ACS Richland Section

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2022 Richland section receives ChemLuminary Award

Hyatt Regency Chicago on Tuesday, August 23

With the year’s theme “Celebrate ACS Volunteers – Sustained Excellence!” the 24th Annual ChemLuminary Awards ceremony took place in person at the Hyatt Regency Chicago on Tuesday, August 23 and honored the work of ACS volunteers to continue improving people’s lives. 

The Richland Section was finalist for the following awards: Most Innovative New Activity or Program and Best Overall Minority Affairs Committee. Our Local Section received the ChemLuminary award for ‘Best Overall Minority Affairs Committee’ for organizing many events that reached a diverse audience within the section membership and the community at large.  Supported by a DEI&R grant from ACS, the Committee organized the first virtual bilingual (Spanish-English) outreach program at Isaac Stevens Middle School in Pasco, WA. A total of 374 7th grade students, mostly from underrepresented minorities, participated in hands-on laboratory activities. Following a pre-recorded video by our volunteers, students built a 3D model of the COVID-19 virus and made their own hand sanitizer. A second virtual outreach event, Girls in Science, geared at 6th through 8th grade young women, also gave an opportunity to dig into the science behind COVID-19. Activities were developed by chemistry faculty and student volunteers at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande who partnered with Biology, Math, and Computer Science departments. Forty-seven girls attended the virtual event from 13 different schools from Eastern Oregon. The Committee also helped organize the first-ever virtual Family Game Night which was hosted by Dr. Oliva Primera-Pedrozo (PNNL) and Dr. Hilsamar Felix Rivera (UPR-Bayamon). Nine families discovered the fun of chemistry through the hearts paper chromatography activity. The Committee sponsored two virtual Science Café events celebrating scientists from underrepresented groups including Dr.  Shirmir Branch and Mrs. Cristina Padilla-Cintron. The Annual Social also included a presentation from Dr. Lori Anna Valentin who gave an excellent presentation about “A Day in the Life of a Forensic Scientist.” Additional events included a “book-club” style discussion on the documentary Picture a Scientist which was held in collaboration with PNNL/SPARK, a women’s advocacy group at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and an Active Bystander workshop led by Ms. Tanya Bowers of PNNL.  The training outlined strategies to address harassment, discrimination, and other unwelcome behaviors of all types.

The ChemLuminary Awards represent the highest recognition given by the ACS to recognize outstanding events and programs within the Local Sections. Congratulations to the Richland Section for this great achievement!


Many thanks to our Volunteers who make these achievements possible! Mariefel Olarte, Deepika Malhotra, Anna Cavinato, Sonia Alcantar, Shirmir Branch, Laura Meyer, Britt Robertson, Kristin Omberg, Sandy Fiskum, Oliva Primera, Angel D. Padilla, Yolanda Olivera, Arturo Mendoza, Cristina Padilla-Cintron and Isabel Mendoza.