Younger Chemist Committee (YCC): Chemical Industry Interactive Panel (CIIP)

YCC Orlando is excited to bring you the opportunity to connect with professional in industry via a structured Q&A with Chemical Industry Interactive Panel (CIIP). This virtual event aims to make connections with professionals from Florida so that budding scientists and engineers can get a chance to access the opportunities available locally. RSVP to attend our virtual event using this link:

Please don’t forget to reach out to us on social media at for updates, news, and activities about our committee.

Annual Awards Banquet Invitation

The Orlando Section of the American Chemical Society will recognize 2022 awards winners in a traditional annual awards banquet on December 3rd, 2022. You are invited to attend the banquet:

Saturday, December 3rd, 2022
11:30AM to 2:00PM
At the blu on the avenue
326 Park Avenue South, Winter Park, FL 32789

Shrimp Cocktail 
Stuffed Mushroom – sausage, spinach, parmesan
Fried Green Tomato – pimento spread, bacon jam, chives
Tomato and Mozzarella Skewer – fresh basil, olive oil, balsamic glaze
Entrée choice of
Pasta Primavera seasonal vegetables, grana padano cheese
Chicken Piccata, white wine, butter, capers, lemon sauce garlic mash, seasonal vegetable
Salmon, tomato bruschetta, balsamic glaze, garlic mash, seasonal vegetable
Key Lime Trifle, Apple Caramel Crisp Trifle
Iced tea, soft beverages, and Illy coffee
Cash bar is available

The cost will be $30/person (after subsidy, tax and gratuity included)The Section will pay the bill with a single check. Please be prepared to pay at the door by check or cash—unfortunately we cannot accept credit cards.

Reservation can be made online at, or by email to, or calling Darlene Slattery at 321-632-2535. Reservations must be made by November 26, 2022.   Please include names so that we can provide nametags.

We look forward to seeing you all there!

November 2022’s Newsletter

Hello Orlando Section!

We hope you are enjoying the beautiful Central Florida fall weather and are getting ready for the official start of the holiday season. In this bulletin we would like to bring to your attention a few important dates.

  • Annual Election:  It’s election time again! Please follow the link (click here) to meet the candidates for the 2023 Orlando Section Executive Committee. Voting is currently open and will close on November 8, 2022. You have received your ballot via email – Please vote!
  • Nominations for Annual Awards: We would like to remind you that the nominations for Annual Awards for our local section are due on November 9th, 2022. If you know someone (students, colleagues, or companies) who should be recognized publicly for their achievements by our local section, please consider nominating them. More details can be found at our website.  If you make a nomination and do not get an acknowledgement of receipt, please resend.
  • Save the date: You are invited to join us at the  Annual Awards Banquet on Saturday, December 3rd, 2022, from 11:30AM to 2:00PM, at the Blu on The Avenue  (326 S Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789). More information about reservations will become available soon.

Subscribe to our community page, follow our facebook pageand check out our website for updated news, and activities of our local section.

Best wishes,
Dr. Denisia Popolan-Vaida
Chair of the Orlando Section of the ACS
On behalf of the Orlando Section executive committee

2023 US National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO)

Dear Chemistry Colleague,

As 2022 Chair of the Orlando Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS), I am pleased to announce that the Orlando section will be participating in the 2023 US National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO). The primary goals of this program are to stimulate interest and achievement in chemistry among high school students throughout the United States and to provide recognition of outstanding young chemistry students, teachers, and schools. 

Students competing in the USNCO are eligible to be selected as members of the United States team for the International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO). For the past 35 years, the United States has sent a team of four students to compete with nations around the world at IChO. The students participate in both theoretical and laboratory examinations over several days. Gold, silver, and bronze medals are awarded to the best performers and the IChO provides students the opportunity to interact with their peers from other countries. 

My immediate task is to encourage you and your students to participate in this program. It is the responsibility of the Orlando section to nominate students from the local area to take the USNCO national examination. In order to identify these students, the Orlando section is conducting a preliminary screening of students through the high school chemistry faculty in our area. The national exam involves three phases, administered to more than 1000 students.  The first exam is done in the high school chemistry class organized by the high school instructor for nominated students. This can take place anytime during the month of March. Exams will be mailed to the high school instructor in late February. Exam answer sheets are emailed or mailed back to the Olympiad coordinator by March 30, 2023

Ten (10) students (maximum of 2 students from each high school) will be chosen, based on the second round scores, to take part in an all day chemistry practical at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy on Saturday, April 22, 2023 in room 404. This is an all-day theoretical and practical exam, running from 8:30 AM-3:00 PM. Students will be notified in early April if they are selected for this second round of testing. Students can view study resources and view past exams at

I encourage your school to participate in this academic Olympiad. All students who participate will be recognized and presented with a certificate and pin. The top 150 students will receive recognition for outstanding performance at the national level.  Also, any student making it to the third round of testing in Washington, DC in May, can be sponsored by the Orlando Section for travel. The local Orlando section hopes this recognition will stimulate interest in chemistry and promote a positive attitude toward chemistry. 

Mary Roslonowski has been appointed the USNCO coordinator for this area. We encourage you to nominate students from your school to this competition by completing and returning the enclosed registration form on or before Jan 15, 2023 to Mary Roslonowski at If you have any questions, please contact her at 321-243-6198. Thank you for helping to promote chemical education in the US.


Denisia Popolan-Vaida, Ph.D.

2022 Chair, Orlando Section ACS

Important information

Annual Election: Meet the Candidates for 2023 Executive Committee

We are excited to announce the candidates for 2023 Executive Committee of the Orlando Section. Voting is expected to open on October 24th, 2022, when you will receive a separate email with the instructions on how to cast your votes electronically and will close on November 8th, 2022.

Dr. Nicole Lapeyrouse
Candidate for Chair

Dr. Nicole Lapeyrouse is a lecturer at the University of Central Florida (UCF). She performed her undergraduate studies at Florida International University and graduate work at UCF. At UCF, her research focused on the remediation of chlorinated compounds in aqueous environments and chemistry education. Dr. Lapeyrouse’s current research includes investigating student perception of teaching practices and their experience with unique multimedia, diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM instructional materials, and STEM retention.

Dr. Stephen Smith
Candidate for Chair-Elect

Dr. Stephen Smith is a native of Central Florida and currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering and Sciences at the Florida Institute of Technology. He completed his PhD in chemistry at the University of Central Florida in 2021. His research interests include synthesis of nanomaterials via industrially viable processes for applications as bactericides.

Dr. Pavithra Pathirathna
Candidate for Secretary

Pavithra Pathirathna is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering and Sciences at the Florida Institute of Technology. She performed her undergraduate studies at the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, and her Ph.D. with Parastoo Hashemi in the Department of Chemistry at Wayne State University, MI, USA. Her postdoctoral work was at the University of Pittsburgh with Shigeru Amemiya. Pavithra’s interdisciplinary and translational research program centers on developing and optimizing electrochemical sensors for analyzing biologically and environmentally impactful metals and neurotransmitters with applications in point of care diagnostics. Some of her prestigious distinctions include Honor Citation for Teaching Service and Esther and Stanley Kirschner General Chemistry Teaching Award. Besides her scholarly and teaching activities, Pavithra has been serving as the secretary of the ACS Orlando section since 2021 and a reviewer and a co-editor of several journals.

Dr. Van Quach
Candidate for Treasurer

Dr. Van Quach has been the treasurer of the Orlando Section since 2019.  In addition, he is a professor of chemistry at Seminole State College.  He has been teaching there since Aug 2010.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Florida in 1999.  After taking some time off for travel, he made his way up to Tallahassee, FL to start graduate school.  At Florida State University, his research focused on better understanding of the theoretical and fundamental processes that occur during chemical separation.  Specifically, he investigated the temperature dependence of the phase ration in liquid chromatography systems.  He received his Ph.D. in 2009 and taught for two years at FSU before returning to the central Florida area to teach at Seminole State College.  In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, reading, and drinking good wines.

Dr. Darlene Slattery
Candidate for Councilor

Dr. Slattery has been an active member of the Orlando Section since its inception in 1991, serving as Chair in 1992, 2002 and 2008, treasurer in 1996 and has served as Councilor since 2011.  She has also served on a number of local section committees, including the Awards Committee, which she has chaired for the majority of her time in the Section.  

As Councilor, Dr. Slattery has served on two National Committees, first on the Committee on Chemical Safety and since 2018, she has served on the Membership Affairs Committee (MAC), where she was actively involved in the development of the new membership model that resulted in new categories of membership and more pricing options.  As a member of MAC, she is also the lead for the Liaison and Caucus Working Group.  

Dr. Slattery is happily retired and looks forward to the opportunity to continue her support of the Orlando Section.

Call for Annual Awards

Since 1991, the Orlando Section of the American Chemical Society has recognized individuals who live, work, or study in the seven-county region of the Orlando Section and excel in chemistry. Continuing this tradition, this year, the Orlando Section will give the following awards:

  • Eileen Tulley Award for Outstanding High School Student
  • Outstanding High School Teacher
  • Outstanding Undergraduate at a Primarily Teaching Institution
  • Outstanding Undergraduate at a Primarily Research Institution
  • Outstanding Graduate at a Primarily Research Institution
  • Outstanding Educator at a Primarily Teaching Institution
  • Outstanding Educator at a Primarily Research Institution
  • Outstanding Chemist
  • Outstanding Chemistry Professional
  • Outstanding Entrepreneur/Employer Award
  • Outstanding Volunteer

Descriptions and criteria for each award can be found in our website at

If you know someone or companies who should be recognized publicly, please nominate them for an ACS Orlando Section award. Each Award consists of a plaque and a monetary award. Awardees will be honored at the local Section’s annual banquet held on December 3rd, 2022.  Student nominees need not be currently enrolled in chemistry but can be nominated for achievements for the spring 2022 term.

Nomination package includes:
(1) A letter of nomination stating why this person/company* deserves the award.
(2) A letter of support from someone else who knows the nominee.

Each letter should include the name of the award, and the writer’s email address and daytime phone number. Electronic submissions are required. Email PDF letters to Dr. Darlene Slattery, Chair of the Orlando Section Awards Committee at To be considered, nominations must be received by Friday November 4th, 2022 November 9th, 2022.

Nominators of awardees are expected to participate in the local Section’s annual banquet to introduce the awardees.

* Point of contact for nominated company must be included in the letter.

2022 NCW Illustrated Poem Contest: Fabulous Fibers: The Chemistry of Fabrics

The Orlando Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS) is hosting an illustrated poem contest for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. Entries must be sponsored by a local school or community group for verification purposes.

Contest_Deadline:Wednesday, October 26, 2022 at 11:59 PM Eastern
Local Prizes: One winner will be awarded ($50) for each of the flowing categories:
Grades K-2     Grades 3-5     Grades 6-8     Grades 9-12
The teacher who guided the winner will receive ($100) funding for classroom supplies.
Local Contact:Duy Le (
Submission:Illustrated poem and submission form must be submitted to or email to

Winners of the Orlando Section’s Illustrated Poem Contest will advance to the National Illustrated Poem Contest for a chance to be featured on the ACS website and to win prizes!

How to participate:

Write and illustrate a poem using the CCEW theme, “Fabulous Fibers: The Chemistry of Fabrics.” Your poem must be no more than 40 words and in the following styles to be considered:


Possible topics related to the CCEW 2021 theme include:

  • Natural fiber
  • Synthetic fiber
  • Chemical synthesis
  • Polymers
  • Dyeing fabrics
  • Hydrophilic
  • Hydrophobic
  • Properties of fabrics

Entries will be judged based upon:

  • Artistic Merit – use of color, quality of drawing, design & layout
  • Poem Message – fun, motivational, inspiring about yearly theme
  • Originality Creativity – unique, clever and/or creative design
  • Neatness – free of spelling and grammatical errors

Contest rules:

·   All poems must be no more than 40 words, and in one of the following styles to be considered: Haiku, Limerick, Ode, ABC poem, Free verse, End rhyme, and Blank verse.
·   Entries are judged based upon relevance to and incorporation of the NCW theme, word choice and imagery, colorful artwork, adherence to poem style, originality and creativity, and overall presentation.
·   All entries must be original works without aid from others. Poems may be submitted by hand on an unlined sheet of paper not larger than 11” by 14” or scanned and sent via email. Illustrations may be created using crayons, watercolors, other types of paint, colored pencils, or markers. The illustration may also be electronically created by using a digital painting and drawing app on a computer, tablet, or mobile device.
·   The text of the poem should be easy to read and may be typed before the hand-drawn or digital illustration is added, or the poem may be written on lined paper, which is cut out and pasted onto the unlined paper with the illustration.
·   No clipart or unoriginal images can be used.
·   Only one entry per student will be accepted; all entries must include an entry form. If the illustration is created using a digital painting or drawing app, the name of the program must be included on the entry form.
·   Acceptance of prizes constitutes consent to use winners’ first name, and entry for editorial, advertising, and publicity purposes.

Download this Flyer and submission form

Examples (2021 National winners)

National Chemistry Week’s event: The Chemistry of Fabrics

Join the ACS Orlando Section of the American Chemical Society and Orlando Science Center for a community event for National Chemistry Week and celebrate the importance of chemistry in everyday life! Learn about this year’s theme, The Chemistry of Fabrics, from UCF, FIT, Valencia College faculty and students with 10 exciting activities.

When: Saturday, October 22nd, 2022 (10:00 AM – 4:00 PM)
Where: Orlando Science Center

Annual Election: Call for 2023 Executive Board Candidates & Voting

We are seeking interested individuals to join the Orlando Section Executive Committee in 2023! We have four positions up for election: Chair, Chair Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and Councilor. A description of each position is included below. Please contact Dr. Laura Sessions (, Nominating Committee Chair, with any additional questions.

All nominations (including name of nominee, contact information, and nominated position) must be notified to Dr. Laura Sessions (via email at by October 14th, 2022. Voting is expected to open on October 24th, when you will receive a separate email with the instructions on how to cast your votes electronically and will close on November 8th . Please let us know (via email at before October 14th 2022 if you would like to be mailed a paper copy ballot.


Chair (one-year term).  The main responsibilities are:

  • Two year commitment (one year as chair, one year as immediate Past-Chair)
  • Serve as Chair of the Executive Committee
  • Appoint members and/or affiliates to all committees
  • Oversee the activity of the section
  • To vote/participate in exec decisions

Chair Elect (one year term). The main responsibilities are:

  • Three year commitment (one year as chair-elect, one year as chair, one year as immediate Past-Chair)
  • To vote/participate in exec decisions
  • Succeed to office of Chair for the next year
  • Serve as chair for meetings which the Chair cannot attend

Treasurer (one-year term).  The main responsibilities are:

  • Prepare the annual budget/expenditures report for Nationals
  • Maintain the Section bank account
  • Maintain a budget, disbursements, expenditures, and accounting for the Section activities
  • To vote/participate in exec decisions

Secretary (one-year term).  The main responsibilities are:

  • To take notes at exec meetings
  • To set-up and distribute ballots for elections (mostly electronic now)
  • Oversee website and social media communications
  • To vote/participate in exec decisions

Councilor (three-year term).  The main responsibilities are:

  • To attend national meeting annually, represent the Section, and report back activities
  • Assist in preparing and submitting the annual report to the national office
  • To vote/participate in exec decisions

24th Annual ChemLuminary Awards: Outstanding Ongoing CCEW Event

Orlando Section accepting 24th ChemLuminary Award for Outstanding Ongoing CCEW Event.

At the 24th ChemLuminary Award ceremony on August 23, 2022, at the ACS National Meeting in Chicago, the Orlando Local Section received the Outstanding Ongoing CCEW Event award sponsored by Committee on Community Activities (CCA). This award recognizes a local section for an outstanding CCEW event that has been conducted for at least three years.

For more than a decade, except for 2020 thanks to the pandemic, each year, our local section participates in Central Florida Earth day to promote the positive role that chemistry plays in the world. Our events often attract hundreds of attendees to our tent for chemistry demonstrations and hands-on activities as well as discussion with volunteers.

This is the first ever ChemLuminary Award received by the Orlando Section.

In addition, our National Chemistry Week event at the Orlando Science Center is in the finalist of the Outstanding Community Involvement in NCW award.