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The University chapter of the American Chemical Society will receive an Honorable Mention National Chapter Award for its activities during the 2011-2012 academic school year.
The award-winning chapters will also be recognized in the November/December issue of inChemistry magazine, the official, quarterly publication of ACS.
Dr. Treacy Woods, chair of the chemistry department, said she feels this is a great accomplishment for the organization, given that the University chapter is relatively new.
“We just found out that the organization received the award for its very first year,” Woods said.
Last year, at the end of the academic year, the officers of the on-campus chapter, now known as ACS-HBU, submitted a report to ACS that described the activities in which members participated.
Last month, Dr. Saul Trevino, assistant professor of chemistry, received an email from the undergraduate programs manager of ACS, informing him of the accomplishment of ACS-HBU. He informed the chemistry deparment and members of the University chapter of ACS.
Senior Kevin Ramirez, president of ACS-HBU, said the day he learned about the club’s accomplishment was by far the greatest day of the semester for him.
“It was almost surreal when I read the email about the award,” he said. “The award is a tremendous honor because we are from a small private school that not many people know of and we were one of the chapters that was recognized by the reviewing committee.”
Trevino said every student chapter across the nation submitted a report to ACS, each of which was reviewed by three faculty advisers. The committee decided which chapters would receive awards based on community service, chapter development, social functions and fundraising. The committee also provided feedback for improving club activities.
“The feedback was good because we got the honorable mention, but there might be higher awards that we could get in the future,” Trevino said.
Ramirez said he believes the first two presidents, alumnae Rebecca Cook and Vinh Luu, who graduated last year, set the precedent for the success of ACS-HBU.
“Rebecca’s and Vinh’s ideas set the standard for what is now ACS-HBU,” he said. “Their ideas are still what my officers and I use today when we consider events for our chapter.”
ACS-HBU will receive a plaque at a ceremony at the national meeting in New Orleans in April 2013. Although plans have not been set regarding who will represent the club at the ceremony, Trevino said the chapter hopes to send someone to receive the award in person, a trip that the chemistry department’s Welch grant could fund.