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Local Chemical Society Finalists for National Award

The Lehigh Valley Section of the American Chemical Society, which includes Penn State Berks, has been named as a finalist for the American Chemical Society ChemLuminary Award under the category of “Outstanding Performance by a Local Section.” Recipients will be announced and the presentation of awards will occur at the 244th ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia on Tuesday, August 21, 2012, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The Lehigh Valley section of the American Chemical Society (ACS) was nominated for the award due to its involvement in the International Year of Chemistry and National Chemistry Week.

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 year-long “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 section, which covers the Berks, Bethlehem, Allentown, and Pocono areas, is one of 187 local sections of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society with a membership of more than 164,000 members. 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–the world’s largest scientific society–is a non-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress 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. More information about the Lehigh Valley Section, including upcoming community events, can be found at the website of the Lehigh Valley Section of the American Chemical Society. Additional information about the ChemLuminary Awards can be found at the American Chemical Society website.

For more information, contact Greglynn Gibbs at 610-396-6363, GDW104@psu.edu; or Dr. Lorena Tribe at 610-396- 6187, LUT5@psu.edu.

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