Missouri-st.;louis;St. Louis, MO
COMPILED BY CHRIS ZEIGLER
Chapter;president: Allison Saettele number;of;chapter;members: 40 number;of;aCs;student;members: 13
Institution;description: Large, public, urban, 4-year institution
Q: Do you have any unique positions?
A: In addition to the usual positions, we have
a student government representative and a
public relations/historian position. Furthermore, we try to have chairs for each event
and encourage underclassmen to hold
Q: How did you celebrate National
A: We held an interactive event outside of the
science complex, where we made liquid
nitrogen ice cream, built candy molecules,
and offered face painting with molecules
and atoms. We also constructed and
painted wooden billboards with different
chemistry equations and molecules to
attract students and faculty.
Q: In what ways does your chapter give
back to the community?
A: We participate in the Cancer Research Relay
for Life and assist the Chemistry Graduate
Student Association with team events
and fundraising. We also give a chemistry
demonstration for ACS Career Day, which is
designed for high school students in the St.
Louis area and held at UMSL each year.
Q: What are some of the
interesting ways your
A: We hold a chili cook-off, where
all members and faculty are
invited to enter a dish and By establishing a weekly schedule for meeting, posting meeting minutes online, and maintaining an online dis- cussion board, the UMSL chapter increased its member- ship and overall participation in its activities.
A: We typically hold an open
house each year for all interested students and continually
recruit with sign-up sheets at all
events. In addition, we use the
university’s Blackboard system
for all chapter announcements.
We also try to make sure that
everyone has a say in chapter
activities and that work is
evenly spread among members.
Q: What are your most
popular or unique
PHO TO COURTESY OF UNIVERSI TY OF MISSOURI-S T. LOUIS
everyone has an opportunity to vote.
We also offer a research fair every year,
where chemistry and biochemistry faculty
members speak for five minutes each on
their research programs and opportunities
for undergraduate research in their labs. In
addition, the chapter hosts a study night for
students, where graduate assistants and
upperclassmen help with the studies. Our
chapter also celebrates Pi Day by organizing
and holding a “Pi Walk” with pizza pies and
fruit pies; we also sell grilled hot dogs and
lemonade, and offer face painting with the
Q: What is the most effective
communication tool that your
chapter uses to promote chapter
A: We have found that the most effective
communication is actually face-to-face
during meetings, although we also use text
messaging a lot. The discussion board on
the Blackboard system has been helpful
as well. A new discussion board is started
for each event, which helps people who
can’t attend the regular meeting. Meeting
minutes are also posted on the Blackboard
Q: Describe a challenge your chapter
recently faced and how members
A: A recent challenge was starting the year
with a completely new slate of officers and
finding an acceptable meeting time with all
of the busy schedules. An ongoing challenge to our chapter is trying to increase or
maintain membership and to keep
everyone involved in a largely commuter
school, particularly with significant
numbers of evening classes and no classes
Michael R. Nichols, 8 years
Q: What challenges have you
faced in your position?
nichols: The most challenging aspect is
continually recruiting new officers for
the chapter. We have always had great
officers, but they tend to be seniors who
are very busy. I would love to have more
underclassmen as chairs and officers.
Q: What has been the most
rewarding aspect of your service
as a faculty advisor?
nichols: The ACS student chapter is
typically the hub of our undergraduate
chemistry program. As advisor, I get
the opportunity to interact with our
students and be involved in all of the
latest news and happenings. Of course,
following the students’ progress and
then watching them graduate and go
on to successful positions is also very
Q: What advice can you offer
those new to the advisor position?
nichols: Offer guidance and suggestions,
but let the students run the chapter,
even during the times when the group
may be facing some challenges.
inChemistry • www.acs.org/undergrad