary school educators about how to safely perform chemistry demonstrations involving flammable liquids, and reviewing content for National Chemistry Week & Chemistry Club. The subcommittee discussed several initiatives intended to provide ACS members with authoritative safety information. First, the subcommittee will put together a list of frequently asked questions regarding chemical safety. The goal is to post these FAQs, along with answers, on the ACS website so that ACS members can quickly access answers to their most frequently asked chemical safety questions. The subcommittee will also review a reproductive health document (jointly with the WCC). The Solutions subcommittee was presented with information about the online Laboratory Chemical Safety Summary (LCSS) resource in PubChem. This project is intended to collate GHS information for chemicals, along with information sources, to facilitate gathering safety information for safe chemical handling and new product development. This web resource is free and available to all, accessible simply by google searching “LCSS Pubchem”. Members of the LCSS design team asked if the CCS could review and/or provide criteria to review the information provided.


Benny Chan spent Sunday working with the Committee on Minority Affairs (CMA).  This year was the 20th anniversary of the ACS Scholars program that has provided more than $17 million in scholarship assistance for minority students.  Over 2,500 students have pursued received the scholarship.   The Chair, Madeleine Jacobs, has led an endowment fund raising for over $2 million dollars in the last year.  If local section members know of a deserving undergraduate, they should contact for additional information.  The application process is found by searching ACS Scholars on the website.


In addition to the ACS Scholars program, Dr. Chan is currently involved in broadening participation symposium being scheduled for the Spring Meeting in San Diego.  The goal of the symposium is to bring experts to share best practices on how to best increase diversity and inclusion principles for all members of the ACS.  Dr. Chan has also volunteered to help drive a key guiding principle of the ACS mission by promoting diversity:  Dr. Chan will be assisting CMA to develop programming and training on diversity and inclusion topics, some of which may include live webinars, web videos, and modules for the Leadership Development System.


CMA also encourages members to submit nominations for the Stanley C Israel award:  The award highlights institutions or individuals who have advanced diversity in the chemical sciences and promote inclusiveness in the region.


The Council meeting was conducted.  Council elections were conducted for the Committee on Committees, Council Policy Committee, and Committee on Nominations and Elections. 

·         On the recommendation of the Committee on Nominations and Elections, the Council VOTED to approve the Balloting and Preferential Voting Procedures for Elections of President-Elect, District Directors, and Directors-at-Large, contingent upon approval of the Petition on Preferential Voting.

·         This voting preference allows members to rank their choices (if more than two) for these positions, if the voter’s first choice does not have the highest number of votes, your second choice will get your vote and continue down your choices.  This process guarantees your votes to count towards a competitive applicant.

  • On the recommendation of the Committee on Membership Affairs, the Council VOTED to approve the Procedure for Expulsion of a Member, contingent upon approval of the Petition on Member Expulsion.
    • The expulsion of a member was a long and arduous process.  The procedure allows a more streamlined process and refers directly to the Ethical and Professional Guidelines.


The Nominations and Elections Committee presented the slate for the fall elections.  The two candidates for President-Elect, G. Bryan Balazs and Allison A. Campbell were presented.  Drs. Crowe and Chan have both met both candidates and both have strong backgrounds and potential.  We encourage our members to read through their platforms to make informed voting decisions.   Members will receive information to opt-in to online voting.  If you want to vote from your desk, please watch for this mail.


Reports were given by standing committees.  The following may be of interest to local section members. 


Economics and Professional Affairs have shown Domestic Unemployment for chemists is currently at 3.1%, which is much lower than the national average.  For the first time since 2004, data shows salaries have increased slightly for all chemists.


Meetings and Exposition reported that 13,888 people registered for the meeting to present 9,271 papers for the Boston meeting.  The Boston ACS App was a huge success with over 5500 downloads.  The ACS will be transitioning to an electronic meeting program to save on costs.  Several concerns were made about the Boston site which required long travel times from the hotel to the convention center.


Reports were given by other committees that might be interesting for local section.


The Community Activities chair announced the nation-wide Illustrated Poem Contest was the most popular event.  In the spirit of the IPC, the chair gave the report in poetic verse from haiku, to limerick, to ode, to beatnik, to free verse.  The report was the most amusing of the bunch.   The Trenton section may begin our own Illustrated Poem Contest.


Ethics is developing online video modules for instructors to use for ethics training.  We encourage our local section instructors and manager to be on the lookout for these videos.


Project SEED has a program with participation of 411 high school students in over 100 laboratories, including our own Rider University.  Dr. Crowe and Dr. Chan recommend that we nominate the Rider program for a Chemluminary Award to recognize Dr. Jacobs’ efforts.  Although not specifically mentioned at this meeting, her work on the Chemistry Olympiad should be recognized too!


We look forward to representing the Local Section in the upcoming 251st Meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Diego, California from March 13 to 17, 2016.


Best Regards,

Benny Chan & Matt Crowe

Councilors of the Trenton Local Section of the American Chemical Society



Councilor’s Report from the Fall 2015 National ACS Meeting

By Benny Chan and Matt Crowe

Councilors' short report

The 250th meeting of the American Chemical Society commenced during the meeting from August 16 to the 20th. 

Dr. Crowe is an Associate Member of the Committee on Chemical Safety (CCS) chaired by Betty Ann Towson. Highlights of the meeting were thought-provoking discussions around how to get safety & hazard information included in peer-reviewed publications, and how to improve safety culture in academic research institutions. The CCS completed a report on Identifying and Evaluating Hazards in Research Laboratories, which received very positive reviews from the Chemical Safety Board (CSB). Lastly, the CCS plans to introduce a Chemluminary award in the near future recognizing ACS-sponsored events and initiatives that highlight chemical safety.

Dr. Chan is an Associate Member of the Committee on Minority Affairs chaired by Madelaine Jacobs.  The highlight of the meeting was the successful 20th anniversary of the ACS Scholars Program.  If local section members know of a chemistry/chemical engineering major that would qualify (an African American, Hispanic, or Native American student) we encourage them to apply on the ACS website through the ACS Scholars.  Dr. Chan will also be active in the development of programming to enhance diversity and inclusion to achieve the ACS strategic plan to increase diversity in the chemical society.

The council meeting was conducted and the councilors voted to approve the Petition on Preferential Voting and the Procedure for the Expulsion of a Member.

The Nominations and Elections Committee presented the two candidates for the 2016 ACS President-elect, G. Bryan Balaz and Allison A. Campbell.  Both candidates are strong and we encourage our local section members to participate in the voting process.  Electronic voting options should be received by members shortly.

Reports were given by standing and other committees that may be of interest by local section members.

CEPA:  Unemployment for chemists is currently at 3.1%, lower than the national average

CME:  The Boston Meeting drew 13,888 registered attendees to present 9,271 papers.

CCA:  The Illustrated Poem Contest was a huge success.  The Trenton Section is considering launching a local version.

Ethics:  Video modules are being developed to help chemists identify ethical issues.

Project SEED:  Participation is at 411 high school students, including many at Rider University.  Dr. Jacob’s work on Project SEED (see below) and the Chemistry Olympiad should be nominated for awards.

The 251st Meeting of the ACS will be in San Diego, California from March 13 to 17, 2016.

Respectfully Submitted,

Benny Chan

Matt Crowe 


Trenton ACS Hosts Annual Awards Banquet

Our Chemistry Olympiad finalists, TrACS High School Scholarship Winners, 50-year members, Outstanding High School Chemistry Teachers, and Top Undergraduates at our local area colleges and universities got together on May 13th at Tessara Restaurant to celebrate their achievements!



Trenton ACS volunteers at Dutch Neck Elementary School


The Trenton ACS volunteered at the Dutch Neck Elementary School Science Day on Friday April 17th, 2015. The section demonstrated the principles of acids and bases, polymers, and carbon dioxide. We performed a number of demos for each of the first grade classes and students even got to make slime! The program was very interactive and really showed how fun, and hands-on, chemistry can be! All of the volunteers had a great time and the kids had a blast! Future chemists? Only time will tell…



Trenton ACS and TCNJ Student Affiliates Take on the Riverhorse Brewery Tour


On Sunday April 19th, 2015, members of the Trenton ACS local section and ACS student affiliates from TCNJ went on a tour of the Riverhorse Brewery. The tour included 4 beer samples and an informative talk about how beer is brewed. The students and local section members had a great time! We look forward to hosting this event again in the future.



12 Local Students Win Chance to Qualify for 2015 International Chemistry Olympiad; 1 Advances to Next Round

By Danielle L. Jacobs (USNCO Coordinator, Trenton & Princeton ACS)


The Trenton and Princeton sections of the American Chemical Society held their annual US National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO) competition between January and April.


Throughout the month of March, 250 students across 12 local high schools participated in the preliminary round of the competition, an exam consisting of 60 multiple-choice questions spanning challenging concepts in physical, inorganic, and organic chemistry. The qualifying top scorers from each high school were then invited to participate in the second round at Rider University on Sunday, April 19, 2015. This full-day exam consisted of three parts: (a) 60 multiple-choice questions (b) 8 critical thinking questions; and (c) a lab practical portion requiring students to first compose, and then execute, safe and efficient procedures for solving laboratory problems in both chromatography and titration.


The Trenton & Princeton sections are proud of our 12 local nominees, who were among approximately 1,000 nationwide who participated in the full-day exam, and represent the top 5% of the over 10,000 high school students who competed in the preliminary round across the United States. Furthermore, we are ecstatic to have just learned that Abraham Park, a junior from West Windsor Plainsboro High School South, has been chosen as one of only 20 finalists nationwideto proceed to the USNCO Study Camp, which will be held at US Air Force Academy in Colorado from June 2-17. The top four students from the two-week intensive training camp will have the honor of representing the United States in the 47th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) held in Baku, Azerbaijan, July 20-29, 2015. The US has participated in the IChO since 1984. In 2014, the US team won one gold and three silver medals, competing against a total of 291 students from 77 countries around the globe. Last year, Andrew Chen of West Windsor Plainsboro High School South represented the United States at the IChO, and we wish Abraham the best of luck as he competes for a coveted slot on this year’s team.


All 12 finalists will be recognized at the Trenton Section Awards Banquet to be held on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at Tessara Restaurant in Hamilton, NJ:



Trenton Section:

Dennis Duan and David Xin (The Lawrenceville School) sponsored by Mary Calvert and David Laws Nick Pittman (North Hunterdon High School) sponsored by Carolyn Wilhelm

Robert Frascella and Timothy Low-Beer (Notre Dame High School) sponsored by Robert Carroll

Princeton Section:

Stephanie RenLeon Wu, and Harvey Liu (Princeton High School) sponsored by Robert Corell

Viswajit Kandula and Shannon McNaul (Hillsborough High School) sponsored by Carmel Meyer Kevin Li and Abraham Park (West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South) sponsored byCindy Jaworsky


All of the students seemed to enjoy and value their experience participating in the National USNCO competition. We look forward to having our best high school chemistry students continue to represent our sections in the USNCO for many years to come.


Thank you to all of the high school teachers who continue to be committed to teaching chemistry in engaging and inspiring ways, while recognizing and cultivating the scientific aptitude and aspirations of their students. We thus wish to recognize the schools and teachers who participated in the 2015 USNCO local competition who were not listed above:


Dan Allen                                      Hunterdon Central Regional High School

Madeline Cozine                         The Peddie School

Brian Cullen                                 Steinert High School

Matthew Davis                            Lawrence High School

Karolina Fraczkowska               The Hun School

Tom Horsley                                The Pennington School

Roxanne Spencer                        PRISMS of Princeton

Jason Sullivan                              Montgomery High School

The 2016 US National Chemistry Olympiad preparations will begin in January 2016. I will again serve as the Olympiad Coordinator for both the Trenton and Princeton Sections. The program announcement letter will be sent out to local high school chemistry teachers in early January. If you have a child in high school who is interested in taking the exam, but are unsure if your school participates, please contact me, or your child’s chemistry teacher, to ensure he or she does not get left out of next year’s competition! 



 Updates from the Student Affiliates

by Taylor Maney, TCNJ Student Chemists Association President

The TCNJ Student Chemists Association (SCA) had a very busy semester. Students were actively involved in the community - volunteering at Antheil Elementary Hands on Science Night, Timberlane Middle School Science Fair, and Lawrence Science Fair. “Spectroscopes and Cupcakes” and “Biodegradable Packing Peanut” demonstrations were conducted on campus for Week of Science and Earth Day, respectively. A variety of different speakers were hosted throughout the semester, along with the “Chemistry on the Silver Screen” ACS Webinar. Students attended the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s “First Friday: The Alchemist’s Cookbook” event in Philadelphia and joined Trenton local section members in touring the River Horse Brewery in a trip graciously funded by Trenton ACS. Finally, club members enjoyed a variety of different “stressbuster” activities including rock climbing, a video game night cohosted by TCNJ’s Chemistry Honor Society Gamma Sigma Epsilon Chapter, and the second annual Chemistry Semiformal, which was catered by Momma Floras. Club President Taylor Maney accepted “Outstanding Student Chapter” and “Green Chemistry” Awards on behalf of SCA at the 249th ACS National Meeting& Exposition in Denver.



Spring 2015 National Meeting Councilors' Report

249th Spring ACS National Meeting Councilor Report

Benny Chan & Matt Crowe

Trenton Local Section of the American Chemical Society

                 Trenton ACS (TrACS) Councilors Benny Chan and Matt Crowe attended the 249th American Chemical Society National meeting in Denver, Colorado from March 21st to March 25th, 2015, along with 13,937 other attendees. The Councilors attended the National ACS Council meeting, Committee meetings, and technical symposia.

                Matt Crowe and Alternate Councilor Abby O'Connor attended new councilor orientation at which they learned about the responsibilities and opportunities of ACS Councilors. A collection of more experienced Councilors, including Benny Chan, provided guidance and advice on topics including getting involved in National ACS committees.

                Matt was recently appointed as Associate Member of the Committee on Chemical Safety (CCS). On Saturday evening, Matt attended a new member meet and greet held by the CCS. At this meeting, he became acquainted with members of this committee, the mission and vision of the committee and subcommittees, and other new members. A CCS dinner followed the meet and greet, which afforded opportunities to meet other CCS committee members and liaisons from other committees. Breakout meetings followed dinner, at which CCS was divided into subcommittees dedicated to Chemical Safety Education, Communication, and Solutions. Matt participated in the Solutions subcommittee meeting, which has the Mission statement, "The CCS Solutions subcommittee is dedicated to providing practical recommendations to remedy chemical safety concerns." On Monday morning, Matt attended the CCS Executive Meeting. Various topics were discussed, including committee budget, reports on the Education, Solutions, and Communication subcommittees, the Safety Advisory Panel, safety education guidelines, and hazard assessment. Reports were given by CCS liaisons which illuminated the important links between the CCS and other society entities including SOCED (the Committee on Education), Chemists with Disabilities, CHAS (Division of Chemical Health and Safety), and the Committee on International Activities. CCS recently participated in a strategic planning retreat, emerging with the Vision, "A culture that results in all chemical practitioners working safely," and Mission, “To promote and advance positive safety cultures by providing authoritative resources." Committee goals, formulated at the strategic planning, were also discussed, along with old business and new business. Finally, it was decided to pursue the creation of a new Chemluminary award focused on chemical safety. Matt and five other members of the CCS formed a subcommittee and met over lunch to drive this initiative forward.

                Benny was reappointed as an Associate Member of the Committee on Minority Affairs (CMA).  The meeting was held on Sunday and chaired by former ACS CEO Madeleine Jacobs, who provided a very strong leader that completely understands the inside workings of ACS.  He worked on the Membership Engagement Subcommittee and has been appointed to a taskforce to examine how we can poll our membership better to obtain more detailed data on gender, race, and other identities.  The Membership Engagement Subcommittee will be examining their charge and will work more with the Communication Subcommittee on how to communicate with the membership better.   The Programming Subcommittee will be doing more symposia at the National and Regional meetings including rising minority stars.  The Awards Subcommittee has been working on the many local section and divisional awards.  A special award, the ACS Scholars program, has reached its 20th year anniversary and boast a very strong success rate of helping minority students finish their college degrees and also many became PhD chemists.  We strongly encourage minority students in their undergraduate careers to apply to the ACS Scholars Program:

                Matt chaired, along with symposium co-chair Jani Ingram (Professor, Northern Arizona University), a symposium entitled, "Environmental Analytical Chemistry: A Tool for Introducing Research." The theme of this symposium was using the tangible, real world impact of environmentally focused research as a "hook" to get students excited about research and into a research environment for the first time. Eight invited speakers presented at the session, including two undergraduates and six professors. The maximum attendance of the symposium was ~30 audience members, and the audience and speakers interacted well with one another, enjoyed the presentations, and made professional connections that will hopefully enrich student research experiences in years to come.

                Benny chaired a symposium for Undergraduate Programs Office. He began with a 20 minute talk titled “Networking 101:  An Introvert’s Guide to Networking.”  Then he moderated a panel discussion with four other chemists on their networking experiences.  We had about 80 people attend the symposium with a lively discussion that ranged from a blind student’s approach to networking, to our worst networking experience, to the best places at the National Meeting to network. 

                On Wednesday, March 25th, Matt Crowe, Benny Chan, and Abby O'Connor attended the ACS Council Meeting. The council meeting began with a resolution honoring recently deceased councilors and a respectful moment of silence. For the business of Nominations and Elections, four nominees for President-Elect were voted upon. Allison A. Campbell and G. Bryan Balazs were chosen by the council as the two candidates for President-Elect to be voted upon by the members of the ACS. Voting on the above candidates was followed by reports from ACS President Diane Grob Schmidt, President-Elect Donna J. Nelson, Immediate Past President Tom Barton, and Executive Director Thomas N. Connelly, Jr. Donna Nelson discussed responses she received to multiple surveys polling members about areas of concern, the most prominent of which was the current mismatch between number of jobs and number of job seekers (I.e., more job seekers than jobs).

                Next, reports were given by the Elected Committees of the Council. CPC (Council Policy Committee) Vice Chair Alan Ehrlich announced bylaw revisions in the areas covering member expulsion and councilor reimbursement. Councilor reimbursement from local sections to councilors will now be up to $1750 per conference, and reimbursement from the National ACS to local sections will be 80% of that provided from local section to councilor, or up to $1400. Wayne Jones, of the Committee on Committees (ConC), discussed new Committee Chair and new Councilor training opportunities available in 2015 as well as the expectations for associate committee members. Councilors were advised to fill out the online committee preference form by June 5th, 2015 ( The Council voted to continue the Committees on Ethics and Science.

                Reports were then given by the Society Committees and the Committee on Science. The Committee on Budget and Finance discussed an increase of membership dues for full, non-student members from $158 to $162. This increase matches the increase in Consumer Price Index from 2013 to 2014. This dues increase was voted on and passed by the council, though not unanimously.

                Next, reports were given by the Council Standing Committees. Will E. Lynch, Chair of the Committee on Meetings and Expositions announced that National ACS meetings have been losing money in recent years, and that meeting registration costs will be increased to reach a break-even point. He also announced that paper copies of the meeting program will no longer be free, but sold for $10 (preregistration) or $20 (at the meeting), as an additional measure to break even financially at national meetings. These two announcements resulted in a number of comments regarding the cost of technical programming versus exposition, the possible negative impact of increasing registration costs on conference attendance, the usefulness of the mobile app versus paper programs, and other approaches to increasing conference revenue in lieu of raising registration fees. The council motioned for the board to consider presenting cost analysis of national meetings with technical and exposition components coupled and decoupled prior to deciding on increasing registration costs. The motion was voted on and passed. The Committee on Membership Affairs reported that there has been a net decrease in membership in the last year. Possible reasons for this were discussed, as well as strategies to gain new membership and retain the members we already have. The Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs (CEPA) reported improved unemployment rates when all ACS members were considered, as well as recently graduated undergraduates. However, the latter unemployment rate was 12.9%, which is still much higher than we want for our members. Career fair numbers were shown, and the number of open positions (85) was almost an order of magnitude lower than the number of candidates on site (715).

                Next, reports of Other Committees were presented. H. N. Cheng, Chair of the Committee on International Activities (IAC), moved to create new international chapters of the ACS in India and Taiwan. Both motions are voted on and passed unanimously. A member of council asked if, in light of recent political changes, the ACS should consider the establishment of an international chapter in Cuba. This idea was received favorably, though no action was taken at the time.

                The Council meeting concluded with Todd Pagano, Associate Professor of Chemistry at RIT and Director of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) Laboratory Science Technology Program, communicating his appreciation and thanks the hosts of the conference in spoken English as well as in American Sign Language (ASL).

Best Regards,

Benny Chan & Matt Crowe

Councilors of the Trenton Local Section of the American Chemical Society



Chemistry of the Silver Screen

The Trenton Section hosted its first local section event of the year on February 24. We hosted the ACS program “Chemistry of the Silver Screen” sponsored by Procter and Gamble. The event was held on The College of New Jersey campus in the Science Complex Chemistry Building in Room C-121 and included a free pizza dinner at 6:30 pm; the webinar began at 7:00pm. We learned how chemists and chemistry have influenced movies and TV shows like Breaking Bad, Gravity, Battlestar Galactica and Eureka. Learn more at


2014 Annual Report 

By Matt Crowe, 2014 Chair

The Trenton local section accomplished a great deal in 2014, despite the passing of one of its most productive and loved members, Councilor and Rider Professor Bruce Burnham. We held 13 events, engaging chemists and non-chemists of diverse backgrounds. We celebrated excellence in our section at our annual awards banquet. Andrew Chen qualified and represented the US in the International Chemistry Olympiad, winning a silver medal! We created a great new event, “Craft Distilling: The Art and Science”, which included a lecture and tasting, and was very much enjoyed by all. We collaborated with our local ACS student affiliates (TCNJ SCA and Rider University’s SAACS) to host "The Chemistry of Scent and Fragrance" webinar and hold an inter-chapter event, "Art in Chemistry", at the Chemical Heritage Foundation Museum. Benny Chan and the TCNJ SCA held an overbooked “Kitchen Chemistry” event at the Scotch Plains Library, where they performed demonstrations with caramelized bananas, powdered Nutella, and liquid nitrogen ice cream! Our section had a great presence in the community for National Chemistry Week (NCW). We partnered with Ewing Township, The College of New Jersey, and the TCNJ SCA at Ewing Community Fest, where we shared information about the chemistry of candy, had posters of different sweeteners, and did demonstrations of Dragon’s Breath popcorn and the chemistry of Pop Rocks. Also during NCW, we coordinated classroom chemistry demonstrations at local elementary schools, teaching students about thin layer chromatography, titrations, and the chemistry behind artificial snow, slime, and magic sand.

In summary, the Trenton local section of the ACS had a very strong year. We taught the section and local community about chemistry and careers in chemistry in fun, informative ways. In addition, we made a conscious effort to develop new events and engage segments of our community that we have not successfully engaged in the past. Our section continues to combine new ideas and enthusiasm of our newer members with the wisdom of our more experienced members, and it will be exciting to see what the future brings!