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

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.

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

American Chemical Society chief executive officer announces his retirement

WASHINGTON, May 31, 2022 — The American Chemical Society (ACS) today announced that Thomas Connelly, Ph.D., will retire from his position as ACS chief executive officer at the end of the year after more than seven years of serving in this role. In addition to effectively navigating the organization through the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic, he has led the organization as it strengthened its core values, transformed its membership and launched new initiatives.

Thomas Connelly
Credit: Peter Cutts Photography

“Tom has provided strong leadership for ACS throughout his tenure, especially over the past two years as we experienced a once in a lifetime challenge due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With his guidance, ACS has weathered the pandemic and is now stronger than it’s ever been,” says Paul W. Jagodzinski, Ph.D., chair of the ACS Board of Directors. “We look forward to Tom’s continued leadership through the rest of 2022 and wish him all the best as he enters the next chapter of his life in 2023.”

Connelly joined ACS in 2015. He has overseen the refinement and expansion of ACS core values, which define the principles that guide the organization. During his tenure, the core value of professionalism was expanded to include safety and ethics. Additionally, the core value of diversity, inclusion and respect added equity as a key principle. He also guided a transformation of membership by increasing the focus on growing ACS’ international efforts as well as supporting the development of a new membership model, which launched this year. Most recently, Connelly led the effort to establish four strategic initiatives designed to have a transformational impact on the chemistry enterprise. The more than $50 million, multiyear effort embodies ACS’ commitment to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and all its people.

“It has been an honor to serve as ACS CEO for more than seven years,” Connelly says. “ACS continues to advance its Vision and Mission through the efforts of our dedicated staff and wonderful volunteers. I look forward to continuing my service to ACS from within its membership ranks.”

Prior to joining ACS, Connelly had a 37-year distinguished career at DuPont Company, where he held the roles of chief science and technology officer and chief innovation officer during his tenure. Connelly holds chemical engineering and economics degrees from Princeton University. As a Winston Churchill Scholar, he received his doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Cambridge. In 2016, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He has served in advisory roles to the U.S. Government and the Republic of Singapore.

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS’ mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and all its people. The Society is a global leader in promoting excellence in science education and providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple research solutions, peer-reviewed journals, scientific conferences, eBooks and weekly news periodical Chemical & Engineering News. ACS journals are among the most cited, most trusted and most read within the scientific literature; however, ACS itself does not conduct chemical research. As a leader in scientific information solutions, its CAS division partners with global innovators to accelerate breakthroughs by curating, connecting and analyzing the world’s scientific knowledge. ACS’ main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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ACS Newsroom                                                           Emily Abbott                                          

Summer Social Event

We hope you have had a healthy and productive year so far and are ready for the official start of summer. In this bulletin we would like to bring to your attention an exciting summer social events that our section is organizing. To honor our 50th, 60th and 70th year ACS members and celebrate the 95th anniversary of The ACS Women Chemists Committee, the ACS Orlando Local Section is organizing a Summer Social Event

on Saturday, June 25th, 2022 
(stating at 11:30 AM)
at the Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant
529 N Alafaya Trail, Orlando, FL 32828

Apart from socializing, the award ceremony to recognize our senior members, we are very pleased to announce that Dr. Christina Drake of Kismet Technologies will give a short talk about the bacterial and viral transmissions in hospitals, a topic that is so important in the current COVID era.  

Also, this time the ACS Orlando section will subsidize part of the meal cost, so our members will have to pay only $25 out-of-pocket for a three-course meal. The location can accommodate only 42 people, so early registration is highly encouraged. Please follow the link below to register for the event. The registration deadline is June 15th.

Registration link:

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.

We look forward to seeing you all there!

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

Younger Chemist Committee (YCC): Let’s ignite the hunger while we are younger!

The Younger Chemist Committee (YCC) of the Orlando Section of the American Chemical Society is established with a mission to advocate for, develop, and support rising chemists to positively impact their careers, the ACS, and the future of chemistry. We aim to build a community that will welcome budding chemists to seek guidance, voice concerns, and hone various technical and social skills. We hold with high regard the idea of networking and job-seeking and will organize events to reach those goals. The local section YCC works close-knit with the local section ACS making them unique from other clubs with similar goals. 

Starting in 2022, the Committee is led by Mohammed Muzammil Nishar Ahmed (Mill), a graduate student from Florida Institute of Technology. The committee is currently looking for interested individuals to help structure the board so that the club can get the ball rolling for its endeavors. The board positions include a chair, secretary, treasurer, engagement team, interface team, and communications team. If you or someone you know would like to contribute to the activities of the YCC, please connect with us via facebook or email us at