Sunday, January 10, 2016

Chair Column

Chair Column Jaime Curtis-Fisk, Chair, Midland Section ACS

I hope that everyone enjoyed wonderful and relaxing holidays with family and friends, and that 2016 is off to a great start! Many of us will head into the new year with resolutions, plans to take on new challenges, or maybe even considering trying something new and exciting. Just as we all make these plans in our personal lives, the Midland Section ACS is also in the process of planning for 2016 and beyond, continuing a process that began last fall to develop and implement a strategy for our local section. This began with a team of leaders and volunteers from our local section digging into what is working, what could be more effective, and how the unique skill set of our organization can best serve our members and the community. More information on their findings will be coming soon, but in the meantime there are many opportunities to get involved and be a part of leading and implementing new programs and initiatives. If you would like to be more involved in your local ACS section, we would love to hear from you! 

Personally, I take on a new journey this year as I begin my term as the Chair of the Midland Section of the ACS. As I look to my goals for this year, I begin with the perspective that our local section has a mission to serve both our members and the community. As a technical society, our obligation is to educate and excite both the community and our members about the role of chemistry in our careers and everyday lives. Through this we have the opportunity to increase the relevance of our organization to both our current and prospective members. We can achieve this through continuing technical programs, providing opportunities for professionals and our student members to network and learn more about the technology in development within our own community, and facilitating career development opportunities for all levels from student through professionals. I look forward to working with our program committee and our other committees such as WCC, YCC, and many others in developing exciting new opportunities for our members. 

In parallel with optimizing programs targeted at our members, this year I will also work with our volunteers and local section leadership to evaluate the outreach program. We will seek to increase involvement by offering programs that satisfy a wide range of interests and utilize the broad expertise of our membership. Our strong outreach program already has a reputation for quality and impact. In addition to increasing participation, the next stage in our program should be to increase partnerships with other local organizations with a shared mission. This will increase the efficiency of our time and resources, and broaden the impact on our local community. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone who has an interest in volunteering or who would like to hone their leadership skills to take part in developing this new strategy and putting the plan into action.

In summary, there are many exciting things ahead for us in 2016 and many opportunities for our members to be involved! I would love to hear from anyone who has feedback, ideas, or is looking for how to get involved. I can be reached conveniently by e-mail ( or by phone (989-638-7044). Thank you, and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

If you are reading this...

Chair Column Gina Malczewski, Chair, Midland Section ACS

George Bernard Shaw once said, "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."  Every month Steve and/or Vickie (thank you both!) spend valuable time and effort putting together a great tool--this newsletter.  And yet, as has been shown time and again in meetings large and small, not many are staying current by reading it. 

So, if you are reading this...wonderful!  Keep it up!  If you have just happened to catch this issue, please make it a habit.  If you know someone who doesn't read this, tell them to START HERE-this is where you can get accurate information about what's happening and what's not.  And if you know someone who isn't RECEIVING this due to a bad email or other issue, please have them get in touch with us. 

To those non-members who are among our readers, we welcome you and hope you continue to participate in our activities.  

...and to all readers of this issue, happy holidays and best wishes for the future.  As I leave my post as Chair, I look back at a busy and challenging year, and hope you can remember something that was done that made you proud, something that educated you, or something that encouraged you to participate.  I look ahead to lots of work as I continue in Outreach and work on preparations for our centennial in 2019.  Thanks also to all the Board and committee chairs/members who have worked hard at the varied and numerous things we do. 

Please stay informed--knowledgeable and involved members and partners are our greatest assets.

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Circle That's Not Necessarily Silver

Chair Column, Gina Malczewski, Chair, Midland Section ACS

Our senior chemists (ACS Silver Circle) group is up and running – only it doesn't have to be just for seniors, and there are other minerals in the mix besides silver. Yes, we received a grant from the National ACS to start a group focused on the interests of "experienced" ACS members, but EVERYONE is invited to the upcoming kickoff event on Thursday, November 12 at 11:30 AM-12:45 PM at Creative 360 (1517 Bayliss Street, Midland) for a FREE LUNCH, to hear some speakers addressing ways to tap into this experience pool and utilize its members available free time, and a discussion about potential future group activities. As this volunteer group gets going, future programs will also likely be open to those of any age.

Mentoring and networking sessions (like the one being offered at CMU on November 13, see related article on p. 3 and information flyer on p. 4) are among the suggested activities for this group. Classes or field trips or neighborhood projects might also be of interest – as well as involvement in the upcoming 2019 Midland Section ACS centennial efforts. That year we will celebrate the GOLDEN anniversary of Central Regional Meetings, the DIAMOND jubilee of the first fully integrated polycrystalline silicon plant (established by Dow Corning in Hemlock), and the PLATINUM anniversary of the first introduction of Saran Wrap by Dow Chemical. We are all part of a rich history!

So join us at the kickoff event of our Silver Circle group on November 12, and help us consider new ways to celebrate each other and the ageless pursuit of chemistry. For more information or questions about the new Silver Circle group, please contact Gretchen Kohl at

Welcome to the new website of the Midland Section of the American Chemical Society

The Midland Section ACS website has been updated.  Please take a look around the site and feel free to contact the webmaster with any comments or suggestions.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Welcome to the Midland Section of the American Chemical Society.

Welcome to a blog sponsored by the Midland Section of the American Chemical Society, focused on teacher comments and questions.  As a professional society of those engaged or interested in the pursuit of science, most of us are not professional educators, but we support the educational process in many ways.  We have teacher training units, and do classroom demonstrations; we also sponsor free seminars on science and technology topics that are free and open to the public. A few of us are also Science Coaches, part of a National program to work one-on-one with local teachers in whatever capacity is needed. Our section was recently awarded a grant (in collaboration with MSTA and Delta College) to work with teachers on the Next Generation Science Standards, NGSS. We are planning a workshop in 2014 for educators, that will offer speakers and activities around the standards; in order to match the offerings with the needs, we are soliciting your personal comments about interpreting the standards, or the concepts you struggle with most.  You may need to be patient with us as we get used to the blog format, and also work with NGSS ourselves, but perhaps the most important thing is to get some communication going. 

So where shall we start??  What do you think about the workshop idea?  Have you done much with NGSS or do you think you already have them covered in your classroom?  What do you need to know about them?  Do you think ACS can help with NGSS, and do you have any suggestions for us?