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NESACS Meeting – Education Night – June 2023

June 1, 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Felicia Lucci

The 1,021st Meeting of the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Education Night

6:30 PM

  • Meet and Greet before the ceremony

7:00 PM

  • Sonja Strah-Pleynet, NESACS Chair
  • Address by Felicia Lucci, Technology Manager, Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office, Department of Energy
  • Awards Presentations:  College Students and Faculty

Felicia Lucci

Link to Register:  https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcucu6vqjsvGNJQXwE81DiSMvgZZRRs0kTc

Title: Science Policy to Improve the Environmental Impact of the Chemicals Industry

Abstract: Decarbonization of the chemicals industry is vital to addressing climate change. The chemicals industry is a critical contributor to the U.S. economy since the majority of all manufactured goods are dependent on chemicals. However, the chemicals industry is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases from the U.S. industrial sector. So how do we research, develop, and deploy transformational technologies globally to produce chemicals with a reduced impact on human health and the environment? Dr. Felicia Lucci will discuss her experience in leveraging her scientific training to advance public policies that are impactful to addressing climate change. Felicia has informed public policies on the state, national, and international level through her work with the U.S. Senate, Departments of Energy and State, and National Laboratories.

Biography: Dr. Felicia Lucci is a Technology Manager in the Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office at the Department of Energy. She currently manages federal investments in research, development and demonstration projects related to chemicals sector decarbonization and manufacturing. As a PhD chemist, Felicia has technical and policy expertise in optimizing energy for manufacturing while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Through her work with the U.S. Senate and Departments of Energy and State, and National Laboratories, she has experience across the energy-environmental paradigm from energy-rich North Dakota to environmentally conscious California. She has been an international advisor on public investments in technology. Felicia received her Ph.D. from Tufts University where she was active in the Northeastern Section Younger Chemists Committee. Currently, she is a member of the Younger Chemists Committee and programing chair for the Division of Professional Relations with the American Chemical Society.



College and University Awards

Dr. Ruth Tanner, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Acting Chair, Education Committee, NESACS


Grants in Aid:  Travel grants to attend the 265th  ACS National Meeting in Indianapolis, IN 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 2023 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 (53rd  year) and the United States National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO, 39th 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 2023).


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.