By Rebecca Jasulevicz
Recently, four members of ESU’s Chemistry Club traveled to the American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting and Exposition in Denver, Colorado, to receive the ACS Commendable Student Chapter Award. The club received this award for its active participation in community outreach and education-enrichment programs during the 2013 to 2014 academic year.
Dr. William Loffredo, one of the Chemistry Club’s advisors, said, “I am so proud of the Chemistry Club and all they achieved last year. It is great to see that their hard work has been recognized nationally at the American Chemical Society conference. This recognition not only applauds the students’ efforts, but it allows other members of our society to see what great things we are accomplishing here at ESU.”
As a student chapter of ACS, the Chemistry Club attends national and regional ACS meetings, in addition to visiting local elementary schools to teach children about science, visiting companies in the field, and attending events on campus.
Chemistry Club member Bruno Benassini said, “I think our activeness outside the classroom is what has made our club noteworthy.”
Two weeks ago, the club visited local elementary school Msgr. McHugh, where they put on a chemistry-themed magic show. Experiences like these are why the club believes they have been awarded the Commendable Student Chapter Award. In the future, the club hopes to continue being recognized for its efforts.
Loffredo said, “The members of the Chemistry Department strive to ignite an excitement and passion for chemistry in all the courses we instruct. So whenever students begin to display that passion for chemistry, it encourages us to keep striving.”
Student ACS chapters are able to win outstanding, commendable, and honorable mention awards. During the 2012 to 2013 academic year, the club earned an honorable mention.
Eric Rosa, the club’s secretary, said, “Our excellence in the 2013 to 2014 academic year is what made us stand apart from other colleges. Hundreds of colleges received awards and ESU stood out to be grouped into the commendable group. It shows that our club is doing an excellent job and should keep up the good work.”
Benassini added, “The fact that our actions have attracted national attention from the ACS shows that we are active and it also serves as encouragement to keep outdoing ourselves… My hope is that we can keep improving. Maybe in the future we’ll get more ACS awards!”
In addition to receiving the award, Eric Rosa, Bruno Benassini, Eve Salzberg, and Estefania Fematt spent four days in Denver, attending the National Meeting and Exposition and exploring the city. At the exposition, chemical companies displayed their newest products and performed demonstrations that the club hopes to emulate at upcoming events.
Benassini said, “My favorite part of the trip had to be the exposition. It was by far the coolest part of the trip. We got to see all the newest and most expensive instruments, and we were able to see said instruments in action. We were introduced to some exciting new research, met some cool people, and even got a taste of some chemistry representatives from abroad who chatted with us about chemistry outside the US.”
The four were also able to attend an undergraduate research poster session, where they learned about the process of presenting chemical research and were able to critique others’ research. In addition, they attended a graduate school fair and met with graduate school representatives that advised them about life after graduation.
“There were countless things I enjoyed on the trip. Overall, the place was just extremely enjoyable and everyone was so friendly. I may attend graduate school at Colorado State because of their programs and the experience I received in Denver,” said Rosa.
Touring Denver included visits to the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and the Denver Botanic Gardens, as well as local spots like 16th Street Mall, Larimer Square, and the Colorado State Capitol.
To be able to participate in events like this, current members encourage all students interested in chemistry to consider joining the Chemistry Club.
“The club provides a forum for chemistry students to talk, socialize, and share ideas in a non-stressful environment… The Chemistry Club really provides its members with a lot of opportunities that are extremely helpful,” said Benassini.
Rosa added, “The club can help you to further your understanding of chemistry outside of the classroom or lab and support your overall science education. You can also meet other people in your major that share common interests. Our local section is always close with our faculty too, so if you are afraid to talk to professors, joining Chemistry Club may break that phobia.”
The club hopes to continue developing their community outreach programs.
On April 23, the club will co-sponsor a table with the Marine Science Club at Earth Day, where students will be able to tie-dye shirts and bandanas. On the same day, members will head to DSM, a pharmaceutical company in New Jersey, where they will perform demonstrations for the company’s “Bring Your Kid to Work Day.”
Benassini said, “If anyone is interested in either of those, I’d encourage those people to get in contact with a Chemistry Club officer or member to get more details.”
Chemistry Club encourages all interested students, regardless of their majors, to join if interested. The next meeting will be Tuesday, April 14, at 2:30 PM in the Science and Technology Center, room 148.
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