Science Café, July 20, 2017
Frick Chemistry Lab, Princeton University
5:30 pm – 8:15 pm
Our Food Supply: Safe, Nutritious and Abundant?
Who is accountable for our Nation’s food? How do we prevent the need for the next food recall? Do we have the right to know the origin and history of our food?
Our distinguished expert panel will help us dig into these and related issues and consider best actions.
Angela Creager, PhD, Princeton University, Thomas M Siebel Professor of History of Science
Michael McBurney, PhD, FACB, DSM Nutritional Products, LLC, VP Science Communications & Advocacy, Nutrition Science Advocacy
Donald Schaffner, PhD, Rutgers University, Distinguished Professor of Food Science, Director of the Center for Advanced Food Technology
Join this interdisciplinary discussion of a topic that’s critically important to us. Meet and mingle with interested individuals from the community as well as educators and summer university students.
5:30 to 5:45 pm – Welcome
5:45 to 6:30 pm – Enjoy a light nutritious buffet
6:30 to 7:00 pm – Test your Food Science and Nutrition knowledge. Compete for awards!
7:00 to 8:15 pm – Panel/Audience Discussion
Cost: $15 per person. Seating is limited. Register online at: http://chemists.princeton.edu/pacs/event/science-cafe-at-princeton-2017/ no later than July 15. Registration will close when capacity is reached.
Princeton ACS Meeting, Graduate Student Awards Seminar
September 2017, (Date and location TBD)
We will be celebrating the Princeton ACS Section’s newly launched “Recognized Graduate Student Speaker Awards”
Dainan Mao, Princeton University
“Discovery of scmR as a global regulator of bacterial secondary metabolism and virulence in Burkholderia thailandensis E264”
Adam Stevens, Princeton University
“Design & Development of Enhanced Split Inteins”
2017 Outstanding HS Chemistry Teachers
Each year, up to two winners are selected for the Princeton and Trenton ACS Sections’ Outstanding High School Chemistry Teacher Awards,
This year they are:
Emilie Gingras – The Hun School of Princeton
Carolyn Wilhelm – North Hunterdon High School
The evaluation criteria for this award are the quality of their teaching; their leadership (classroom and profession) ; keeping up to date in the field; extracurricular work in chemistry and teaching; emphasis on laboratory safety.
Emilie Gingras received a BS in Chemistry in 2006 and MS in 2008 from the Université Laval, Québec, Canada.
Emilie has been teaching since 2013, and joined the The Hun School of Princeton in 2016 where she teachers five regular chemistry classes.
Prior to teaching, she was a Technical Sales Representative for Corporation Scienfique Claisse.
These quotes from her letters of recommendation reflect why she was selected as one of our winners:
“Emilie teaches her students not only the importance of mastering scientific reading, writing, and logical reasoning skills, but also the ability to chart their own progress as thinkers, gaining self-confidence and self-esteem in the process…..
Emilie is able to adapt the explanations of scientific concepts to different learning styles in ways that I’ve seen many new and experienced teachers miss.”
“Her classroom is alive with collaboration and discussion and her students see clearly how invested she is in their success. Additionally, as a professional, Emilie is intent on self-improvement, consistently seeking new opportunities to learn from her colleagues and from any source of professional development that she can find.”
Our second awardee is Carolyn Wilhelm.
Carolyn received a PhD in Food Science from the University of Massachusetts in 1990 and BS degrees in Food Science and Nutrition Science from Drexel University in 1985.
She has been teaching since 2002, and joined North Hunterdon High School as a chemistry teacher in 2007 where she teaches College-Prep, Honors and AP Chemistry.
Prior to teaching, she was a research associate at Nabisco Inc. from 1991 to 1997 and a Freelance Technical Writer 1998 to 2001.
It is clear from Carolyn’s nomination information that she is dedicated to chemistry education. For example, in the final weeks before the AP exams, she meets with her students at night in the town library to prepare them for the exam.
She also organizes a Science Night at the local elementary school where she and her students conduct demonstrations and teach mini lessons on chemistry. Her efforts have been instrumental in increasing Hunterdon’s AP Chemistry scores and increasing interest in science at the elementary school level
As quoted in one of her letters of support “One of the most unique abilities of Dr. Wilhelm is her positive influence in motivating and attracting students to the field of science. Her caring attitude and superior knowledge of the subject matter make her effective at all levels. …..Her creative and innovative approach has earned her much respect among her peers, students and the community.”
2017 MARM HS Teacher Award
Cathy Zavacki, one of the 2016 winners of the Princeton & Trenton ACS Sections’ HS Teacher award is the recipient of the 2017 ACS Division of Chemical Education MARM Award for Excellence in High School Teaching.
As is our custom, the local section award winners in a given year are nominated for the MARM award in the following year.
The award was presented to Cathy by Pat Confalone, Chair of the ACS Board of Directors, at the 2017 MARM Awards Dinner & Ceremony on June 5 at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, PA.
Cathy Zavacki received a Master’s Degree in Education in 2006 and has over 60 post-MS graduate credits. She has been at Hillsborough High School since 2000 where she teaches Introductory and College Preparatory Chemistry.
Her focus as a teacher is on reaching students at all levels and using novel teaching techniques to do so. She is especially skilled with struggling learners and has worked collaboratively with her special education co-teacher to ensure success for all the students in her classroom.
High School Chemistry Students Exercise Imagination at Princeton
By Barbara Ameer, PACS Chemagination Chair and Coordinator
Now in its 15th consecutive year, the Chemagination competition was held June 10th in Frick Chemistry Laboratory.
Sponsored by the Princeton and Trenton Sections of ACS, the 2017 competition attracted 75 high school students in grades 10 through 12. As a team, they applied chemistry to an idea that might improve our lives 25 years from now. They communicated their story as a feature article along with cover art for the high school science magazine ChemMatters.
At their posters in Frick, teams defended the science underlying their innovation during in-person interviews with two or three of an expert panel of 12 judges. Scientific soundness, clarity, creativity and teamwork were some of the judging criteria applied to select first and second place in each of 5 categories, listed below.
The top winning teams may advance to a regional competition in June 2018.
Medicine/Health, The Captivating Chemistry behind CRISPR, Hillsborough High School, Ishita Agarwal, Melissa Sun, Gabrielle Bogut
Proteins/Protein Chemistry, Synthesis and Insertion of Artificial Hemoglobin into the Body, West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, Pio Kim, Connie Jiang, Shivang Pant
New Materials, The Grasp of Graphene, Hillsborough High School, Roman Trevino, Curtis Chen, Elias Winters
Alternate Energy Sources, Power in Your Pocket: Applications of a New Thermoelectric Material, West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, Aamena Mejevdiwala, Allison Chen
Environment, Removal of CFCs to Increase Drinking Water Potability, West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, David Liu, David Lang, Ronak Ramachandran
Medicine/Health. EpiBand, West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, Sonika Mudiyala, Abhinav Hanumpatla, Vrushabh Khot
Proteins/Protein Chemistry, Fight Against Malaria: Mitigation to Eradication, Lawrence High School, Shriya Shetty, Saumya Shetty
New Materials, Preserva: Container to Increase Shelf Life of Food, West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, Arjun Peri, Max Pandolpho, Colman Yan
Alternate Energy Sources, Yeast for Fuel, Wallington High School, Alexis Swasey, Wiktoria Domagala
Environment, Applications of Nanotechnology for Limiting Greenhouse Gases, Hillsborough High School, Shridhar Parthasarathy, Vedant Chintawar, Rohan Singh
New Award Programs Launched by Princeton Section
Khalid Mahmood, 2016 Chair, championed the establishment of the following Section award programs in 2016-2017.
Princeton Section Outreach Volunteer of the Year
In an effort to recognize the immea-surable outreach efforts made by local section volunteers, the ACS Committee on Community Acti-vities (CCA) has established the Local Section Outreach Volunteer of the Year award program. Each local section has an opportunity to recognize one
individual annually for demonstrating extra-ordinary outreach volunteer service within the section. Volunteers are only eligible to be recognized once every five years.
The Princeton Section selected Christin Monroe as our first recipient of this award. The Award was presented to Christin at the Princeton University Graduate Student Awards Ceremony on June 2, 2017.
Christin Monroe, a PhD candidate in chemistry at Princeton University, designed, implemented and administered a unique month-long STEM outreach program for local high school students with a cumulative investment in-excess-of 200 hours. Christin raised $5,750 from ACS and local organizations that was used to fund four field trips, eight career seminars, and five professional development workshops, run by ACS career consultants. The 11 students were also paired with graduate student mentors to perform primary literature research on topics of interest to them. This unique program featured Bassam Shakhashiri, Donna Nelson and President Emerita of Princeton University, Dr. Shirley Tilghman.
Recognized Graduate Student Speaker Awards
Also at this ceremony, PACS announced the winners of the new 2017 Princeton ACS Recognized Graduate Student Speaker Award. The Princeton University Graduate Student Organization (GSO) coordinated the call for nominations from post-third year seminar graduate students and the selection of the two winners who will be presenting their research at the September PACS Section meeting.
The winners are graduate students:
Dainan Mao – Research Topic “Discovery of scmR as a global regulator of bacterial secondary metabolism and virulence in Burkholderia thailandensis E264”
Adam Stevens – Research Topic “Design & Development of Enhanced Split Inteins”
Salutes to Excellence Awards
The Princeton Section presented “Salutes to Excellence” awards to members Barbara Ameer, Louise Lawter and Kitty Wagner for their service to the section and the community at the PACS meeting on June 15.
“Salutes to Excellence” is an ACS recognition award program that gives its members and local sections an opportunity to underscore outstanding accomplishments, achievements or service for individuals who have made a positive impact on everyday life.
Barbara Ameer was recognized for her continuous support and service to the Princeton Section and its many programs, and specifically for serving as Chair of the Princeton & Trenton ACS Sections’ “Chemagination” competition.
Louise Lawter was recognized for her continuous support and service to the Princeton Section and its many programs, and specifically for serving as Editor of ALI “QUOTES” and an organizer of the ACS Middle Atlantic region’s MARM Chemagination.
Kitty Wagner was recognized for her continuous support and service to the Princeton Section and its many programs, and specifically for organizing the Section’s “National Chemistry Week (NCW) Activities Night” community outreach program since 2000.
50/60 Year Members Recognized in June
The following PACS members attained 50 or 60 year or member status this year. They were recognized for their service during our June 15 meeting
- Dr John Berrier
- Dr David Cochran
- Dr Theodore Davidson
- Dr Gail Garbarini-Eaton
- Ms Lillian Rankel
- Dr George Rovnyak
- Dr Myron Mehlman
- Dr W Schowalter
- Dr James Wei
- John Dismukes
We asked our 50- and 60-year member honorees to share some insights on their career in AliQuotes.
Thank you to John Berrier for his article below.
My 50 Years in Chemistry
by John Berrier
Chemistry allowed me to continue learning during my entire career and has been quite a journey in ways I never could have imagined.
What really excited me about chemistry as a career was an NSF summer course I took at Bucknell University after my junior year of high school. In six weeks, it provided a taste of general chemistry, structural organic chemistry, and organic reaction mechanisms. As a result, I applied only to Bucknell, because it offered organic chemistry for freshman. That led to enrollment in a combined BS-MS program after my sophomore year. Three summers of research and extra courses during the school year led to both degrees in the summer of 1967.
During graduate school at Princeton University on an NSF Fellowship, I carried out research on the synthesis of pteridines with Ted Taylor. While purifying an intermediate for functionalizing pteridines, I discovered an aromatization reaction involving N-oxides which led to riboflavin analogs. I found this to be a prime example of the theme of Hubert Alyea’s famous lecture, “Accidents and the Prepared Mind”. It was also exciting to be a teaching assistant for Alyea.
For seven years, I taught Organic, General, and Nursing Chemistry at Anne Arundel Community College in Annapolis, Maryland. I enjoyed the interaction with students and felt that I learned some aspects of physical and bio-chemistry better than when I took the courses, but missed research, so I took a summer job with Alcolac in Baltimore. My most memorable assignment there was to instruct the operators on a kettle-side analysis of a process to ethoxylate a railroad car full of hydrogen sulfide.
After deciding to switch to full time research, I went to Crompton and Knowles as a process chemist just as they bought parts of the dye businesses of Ciba-Geigy and DuPont. I was responsible for the introduction of over a dozen dyes into the plant, on as large a scale as 10,000 gallons. The most challenging involved five parallel diazotizations and couplings to prepare a brown leather dye for Hush Puppies.
Before retiring as a Distinguished Scientist in 2008, I spent 27 years at Rohm and Haas in Philadelphia as a process chemist in the Agricultural Business and then Biocides. I developed processes for new commercial products, led process improvement projects at plants in Philadelphia, Texas and England, and participated in the design and operation of two new plants in China. For one product, the surprising observation on a small scale of a 100 degree difference in boiling points between isomers led to development of a simple thin film evaporation process to remove the major impurity. For another, knowledge of the chemical and physical properties of impurities in a decades-old product led to a no investment purification process which raised the final purity from less than 90% to over 99% (the first plant batch had a higher purity than the analytical standard) and enabled re-registration of the product under modern regulations. Finally, I shared in the development of a commercial process which used phosgene and hydrazine as safer alternatives to the ingredients used in the discovery process.
Overall, it has been an interesting and eventful journey, both in miles and experiences.
2017 Hubert Alyea Awards
The 2017 Hubert Alyea Awards were presented to the winners at the presented at the Princeton University Chemistry Department’s Alyea Memorial Demonstration Lecture on Saturday, June 3.
The namesake of this award, Hubert Alyea, was a Professor of Chemistry at Princeton University who was world renowned for his scientific demonstrations, his enthusiasm, and his love of scientific discovery.
In his honor, an award for Princeton area high school chemistry students was established by Princeton University and the Princeton Section of the American Chemical Society. Each year high schools in the Princeton area are invited to nominate a 3rd or 4th year student for this award.
This years winners are:
Ivy Casieri, Hopewell Valley High School
Bowei (Peter) Dong, The Hun School
Germalysa Ferrer, Trenton High School
Hannah Freid, Princeton Day School
Stephanie Hu, Princeton High School
Stephanie Ji. West Windsor-Plainsboro HS South
James Keane, Lawrence High School
Kristen Lamke, Stuart Country Day School
Alexander Liu, Montgomery High School
Ans Nawaz, Nottingham High School
Zhehao Tong, The Pennington School
Cathy Wu, The Lawrenceville School
(For photo and information about the ceremony see
National Chemistry Week 2017 “Chemistry Rocks” Activities Night October 27NCW “Chemistry Rocks!” Activities Night will be held on Friday, October 27, 6:30-9:30 pm, at Frick Chemistry Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544. This year’s theme is geochemistry. We usually have 500+ guests and 100+ high school volunteers. Adult volunteers are needed! We can use help with program planning and, in September and October, with training volunteers. If you would like to help with planning or training, or if you have an idea for a theme-related demonstration or hands-on activity for ages 5 and up, please contact Kitty Wagner, firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re a rock hound or a lapidary or a geochemist, professional or amateur, your ideas and help are especially welcome.
On October 27 we’ll need help with set-up 3:30-5:30 pm. We’ll need help with registration and people management starting at 6:00 pm. We’ll also need supervisors and facilitators starting at 6:00 pm. Clean-up will be 9:30 -10:00 pm. If you can help for any part of the evening, please send your schedule and preferred task type(s) to email@example.com.
Many thanks to all of you who have volunteered in the past! Without our wonderful volunteers, this popular community event would not be possible.
2017 Calendar of Events
|Thursday, July 20||Princeton ACS Science Café, Princeton University, Frick Laboratory|
|September (date tbd)||PACS Graduate Student Awards Seminar|
|August 20-24||254th ACS National Meeting, Washington, D.C.|
|Tuesday, September 12||The North Jersey Mass Spec Discussion Group annual symposium and vendor show will be Tuesday, September 12 from 3:30 – 8:30 pm, at the Somerset-Bridgewater Holiday Inn, 195 Davidson Avenue, Somerset, NJ 08873. Professors Brian Chait (Rockefeller University) and Scott McLuckey (Purdue University) will be the featured speakers, and Professor Benjamin Garcia (University of Pennsylvania) will present his Career Development Workshop in the afternoon. Dinner is free, courtesy of our sponsors, but registration on our website (http://www.njacs.org/mass-spectrometry-topical-group-meetings ) is required. More details will be circulated closer to the date of the event.|
|October 12, 2017||The North Jersey Drug Metabolism Discussion Group will hold its Fall Symposium on October 12, 2017, from 8:30 am until 3:30 pm at The Palace at Somerset Park, 333 Davidson Ave., Somerset, NJ 08873. More details will be forthcoming.|
|Friday, October 27||National Chemistry Week 2017, “Chemistry Rocks” Activities Night , Princeton University, Frick Laboratory|
|Friday, November 3||The 39th Annual Princeton ACS Fall Organic Chemistry Symposium, Frick Laboratory, Princeton University, New Jersey. For more information and to register, go to http://www.pacsfocs.org|