On Nov. 7, 2017 KACS hosted its annual poster session titled "Sustainable Science - Recycle a Poster" at Bell's Eccentric Café in downtown Kalamazoo. For the 7th year in a row, KACS organized this public event, which was made possible through a generous grant from Zoetis. There was a record turnout of 153 people. This keynote speaker was Monique Wilhelm from the University of Michigan-Flint. In her roles as Laboratory Manager and Adjunct Lecturer, she witnessed the water crisis first hand when it first unfolded in 2014. Her presentation “The Real Crisis with Flint’s Water - It Was Preventable and Can Happen to You!” included a demo with hands-on activities for the audience. It involved three pennies, a salt pack, vinegar and plastic containers to learn about the influence of the water’s pH on metal. In addition to the keynote speech, there was a poster session with over 30 presentations, including 21 student presenters. At least 50% of those in attendance were ACS members. Participants enjoyed hot appetizers and beer from 5 to 9 pm while listening to the keynote speech, mingling and reviewing the displays. Posters highlighted work from Zoetis, Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan University (WMU), among others. Some work was done in collaboration with other institutions.
Students who submitted a poster abstract for this event ahead of time had the opportunity to win a $50 cash prize, which was handed out by KACS Treasurer Bill Schinzer. The lucky winners were Daniel Corey, Jashaun Bottoms and Gabriel Aleida Alves. The prizewinners presented the following posters.
Chemistry, the Flint Water Crisis, and You by Catherine Wilhelm, Daniel Corey, Anthony Maxwell, Noor Alawwa, Mohammad Alsarraj, Wendy Yahr, Tomas Sanson, Lina Eltahir, Maryam James, Hannah Nettleton, Monique Wilhelm*, Jessica Tischler, Samantha Grathoff; Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Michigan – Flint, MI
Organic-inorganic hybrid metal halide perovskites for water-resistant solar cells: Tetraphenylphosphonium metal halide crystal structures by Saja Althobaiti, Jashaun Bottoms, Ekkehard Sinn* Department of Chemistry, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
The Effects of Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide on the Expression of Nerve Growth Factor and Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in Cardiac Cells by Gabriel Almeida Alves, *John Spitsbergen, John-Mary Vianney, Department of Biological Sciences, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
This year’s event also included the celebration of the “Partners for Progress and Prosperity (P3) Award” that was given to the Kalamazoo ACS Local Section, Zoetis, and Bell’s Eccentric Café for offering this annual poster event in a 3-way collaboration. The award was given for incorporating 3 important categories, specifically for 1) organizing a public event to help improve the public image and perception of science in general and of chemistry in particular; 2) helping improve career development through networking opportunities in an informal setting; and 3) supporting the importance of STEM education and research via its keynote speaker and poster session.
KACS Chair Dr. Steve Secreast also showed a brief video he filmed at the Kalamazoo pedestrian mall that showed public volunteers reciting the elements of the periodic table. Last but not least, the KACS Board is grateful for the financial support that Zoetis has provided to help defer the expenses associated with this event.