The ACS Career Day took place in Houston on Saturday, March 7th. This year’s career event was hosted by members of the ACS National team and provided a wealth of career advice and networking opportunities. The morning kicked off with a series of workshops designed to get attendees thinking about how they can prepare for interviews and demonstrate their value to an employer.
Dr. Samina Azad started with a presentation on "Getting the Interview", asking the question of how you distinguish yourself from a list of great candidates. The answer? Do your research! Understand the company and be prepared to discuss how you fit their needs, as well as how you could contribute to company growth. Dr. Azad also noted that when interviewers ask, "Why do you want to work for us?", it’s not just small talk, it's a serious question. Make sure you have a good answer that shows your understanding of the company and doesn’t just say how convenient the job would be for you.
Dr. Amanda Brown gave an excellent workshop talking about the importance of transferrable "soft" skills and how to both inventory your existing skill set as well as plan for future development. As she pointed out, your current skill set is what gets you in the door but it’s where you grow from there that makes the biggest difference to your career.
After a brief coffee break, Jahari Soward presented a great breakdown of how to start building your professional network. Who needs to network? Everyone! Shy or introverted people can consider talking to other quiet people at events or setting a personal goal to make a specific number of new connections. Remember that networking shouldn't just be about asking for a job but about building relationships that are productive and positive for both parties. A final suggestion was to have a 30 second elevator speech ready for on-the-spot or impromptu networking.
The final program session was the Ask a Recruiter panel where attendees had the opportunity to ask two professional recruiters about the finer details of candidate recruitment and the hiring process. Attendees were then offered the opportunity to practice their networking skills over lunch and attend one-on-one meetings with ACS Career Consultants throughout the afternoon. Thanks to the ACS National team for putting on a wonderful event, and particular thanks to everyone who attended. We hope the information presented helps you take the next step in your career!
Did you know that ACS members have access to a professional career development program to help build individual career plans? Check out different career paths and set personal growth goals at https://chemidp.acs.org. Members can also take advantage of personal career consulting as part of their member benefits. Find out more at https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/careers/personal-career-consulting.html.
I am a dense, insoluble salt. I can be used in oil well drilling fluids, X-ray imaging, paint pigments, fireworks and brake linings. What compound am I?
Answer: It's barium sulfate!
I am an aromatic hydrocarbon that contains no six-membered rings. I have a similar odor to naphthalene, but I am blue not white. What compound am I?
Answer: It's azulene!
The ACS-GHS held an awards luncheon on Saturday, January 18th to present ACS Regional awards to those that were unable to attend the Southwest Regional Meeting in El Paso, TX last November, and local awards to recognize some our outstanding volunteers.
Local awards included the following Salutes to Excellence:
The GHS 2019 Volunteer of the Year Award was given to Catherine Faler for her active involvement in the Local Section’s outreach efforts for several years. Many of these events promote Chemistry and STEM to young kids. Catherine has dedicated her time and effort in celebrating the International Year of Periodic Table (IYPT) all year long in 2019 - she has organized several events which actively engaged all ages of children, teachers and general public.
Thank you all for your amazing leadership and dedication!
Who lit your spark? Likely if you’re reading this you were inspired at some point in your life to study chemistry by some person, probably a teacher or by something you read or watched. This month we’d like to put our ACS-GHS spotlight on the Metropolitan Houston Area Chemistry Teachers Association. This group of teachers is a local affiliate of the Associated Chemistry Teachers of Texas. They meet three to four times a year to network, share and learn from each other. Teachers can earn professional development credit by attending the meetings. In the fall they met to coincide with the ACS National Chemistry Week Marvelous Metals. The Metro Houston area chemistry teachers met on the Saturday before National Chemistry Week for some food, friends, and chemistry fun. There was a periodic table game, in honor of the International Year of the Periodic Table (courtesy of Bean Burr); activities related to the chemistry of metals, in honor of the National Chemistry Week theme of Marvelous Metals; and a few gas related demos and activities (thanks to Amiee Modic) for our teachers who were new to the Metro group and new to teaching chemistry.
Roxie Allen, brought out some metal related activities that some had never seen, and others had forgotten about, and the exploring began. There was creating an activity series or table of reduction potentials using just small bits of metals, a few drops of solution, and some filter paper in a petri dish; then we used a variety of 9V batteries assembled in series to anodize niobium and titanium wire, creating colorful pieces that could be made into jewelry.
The information about these metal activities can be found in the Metro Houston folder on the ACT2 website. If you’d like more information about MHCTA or ACT2, please email Roxie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for being dedicated volunteers to Houston area students!
The new year is a great time to refresh and reset, and the ACS-GHS is ready to go for 2020. We welcomed our newly elected board members and volunteers at the 2020 Section Kick-off meeting on January 18th at the University of St. Thomas. Participants discussed section plans for the upcoming year and made some changes to committee assignments. We have exciting plans for 2020 and look forward to sharing them with our members!
This year, for the first time in recent memory, a student from the Greater Houston Section was honored at the national level for their submission to the Illustrated Poetry Contest for National Chemistry Week. This year’s theme was Marvelous Metals and Isabella Trong, a junior at Memorial High School, was the national 2nd place winner for the 9-12 grade category with her poem on Aluminum. Hopefully this will be the start of the Greater Houston Section having more participation and winning a few more accolades at the national level. Isabella’s chemistry teacher is John Husted and he was excited to hear about her recognition. Please check out Isabella’s poem, which incorporates Aluminum’s characteristics, uses, and a bit of humor as well!
The ACS-GHS held its first online silent auction over the last two weeks of October to auction off chemistry-themed quilts and other items made in honor of the International Year of the Periodic Table. We're happy to report that the event was a great success, raising $665 in support of Project SEED and other GHS activities! We had bids come in from across the US and even some drama as a well timed final bid resulted in a last minute auction victory. Thank you to all our bidders for your support, and congratulations to our auction winners!
As part of the ACS-GHS celebration of 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table (IYPT), GHS Chair-Elect Crystal Young spearheaded efforts to have the IYPT officially recognized by the State of Texas and the City of Houston. October 26th, 2019 was proclaimed to be International Year of the Periodic Table Day by the City of Houston to coincide with the ACS-GHS Kids & Chemistry Outreach event at the Children's Museum during National Chemistry Week. On Friday, December 6th, ACS-GHS representatives visited City Hall to receive the proclamation commemorating the IYPT directly from Mayor Sylvester Turner. The Mayor commented on Twitter after the meeting, "It's important that young minds continue to be attracted to science in order to ensure the next generation of innovators."
Thank you to Mayor Turner for the Commendation! We are grateful for his support of science, chemistry, and the International Year of the Periodic Table.
Botto joined the ACS in 1972 as a college student. He later joined ACS-Greater Houston Section (GHS) in 1975 when he moved to Houston to work for Exxon. He was elected to the ACS-GHS Executive Board about 1979 and served in several capacities throughout the 80s, receiving the ACS-GHS Local Section Award in 1982 and the ACS Regional Award for the Southwest Region in 1994. He also served as Chairman of the SW Region in 1995.
In 1978, Exxon asked Bob to conduct a chemistry show for high school students visiting the campus in Baytown. That began his long career in chemistry outreach. He expanded into a school outreach program and developed a chemical “magic” stage show and performed with volunteer assistants at schools in mainly the Baytown area several times during the school year. Each year for National Chemistry Week, ExxonMobil would allow him time to tour the schools and perform several shows during that week. When ExxonMobil developed a “science ambassador” program for schools, Bob’s chemistry shows and demonstrations fit in perfectly. Demand for his chemistry shows increased steadily and Bob recruited a circle of volunteers to help.
When the National ACS conducted the Kids & Chemistry Pilot Study in the fall of 1993, the Greater Houston Section was chosen as one of four pilot sites nationally. Bob served as a coordinator for the Houston Kids & Chemistry Program and helped to recruit volunteers, test the hands-on kits and orchestrate presentations at the various venues. In 1994 Bob helped the ACS assess the effectiveness of the program in capturing the interest of the kids and changing their opinions toward science and continued to serve National ACS as a member of their Kids & Chemistry Advisory Board for several years. With the successful completion of the pilot, Bob took up the role of Kids & Chemistry coordinator for the GHS-ACS as Chairman of the “Chemistry in Community” Committee. Each year Bob conducted volunteer recruitment and training sessions, some in conjunction with the National ACS. He maintained a database of volunteers and encouraged them to conduct their own Kids & Chemistry programs at various venues such as libraries, rodeos, parks, camps, kids at work, shopping malls, churches, scouts’ events, museums etc.
Bob retired from ExxonMobil in 2010 but continues to be an active volunteer with the ACS-GHS. 2019 is the 4th year in a row that Bob has organized the Children's Museum National Chemistry Week hands on chemistry activities. The Children's Museum typically has 300 plus kids and parents visit our tables each year. The volunteers are college chemistry students and this year 58 signed up.
He was elected a Fellow of the ACS in 2011 and in 2015 was presented the Helen Free Award for exemplary volunteer service to the ACS. We thank Bob for his years of volunteer service and salute his continued commitment to sharing the joy of chemistry with community members of all ages!
December 2020 Newsletter
November 2020 Newsletter
October 2020 Newsletter
September 2020 Newsletter
August 2020 Newsletter
July 2020 Newsletter
June 2020 Newsletter
May 2020 Newsletter
April 2020 Newsletter
March 2020 Newsletter
February 2020 Newsletter
January 2020 Newsletter
July 2020 Minutes
June 2020 Minutes
May 2020 Minutes
April 2020 Minutes
March 2020 Minutes
February 2020 Minutes
January 2020 Minutes
Virtual - Fall 2020
San Diego, CA - Fall 2019
Orlando, FL - Spring 2019
2019 GHS Administration Report
The American Chemical Society -
Greater Houston Section is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
PO Box 66181, Houston, TX