For the fourth time in five years, South Texas College’s Chemistry Club was honored with the American Chemistry Society’s Outstanding Award. The award is given for the breadth and depth of the club’s activities during the 2009-10 academic year.
The STC Chem Club, which is the ACS student chapter at the college, competes against approximately 750 other chemistry clubs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Only 20 percent of ACS chapters earn the honor.
“What’s really nice is that we are a community college competing against universities such as UT-Austin and Texas A&M that have better member retention over four years, “ said STC Chemistry Instructor and Chem Club advisor Ludivina Avila. “Those schools usually have two times the amount of members and resources, which makes it more challenging for us. So it’s nice that we can compete and show our dedication.”
The ACS looks at several categories to determine which chapters are conveyed an Outstanding Award. Some of the criteria used are community service; promotion of National Chemistry Week, Mole Day or Earth Day; attendance of scientific meetings, departmental or college-wide activities; and green chemistry activities.
The STC Chem Club will be among 36 ACS student chapters honored with the Outstanding Award at the 241st ACS National Meeting in Anaheim, Calif. on March 27. STC’s Chemistry Department plans to take eight to 10 students to the meeting to accept the award, according to Avila.
“We try to take some students with us so they can interact with other students, professors and speakers,” she said.
Although the Chem Club earned the award, Avila was extended a special commendation from ACS President Joseph Francisco for her dedication.
“Few faculty members are willing to make the commitment of time and energy that a successful chapter requires,” said Francisco. “Professor Avila’s efforts certainly represent the best in undergraduate science education and mentoring around the country. We extend our warmest congratulations to the students and Professor Avila for setting such a fine example for other chapters and being exemplary chemistry ambassadors.”