Greater Houston Section

  • 27 May 2020 5:59 PM | ACS GHS (Administrator)

    I am an electrophile that is often used in Diels-Alder reactions and is also an effective topical treatment for psoriasis. What compound am I?

    Answer: It's dimethyl fumarate! 

    Dimethyl fumarate

  • 27 May 2020 2:25 PM | Dawn Friesen (Administrator)

    We're pleased to announce the launch of a new video series hosted on the ACS Greater Houston Section YouTube Channel! "Meet Your ACS-GHS Leaders" is a series of short interviews with members of the Greater Houston local section leadership. The GHS executive board is made up of members from all areas of chemistry and we hope to provide some insight into the different career paths available to chemists in the Houston area, as well as the impact that the ACS can have on its members, both personally and professionally.

    The first video in the series is an interview with Dr. Crystal A. Young, Associate Professor of Organic Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, and the 2020 ACS-GHS Chair. Watch now or check out our YouTube channel for more video content, including Curtis Swisher's seminar on "Career Management During Uncertain Times".

    Did you know that ACS members have access to career planning resources like ChemIDP and Personal Career Consultants? It's one of the many benefits your membership has to offer!

    Let us know what you think about this video series - we'd love to hear your feedback at acs-ghs@acs-ghs.org or in the video comments.

  • 03 May 2020 2:35 PM | Dawn Friesen (Administrator)
    I am one of the world’s most widely prescribed antibiotics for bacterial infections and on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines. I am a descendant of norfloxacin. What compound am I?


    Answer: It's ciprofloxacin!

    Ciprofloxacin.svg

  • 09 Mar 2020 6:45 PM | ACS GHS (Administrator)


    The ACS-GHS Younger Chemists Committee (YCC) hosted a post-Career Day Happy Hour networking event immediately following ACS Career Day Houston. YCC Chair Kevin Ramirez organized the event, which was held at State Fare on Gessner Rd., a local restaurant/bar located near the Career Day Venue. Attendees were able to wind down with good company and social conversation, and even got to network with Professor Molenium who, as always, was the life of the party. It was great to meet everyone that attended, and we look forward to seeing you at future events!


  • 09 Mar 2020 6:07 PM | ACS GHS (Administrator)

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

  • 03 Mar 2020 5:59 PM | ACS GHS (Administrator)

    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!

    Image result for barium sulfate


  • 06 Feb 2020 7:23 PM | ACS GHS (Administrator)

    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!

    Image result for azulene


  • 06 Feb 2020 7:17 PM | ACS GHS (Administrator)

    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.

    • Mike Wong of Rice University was presented with the Southwest Region ACS Award which recognizes a person who has made meritorious contributions to the advancement of chemistry, chemical engineering, chemical education, either pure or applied, to the profession in general.
    • Carolyn Burnley was presented with the E. Ann Nalley Regional Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society which recognizes the volunteer efforts of individuals who have served the American Chemical Society, contributing significantly to the goals and objectives of the Society through their regional activities for her many years of service to the local section but especially to her 10 years of dedication to Project Seed.
    • Sam Hernandez and Chelsie Lancaster of Elijah Rising. A 501(c)3 nonprofit committed to ending sex trafficking, accepted the Partners for Progress and Prosperity (P3) Award which recognizes partnerships among industry, academia, government, small businesses and/or other organizations that result in impactful outcomes. The partnership between Elijah Rising  and the University of St. Thomas allowed for an expansion of products to be sold in their storefront, Goods That Empower, which are made by trafficking survivors and sold to benefit this worthy cause.

    Local awards included the following Salutes to Excellence:

    • Amber Hinkle for her yearly facilitation of our strategic planning and active follow up to ensure we are on track. As a result of Amber's guidance, GHS active volunteers have increased, and communication improved.
    • Museum Of Fine Arts Houston and Dr. David Bomford for partnering with GHS for a Science Café which consisted of a talk on conservation of the chemistry. The Museum staff publicized and handled all of the logistics as well as providing the venue for the Science Café. The Brown Auditorium of the Museum with a capacity of 300+ was filled. This lecture contributed to the greater public awareness of chemistry.
    • Bob Botto for his continued leadership in our Kids & Chemistry efforts including organization of the National Chemistry event at the Children’s Museum and his individual demonstrations with pediatric patients at Texas Children’s Hospital.
    • Lisa Houston for her leadership and organization in the GHS Awards Committee and High School Outreach efforts. Because of her persistent efforts, several GHS members were nominated for regional/ national awards and successfully awarded the respective awards. Due to her innovative outreach efforts, prominent GHS speakers from industry/academia are able to interact with High School students and share their career experience with the younger generation of STEM enthusiasts.

    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!

  • 03 Feb 2020 7:16 PM | ACS GHS (Administrator)


    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 rallenchem@gmail.com.


    Thank you for being dedicated volunteers to Houston area students!

  • 20 Jan 2020 7:15 PM | ACS GHS (Administrator)

    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!


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