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