Chemical club wins national recognition

Thanks to a little chemistry ingenuity and community support, the American Chemical Society-Student Affiliate has won national recognition.

The ACS-SA received word at its annual picnic Saturday that the group will travel to San Diego on March 13 to receive an award for outstanding programming and fundraising events last year.

The specific event that garnered the award was a “Mole Day” can drive. During “Mole Week,” members set a goal of collection for the drive as a play on the numerical value of a mole, 6.022 x 10 to the 23rd power.

The goal was to drop the 6.022 and collect 1,023 cans, which the group did, with a little help from raffles and small incentives to those who donated cans.

“The national recognition is a big accomplishment for us,” said Sharyl Majorski-Briggs, chemistry lab coordinator and faculty adviser for the ACS-SA.

“There are only 26 outstanding awards given out in the nation, and we are the only school in Michigan to get one,” she said.

The recognition is the first in CMU’s ACS-SA history. Saginaw Valley State University’s chapter received an honorable mention.

“This is really significant,” said Meghann Vanslager, Beverly Hills senior and group president. “We have worked really hard on getting this group going.”

Vanslager said ACS-SA consisted of six members in 2002 but now has about 30 regular members.

“That’s a big improvement and makes a big difference,” she added.

The ACS-SA is a Registered Student Organization with mostly chemistry and biology majors as members. The group puts on social programs, fund-raisers and sponsor service projects; ACS-SA won the award because of the high number of projects. A 100-page report was submitted during the summer detailing the group’s accomplishments.

“In the years past, we only had a 10-page report, so 100 is a positive change for us,” said Jennifer Ryan, Sandusky senior and group treasurer.

Other annual events include teaching chemistry to local elementary children, selling safety goggles to CMU chemistry classes and attending chemistry conferences like PittConn, an analytical chemistry conference in Chicago. Group members also put on a magic show for incoming freshmen and set up a table at CMU & You day.

“This is a great group and I’m glad I joined,” said Tom Randall, Midland sophomore. “I got to see New York, do a lot of cool programs and I am looking forward to going to San Diego.”