VIRTUAL EDUCATION MEETING
Including Pre-Dinner Speaker
6:30-8:00 PM, Friday, September 25
- Chicago ACS Historian -
- NMR Facility Manager, University of Chicago -
"125 YEARS OF THE CHEMISTRY COMMUNITY IN CHICAGO"
Register for free to obtain the Zoom meeting link:
Chicago has been an exciting place for chemistry for well over a century, and since 1895 the Chicago Section of the ACS has been a vital hub of the enterprise. We celebrate our quasquicentennial by exploring the Section’s history and some of its most important people, institutions, projects, awards, and science. We will delve into stories that illustrate the Section’s role as a partner with local institutions in education, industry, and more. Also, we will pay particular attention to how the Section has addressed social issues such as empowering women and people of color. Photos from the curated Chicago Section archive will help bring the discussion to life.
6:30–7:00 pm Pre-Dinner Speaker: Sherri Rukes
7:00–7:05 pm Announcements and Introduction
7:05–8:00 pm Main Speaker: Josh Kurutz
Pre-Dinner Speaker (6:30- 7:00):
- Teacher of Physics & Chemistry Libertyville High School -
- Polymer Ambassador, ACS Fellow -
"POLY WHAT? APPLICATIONS OF STEM USING POLYMERS"
National Chemistry Week (NCW) is a community-based program of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The theme of this year’s National Chemistry Week, “Sticking With Chemistry,” introduces the use of polymers in everyday life. This talk will help teachers get ready to celebrate the annual event with the many opportunities the local section has to offer. After attending the talk you will be able to deepen your students' STEM experience by adding various polymer inquiry and engineering design challenges into the curriculum. Take “traditionally fun" polymer activities and turn them into Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) investigations to create more critical thinkers in the classroom.
QUESTIONS? Please contact the Section Office via phone (847-391-9091) or email ([email protected]).
Dr. Josh Kurutz has been the Chicago Section’s Historian since the position was created in 2017. He works in the University of Chicago as Manager of the Chemistry Department’s Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Facility. Having served as Section Chair in 2014, Secretary in 2010, and Vice Chair in 2019 and 2020, he earned the Section’s Distinguished Service Award in 2019. Dr. Kurutz contributed his most intensive service while managing the Section’s web presence as Co-Chair of the Web / Communications and Technology Committee from 2011 through 2018 and since 2014 has been Chair of the Stieglitz Committee. Kurutz earned his B.S. in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology under John H. Richards and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of Wisconsin under Laura Kiessling, prior to holding postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Chicago in Medicine and in Chemistry. Kurutz has worked in NMR-related fields, first at the University of Chicago, then at Northwestern University, Agilent Technologies and Spinsights. He helped start the Chicago Chapter of the Malta Conferences Foundation, which has ties to the ACS and Chicago Section. Kurutz has pursued a number of activities at the interface of science and art, occasionally making radio appearances to showcase the sounds molecules make in NMR spectrometers. He is currently partnering with Tiffany Lawson of Lawson Dance Theater on a ballet performance called Elemental. He lives in Des Plaines with his wife, Heather VanBladel, a Design and Production Manager at USA Bluebook, and two daughters. Rose is a senior at Maine West High School and Ella is studying Industrial Design in the DAAP school at the University of Cincinnati.
Ms. Sherri Conn Rukes is currently teaching AP Chemistry and Chemistry Honors at Libertyville High School in Libertyville, IL. During her career, she has taught a variety of classes ranging from all levels of Physics, to Chemistry and Physical Science. She earned a B.S. in Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an M.S. in Education from NOVA Southeastern University in Florida. Sherri also conducted research in Materials Science at Northwestern University for several summers. Some of her research topics include the degradation of multi-walled nanotubes (MWNT) in a tri-block co-polymer, the efficiency of solid-oxide fuel cells, and two projects on the conservation of famous artwork, namely, George Seurat’s A Sunday of La Grande Jatte, as well as on paints used by Picasso. Her research has been published and cited in many journals. She has served as a Polymer Ambassador and is past president of the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT). In 2016 she was recognized as a Chicago-area Golden Apple Fellow for Excellence in Teaching and Leadership. In 2020 she received the Chicago Section’s Emerging Star Award and the Volunteer of the Year Award and, on the national level, was elected an ACS Fellow. Sherri has presented several times for the American Chemical Society (ACS), the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), and numerous Illinois State conferences. She is currently Chair-Elect for the Chicago ACS Section.
$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)
Gibbs Award Meeting:
NOVEMBER 13, 2020
The 2020 Gibbs Medal talk, originally scheduled for May, will take place at the November Section Meeting.
Gibbs Awardee Professor Zhenan Bao of Stanford University will present a virtual lecture on "Skin-Inspired Electronics”.
VENTILATION Safety in the Age of COVID-19
- A “Safety First!” Minute
A commitment to lifelong learning and continuous improvement is a hallmark of a Safety First! mindset, at home and in our communities. Ventilation has always been an important component of laboratory safety. As we learn more about possible airborne transmission of COVID-19, ventilation has also assumed greater importance for general health and safety in indoor work environments, including schools, offices, retail, etc.
Laboratory ventilation in a chemistry lab is primarily influenced by two factors, local or hood exhaust and general air exchange rates within the room. Local hood engineering controls protect the user from inhalation and flammability hazards by exhausting air directly to the outside (in the case of ducted fume hoods) or through a filter (ductless fume hoods). General lab ventilation is accomplished through the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system by maintaining a minimum rate of air exchange in the laboratory space. Air-exchange rates of 6–8 air changes per hour (ACH) are typical for occupied research and teaching labs where chemicals are being used. Basing laboratory ventilation requirements on the number of ACH can be misleading, however, if air flow patterns are not also considered. Air flow problems may be intrinsic due to the design of the laboratory space, or may arise due to the placement of furniture and equipment, the occupancy load, and the bench and housekeeping practices of people working in the lab.
One factor that has not received much attention in evaluating laboratory ventilation requirements is the type of filters used in HVAC systems, a factor which turns out to be increasingly relevant to health and safety considerations for reopening schools and other workplaces. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers respiratory droplets—which are relatively large particles of 5–10 microns (µm) in diameter—to be the primary mode of transmission for COVID-19 infection. Assumed transmission by this route is the basis for most of the precautions we have come to rely on for “flattening the curve” of coronavirus infection, namely, frequent hand washing and surface disinfection, maintaining six feet of social distance, and wearing face masks when indoors. The WHO now acknowledges that COVID-19 is also spread via airborne transmission, that is, by smaller, aerosol-type particles that are <5 µm in diameter and can remain suspended in air. This recognition increases the importance of air-quality filters in maintaining healthy indoor environments.
Commercial HVAC filters are “graded” using the MERV rating system, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and ranges from 1–20, with MERV 8–11 being most common. (Higher ratings correlate with greater efficiency in removing smaller size particles.) Superior commercial HVAC systems might feature MERV 13 filters that can remove 50% particles in the 0.3–1 µm range. By upgrading commercial indoor filters, to MERV 16, for example, 95% of particles down to 0.3–1 µm can be trapped. But upgrading is not always possible, as high-efficiency filters introduce substantial pressure drops in an HVAC system, necessitating higher air flows. In addition, it may not be feasible at this time and in today’s environment, due to a shortage of the necessary filter media.
For more information about airborne transmission of COVID-19 and the role of filtration efficiency in improving ventilation, please see the following resources.
“We Need to Talk About Ventilation,” by Zeynep Tufekci, The Atlantic (July 30, 2020).
“Can HVAC systems help prevent transmission of COVID-19?” McKinsey and Company (July 9, 2020)
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]
It was an interesting summer. I couldn’t get into work to do research. I had to cancel all camps that students were lined up to attend locally but was at least able to conduct one of them online (it’s not the same!). It was even difficult to get a start on coursework for the Fall semester. On the other hand, I got somewhat of a vacation (staycation) where there was little time for me to be concerned about what I wasn’t getting done. That was a first in about 40 years! I got lots of projects done around the house so it wasn’t all for naught.
Now we ramp things back up again as the school year begins and many students begin returning. This gives both excitement as well as a bit of dread for many. For those with young children there is the issue of their schooling or daycare. For those going back into the classrooms there is the concern of being surrounded by those with COVID. For sure, strange times will continue. We need to learn more and more about the virus and convince people to be safe in order to limit its spread. This is what I’m hoping for.
In the meantime, September is around the corner and I’m looking forward to our “Dinner” Meeting on September 25th (see pages 1–2). Josh Kurutz, Historian for the Chicago Section, is going to present on 125 years of history for this storied section. Although we were hoping to have a party for our quasquicentennial, just being able to celebrate online is something I look forward to.
Additionally, September is the month when we ordinarily celebrate Education and present awards to the students who have won scholarships or participated in Project SEED. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to give scholarship exams or have any SEED students participate in research this summer. However, Sherri Rukes, the Section’s newest ACS Fellow and our Chair-Elect, will be presenting a short talk on the application of STEM using polymers. Sherri has taught materials science workshops for a number of years and has an outstanding array of activities for teachers and students. Please join us for what is sure to be a fun and interesting meeting.
Please remain safe and healthy.
Election Slate for 2021 Officers
Mark Cesa, Andrea Twiss-Brooks
Mike Koehler, Tim Marin
Aleks Baranczak, Josh Kurutz
Raj Govindarajan, Jason Romero
Irene Cesa, Omar Farha,
Paul Brandt, Russ Johnson,
Alternate Councilors (3)
Mark Cesa, Avrom Litin,
Chicago Section Applauds New ACS Fellow Sherri Rukes!
The American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellows Program was created by the ACS Board of Directors in December 2008 to recognize members of ACS for outstanding achievements in and contributions to science, the profession, and the Society.
Sherri Rukes is one of 53 new ACS Fellows named in July 2020. The official citations highlighting her many accomplishments are listed below. For more about Sherri’s background, interests and awards, please refer to the biosketch on page 2 of this issue.
Contribution to science/profession: Among other honors, Sherri was recognized as a Golden Apple Fellow in Illinois as an innovative and effective STEM educator, encouraging teachers and students, and serving in leadership roles.
Contribution to the ACS community: Sherri has served on the Intersociety Polymer and Education Council (IPEC), the Committee on Polymer Education (PolyEd), and Chicago section boards as well as in other leadership roles, advancing chemical education collaboration, excellence, and equity in K-12.
If you see the honorific designation ACSF after Sherri’s name, you will know why. Needless to say, the Chicago Section is proud of its newest ACS Fellow!
Did you know . . . that, as a Polymer Ambassador, Sherri is one of a gifted group of teachers that have been honored as leaders in K–12 education and who organize, arrange, and present workshops and demonstrations. For example, they put on polymer demonstrations and give talks in special programs for the American Chemical Society at national, regional and local meetings.
Bylaws Vote Set for September Meeting
The bylaws for the Chicago Section of the American Chemical Society are periodically reviewed by the Section Board of Directors, and by the ACS Committee on Constitution and Bylaws (C&B). We are required to update the section bylaws to accommodate changes in the ACS bylaws and other organizational documents. The Bylaws Committee, the Section Board of Directors, and C&B have now updated the section bylaws.
The next step in this process is to obtain approval from the section membership and then approval by the ACS Secretary at the national level.
We will conduct a vote to approve the new bylaws at the Chicago Section’s general meeting on September 25th. Information for this meeting will be sent by email and is on the section website. A 2/3 vote for approval at that meeting will be required to approve the bylaws. A copy of the new bylaws was sent by email to the membership and you may view a copy of the current official bylaws for comparison at: bylaws link
Submitted by Russ Johnson
RESUMES FOR CHEMISTS
As you know, the ACS should be always be your first stop in finding a job, but members of the Section’s Employment and Professional Relations Committee are here to help you. This is another article on what you need to have in your job search (see the June 2020 issue — “Career Searching the ACS Way”). Specifically, this article deals with resumes. There are other resources available; many websites have articles on resumes and a number of websites provide resume templates.
Basically, a resume (or résumé) is a sales tool and the product a resume should sell is You. This document should only be one to two pages long. A resume provides a summary of a person’s education, employment history, credentials, other accomplishments and skills. A resume should be as concise as possible, while still showcasing yourself. You may want to check out Resume Resources at acs.org.
A curriculum vitae (CV), on the other hand, is a written overview of a person’s career. Usually, most academic jobs require a CV, while many industrial jobs in the US require a resume. Unlike a resume, a CV may be multiple pages long. Therefore, a CV is more like a scrapbook of a person’s professional life, while a resume is more like a snapshot.
As discussed above, a resume should be as concise as possible while still providing a summary of one’s education, work history, credentials and other accomplishments and skills. Resumes often include bulleted lists to keep the information clear, concise and cogent. A powerful resume should stand alone, since it may become separated from any other accompanying documents.
There are a few types of resumes, such as chronological, functional or some combination of the two. Most companies use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) for screening resumes. An ATS works best with a chronological resume. Today, when word processors and computers are common, a resume or CV should be tailored to the specific job you are applying for. In fact, a good resume will use the same keywords that are in the job description. An internet tool like jobscan.co should be used to compare your resume with a job description, and a response rate of at least 80% should be achieved before you send off a resume.
Since a resume is often the first impression a future employer has of you, you will want to make sure that the resume is honest, factual and free from grammatical and spelling errors. In addition, a resume should be easy to read, with margins on both sides of the paper and a font size of at least 11-point.
In building a resume, start by making a list of all your background information. Then, you will want to organize your list into categories. Many websites have resume templates that you can use. The resume templates available ensure that all categories are covered. Proofread the final product. If a resume is more than one page, make sure that all the key selling points appear on the first page. If a resume is more than one page long (the resume should be one page in length for non-executive and starting positions), then add a heading on page 2 that includes your name and contact information, along with the page number; this is crucial in case the pages of a resume become separated.
Make sure that the resume is uniform throughout; for example, if you use bullet points in one job description, you should use bullet points in all job descriptions. References should not be listed. The references should be available, but can be provided later on. Use an active, direct writing style. Abbreviations should not be used, but rather should be written out. Have a colleague, mentor or peer — or better yet, more than one — read over your resume for clarity, consistency and correctness of spelling, word usage and grammar.
Once you have a good copy of your resume (a master resume copy), customize it for the particular job description. Again, make sure that keywords and accomplishment statements match the job description. As discussed above, use an internet tool like Jobscan.co, to compare your resume with a job description. In addition, make sure that it is clear which job is being sought.
Now that you have a proofread, easy-to-read resume, customized for the particular job being sought, upload or send your resume out, along with any other required documents such as a cover letter.
Barb Moriarty, Professional Relations Committee
Prepared from various sources including acs.org
Sections to Include in Your Resume
Contact information – This section should include your name, address, telephone number(s) and email address. If the resume is more than one page long, consider putting your name at the top of the other pages by using a header.
Summary statement – This section summarizes work experience, areas of expertise, technical or professional skills and any awards or honors you have received.
Keywords – Make sure they align with what the target employer is seeking in an applicant. Plan to list your top 8–10 key skills in two columns. Again, they should mirror the keywords that are in the job description.
Employment history – In this section, you should put the organization’s name, dates you were employed, and job titles. This list should go back about 10–15 years.
Responsibilities and Accomplishments – This section shows responsibilities, achievements and the contributions you made to an organization. The language used should be noun-based, not verb-based. The accomplishments should be given in terms of size, scope, money made, dollars saved and processes streamlined. Most often, numbers (such as: attrition was reduced by more than 50%) are more important than just a statement. Include around 3–6 accomplishments for your most recent job, but only 1–3 for prior jobs.
Education – In this section, your educational background should be summarized in reverse chronological order. Your highest degree and the college or university should be included.
Professional Development and Training – This section should include any relevant training or courses.
Memberships – This section should include any memberships and offices held in professional organizations, boards and community groups. Again, make sure the memberships, etc. are relevant.
Other categories – If relevant, this section should list languages, certificates and military experience.
End of summer 2020, a season like no other in the middle of the continuing coronavirus pandemic. Many of our Section’s events have had to be cancelled, postponed or moved to online platforms such as Zoom. With all of its welcome benefits, the online world is causing some to feel ‘zoomed out’ with a kind of ‘zoom fatigue.’ That said, the Section continues its regular programming with the upcoming, annual Education Meeting. Please register at chicagoacs.org and join us for what promises to be a stimulating evening. Also, be sure to check the website for upcoming events.
For the production of this bulletin I extend my thanks to Paul Brandt, Josh Kurutz, Irene Cesa, Barb Moriarty, Andrea Twiss-Brooks and her program team, Jason Romero for assistance in pulling the content together, Sherri Rukes for spearheading the NCW activities, our advertisers and the many volunteer members who work to keep the Chicago Section operating in spirit and in practice as we celebrate the Section’s 125th year.
As always you are welcome to send story ideas, comments, and corrections to me at [email protected]. After all, the bulletin is a publication of our entire Chicago Section community.
Thanks for reading and please stay safe. ~~ M. E. S. ~~
ANALYTICAL SERVICE LABORATORY
Steel • Ceramics • Geological • Chemical • Pharmaceutical •
Paper • Paint • Packaging • Coatings • Polymers
Chemistry Under Quarantine: Call for Stories and Photos
The COVID-19 pandemic is a historic event that has made a big impact on the chemistry enterprise. How has it affected you and your work? Please contact [email protected] to tell your story and share your photos.
Did you leave lab in accordance with the stay-at-home orders? Did you catch up on reading and writing? Look for your next position? Conduct experiments in a home lab? Was your work considered essential, so you continued to operate in your usual environment but under altered circumstances? Did you discover you could actually conduct much of your work successfully from home? Did the mental overhead of the disease and civil strife feel overwhelming to you?
Your experiences are part of history. Your present and future colleagues will want to know about what it was like to live and work during this time. Publications such as The Chemical Bulletin virtually ignored the 1918 pandemic, despite its importance. Let’s do better. Let’s work together to document our experiences so that future chemists will not find 2020 such a mystery. You may request that your reports be anonymized, removing personal information.
Here are two photos to help provide examples.
At the time Governor Pritzker’s stay-at-home order was first going into effect, the nation’s medical professionals were facing a massive critical shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE; masks, gloves, etc.). Many researchers, realizing their laboratories were well-stocked with such items, and knowing that lab members would not be needing them because they were staying at home for a period of quarantine, voluntarily gave them to hospitals. This photo at left shows, on and around a repurposed anti-vibration table, some of the donations organized by scientists at the University of Chicago on March 20th, the last day before the stay-at-home order went into effect.
Laboratory operations changed significantly during quarantine. In the photo above we see PhD candidate Marissa Tranquilli in the UChicago Chemistry NMR Facility, shortly after campus research operations partially restarted. Face masks are required at all times, and the facility, which is used by many dozens of people every day, requires gloves. Personal distancing (aka “social distancing”) boundaries are marked on the floor to ensure people stay safely apart from one another when conducting chemical analyses.
Submitted by Josh Kurutz
Featuring Dr. Mark Cesa, Chicago Section member!
10:00 AM Chicago time, Tuesday Sept. 1
For more information, contact:
Chelsea Bock, Associate Program Officer, Board on International Scientific Organizations
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Phone: 202-334-2302; E-mail: cbocknas.edu https:www.nationalacademies.orgour-workus-national-committee-for-the-international-union-of-pure-and-applied-chemistry-usnc-iupac
Nominations for ACS National Awards
The ACS National Awards program is designed to encourage the advancement of chemistry in all its branches, to support research in chemical science and industry, and to promote the careers of chemists.
Local section members are being encouraged to submit nominations for ACS National Awards for 2022. In particular, nominations are welcomed for persons who are from groups not commonly recognized in the ACS National Awards program, including women, underrepresented racial and/or ethnic groups, chemists from industry and national laboratories, and faculty members at universities not well represented in the program.
For example, only 5% of the nominees for awards in the 2021 awards cycle were chemists or chemical engineers working in industry, and only 14% of nominees were women.
The ACS strives to recognize, promote, and honor outstanding contributions in the chemical sciences regardless of the researcher’s gender, race, ethnicity or employer.
Please consider nominating a deserving candidate (hopefully from the Chicago Section!) for an ACS National Award.
Nominations can be submitted at: www.nominate.acs.org, and more information on the 44 ACS National Awards can be found at: https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/funding-and-awards/awards/national.html and
Chair, ACS Chicago Section Awards Committee
Sidney Harris cartoon:
From EUREKA! Details to Follow: Cartoons on Chemistry by Sidney Harris 2018 sciencecartoonsplus.com
Coming Soon: Information about the Chicago Section’s Plans for a virtual event celebrating National Chemistry Week (NCW), which is scheduled to take place during October 18–24th. Please check the Section’s website (chicagoacs.org) in mid to late September for details. Plans are underway for contests, activities, fun information and much more. A limited number of free demonstration kits will be available to educators or troop leaders to help teach children about adhesives and polymers.
National Chemistry Week Poetry Contest
Please consider having your child enter the 2020 National Chemistry Week poetry contest (aka the Illustrated Poem Contest). This contest is for any child in Kindergarten through 12th grade. For submission forms go to: K – 2nd grade, 3rd – 5th grade, 6th – 8th grade, and 9th – 12th grade. The deadline to enter is October 25, 2020 at 11:59 PM (Eastern). Here are the contest rules:
All poems must be no more than 40 words, and in one of the following styles, to be considered: Haiku, Limerick, Ode, ABC poem, Free verse, End rhyme, or Blank verse.
Entries are judged based upon relevance to and incorporation of this year’s theme (Sticking with Chemistry), word choice and imagery, colorful artwork, adherence to poem style, originality and creativity, and overall presentation.
All entries must be original works without aid from others. Physical drawings may be scanned or captured via camera and submitted to the online form. Illustrations may be created using crayons, watercolors, other types of paint, colored pencils, or markers.
The illustration may also be created electronically by using a digital painting and drawing app on a computer, tablet, or mobile device. The name of the digital painting and drawing app software must be included on the entry form.
The text of the poem should be easy to read and may be typed before the hand-drawn or digital illustration is added, Alternatively, the poem may be written on lined paper, cut out, and pasted onto the unlined paper with the illustration.
No clipart or unoriginal images may be used.
Only one entry per student will be accepted.
Students must be sponsored by a school or another sponsoring group (e.g. Homeschool Association, Scout Troop, 4-H, etc.).
All illustrated poems and/or digital representations of poems become the property of the American Chemical Society.
Acceptance of prizes constitutes consent to use winners’ names, likenesses, and entries for editorial, advertising, and publicity purposes.
Submissions: K-12 students are asked to submit their illustrated poems via the new online submission form. For more information and to enter the contest please go to the grade-specific submission links above or go to:
100 years ago: Staudinger postulates high molecular weight materials
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.
February 2020, Vol. 107, No. 7
Published by the Chicago Section of the American Chemical Society
Editor: Margaret E. Schott
Online version: Josh Kurutz
Proofreaders: Helen Dickinson, Ken Fivizzani, Rebecca Weiner
ACS Chicago Section Office
Address: 1400 Renaissance Drive,
Park Ridge, IL 60068 (847) 391-9091
Monthly: September – June (10 issues)
Subscription rates: $15 per year