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 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