ACS Student Chapter Awards
Our ACS Student Chapter has earned the Outstanding Student Chapter Award and, for the first time, the Green Chemistry Award.
ACS Student chapters provide enrichment and challenges for undergraduate students as they study the chemical sciences. To be eligible for the Green Chemistry Award, chapters must complete at least three green chemistry activities as outlined on the ACS website.
The club members answered some questions about the challenges the club has faced and who they are:
My name is Yexalen Barrera-Casas and I'm currently a senior majoring in Chemistry with an emphasis in biology. I plan on hopefully obtaining an MD PhD with a focus in gynecology. In my free time, I like to read and go dancing!
What is your role in ACS and what do you plan to accomplish for ACS? I am the President of ACS here at the University of Utah. I organize weekly group meetings and help inform our members about grad school applications and how to get involved in research. I have only a couple months left as president and in this time I make an impact on our community by exposing the youth to STEM.
How do you balance school life while managing a club? My best time management tool has been my planner and setting boundaries for myself. Every week I allocate a certain amount of time for the club, school, and any other activities such as research or work. I also want to thank my executive team for all the great job they have done in maintaining the club!
How is ACS making an impact on the community? I believe our club has not only made a positive impact but an important one as well. We are providing an exciting STEM environment for students. Our world has a lot of dependence on science, and we are encouraging the next generation to immerse themselves in a field that offers a lot of potential not only for themselves but for their community as well.
I just graduated in December and I am hoping to work in international health and get a Masters in public health. I love traveling, playing with my dog, reading, and volunteering.
What is your role in ACS and what do you plan to accomplish for ACS? Social Media Director but also helping with marketing and events. I would love to build a strong foundation for this club to be able to continue well being passed on easily as we graduate. Sharing chemistry with students and the community is also a rewarding goal.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced? (Personally or ACS). Finding time for events that does not overlap with other events. Also new fundraising ideas has challenged me. We stopped doing lab coats and had to get creative this year.
How do you balance school life while managing a club? Managing stress through workouts, yoga, meditation. Staying organized and not being afraid to ask for help from the team when needed.
How is ACS making an impact on the community? We host all kinds of events that increase STEM awareness in youth and inspire more women specifically to pursue stem such as our girls scout events. We do a lot of volunteering events within the community as well.
My name is Anneke Enquist. I'm a biochemistry major at the University of Utah with minors in physics and astronomy. I'd like to complete a masters program in molecular neurobiology and pursue neurology as a career after medical school. I currently work in a fetal immunology lab under Dr. Anna Beaudin studying the impact of Interleukin-7 Receptors on Fetal Liver Hematopoiesis.
What is your role in ACS and what do you plan to accomplish for ACS? Director of Lab Organization. I love to organize and develop effective and efficient systems for chemical maintenance. I'm also a big proponent of safety.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced? (Personally or ACS). Gaining momentum after the pandemic has been difficult. For me and my position, I've had a lot of struggle managing my schedule with my lab duties.
How do you balance school life while managing a club? A lot of planning ahead. Everything is scheduled out weeks in advance and I stick to the schedule.
How is ACS making an impact on the community? I think we show a lot of children the magic of chemistry, and I believe that we make an impact on their future career and educational decisions in a positive manner.
I'm Delaney Miller, and I am a second-year student studying Biochemistry here at the University of Utah. I love running and singing in choir ensembles at this university. I also love traveling and practicing Spanish when I have the chance. I plan to go into the medical field and to apply my chemistry skills there in research or in clinical work.
What is your role in ACS and what do you plan to accomplish for ACS? I am the Vice President of Campus Community in the University of Utah student chapter.In the American Chemical Society, we aim to create an atmosphere where everyone can feel included in the field of science which can be intimidating and non-inclusive. To do this, we plan both social and community outreach events to further spread the love of science from our campus outwards. One of our main purposes is to provide hands-on science demonstrations to K 12 students especially those who are not likely to have strong exposure to STEM fields.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced? (Personally or ACS). Gaining momentum and membership in the face of COVID-19 has been difficult. We've had to modify our demonstrations and social events to accommodate this in the last few years. Some of the things we have done have been hosting zoom meetings and creating remote science kits for kids at the library. We are transitioning back to more in-person demonstrations and events with many new ACS students that haven't previously been able to be involved in hands-on demonstrations, and it has been exciting and rewarding.
How do you balance school life while managing a club? It helps to plan exciting things for the club because it gives everyone a little bit of a break from the effort it takes to be a STEM student. It is also a flexible club which has activities that are community enriching to fit a variety of schedules
How is ACS making an impact on the community? It is so enriching to see young students realize why things in the world work for the first time. One of my favorite memories was making Alka-seltzer rockets with the girl scouts and seeing them be amazed at what concepts they were already familiar with like pressure can achieve. It is very important to give young students from all different backgrounds positive exposure to science.
My name is JC Herrmann, and I am a senior Biochemistry Major and I currently work as an undergraduate research assistant with Dr. Aaron Puri. My main job in lab is to breed, culture, extract, and analyze bacteria that produce Quorum Sensing signals in order to be able to characterize molecules that have never been discovered before. I hope to join the pharmaceuticals industry in research and development after I graduate. I like to read, play basketball, ski, camp, and hike.
What is your role in ACS and what do you plan to accomplish for ACS? I am the Vice President of Outreach for the University of Utah's American Chemical Society chapter. I hope to continue organizing events with schools and organizations around the valley to have our volunteers teach our youth about the STEM field in fun and creative ways.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced? (Personally or ACS). The biggest challenge I have faced in fulfilling my position is finding opportunities to organize volunteer opportunities for our members. It took many weeks and months to find events that we would be able to attend with enough members to staff. I hope to keep the connections that we have made over the past semester so that the members of the upcoming ACS team can hit the ground running.
How do you balance school life while managing a club? The balance that I have found between ACS and school is to focus on ACS right after breakfast for about an hour, and then I spend the rest of my day focused on school. By completing the tasks that I have each day for ACS early, I do not forget about them or complete haphazardly, in between my other obligations.
How is ACS making an impact on the community? I think ACS is making a very positive impact on the community by encouraging students to get more involved with STEM in a meaningful way. Through the events that we organize and the members that help make them happen, I believe that we are inspiring the next generation of chemists to pursue their dreams.
Emily is a chemistry major with a biology emphasis. She loves to run, hike, and travel. After graduating in May, she plans to attend graduate school!
What is your role in ACS and what do you plan to accomplish for ACS? I am currently the Co-President of ACS with Yexalen! I plan to help create opportunities for outreach and professional development for our members.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced? (Personally or ACS). One of the biggest challenges we have faced is getting the club going after the pandemic. Slowly this year we have been able to hold more in person events and participate in more community outreach opportunities.
How do you balance school life while managing a club? We meet weekly for a quick meeting where everyone is assigned tasks. I think that really helps keep the club going without having it be too much of a time commitment for one person.
How is ACS making an impact on the community? ACS is getting the community excited about STEM! We often spend time with school children teaching them about chemistry and motivating their interests in it.
My name is Kitsel Lusted. I'm in Materials Science Engineering and I am hoping to use my degree to study glaciers! I found my passion for glaciers when I went to Iceland when I was 14 and I have been obsessed ever since. I had the opportunity to participate in the Juneau Icefield Research Program where I learned how to apply my engineering degree to the big ice of the world. I am planning on going to graduate school in geophysics and studying sub-glacial hydrology.
What is your role in ACS and what do you plan to accomplish for ACS? I am the treasurer for ACS. I like engaging with kids and getting them excited about science.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced? (Personally or ACS). The pandemic was awful.
How do you balance school life while managing a club? I make sure to make time for exercise and being outside. I find that combining my love of the outdoors with science is the best way to stay motivated.
How is ACS making an impact on the community? We excite kids about science and empower them to pursue their dreams.