ACS Student Chapter Recognized as Outstanding

Only 46 of More Than 400 Chapters Received the Designation

The University of Houston’s American Chemical Society (ACS) Student Chapter received an Outstanding Chapter Award for activities conducted during the 2015-2016 academic year. Only 46 of the more than 400 chapters submitting reports received the “Outstanding” designation.

2015-2016 ACS Student Chapter OfficersThe 2015-2016 ACS Student Chapter Officers, from left: Claudia Orzechowska (Demo Coordinator), Christine Pham (Secretary), James Tran (Webmaster), Binh Nguyen (Historian), Yi-Kai Lin (Treasurer), An Ryan Ngo (Vice President), Lauren Caves (Green Chemistry Chair), with the Kaplan Representative (black shirt)The list of award-winning chapters was published in the November/December 2016 issue of inChemistry, the student member magazine. Chapters will be honored at the 253rd ACS National Meeting in San Francisco on April 2, 2017.

“Chemistry distinguishes our organization from others,” said Elia Garcia, vice president of the UH ACS Student Chapter. “ACS helps out the community by using chemistry interests and skills to do demonstrations at different grade schools around the area.”

Some of the 2015-2016 demonstrations included Dare to Dream, Rainbow Challenge, You Be the Chemist, Mars Rover Celebration, KIPP Academy and Felix Morales Science Night. “ACS demonstrations are so exceptional that most of the demo events have become annual events for the chapter,” Garcia said.

ACS also helps UH students by providing tutors for freshman and organic chemistry courses. Tutors are required to have at least an A in their chemistry courses. According to the chapter, ACS is the only student organization that provides free tutoring. Organic chemistry reviews are conducted by the officers for every exam in the fall and spring semesters.

2016-2017 ACS Student Chapter OfficersThe 2016-2017 ACS Student Chapter Officers at the 2016 Southwest Regional Meeting in Galveston. Top row, from left: Binh Nguyen (President), Elia Garcia (Vice-President), Myndee Hong (Green Chemistry Chair), Yi-Kai Lin (Treasurer), Luke Montalvo (Webmaster). Bottom row: Henson Do (Secretary), Eric Rangel (Demo Coordinator), Kevin Ochoa (Historian)The chapter holds biweekly meetings with speakers covering various career opportunities. Guest speakers in 2015-2016 included Hexion, the Forensics Science Center, Kaplan and the UH Office of Sustainability. Each year, the chapter also participates in National Chemistry Week and Mole Day (October 23) and plans several social activities.

The 2016-2017 officers are working hard to continue the legacy and traditions of their past officers.

“With the help of our faculty advisor, Dr. Mary Bean, and Mark Bushman, Fleming Facilities Manager, ACS was able to get two new tables, two new whiteboards and a new shelf for the ACS Tutoring Room. We are also working on adding biochemistry tutors,” Garcia said.

This academic year, the officers and members had a role in hosting the ACS Southwest Regional Meeting in Galveston, Texas. Upcoming events include the Herrera Elementary Science Fair, NASA Level 9 Tours in March, the Chemistry Olympiad and several socials, including one at Dave & Buster’s.

- Kathy Major, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Elia Garcia, ACS Student Chapter