30 Year Anniversary of the Section

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Orlando Section of the American Chemical Society. The celebration of this milestone will happen at our annual award banquet on December 4th, 2021 at the 310 Lakeside restaurant (301 E Pine St, Orlando, FL 32801).*

We will have moments to look back at the history of our section and to highlight “what-they-are-doing-now” of the award winners at the early days. Each participant will also receive a special and long-lasting souvenir (while supply lasts).

Reservation can be made online at https://forms.gle/okhyqWaqGSGLtTtw8, or by sending email to contact@orlandoacs.org or calling Darlene Slattery at 321-632-2535. Reservations must be made by November 22, 2021 (New deadline).   Please include names so that we can provide nametags.

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.

Please join us to celebrate the history of our local section and recognize excellence in chemistry!

* All guests are expected to follow safety guidelines of the restaurant on the day of the event. For more information, please visit https://310restaurant.com.

Annual Election: Meet the Candidates for 2022 Executive Committee

Dr. Christopher Chouinard
Candidate for Chair-Elect

Dr. Christopher Chouinard is currently an Assistant Professor in the Chemistry Department at Florida Institute of Technology. His research involves novel ion mobility-mass spectrometry (IM-MS) methods for the detection of illicit substances including performance-enhancing drugs. He received his BS degrees in Chemistry and Biology from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, his Ph.D. in Chemistry from University of Florida, and did post-doctorial studies in IM-MS instrument development at Pacific Northwest National Lab.

Dr. Chouinard has served on the ACS Orlando Section executive committee (Chair-Elect/Chair/Past Chair) continuously since 2019. Most recently, he spearheaded the Section’s successful bid to host the 2025 Southeastern Regional Meeting of the ACS (SERMACS), for which he will be serving as General Chair. This will be the first time the meeting is held in Florida since 1987.

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. Pavithra Pathirathna
Candidate for Secretary

Dr. 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.

Dr. Laura Sessions
Candidate for Alternate Councilor

Dr. Sessions was born and raised in Winter Park, FL. She received undergraduate and graduate degrees from University of Florida and Dartmouth College, respectively. She has taught at Valencia College for the past eleven years, also serving as Department Chair, on the Faculty Association Council, and in multiple endowed chair awards. Dr. Sessions has enjoyed volunteering with the ACS Orlando section since 2015 in several positions including Alternate Councilor, Awards Chair, and Chair and would look forward to continuing her service this year as Alternate Councilor

Annual Awards Banquet Invitation

The Orlando Section of the American Chemical Society will recognize 2021 awards winners in a traditional annual awards banquet on December 4th, 2021. You are invited to attend the banquet:

Saturday, December 4th, 2021
11:30AM to 2:00PM
At the 310 Lakeside restaurant
301 E Pine St, Orlando, FL 32801

MENU
Appetizers
Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Bruschetta
Fried Green Tomato – pimento spread, bacon jam, chives
Signature Salad
Mixed Greens grape tomatoes, cucumbers, shaved onion, house made balsamic vinaigrette
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
Dessert
Oreo Cream Trifle
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/okhyqWaqGSGLtTtw8, or by sending email to contact@orlandoacs.org or calling Darlene Slattery at 321-632-2535. Reservations must be made by November 20, 2021.   Please include names so that we can provide nametags.

We look forward to seeing you all there!

Annual Election: Call for 2022 Executive Board Candidates & Voting

We are seeking interested individuals to join the Orlando Section Executive Committee in 2022! We have four positions up for election: Chair Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and Alternate Councilor. A description of each position is included below. Please contact Dr. Denisia Popolan-Vaida (Denisia.Popolan-Vaida@ucf.edu), Nominating Committee Chair, with any additional questions.

All nominations (including name of nominee, contact information, and nominated position) must be notified to Dr. Denisia Popolan-Vaida (via email at Denisia.Popolan-Vaida@ucf.edu) by October 15th, 2021. Voting is expected to open on October 25th, when you will receive a separate email with the instructions on how to cast your votes electronically. Please let us know before October 15th if you would like to be mailed a paper copy ballot.

OFFICER ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Chair Elect (one-year term; three-year term total). The main responsibilities are:
• 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

Alternate Councilor (three-year term). The main responsibilities are:
• To attend national meeting annually (if Councilor is not able), 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

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 https://orlandoacs.org/annual-awards

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 4th, 2021.  Student nominees need not be currently enrolled in chemistry but can be nominated for achievements for the spring 2021 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 dslattery1@cfl.rr.com. To be considered, nominations must be received by Friday November 5th, 2021 Monday November 8th, 2021 .

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.

CCEW 2021: Orlando Section at Central Florida Earthday

The Orlando Local Section took part in the Central Florida Earthday on April 25th, 2021 at Lake Eola (Downtown Orlando) to celebrate the Earth Week. This effort was led by Dr. Titel Jucar (UCF) and volunteers. Unlike previous years which had hands on activities for children, this was limited due to CDC guidance for physical distancing. The overall theme for our display was about plastics and the environment. We devised a survey to engage the public by asking them what % of plastics they believe to be recycled.

The event began at 10 AM and ended at 4PM. We were hit with a major thunderstorm at 10:30 which lasted for nearly 40 minutes. The rain damaged our displays and bent our tent. The group of ACS student volunteers pulled through, salvaged as much as we could and we went on with the day. The combination of the storm, and the added strains of the ongoing pandemic likely limited our level of interaction with the public. Nonetheless, the overall event was successful and we were able to engage with the Orlando community.

Local Participants in the 2021 U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad

The Orlando Section sponsored the participants of local student in the 2021 U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO).  Exams were taken in an online format, starting with the Local Exam, on March 27 and 28, 2021.  37 high school students  from seven high schools in the Orlando Section 7 county area.  Ten students were nominated from this group to go on to take the National Exam Part 1 online on April 7 and 8, 2021. 

These are the ten students who took the National Exam Part 1 (in no particular order):  

Jaehyun AhnHomeschool
Aidan MeyersWest Shore High School
Vishanth MurugesonOrange County High School
Truly ThomasHoly Trinity Episcopal Academy
Parker TysonHomeschool
Alexander BudkoWest Shore High School
Andy SharVanguard High School
Lyle AlvarezTrinity Prep High School
Krithik SeelaLake Highland Prep
Aiden LiuTrinity Prep High School

One student, Andy Shar, Vanguard High School was selected to take Part 2 the following weekend, April 15, 2021.  He did not advance to the National Team.  All students received certificates.

If you have any comments or questions regarding USNCO, please contact your Chemistry Olympiad Coordinator, Mary C. Roslonowski.

The State Science & Engineering Fair of Florida 2021: Avogadro award winner

Vedant Karalkar, the 2021 Avogadro award winner.

Congratulations to Vedant Karalkar from the Alachua County’s Eastside High School junior for winning the 2021 Avogadro award! Also, the student is the Grand Award Winner at the state science fair, which was held virtually from March 28 through April 1, won special awards from the Yale Science and Engineering Association, the United States Office of Naval Research, and will represent Florida at the prestigious Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair.

Karalkar’s project is called ‘Fabrication of Napthalimide Chemosensor Using InkJet Printing on Cellulose Paper for Determination of Uric Acid and Metal in Solution.’ The young scientist developed a low-cost sensor that could be used to test for a variety of diseases in areas with little or no access to current diagnostic tests that often require more expensive instruments, sophisticated techniques and/or highly-skilled medical personnel. The Avogadro Award that is given each year at the State Science and Engineering Fair with the support of the ACS local sections in the state of Florida.

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