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Local chemists honored by American Chemical Society

local chemists receive ACS awards
Pictured left to right are ACS officials Lee Latimer, Carol Baker Libby, Nigel Sanders, and Tara Baney, Penn State Berks Associate Professor of Chemistry and LVACS Chair Lorena Tribe, and ACS official Nancy Jackson.

Local chemists at Penn State Berks were among those honored for outstanding community outreach by the national office of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the worlds’ largest scientific society, at the 14th annual ChemLuminary Awards celebration, which was held in conjunction with the ACS National Meeting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on August 21, 2012.

The Lehigh Valley Section of the American Chemical Society, which includes Penn State Berks, received a ChemLuminary Award for Outstanding Performance by a Local Section – Medium Large Size Category. The Lehigh Valley section was nominated for the award due to its involvement in the International Year of Chemistry and National Chemistry Week.

Penn State Berks made several notable contributions to the section’s outreach efforts.

Dr. Lorena Tribe, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Penn State Berks and chair-elect, organized three science cafés to celebrate locally the International Year of Chemistry, a worldwide celebration of the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to the well-being of humankind. Tribe brought speakers from Albright College and the Berks County Conservation District to discuss “Water Stewardship and Conservation” to three public-centered locales: Café Harmony, the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, and Barnes & Noble, all in the Reading area.

The Lehigh Valley section celebrated National Chemistry Week, led by Dr. David Aurentz, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Penn State Berks, and Greglynn Gibbs, Research Support Technician at Penn State Berks. The Penn State Berks Chemical Society, the student chapter of the ACS, held a special National Chemistry Week event as part of their yearlong “Family Fun Night with Chemistry” program for children and parents in partnership with the Reading Public Library on October 20, 2011.

"Chemistry, Our Health, Our Future” was the theme of a National Chemistry Week event supported by an ACS International Year of Chemistry mini-grant written by Greglynn Gibbs and conducted in cooperation with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania at Penn State Berks on October 22. The National Chemistry Week program was followed up by another International Year of Chemistry program titled "Materials–the Chemistry of Every Day Stuff," which was also supported by the ACS International Year of Chemistry mini-grant and conducted in cooperation with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania at Penn State Berks on November 19.

The Lehigh Valley local section, which includes the Allentown, Berks, Bethlehem, and Pocono areas, had a total of nine different member events to appeal to membership segments. The section also hosted various presentations at their monthly meetings featuring notable scientists.

The Lehigh Valley local section of the ACS, which has 915 chemists and chemical engineers as its members, is one of 187 local sections of the American Chemical Society. The section is comprised of local professionals and retirees, as well as students, faculty, and staff from area universities including Penn State Berks, the Penn State Berks Chemical Society, and Penn State Lehigh Valley. Members of the Lehigh Valley section sponsor various community outreach events throughout the year to demonstrate the importance of chemistry to everyday life.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 164,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

For more information, e-mail Greglynn Gibbs (gdw104@psu.edu) or call 610-396-6363; or e-mail Dr. Lorena Tribe (lut5@psu.edu) or call 610-396-6187. Additional information about the ChemLuminary Awards can be found at www.acs.org/ChemLuminary and information on the Lehigh Valley Section of ACS can be found at www.lvacs.net.

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