May 27-30, 2015
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A Grand Enterprise


The deadline to submit awards nominations has passed.

If you have any other questions or concerns about awards, please contact Sherine Obare at

Nalley Award


To recognize 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.

Winner: Ms. Heather Juzwa

Heather Juzwa graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000 with an honors bachelors' degree in Chemistry. Since graduation, she has held various sales positions with analytical instrumentation companies. Since October of 2006, she is a Senior Field Sales Engineer at Shimadzu Scientific Instruments. Heather has won numerous awards during her tenure at Shimadzu including Largest Growth Award and Platinum Club. The President of Shimadzu appointed Heather to two Kaizen teams tasked with improving various company practices. Heather's service to the field of chemistry and the ACS began as an undergraduate. She served as the Secretary of the American Chemical Society – Student Affiliates. In 2008, she was Treasurer of the newly formed Younger Chemists Committee. She served as Chair of the Pittsburgh Section of the ACS in 2011 and currently serves as webmaster. Ms. Juzwa's work has led to more uniform reporting for ACS National, earning the section an esteemed ChemLuminary award for Outstanding Large Local Section in 2012. Heather spearheaded efforts to convert The Crucible newsletter from paper to digital. In 2014, Heather served as General co-Chair of the Central Regional Meeting in Pittsburgh in 2014 and received the Distinguished Service Award, the Pittsburgh Section’s highest award for service to the society.

Winner: Ms. Susan Shih

Ms. Susan Shih was an Adjunct Instructor (1981-1986), Professor (1986-2008) and Department Coordinator (1992-2008) at the College of DuPage where she received the Divisional Outstanding Faculty award (2002-2003). Previously she was an Instructor at Joliet Junior College (1971-1973), and Roosevelt University (1968-1971). Ms. Shih has been an ACS member since 1964 and is currently a full Member of the Society Committee on Education (2009-2012 Associate). She chairs the SOCED Task Force on Revising the ACS Guidelines for Two Year Chemistry Programs. An active member of the Chicago Local Section, Ms. Shih has served as Councilor (2007-2017), Alternate Councilor (2004-2006), Chair (2002-2003), and served on several local committees, resulting in the Distinguished Service Award, Chicago Section, ACS (2009). Additionally she co-Chaired the 2009 GLRM, chaired the Great Lakes Region Board (2009-2010) and serves as the Secretary for the Great Lakes Region Board. She serves on the DivCHED Long Range Planning committee

Ms. Shih graduated Cum Laude from Rosemont College with an A.B. in Chemistry and was elected to Iota Sigma Pi at The Ohio State University. She completed an M.S. in Inorganic Chemistry from The Ohio State University.


A nominee must be a member of the American Chemical Society residing in a local section within the region, and will have made significant contributions to their region of the American Chemical Society. The volunteerism to be recognized may include a variety of activities, including but not limited to the initiation or sponsorship of a singular endeavor or exemplary leadership in the region. Past and present members of the ACS Board of Directors and staff are ineligible for this award. The awards committee of the region, or its equivalent, will select the recipient.

Establishment & Support

The E. Ann Nalley award was instituted in 2006 by ACS Past President E. Ann Nalley as part of her presidential initiative to recognize ACS volunteerism. It is Dr. Nalley’s wish that the award continue in perpetuity at each regional meeting. The award consists of an ACS Salute to Excellence plaque.


The deadline to submit your nominations was Sunday 1 March 2015.

Stan Israel Award

ACS Stanley C. Israel Region Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences


The Stanley C. Israel Region Award recognizes individuals and/or institutions who have advanced diversity in the chemical sciences and significantly stimulated or fostered activities that promote inclusiveness within the region.


ACS Committee on Minority Affairs

Winner: Thomas Higgins, Great Lakes Region

Dr. Thomas B. Higgins is being recognized for his unparalleled dedication to advancing diversity in the chemical sciences and fostering activities to promote inclusiveness in the region. As a professor at Harold Washington community college in Chicago where 82% of student population is comprised of traditionally classified racial and ethnic minorities, he has been a relentless advocate for engaging underrepresented students in research programs and promoting excellence in chemistry education. Dr. Higgins' students have co-authored 15 of his presentations at conferences and 13 of his publications. In addition, he has served as a Principal and Co-Principal Investigator for a total of 10 ground-breaking awards aimed to bring advanced knowledge of chemistry to the City of Chicago community college system students. Dr. Higgins' efforts go far beyond Harold Washington College or even the entire City of Chicago community college system, to enlighten other educators on the importance, challenges, and strategies of engaging chemistry students in minority-serving institutions. Dr. Higgins has made more than 70 local, regional, and national conference presentations, and organized 11 symposia and workshops designed to arm the attendees with the skills necessary to best serve diverse student bodies. Dr. Higgins has demonstrated exemplary service to the American Chemical Society through his work on the Society Committee on Education, the Board Presidential Task Force on Education, Two Year College Chemistry Consortium, Committee on Minority Affairs, the Two Year College Chemistry Guidelines Task Force and Dissemination Task Force, and the Council on Undergraduate Research.

Winner: Mary Barkley, Central Region

Professor Mary Barkley's career is distinguished by an extensive track record of promoting diversity in the chemical sciences. She has worked to both promoting women and minorities by leading formal committees and acting as Department Chair of Chemistry, as well as by less-formal mentoring efforts. Mary has chaired many committees to address gender inequities. She was particularly pivotal to securing CWRU's NSF ADVANCE grant that created a campus wide program Academic Careers in Engineering and Science (ACES). ACES is transforming the culture of the university so that women want to be faculty in STEM fields. Mary had substantial leadership roles in running the ACES program. Mary was involved in formation of the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women. Mary has served on the "To Tenure and Beyond" workshops aimed at providing mentoring and advice for junior women and minority faculty. Mary, as Chair of Chemistry at CWRU, has promoted diversity and principles and to change faculty attitudes towards diversity. Her efforts has greatly increased diversity in the department, in recent years included the hiring of many women and minority faculty. Mary is actively coaching senior faculty to understand issues surrounding diversity and to the needs of junior faculty. The cumulative positive impact of her efforts to increase diversity in the Chemical Sciences is enormous and hard to calculate.


The award consists of a medal and a $1,000 grant to support and further the activities for which the award was made. The award also will include funding to cover the recipient’s travel expenses to the ACS regional meeting at which the award will be presented.


Award nominations must have been submitted by Sunday 1 March 2015


Nominees may come from academia, industry, government, or independent entities, and may also be organizations, including ACS Local Sections and Divisions. The nominee must have created and fostered ongoing programs or activities that result in increased numbers of persons from diverse and underrepresented minority groups, persons with disabilities, or women who participate in the chemical enterprise.

High School Teacher Award

ACS Division of Chemical Education Region Award for Excellence in High School Chemistry Teaching


To recognize, encourage, and stimulate outstanding teachers of high school chemistry in the ACS Regions.


Division of Chemical Education

Winner: Mr. Brad Portis, Gull Lake High School

For the past 37 years, Brad has shared his love of chemistry with students at Gull Lake High School. His love of the subject is obvious to his students as well as the high school principal, Don Eastman. Mr. Eastman stated that Brad consistently reaches kids and motivates them to excel. “He teaches the most difficult class in the building, yet it is one of the most fun and popular classes we offer.”

All students are given Brad’s cell phone number and encouraged to call him at any reasonable time with homework questions. Mr. Eastman said that he frequently hears from graduates and their families that he teaches them how to study and how to be a great student. Former students report they were well prepared for their college chemistry classes due to their solid chemistry background from high school.

Mr. Portis is also very active in the community. His students are encouraged to volunteer at the ACS-sponsored Chemistry Day at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum and they recently partnered with the GLCS Kellogg Elementary Science Fair to enhance the science learning culture.

His classes routinely participate and excel in the annual ACS Competitive Exam for high school students, winning scholarship money. Between eight and fifteen Gull Lake students normally advance from the preliminary exam to compete in the final exam. A very high percentage of Brad’s students take the AP Chemistry exam and often earn college credit based on their results.

Professional development is very important to Brad. He attends AP refresher courses to stay current and has also participated in many opportunities presented by the Michigan Science Teachers Association.

Mr. Eastman firmly believes that Brad is one of a kind and a tremendous asset to their school community.

Winner: Mr. Richard Samsa, Grove City High School

I attended Mohawk Jr./Sr. High School and graduated as the Salutatorian in 1980. Then I attended Youngstown State University where I graduated Cum Laude in 1984. Since then, I have been teaching Chemistry for 30 years in two Pennsylvania schools. I began my teaching career at Purchase Line Jr./Sr. High School where I taught Physics, Applied Chemistry, General Chemistry and Advanced Chemistry for one and a half years. I was also the head Jr. High basketball coach. From there I moved to Grove City High School where I have taught General Chemistry and Advanced Chemistry (which later became AP Chemistry) for 28 years. This year I am also teaching one Principles of Science class to freshmen at our high school. I have been a 7th-grade, Junior-Varsity, and Varsity Assistant Boy’s Basketball coach throughout many of those years. I have also been the advisor for Students For Life, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Bible Club throughout those years. I have published two articles in the Journal of Chemical Education and have presented demonstrations in four different high school and college settings. I am in the process of writing two additional articles that will hopefully be published in the next couple of years.

As a teacher my accomplishments are derived from my students’ accomplishments. I am happy and proud to have been a part of the chemical education of four students who have gone on to achieve Ph..D’s in Chemistry, at least six students who have become High-School Chemistry teacher, and also been involved in the education of many students who have gone on to become medical doctors. My students have also achieved the top two scores in our local section (the Penn-Ohio Border Section) of the American Chemical Society for the past ten years. I was also privileged to be the Baccalaureate speaker at my high school alma mater three years ago.

I am also heavily involved in the music ministry for the Grove City Alliance Church as well as a folk-rock band (Treebeard Brown ) composed of teachers from our high school. I have written many songs and am currently playing some solo venues as well as with the bands. I live with my wife Becky and dog Sheba in Grove City where we have resided for 28 years. I thank God for the abilities He has given me and for putting in a place where my personality and skills fit a tremendous student population.


The Region Award consists of a cash award and a plaque. Reasonable travel expenses to the Regional Meeting at which the award will be presented will be reimbursed. A certificate/plaque may also be provided to the recipient’s institution for display. In some cases, the awardee may be asked to give a keynote address and/or participate in a symposium with other teachers.

Establishment & Support

The Division of Chemical Education (DivCHED) established an endowment in 2004 to support Regional Awards for Excellence in High School Teaching in each of the ACS Regions.


The deadline to submit your nominations was Sunday 1 March 2015.


Any individual, except a member of the award selection committee or currently enrolled student of the nominee, may submit one nomination or support form in any given year. The nominee must be actively engaged in the teaching of chemistry or a chemical science in a high school (grades 9-12) on at least a half-time basis. The nomination should clearly demonstrate as many of the following attributes as possible:

  • The quality of the nominee’s teaching; unusually effective methods of presentation should be emphasized
  • The nominee’s ability to challenge and inspire students
  • Extracurricular work in chemistry or a chemical science by the nominee, including science fairs, science clubs, and activities that stimulate the interest of young people in chemistry and related sciences
  • A willingness to keep up-to-date in the field, as evidenced by the pursuit of a higher degree in chemistry or a chemical science, enrollment in refresher courses and summer institutes, regular attendance at scientific meetings, membership in professional organizations, and other means of self-improvement
  • Evidence of leadership and/or active involvement within the profession

Partners for Progress and Prosperity (P3) Award


To encourage and recognize successful and exemplary partnerships, a Partners for Progress and Prosperity (P3) Award is to be established as a new award to be given by Local ACS Sections, ACS International Chapters, and ACS Regional Meetings.

Winner: Toledo Lucas County Library and the Toledo Local Section of the ACS

The Toledo Section ACS developed a partnership with the Toledo Lucas County Library. They initiated/developed a partnership to bring in chemistry/science authors to their widely acclaimed authors and open book forum series. This was a great way to promote science literacy outreach in our community. The Toledo Lucas County Library has proven to be a jewel in the local community and has been an extremely beneficial to opening many new doors. The Toledo Section ACS also initiated partnership with the library's youth services by offering free hands on demonstrations at branch libraries during the Summer Reading Program and National Chemistry Week for tweens and teens.

Winner: Paper Analytical Device Project, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and Chemists Without Borders

Marya Lieberman earned her BS degree in chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, then was awarded a Hertz Predoctoral Fellowship and studied de novo protein design with Tomikazu Sasaki at the University of Washington in Seattle, earning the PhD in 1994. She received an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship for work in surface chemistry at Caltech with Nathan Lewis. She is currently an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame, where she likes to knit tiny potholders out of DNA and cut messages into molecular films using a 2 nm electron beam as a lawnmower. About four years ago, she became interested in the constraints of carrying out chemical analysis in low resource settings and devised a lab-on-paper system to speed up the detection of low quality and fake medicines. These paper test cards are being used to screen hundreds of medications in Kenya and other developing countries. Fast field tests like these are a concrete step towards detection and removal of the very poor quality pharmaceuticals that kill hundreds of thousands of people every year.

These partnerships can be between industry, academia, government, small business and/or other organizations, including ACS local sections, ACS divisions, ACS international chapters, other societies or various entities domestic or overseas resulting in impactful outcomes in one or more of the following categories:

  • Improving the public perception and appreciation for chemistry
  • Promoting career advancement opportunities and/or supporting entrepreneurship in the chemistry enterprise
  • Advancing advocacy efforts with government and other thought leaders
  • Supporting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) education and/or research

The award will consist of a special Partners for Progress and Prosperity silver/gold medallion plus a framed certificate of recognition (one for each Partner representing an entity or organization) plus up to $1,000 grant split equally between the partners to further the activities for which the award is made.

Local Sections and International Chemical Sciences Chapters are eligible to participate in the P3 Awards Program by acknowledging significant partnerships via a Salute to Excellence. The P3 Salute to Excellence award for local sections and international chapters consists of a commemorative plaque for presentation to the designated partners being honored. Each entity can designate one partnership to honor per year.

P3 Salute to Excellence winners from the local sections will automatically be included as candidates for the P3 Regional Meeting award. Nominations for the Regional Meeting P3 Award can also be submitted by ACS Committees, other governance entities, and ACS members.

P3 Salute to Excellence winners from the International Chemical Sciences Chapters will automatically be included as candidates for the annual Global P3 Award to be given at the International Activities reception at the ACS national meeting every Fall.


A nominee may represent academia, industry, government, small business or other organizations such as a Local Section. Partnerships can include international ACS chapters, ACS divisions, or other entities domestic or overseas. The awards committee of the ACS Regional Meeting Board or the local section or international chapter will select the P3 Award winners. The International Activities Committee will select the winners of the Global P3 Award.

Establishment & Support

This award was instituted in 2014 by a contribution from Marinda Li Wu out of her Immediate Past ACS President’s budget as part of her presidential initiatives to promote partnering for progress and prosperity. The funds will be evenly distributed at the end of 2014 to all Regional Meeting Boards who wish to participate. It will be up to each Regional Meeting Board how much to fund each P3 Award and whether any of the funds should be used to help support travel if needed. It is Dr. Wu’s hope that this will be an ongoing award to recognize the importance of partnering and working together towards common goals to advance the global chemistry enterprise.


The deadline to submit your nominations was Sunday 1 March 2015.