American Chemical Society Lauds Student Group
Feb. 25, 2010
A UT Dallas student group has been named one of the top chapters of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the fifth year in a row that the organization has drawn praise from the world’s largest scientific society.
In receiving the 2009-2010 ACS Outstanding Chapter Award, the Chemistry Student Association (CSA) was one of only 35 chapters recognized from about 1,000 nationwide.
The honor was something of a repeat performance. In the past five years the group has racked up three Outstanding Chapter Awards, one Commendable award and one Honorable Mention Award.
Only a select number of chapters receive special recognition each year based on their programs and activities. The Outstanding Chapter Award is reserved for only the top 3 to 4 percent of student chapters, depending on the year.
“The success of the CSA speaks to the quality of the UT Dallas student population as academic achievers and caring people while emphasizing the importance of student organizations to the campus community,” said faculty adviser John Sibert, associate professor in the chemistry department. “The CSA members dedicate significant time to promoting a positive image for chemistry and science to K-12 children through a variety of programs.”
Sibert said the students’ achievements are noteworthy because the students are the creative minds behind the ideas and activities of the CSA.
“They are most worthy of this award and all of the local and national recognition that they have received over the past four years,” Sibert said. “I am fortunate to be their adviser.”
Formed nearly a decade ago, the CSA has expanded its membership to 40 by being an active presence on campus. Their biggest service event, Kids in Chemistry Day, has been featured on the local news and has been so popular among kids and their teachers that there is a waiting list of schools wanting to be invited to the program. They have also partnered with Texas Instruments and the Dallas Museum of Nature and Science in a variety of off-campus community projects. Their objective is to promote the image of science as an everyday necessity and eliminate the idea that science is something to be feared.
“The CSA is very excited about this award,” said Chapter President Liz Schmiedel, a senior chemistry major. “Our dedicated members work hard to instill a sense of curiosity and wonder in children of all ages. It's an honor to be recognized as one of the top student chapters in the nation.”
Student members will travel to San Francisco, Calif. in March to attend the ACS Spring 2010 National Meeting & Exposition (Mar. 21-25), where they will be presented with award plaques. “We’ll exchange ideas with other top student chapters and explore post-graduation opportunities,” said Schmiedel. “I’ll also present my undergraduate chemistry research at one of the poster sessions, where I’ll join with hundreds of students to share our experiences and inspire others to pursue scientific research.”
“The success of the CSA speaks to the quality of the UT Dallas student population as academic achievers and caring people while emphasizing the importance of student organizations to the campus community,” said faculty adviser John Sibert, associate professor in the chemistry department.
Chapter President Liz Schmiedel gets "slimed" in a chemistry demonstration for elementary school students.