Olivet College Olivet, MI
COMPILED BY ACS STAFF
Chapter president: Candace Igert Number of chapter members: 20 Number of ACS student members: 7
Q Do you have any unique positions?
Institution environment/composition: Small, private, rural, 4-year institution
A Olivet College has a strong emphasis on
service, so we have a service coordinator
to help us organize service projects once
per semester. We have also created the
position of historian to help us maintain a
photographic record of our activities as a
Q What is your chapter doing to
celebrate 2011 as the International
Year of Chemistry?
A For the fall semester, we plan to create
posters to promote chemistry to the campus community and raise money for the
“Pennies for PUR Water” project that ACS is
Q How does your chapter celebrate
National Chemistry Week? Chemists
Celebrate Earth Day?
A We celebrate NCW by participating in
Chemistry Day at Impression 5, a children’s
interactive museum in Lansing, MI. The
Michigan State University ACS local sec-
tion hosts this event, and we partner with
them. We do three interactive activities
for the children who attend: an alchemi-
cal symbol matching game, special effects
from the movies (chemiluminescence and
fake blood), and dry ice rockets (always a
hit). We also host an on-campus Chemistry
Day where we do demonstrations. For Earth
Day, chapter members pick up trash from
around campus and then socialize with a
pizza party afterwards.
The ACS student chapter at Olivet College re-activated two years ago and named itself the
Gruen Chemical Society, honoring the former faculty advisor of the chapter when it was
chartered in 1970.
Susanne Lewis, 2 years
Q: Why/how did you become a
Lewis: I have been the Gruen Chemical
Society faculty advisor since the reactivation of our ACS student chapter. We
named ourselves for the former professor who was the faculty advisor for the
initial chapter, which was chartered in
1970. I have continuously been an ACS
member since I was an undergraduate,
and I wanted to give my students the
same kinds of experiences and networking
opportunities that I had when I was an
undergraduate member. I also wanted to
help make connections in our area public
schools for our chemistry and integrated
science education majors, as well as showcase the college to prospective students.
Q: What challenges have you faced
in your position?
Lewis: My main challenge is finding the
time for our chapter to meet on a regular
basis to plan and hold both professional
and social activities. Our students are
often involved in more than one student
organization and/or on an athletic team,
so getting members to be active can be a
Q: What advice can you offer those
new to the advisor position?
Lewis: My advice is to be passionate about
being a chemist and teaching chemistry,
regardless of what your career plans are.
Find ways that allow your students to
interact with chemistry professionals in all
fields, and don’t forget that social events
are just as important in developing a
sense of community as professional
events are. C
inChemistry • www.acs.org/undergrad