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NESACS Meeting – Education Night – June 2022

June 2, 2022 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Malika Jeffries-EL

The 1,013th Meeting of the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Education Night

6:30 PM

  • Meet and Greet before the ceremony

7:00 PM

  • Carol Mulrooney, NESACS Chair
  • Address by Malika Jeffries-El, Department of Chemistry and Division of Materials Science, Boston University
  • Awards Presentations:  High School and College Students and Faculty


Link to Register:  https://american-chemical-society.zoom.com/meeting/register/tZUtf–gpjoiGd3pYmla1ZZjobtN_2A3lwYQ

Title: “Moving the needle: How key interventions can increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM”

Abstract: Although African Americans make up approximately 13% of the U.S. population, they are severely underrepresented within the advanced degrees that are awarded in STEM disciplines.  Currently, they hold ~2% of tenure/tenure track positions at research institutions in the U.S.  Despite these overwhelming statistics, Dr. Jeffries-EL pursued and completed a doctorate degree in chemistry, obtained an academic job, and then achieved promotion with tenure in due course.  She was born in Brooklyn, NY, where she lived in public housing and attended public school.  Although her situation was less than ideal, she always had a passion for science that her parents encouraged her to pursue.  In this talk, she will discuss what excites her about science, diversity, equity, and inclusion issues, and explore potential solutions all woven within the context of her personal experiences.

Biography: Malika Jeffries-EL is the Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Division of Materials Science at Boston University.  She is also Associate Editors for the Journal of Materials Chemistry C and the new RSC title Materials Advances.  Her research focuses on the development of organic semiconductors, which are materials that combine the processing properties of polymers with the electronic properties of semiconductors.  She is a fellow of the American Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry, and has won numerous awards, including the Percy Julian Award from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE), the ACS-Women Chemists Committee Rising Star Award, the Iota Sigma Pi Agnes Fay Morgan Award, and the Stanley C. Israel Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences from ACS.  She has authored more than 40 publications, which have received over 4,000 citations, and has given more than 170 lectures, domestically and abroad.


Professor Jeffries-EL is also a staunch advocate for diversity, and is a dedicated volunteer within the ACS.  She is a science communicator, who seeks to encourage students from underrepresented groups to pursue STEM degrees, and recently appeared on the NOVA PBS television series, “Beyond the Elements.”  She also serves the community through her work with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA).



Chemists Celebrate Earth Week (CCEW) Awards

Dr. Jayashree Ranga, Salem State University

Chair, Chemists Celebrate Earth Week


CCEW:  Celebrate “The Buzz about Bugs”  Insect ChemistryPoetry Awards and Poster Awards given on the theme to high school and junior school students; a national competition



College and University Awards

Dr. Ruth Tanner, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Acting Chair, Education Committee, NESACS


Grants in Aid:  Travel grants to attend the 263rd  ACS National Meeting in San Diego and to present a paper at the Undergraduate Research Poster Session  in the Division of Chemical Education

Norris Richards Undergraduate Summer Research Scholarships:  Research Awards for the summer of 2022 for a minimum commitment of 10 weeks of full-time research work

Phyllis A.Brauner Memorial Book Award for the best talk by an undergraduate at the Northeast Student Chemistry Research Conference (NSCRC)



High School Awards

Dr. Steve Lantos, Brookline High School

Chair, High School Education Committee, NESACS



The High School Committee continues to oversee the two competitive chemistry examinations offered to section secondary students: The Avery Ashdown Exam (52nd  year) and the United States National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO, 38th year).

Typically, over 16,000 students nationwide take some form of the local section exam each year in early April. From this entry-level group, the ACS has allotted a fixed number of students to qualify for the next round of competition, the USNCO. Thanks to Ron Ragsdale of the University of Utah who has been involved with the USNCO from its beginning in the mid-1980s, the ACS uses a federated system whereby the number of qualifying students in a section is based on its ACS membership. Given the considerable number of members of NESACS, we are allotted one of the larger groups of qualifiers (23 participants as of 2022).

Simmons University Prize

This cash award is given annually to the top scorer of the Avery A. Ashdown Exam. The award is presented by a member of the Simmons University Chemistry Dept.



The Aula Laudis Society recognizes outstanding High School Chemistry Teachers from within the Section.  The award is a NESACS Hall of Fame for high school teachers who have made distinguished contributions to secondary chemical education. The evaluation of nominees is based on their students’ performance in chemistry competitions, past recognition that honors their teaching, involvement in students’ extra-curricular activities in chemistry, and enthusiastic feedback from past students and colleagues. Typically two inductees are awarded every year.


The Theodore William Richards Award for Excellence in Teaching Secondary School Chemistry honors a teacher in the Northeastern Section who, through innovation and dedication, has inspired potential chemists, has communicated chemistry to non-chemists, or has influenced other teachers of chemistry. The selected teacher is officially honored at the Section’s May meeting (“Education Night”) and receives both a $1,500 prize and a Certificate of Recognition.