Comments From the Chair

February 2023 Issue

A heartfelt “Thank You!” goes to all the members that completed the Strategic Planning survey. This month’s Strategic Planning Re-treat will have Section leadership use this member input in deter-mining a set of goals for our Section. With a strategy for meeting these goals, the executive committee and the Board can ensure that the Section is serving our membership as effectively as possible. I’m very much looking forward to sharing the results of this strategic planning process with you. Thanks to Immediate Past Chair Ivona Sasimovich for her leadership in initiating the strategic planning.

For this month’s meeting, the Section will host a virtual seminar by Stefan Kilyanek. Stefan has been a professor at the University of Arkansas since 2014; he previously trained at the University of Chicago and MIT in organometallic chemistry and electrochemistry. He has also been legally blind since birth and serves as a member of the national ACS Committee on Chemists with Disabilities. I am excited for Prof. Kilyanek to share his experiences with the Section as a legally blind synthetic chemist.

A reminder that the Awards for Excellence in Pre-College Teaching and Undergraduate Teaching are due to the Section this month – February 15th. Please consider nominating an outstanding full-time educator in our Section! Winners will be honored at our April Section meeting.

As always, please reach out with any suggestions, ideas for programming, or questions about getting involved in our work. Thanks, and looking forward to seeing you at our events!

January 2023 Issue

Greetings and Happy 2023 to you and your family! I am ecstatic to be the Section’s Chair this year.

Before I go any further, I need to thank the Board of Directors and Officers for their guidance (and patience!) as I take over for the Immediate Past Chair, Ivona Sasimovich. Ivona expertly navigated the Section’s activities through 2022 and I am very grateful for her continued help, particularly in arranging the Section’s Strategic Planning Retreat in February 2023. Prior chairs Christie McInnis and Joe Martino have also been invaluable resources and influences, and I thank them for their tireless service to the Section.

Like my predecessors, programming in 2023 will likely fit into the “new normal” brought by COVID, where virtual, hybrid, and in-person events all play a part. The last three years have shown us that online programming can be effective and, in some ways, superior to in-person activities.

The year’s programming will start this month with a virtual event: a panel discussion for growing Project SEED in and around Philadelphia. One of my main goals in 2023 is to bolster our Section’s participation in programs like SEED, which connects high school students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds to research experiences with mentors in academic, industrial, or government laboratories. The panelists are Brandon Presley, who completed research with SEED before becoming a PhD chemist at Janssen; Sharon Haynie, a long-time project SEED mentor while employed at DuPont Central Research; and Jeremy Heyman, a coordinator for SEED since 2010, now Associate Director of STEM Pathways at Philadelphia Heights. I am excited to hear their experiences and ideas.

Future events include a February virtual seminar by Stefan Kilyanek, an organometallic electro-chemist who will share his experience as a legally blind synthetic chemist and a member of the national ACS Committee on Chemists with Disabilities; a Spring banquet to celebrate our Scholastic Achievement Awards; the Edgar Fahs Smith Lecture; the presentation of our Section Award; and the Ullyot Lecture, which will be given this year by 2022 Nobel Laureate Carolyn Bertozzi.

Please reach out with any suggestions, ideas for events, or questions about getting involved in our work. I am very much looking forward to meeting with you and seeing you at our events.