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.

24th Annual ChemLuminary Awards: Outstanding Ongoing CCEW Event

Orlando Section accepting 24th ChemLuminary Award for Outstanding Ongoing CCEW Event.

At the 24th ChemLuminary Award ceremony on August 23, 2022, at the ACS National Meeting in Chicago, the Orlando Local Section received the Outstanding Ongoing CCEW Event award sponsored by Committee on Community Activities (CCA). This award recognizes a local section for an outstanding CCEW event that has been conducted for at least three years.

For more than a decade, except for 2020 thanks to the pandemic, each year, our local section participates in Central Florida Earth day to promote the positive role that chemistry plays in the world. Our events often attract hundreds of attendees to our tent for chemistry demonstrations and hands-on activities as well as discussion with volunteers.

This is the first ever ChemLuminary Award received by the Orlando Section.

In addition, our National Chemistry Week event at the Orlando Science Center is in the finalist of the Outstanding Community Involvement in NCW award.

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 ycc@orlandoacs.org.

Get Involved

One of main goals of the Orlando Section’s strategic plan is to “Attract, recruit and retain more volunteers” to execute its mission. The Orlando Section recognizes that this is the way to bring better ideas, make new skill sets available, and contribute to the section’s networking capability in addition to help sharing the workload. Presumably, the recruitment of volunteers will become easier as we achieve other goals of the strategic plan.

The Orlando Section regularly organizes and/or participates in the following activities that need volunteers to take leadership roles:

  • Annual Award Banquet
  • Chemistry Olympiads
  • Chemists Celebrate Earth Week (CCEW)
  • Florida Annual Meeting and Exposition (FAME)
  • National Chemistry Week
  • Meet and Greet Happy Hours and Dinners
  • State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida

If you want to get involved in one of the above activities, please contact one of current officers or email us at contact [ at ] OrlandoACS.org.