Knox College Galesburg, IL
COMPILED BY CHRIS ZEIGLER
Chapter co-presidents: Brian Paul & Emma Lorenzen Number of chapter members: 23 Number of ACS student members: 10
Website: http://tinyurl.com/knoxchem Institution description: Small, private, rural, 4-year
Q: Do you have any unique positions?
A: Our chapter has a demonstration chair
who handles all demonstrations for our
Q: In what ways does your chapter
give back to the community?
A: We work with local elementary schools
and do chemistry-related demonstrations and hands-on activities. Our goals
are to increase the students’ enthusiasm
for science and use the demonstrations
to supplement what is learned in class.
Q: What is your most successful
A: We recruit members mostly by visiting
the chemistry classes and talking to the
students about our chapter. This is by
far our most useful recruitment method,
because if someone is in a chemistry
class, they are likely to be interested in
Q: What is your most popular or
unique chapter activity?
A: We take part in the Umbeck Science-Mathematics Center (SMC) Olympics, a
competition between the science clubs
on our campus that takes place three
times a year. The winning club takes
home a trophy and serious bragging
Q: How did you celebrate National
A: During NCW, we have a chemistry ball open
to the campus and we try to incorporate the
NCW theme into the theme and decorations for the party.
Q: How involved is your chapter on
campus? What methods are used to
attract students to your activities?
A: Our chapter tries to hold at least one event
that’s open to the campus each term. We
attract people to our activities by using
Facebook event pages, flyers, and campus-wide e-mails.
Q: Describe a challenge your chapter
A: Our biggest issue is trying to communicate
with other clubs that we try to do events
like SMC Olympics with. We usually have
our members attend their meetings and
work directly with them to push forward
Q: What local ACS student chapters
have you collaborated with?
A: In the past we’ve collaborated with
Monmouth College and Bradley University.
We’re looking to do a science demonstration competition with one or both of the
schools this year for a trophy and then
continue that tradition.
PHOTO COURTESY OF KNOX COLLEGE
The Knox College student chapter is well known in the Galesburg area for its extensive commu-
nity outreach program.
Diana M. Cermak, 2 years
Q: How did you become
a faculty advisor?
Cermak: I’ve advised the chapter in
other capacities over the past 15 years,
though primarily regarding community
outreach. I officially became the faculty
advisor because of a major illness that
our long-term faculty advisor was going
through. The focus of our chapter was
also changing at this time. We officially
became an ACS student chapter, which
was something I had hoped would happen for many years.
Q: What has been the most
rewarding aspect of your service
as a faculty advisor?
Cermak: I enjoyed seeing the students
have a great time together and the
camaraderie of the chapter as students
and chemists. It was also rewarding
to take a group of students to the ACS
national meeting in San Diego and
watch them experience a meeting of
that scale. It’s pretty cool to see so many
people interested in and talking about
chemistry. You don’t get that kind of
feeling on a small campus like ours.
Q: What advice can you offer
those new to the advisor position?
Cermak: Don’t try to be too ambitious
right away. Keep the chapter’s activities fresh, fun, and on a scale members
can manage. We do a lot of outreach in
our community. If you try to do too
much, it can take a toll on the entire
chapter and enthusiasm goes down
because students are worn out. Once
the group establishes itself, younger
students will get involved and the
group will grow and be able to manage
more activities. Also, make sure you
have a group of officers in place that
are willing to lead the group and that
you can work with. Communication
between the advisor and the officers is
key to keeping the chapter going!
www.acs.org/undergrad • inChemistry