2023 Annual Award Banquet

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The Orlando Section of the American Chemical Society held it’s annual awards banquet on Saturday, December 2nd, 2023 at the At the 310 Lakeside restaurant in Downtown Orlando.

The 2023 winners are:

Award RecipientOrganization
Outstanding Student at a primarily teaching institutionMs. Denette BoucomeKeiser University
Outstanding Student at a primarily research institution (undergraduate)Ms. Arden Floyd
Mr. Matthew Pensenstadler
University of Central Florida
Florida Institute of Technology
Outstanding Undergraduates StudentsAlivia Taylor
Natali Barakat
Seminole States College
University of Central Florida
Outstanding Graduate StudentMr. Jorge PereiraUniversity of Central Florida
Outstanding Teacher at a primarily teaching institutionDr. Mahesh PeddibhotlaValencia College
Outstanding Educator at a Primarily Research InstitutionDr. Pavithra PathirathnaFlorida Institute of Technology
Outstanding ChemistDr. Nasri NesnasFlorida Institute of Technology
Outstanding Chemical ProfessionalDr. Nahid MohajeriNitto Americas
Outstanding VolunteerDr. Duy LeUniversity of Central Florida

Annual Awards Banquet Invitation

The Orlando Section of the American Chemical Society will recognize 2023 awards winners in a traditional annual awards banquet on December 2nd, 2023. You are invited to attend the banquet:

Saturday, December 2nd, 2023
11:30AM to 2:00PM
At the 310 Lakeside
301 East Pine Street, Orlando, FL 32801

MENU
Appetizers
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
Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken
Pasta Primavera
seasonal vegetables, grana padano cheese
Chicken Piccata
white wine, butter, capers, lemon sauce
Salmon
tomato bruschetta, balsamic glaze
Dessert
Tiramisu
Beverages
Iced tea, soft beverages, and Illy coffee
Cash bar is available

The cost will be $25/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 https://forms.gle/ppkK4WM5aHDQDFu88, or by email to Nicole.lapeyrouse@ucf.edu. Reservations must be made by November 26, 2023.   Please include names so that we can provide nametags.

We look forward to seeing you all there!

Call for Annual Awards Nominations

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 https://orlandoacs.org/annual-awards

If you know someone or a company 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 annual banquet held on December 3, 2023. Student nominees need not be currently enrolled in chemistry but can be nominated for achievements for the spring 2023 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 here: https://valenciacc.ut1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bDBBTN2cVoidkgK

• Nominations must be received by 5pm Friday November 3, 2023.
• Nominators of awardees are expected to participate in the Orlando Section’s annual banquet to introduce the awardees.
• Please address any questions to Dr. Laura Sessions, Chair of the Orlando Section Awards Committee, at lsessions@valenciacollege.edu.
* Point of contact for nominated company must be included in the letter.

Volunteer opportunities

Hello Orlando Section!

In this bulletin, we would like to bring to your attention a couple important opportunities for members and highlight some accomplishments:

  • Call for Volunteers for the Awards Committee: The Orlando Section is currently in search of individuals willing to contribute to the Awards Committee. Annually, our section grants awards totaling more than $3,000 to honor the outstanding contributions of chemists and chemistry students within our local community.
  • Orlando Section wins ChemLuminary Award: The Orlando Section received the ChemLuminary Award for Outstanding Community Involvement in National Chemistry Week at the ACS Fall 2023 Meeting in San Francisco. National Chemistry Week celebrates the importance of chemistry in everyday life. On October 22, 2022, about 400 attendees were able to participate in experiments related to the theme: Fabulous Fibers, The Chemistry of Fabrics. 
  • Call for Volunteers for National Chemistry Week event at OSC: Look for us at the Orlando Science Center again for National Chemistry Week celebrations on Saturday, October 21, 2023. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Denisia.Popolan-Vaida@ucf.edu.

You can read more about these fantastic events and see pictures on our website and social media linked below.

Best wishes,

Dr. Nicole Lapeyrouse
Chair of the Orlando Section of the ACS
On behalf of the Orlando Section executive committee

Please don’t forget to subscribe to our community page, follow our facebook pageand check out our website for updated news, and activities of our local section.


Call for Volunteers for the Awards Committee

The Orlando Section is currently in search of individuals willing to contribute to the Awards Committee. Annually, our section grants awards exceeding a total of $3,000 to honor the outstanding contributions of chemists and chemistry students within our local community.

The committee’s commitment involves a brief initial Zoom meeting, followed by asynchronous evaluation of nomination letters during the week of November 4-10. If this opportunity piques your interest, kindly send a brief statement of your intent to the Awards Chair no later than September 29, 2023: Dr. Laura Sessions lsessions@valenciacollege.edu.

Travel Awards

In 2023, the Orlando Section awarded $1600 for five students to travel to on the following scientific meetings: the spring and fall ACS National Meetings in Indianapolis and San Francisco and the 99th Florida Annual Meeting and Exposition (FAME) conference in Plam Harbor.

Angelo Cinque, an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Nicole Lapyrouse’s group at UCF, attended the Fall 2023 National Meeting. He is evaluating the efficacy of the integration of an adaptive learning system, Mastery Paths, in a CHM 2045C classroom. The research team aims to code qualitative data to understand students’ perceptions and attitudes towards Mastery Path and look at relationships between students’ course performance and their use of the platform. He presented his research and discussed with participants from around the country studying similar topics. He enjoyed listening to other presenters including presentations expanding beyond his research topic. He writes, ‘Overall, it was an unforgettable experience and an important milestone in my academic journey. Thank you so much for the opportunity to go to Fall ACS.’.

The Orlando Section no longer accepts applications for travel awards for 2023. Please check back in 2024 for new opportunities for your students: https://orlandoacs.org/2023-student-travel-awards/

About Student Travel Awards: The Orlando Section of the American Chemical Society offers travel awards to students who are in need of financial supplement for their conference participations. Click here for more information about the awards and how to apply.

    Orlando Section wins at the 25th Annual ChemLuminary Awards

    Dr. Duy Le (UCF), Orlando Section webmaster, and Dr. Laura Sessions (Valencia College), Orlando Section Alternate Councilor are pictured with Mary K. Carroll, ACS President-Elect (right) and Dr. Lori Stepan, Chair of Committee on Community Activities (CCA) (left).

    The Orlando Section received the ChemLuminary Award for Outstanding Community Involvement in National Chemistry Week at the ACS Fall 2023 Meeting in San Francisco. National Chemistry Week celebrates the importance of chemistry in everyday life. On October 22, 2022, about 400 attendees were able to participate in experiments related to the theme: Fabulous Fibers, The Chemistry of Fabrics.  The Orlando Section offered ten safe and exciting activities for attendees at our partner institution, the Orlando Science Center. This event was organized by Dr. Denisia Popolan-Vaida, assistant professor in the chemistry department at UCF, and supported by volunteers, faculty and students, from UCF, FIT, and Valencia College. The Orlando Section extends its appreciation to all the volunteers who made the event possible.

    Edwin Davidson Barahona (Dr. Santra’s lab, UCF) and Kathleen Lugo-Charriez (Dr. Saitta’s group, UCF), celebrate after the award ceremony with Dr. Duy Le (UCF), Orlando Section webmaster, and Dr. Laura Sessions (Valencia College), Orlando Section Alternate Councilor.

    Edwin shared that volunteering for the National Chemistry week ‘was a very enriching community engagement experience. I always enjoy any opportunity to share about chemistry and science with a diverse audience. This event allowed me to combine both of my passions and provide meaningful learning experiences to kids and young adults. Sharing chemistry knowledge with the participants and observing their sparked curiosity gave me a deeper appreciation of the importance of science. The collective teamwork done by the Orlando section and group of volunteers was incredible, and showcased the greater impact we can achieve working together to generate a positive and safe environment to foster scientific interest in the future generations.’

    You can see pictures from the event here: https://orlandoacs.org/2022-national-chemistry-weeks-event-the-chemistry-of-fabrics/

    Look for us at the Orlando Science Center again for National Chemistry Week celebrations in October 2023. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Denisia.Popolan-Vaida@ucf.edu.

    Orlando Sections Travel Awards – Summer 2023

    Travel awards from the Orlando Section of the ACS assisted two students in Dr. Denisia Popolan-Vaida’s research group at University of Central Florida to attend the 99th Florida Annual Meeting and Exposition (FAME) conference from June 1 – 3, 2023. Arden Floyd and Alec DeCecco received $150 each.

    Arden Floyd gave a poster presentation on her research titled “Cloud Condensation Nuclei Activity of Fresh and Aged Maleic Acid Aerosol Particles”. She gained new perspective on her work thanks to the insightful questions of the FAME attendees. She was introduced to exciting fields of chemistry by the excellent and diverse presentations she attended and was able to forge new friendships and professional connections with like-minded chemists from across the state of Florida. She is a chemistry major at the University of Central Florida who will be graduating in Spring 2024. She looks forward to next year’s 100th anniversary of FAME.

    Alec DeCecco, a Ph.D. student at the University of Central Florida, has just completed his first year of study on combustion research. He writes that his experience at ACS FAME was fantastic. He shared his research with others and received really interesting questions that lead to great conversations. Attending presentations gave him insight into some of the cutting-edge research going on in the field of chemistry and he was able to learn a lot. He found the conference attendees to be very friendly and had a lot of fun meeting people and hearing about their research. He gives his thanks to the section for granting him the travel award that made this whole experience possible.

    Congratulations and good work, Arden and Alec!

    About Student Travel Awards: The Orlando Section of the American Chemical Society offers travel awards to students who are in need of financial supplement for their conference participations. Click here for more information about the awards and how to apply.

    2023 Summer Social Invitation

    The Orlando Section of the American Chemical Society is pleased to honor our 50-, 60-, and 70-year ACS members and present the Salutes to Excellence award to our partner, the Orlando Science Center. Additionally, Patrick Walsh and Chris Spence from Covanta will give a short talk on a Sustainable Systems Solution for Solid Waste.

    Saturday July 8th, 2023
    11:30AM to 2:00PM
    Macaroni Grill (12148 S Apopka Vineland Rd, Orlando, FL 32836)

    MENU
    Appetizers
    Bruschetta Calamari, Caesar Salad
    Entrée choice of
    Fettuccine Alfredo w/Chicken, Spaghetti w/Meatballs, Chicken Parmesan, Pasta Milano, or Truffle Mac & Cheese
    Dessert
    Vanilla Ice Cream
    Beverages
    Soda, Iced Tea, Lemonade
    Cash bar is available

    The cost will be $25/person. Since the Orlando Section covers part of the meal, tax, and gratuity, 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 by July 6, 2023 – online at https://forms.gle/THwRVyRT9gTaBnV7A.

    Sustainable Systems Solution for Solid Waste
    Patrick Walsh, Area Asset Manager, and Chris Spence, Facility Manager
    Covanta
    Waste-to-energy (WTE) is the conversion of non-recyclable waste to electricity. It has been touted as both good and bad for the environment – good for decreasing waste levels and bad for the creation of pollutants in the incineration process. According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, WTE has grown from one plant in 1982 to 11 facilities in 2022, giving Florida one of the highest levels of WTE processing nationwide. Last year, Florida Senate Bill 1764 was passed to encourage more.

    Come learn more about WTE from the experts at Covanta and enjoy a luncheon with fellow chemists.
    We look forward to seeing you all there!

    Download this flyer

    2023 CCEW Illustrated Poem Contest: The Results

    Among many other activities for the 2023 Chemists Celebrate Earth Week (CCEW), the Orlando Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS) hosted the 2023 CCEW Illustrated Poem Contest for K-12 students in Central Florida. This year, the theme of the contest is “The Curious Chemistry of Amazing Algae”.

    Winner of Grade 3-5 category, by M. P. from Harmony Community School (Osceola County)

    Thanks to members of counties’ school boards and the teachers who brought the contest to students’ attention, the contest received many entries from multiple schools.

    Results of the local contest

    K-2 Category
    No Winner

    Grade 3-5 Category
    Winner: M. P.
    Harmony Community School (Osceola County)

    Grade 6-8 Category
    Winner: E. D.
    Sanford Middle School (Seminole County)

    Winner of Grade 6-8 Category, by E. D. from Sanford Middle School (Seminole County)

    Grade 9-12 Category
    No Winner

    The winner of each category will receive a certificate and a monetary award of $50. The teacher who guided the winner of each category will receive a school supply funding of $100.

    The winner of each category also advances to the national 2023 CCEW Illustrated Poem Contest. The full results of the national contest can be found at ACS website. If you have any comments or questions regarding the local contest, please contact the local section’s coordinator of the contest (Dr. Duy Le, submission@orlandoacs.org).