The June 2020 Chemical Bulletin Print

    Next Meeting


    7:00-8:00 PM, Friday, June 26

    Dwight Chasar

    - Research Scientist, Field Ornithologist -

    "Chemistry is for the birds"

    Register for free to obtain the Zoom meeting link:


    Chemists like to think that chemistry is the central science.  Recently, avian biologists and some chemists have examined more closely the chemistry associated with birds, using the tools we chemists have used for years to better understand facets of bird life and behavior. This presentation will discuss some recent as well as older research into this chemistry. The chemical pigments that give birds color, the chemicals that birds use for survival in the wild, chemicals that nearly extirpated raptors, and the use of stable isotopes to understand bird migration will be discussed.  From the simplicity of bird poop to the complexity of bird DNA analysis, chemistry is playing a big role in understanding bird dynamics. Along the way bird photos should brighten up the chemistry discussions. 

    This Powerpoint presentation should cover enough chemistry to satisfy general interest chemists while being simple enough for non-chemists and students to understand and appreciate the beauty and complexity of chemistry and birds. 

    Dwight Chasar, birder in action

    QUESTIONS?  Please contact the Section Office via phone (847-391-9091) or email ([email protected]).


    Dwight Chasar obtained his PhD in organic chemistry from Case Western Reserve University in 1968. After a post-doctoral stint and military service, he taught organic chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown for three years. Then he joined the BFGoodrich Co in 1974 as an R&D chemist, succeeding to the highest technical level of R&D Fellow at Goodrich and its subsequent successors. His research centered around polymer stabilization, nitrosamine formation in rubber, and vulcanization accelerators for rubber. He continued in this capacity through successive owners of the business, eventually retiring from Emerald Performance Materials in 2007.  He holds 24 patents and presented and published a number of papers at technical meetings and in technical journals, respectively. 

    Dr Chasar became interested in bird watching about 35 years ago and has not looked back. He leads bird walks for a number of groups, including the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and organizes or participates in a number of bird censuses and breeding bird studies. He has served on the Ohio Birds Record Committee for four years and is now an eBird reviewer for three counties in Ohio. He has published papers and given talks on his bird field work, historical aspects of birds, and travels to observe birds in other countries. 

    A member of the American Chemical Society since 1965, he has been active both locally in the Cleveland Section and nationally as a councilor from Cleveland, serving on a number of national committees. He was elected an ACS Fellow in 2011.

    Purple Finch


    $0.00 Lecture registration
    $0.00 Lecture registration WITH CPDU / PD Credit
    $0.00 Individual Donation (flexible amount)
    $0.00 Donation to Project SEED (flexible amount)
    $0.00 Company Sponsorship (flexible amount)


    Back to top

    Safety First Minute

    Safety in the Age of COVID-19 
    - A “Safety First!” Minute  

    Health and safety are in the forefront of our minds as we enter the fourth month of social distancing due to the coronavirus epidemic in Illinois. Safety First! has always been more than a motto, but now more than ever we recognize it as the essential element that should guide our decisions moving forward. As members of the largest scientific society in the world, we have a special responsibility to ensure that decisions are based on sound science and a prudent understanding of hazard and risk. ACS has taken a leadership role in making sure that scientific information about COVID-19 is widely available to its members and to the general public. Let’s emulate this approach as we look for answers to our health and safety questions during this stressful time. 

    Two questions that dominate the current news cycle include: 1) the effectiveness of various chemicals for hand and surface disinfection or sanitization, and 2) the use of face masks to reduce virus transmission and infection. 

    The EPA has compiled a comprehensive list of chemical disinfectants for use on hard surfaces, and Chemical and Engineering News recently published a summary of health and safety information concerning both hand sanitization and surface disinfection. Andy Brunning, author and creator of Compound Interest and Periodic Graphics, has also designed a visual infographic to explain how soap, alcohols, bleach and hydrogen peroxide destroy the coronavirus. In interactions with family and friends, please continue to emphasize the importance of basic safety precautions when using chemicals in the home or on the body. Do not assume that this information is either well known or understood by all. In particular, it is good to remind people never to mix bleach with anything, except water!  

    Coronavirus componentsThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that individuals who are asymptomatic, that is, not displaying symptoms of disease, wear cloth face coverings or masks in public, community settings, such as grocery stores and pharmacies. This recommendation is the cause of some misunderstanding concerning the purpose and effectiveness of face masks. Before discussing the recommendation, remember that it refers to people who do not currently have symptoms. Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, as well as anybody experiencing symptoms of coronavirus disease, including but not limited to fever, cough, and shortness of breath, should self-isolate or quarantine for at least 14 days.  

    There is ample evidence, however, that asymptomatic individuals may be infected with virus―the average induction period from transmission to infection is five days. It is also well known that some people who test positive for the virus will not develop symptoms of disease. Wearing cloth masks may help reduce the spread of airborne virus droplets or particles from these infected individuals. (Please note that wearing a cloth face covering does NOT replace the guidance to maintain “six feet of separation” while out in public.)  

    Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have compared the effectiveness of different fabrics in filtering aerosol particles down to the 10–100 nm size range. Their results, recently published in ACS Nano, showed that the most effective cloth filters consisted of multiple layers and a combination of fabrics, such as cotton–silk or cotton–flannel. The studies also highlight the importance of making sure that the masks fit properly, without leaving gaps on the side or top and bottom. 

    Thank you for promoting Safety First! in your lives and communities. Please continue to support one another by your actions. 

    Submitted by Irene Cesa 

    If you have an idea, an experience, or knowledge of a safety related matter that could be developed into a Safety First! Minute, please contact Irene at [email protected] 


    Back to top

    Letter from the Chair

    It was fun to be a part of Representative Casten’s conversation with the Section on Friday, May 15.  Although he was only able to join us for 30 minutes, he gave well thought out responses to the issues that we are facing today from a scientific and public policy perspective.  He was only with us for a short time because of his need to head down to the House floor to vote on the HEROES Act (H.R. 6800) – which passed. Thank you to Mike Koehler for arranging this conversation. Congressman Casten sounded willing to do this again.  Thanks also to Milt Levenberg for his diligence in all matters having to do with the streaming of these events – as he has for the past 4 years! 

    Normally the June meeting is where we honor the 50- 60- and 70-year members of the ACS.  Because we will not be meeting in person this June, this annual celebration will not be possible to do the way that we typically have done in the past.  To those members, please be on the lookout for an email from the Section.  We would like to ask something of you to share with the Section and in a small way honor your dedication to the Society.   

    Although we won’t be meeting in person, please join us on Friday, June 26 at 7 pm for an evening with Dr. Dwight Chasar when he talks about the chemical pigmentation in birds.  Given that Dr. Chasar is from Cleveland, having this talk presented virtually works out very well as that 5-6 hour drive can be grueling.  I hope you can join us for what is sure to be a very interesting presentation entitled “Chemistry is for the Birds”.  We are asking that you register for the meeting at as this allows us to mitigate the possibility for nefarious actions during the streaming.    

    Since this is the last letter before the summer break I will mention the Illinois State Fair.  August is normally a time when we would ask for volunteers for the State Fair.  This is unlikely to happen this year; however, if you find that you have the time, we would like to ask for your help anyway.  If you have a short demonstration or interesting chemistry story, we ask that you videorecord that and share it with the State Fair Committee (Fran Kravitz or Milt Levenberg [email protected]).  If the fair gets put on hold, we hope to post your contributions to the State Fair website or at least our own.   

    Enjoy your summer and please remain safe and healthy. 

    Paul Brandt 


    Back to top

    Historical Feature

    As we go to press, antibodies to the COVID-19 virus are being sought by researchers worldwide. Here is a piece about antibodies from the bulletin archives dated January 1944.

    Pauling article


    Back to top

    Younger Chemists Committee

    Younger Chemists Swing Into Action

    The Younger Chemists (YCC) and Women Chemists (WCC) Committees, in collaboration with Northwestern University’s (Women in Science and Engineering Research initiative (WISER), hosted a virtual event, “Exploring Career Paths in the Physical Sciences,” on Thursday, April 30, 2020. The organizations welcomed a panel of four chemistry professionals — in fields including science writing, small business, and government and industrial research — to participate in a question and answer discussion session focused on “non-traditional” career paths in STEM. The event was attended by ~24 local and non-local participants, and questions were submitted to the moderator in advance, as well as during the meeting itself, allowing for interactivity between attendees and panelists. Questions focused on how to position yourself for careers outside of academia (answer: networking!) and how to feel confident when your career goals shift over time (work with great mentors!). It was a fantastic opportunity to bring our community together to learn more about applying your expertise to a variety of new and interesting problems outside academia!

    Register today!

    In addition, the Chicago, St. Louis, and Nashville local section Younger Chemists Committees of the American Chemical Society invite you to join us for a free cross-sectional professional development series to help you navigate your job search, nail your interview, and jump-start your career.  Held virtually, the series will welcome chemistry professionals from each representative local section who will lead workshops on topics organized chronologically from application preparation to interviewing to negotiating and onboarding. The first two sessions took place on the evenings of May 19, May 27.

    The third and final session is scheduled for June 2, 2020.

    RSVP here to receive a virtual invitation!

    Not a part of the St. Louis, Chicago, or Nashville ACS local sections? No problem!

    Everyone is welcome to come learn with us! Hope to see you there!

    Submitted by YCC Co-Chairs Katherine Gesmundo and Jana Markley

    Photos are from the “Exploring Career Paths in the Physical Sciences” panel held April 30, 2020


    Back to top

    Special Recognition

    Chicago Section Honors 50-, 60- and 70-year ACS Members 

    This month we honor an elite group of our Section members who have been ACS members for 50, 60, or 70 years!  A membership card entitling them to free attendance at all ACS meetings is sent to each of them from the ACS National office in grateful appreciation of their many years of service to the Society.  They will also receive from the Section a handsome membership certificate to mark the occasion. 

    50-Year Members 

    Norman F. Brockmeier 
    Richard F. Ebeling  
    Robert Carlton Gray 
    David A. Holdeman 
    Dolores Kenney 
    Larry Koskan 
    Eugene N. Losey 
    Kathleen T. McLaughlin 
    Marvin Makinen 
    Robert L. Murray 
    Martin Eugene Newcomb 
    Wayne Robert Pretzer 
    George Chappell Schatz 
    John Raymond Swedo 

    60-Year Members 

    John N. Anderson 
    William C. Bond 
    Carolyn E. Damon 
    Herbert S. Golinkin 
    Mary Sue Hanlon
    Thomas M. Krigas
    Yvonne C. Martin 
    Garbis H. Meguerian 
    Susan V. Meschel 
    Albert J. Mueller 
    Bilbert Louis Opperman 
    Robert L. Shone 
    James K. Stowell 

    70-Year Members 

    Elias Fischer 
    Milton Harold Fischer 
    Stephen Kraychy 
    William Brady Martin 
    Alan Schriesheim 
    Robert William Voedisch 
    Edward Walsh 
    Herman Wexler 
    Solomon Zaromb


    Back to top

    From the Editor's Desk

    Dear Readers,

    As we go to press the global pandemic continues to alter the human experience around the globe, with one hundred thousand lives lost to COVID-19 related illness in the United States alone. It seems a new vocabulary has sprung up almost overnight, including pre-pandemic era, stay-at-home orders, lockdown, social distancing, contact tracing, these disquieting / unprecedented / difficult times, re-populating the workplace, and more. Many events have been cancelled or postponed, and the future is uncertain regarding the emergence of a second wave of disease. And yet the Chicago Section has coped admirably by transitioning to virtual “Zoom” program meetings as well as conducting committee and board meetings online. 

    For their contributions to this issue I would like to thank Irene Cesa, Katherine Gesmundo, Jana Markley, Sherri Rukes, Paul Brandt, Dave Crumrine, Russ Johnson, Dwight Chasar, Andrea Twiss-Brooks and the program team, and Linus Pauling. As is our custom, the bulletin will resume publication in September. You are welcome to contact me anytime with comments, stories and upcoming events at [email protected].

    Thank you for reading, please stay safe and enjoy the summer months.

    ~ M.E.S., Editor
    ([email protected])


    Back to top

    Sponsors of this issue


    Steel • Ceramics • Geological • Chemical • Pharmaceutical •
    Paper • Paint • Packaging • Coatings • Polymers

    MassVac sponsor

    IIT Masters Program


    Back to top


    Michael Koehler Receives 2020 Distinguished Service Award  

    Dr. Michael Koehler is this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, as announced by our Chair, Paul Brandt, in the March Bulletin issue. Mike has been active in the Section for 32 years and served as Chair in 2013. His exemplary record of service includes, since 1988, roles or leadership on these committees: Chemistry Week, Nominating, Public Relations / New Technology Enhancement, Awards, Program, Willard Gibbs Medal Jury, Historians, National Affairs and Public Affairs. He has also exercised his talents as Section Director, Alternate Councilor and Councilor. As Chair of the Public Affairs Committee, he has secured a speaker for the March meeting each year. Koehler was elected as ACS Fellow in 2019. Thank you Mike for your significant, diverse and enduring contributions to our members and the life of the Section. 

    The Chicago ACS Section’s Distinguished Service Award was established in 1974 at the suggestion of Louis L. Lerner, then the Editor of The Chemical Bulletin. This annual award recognizes annually a member who has provided, over a long period of time, exceptional service to the Section over, above and separate from any other achievements of the recipient. Past awardees have demonstrated commitment to the Chicago Section of the ACS, its goals, and its operations. Some worked to establish awards and many served as Section Chair. All have done the heavy lifting required to further activities unique to the Chicago Section, not necessarily those of the global ACS. Their contributions benefit not only the Section but also the national Society. 

    Previous DSA Recipients 

    1974 Victor Conquest, Roy C. Newton , Otto Eisenschiml, Arthur W. Schaar 
    1975 Hoylande Young Failey, Byron Riegel, Ward Evans, Carl S. Miner 
    1976 David Klein, E. H. Volwiler, M. H. Arveson, P. N. Leech
    1977 William A. Converse, Benjamin B. Freud, Robert J. Reinarts, Helen Selin 
    1978 Walter S. Guthmann, Charles DeWitt Hurd 
    1979 Richard Maltoon, Herbert E. Robinson 
    1980 Herman S. Bloch, Julius D. Stieglitz 
    1981 Vivian B. Biske, Edward G. Rietz 
    1982 Bernard S. Friedman, Paul Van Cleef 
    1983 Clifford W. Crosby, J. Fred Wilkes
    1984 James J. Doheny 
    1985 Roy H. Bible 
    1986 Carl E. Moore 
    1987 Elaine R. Anderson 
    1988 Nellie M. Payne 
    1989 Louis J. Sacco 
    1990 Thomas J. Kucera 
    1991 James P. Shoffner 
    1992 Margaret Lally Huston 
    1993 Herbert S. Golinkin 
    1994 Stephen Sichak, Sr. 
    1995 Marie Ann Liskha, Adele Rozek 
    1996 Gayle E. O’Neill 
    1997 Fran Karen Kravitz 
    1998 Marilyn Kouba 
    1999 Charles E. Cannon, Jay S. Curtice 
    2000 Ellis K. Fields 
    2001 Stanley W. Drigot 
    2002 Cherlynlavaughn Bradley 
    2003 Lawrence E. Thielen 
    2004 Lawrence U. Berman 
    2005 Seymour Patinkin 
    2006 L. Jewel Nichols 
    2007 Barbara Moriarty, Louis Lerner 
    2008 Margaret Stowell Levenberg 
    2009 Susan M. Shih 
    2010 Russell Johnson 
    2011 David Crumrine 
    2012 Sanford “Sandy” Angelos 
    2013 Milt Levenberg 
    2014 Frank Jarzembowski 
    2015 Richard Cornell 
    2016 Ken Fivizzani 
    2017 Avrom Litin 
    2018 Amber Arzadon 
    2019 Josh Kurutz 
    2020 Michael Koehler 


    Back to top

    Award Winner

    Inaugural Emerging Star Award Goes to Sherri Rukes 

    The Chicago Section is proud to announce that its first Emerging Star Award, which recognizes exceptional contributions from a leader with less than ten years of service to the Section, will be given to Sherri Rukes! Her official citation reads: 

    “For exceptional energy and leadership in Section activities, including strategic planning, education, and outreach; plus her strong commitment to our mission and vision, and her cooperative spirit.” 

    Rukes, a high school AP Chemistry teacher at Libertyville High School and 2018-19 President of the American Association of Chemistry Teachers, began working with the Chicago Section’s High School Education Committee in 2017. She became co-chair of that committee in 2018, and continued co-chairing in 2019, supporting a variety of activities. In 2019, she participated in the strategic planning effort that gave us our new committee structure. In addition to providing key insights and keeping the group’s focus on the Section’s mission, she provided vital organizational materials and group-activity know-how that proved essential for the effort’s success.  

    In 2019, she was elected 2020 Chair-Elect, and appointed as the inaugural Division Coordinator for Education and Outreach, Chair of the Outreach Committee, and Chair of the Community Activities subcommittee. She was named Chicago’s 2020 Outreach Volunteer of the Year, largely due to her successful reinvigoration of our annual Chemistry Day event. Her meteoric rise, characterized by her remarkable energy and devotion, is thus recognized with the first Emerging Star Award. 

    The Emerging Star Award was established by the Section in 2019. The relevant policy declaration reads: 

    “The Emerging Star Award recognizes younger members or members with less than 10 years of service with the Chicago Section who have provided exceptional service to the Section over, above and separate from any other achievements of the recipient, either in the profession or by the National ACS.  The recipient of this award shall be selected by a committee of the last 5 Distinguished Service Award recipients who are available to serve on this committee.  The most recent recipient of the DSA shall serve as Chair of the Emerging Star Award Committee.” 

    Presentation of the award was originally intended to be performed in a recognition ceremony at the June meeting, alongside presentation of the Section’s annual Distinguished Service Award and recognition of our members with 50, 60, and 70 years of service. Due to the restrictions on in-person gatherings imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting has been moved online. In-person presentation of awards will be performed at a later date, when such gatherings are determined to be safe. Details will be announced when they are known.  

    Submitted by Josh Kurutz, 2020 Chair of the Emerging Star Award Committee 

    Rukes at Chemistry Day 2019

    Sherri Rukes (L) at the main table for Chemistry Day, our celebration of National Chemistry Week, with Ilana Lemberger  (front),  Avrom Litin (Center), and Leah Litin (R) at Northwestern University, October 21, 2019. Photo by Milt Levenberg 


    Back to top

    Community Activities

    Illustrated Poem Contest Winners

    On behalf of the Chicago Section’s CCEW Illustrated Poem contest committee, we would like to THANK everyone that entered this year.  We appreciate all of your creativity and effort.  The following K -12 students are the winners of this year’s contest. 

    3rd - 5th grade competition
    Akshara Kasinathan, 3rd grader at Barbara B. Rose Elementary School:

    2020 CCEW Winner 1

    6th – 8th grade competition
    James Xiao, 8th grader at Alan B. Shepard Middle School:

    2020 CCEW Winner 2

    9th  – 12th grade competition
    Donna Tong, University of Chicago Laboratory School:

    2020 CCEW Winner 3

    Congratulations to Akshara, James and Donna for their relevant messages and awesome artistic expression! 

    #ChicagoACS  #CCEW  #EarthDay2020  #GreenChemistry 


    Back to top

    Board & Committee Members

    2020 Chicago Section Officers


    Chair Paul Brandt [email protected]
    Chair-Elect Sherri Rukes [email protected]
    Past Chair Tim Marin [email protected] 
    Vice Chair Josh Kurutz [email protected]
    Secretary Tanya Ivushkina [email protected]
    Treasurer Andrea Twiss-Brooks [email protected]


    For additional information, see:

    The mission of the Chicago Section of the ACS is to advance the chemical sciences and their practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people.


    Back to top


    Bulletin Information

    February 2020, Vol. 107, No. 5

    Published by the Chicago Section of the American Chemical Society

    Editor: Margaret E. Schott
    [email protected]

    Online version: Josh Kurutz

    Proofreaders: Helen Dickinson, Ken Fivizzani, Rebecca Weiner

    ACS Chicago Section Office
    Address: 1400 Renaissance Drive,
    Suite 312
    Park Ridge, IL 60068  (847) 391-9091
    [email protected] 

    Monthly:  September – June (10 issues)
    Subscription rates: $15 per year

    Back to top