Texas State University
San Marcos, TX
COMPILED BY CHRIS ZEIGLER
Chapter president: Ikenna Onyia Number of chapter members: 44 Number of ACS student members: 20
Website: http://acstxstate.weebly.com/ Institution description: Large, public, suburban, minority-serving, 4-year
Q: How do you ensure a smooth officer
transition from year to year?
A: Underclassmen are encouraged to run for
office. If all of the officers are graduating
seniors, after the end of the year it would
be difficult to sustain the chapter.
Q: What is your most successful
A: We invite every major to a cookout each
fall to attract new students in the chemistry and biochemistry programs. They
meet all of the staff and students. We also
have a recruitment booth at the beginning
of the year, and on our flyers we always
mention that “everyone is welcome.” We
never stop recruiting. Every time people
come into the chemistry building there
is always a reminder of when the next
meeting is. This is what really draws
Q: What types of activities do you
A: We organize and sponsor Family Science
Nights at local elementary schools several
times a year. The topics of these nights
vary from food science to oxidation/
reduction. We also sponsored a team for
the 2012 Polar Plunge — a fundraiser for
the Special Olympics. Our president and
another member dressed up as Na and Cl,
and dissociated when they plunged into
the ice-cold San Marcos River. Needless to
say, they won the costume competition
and were awarded the prestigious silver
Q: Describe a special project the chapter
recently did or is now doing.
A: One special project our chapter has done
involves green chemistry. We synthesized
biofuel from vegetable oil and presented
our results at the campus-wide Green Fest
in early October. This was added on to last
year’s group superconductor synthesis,
which was also presented.
Q: What innovative methods of communication are used to inform chapter members of chapter activities?
A: We have a “mascot” that appears on each
announcement. Last year that mascot was
a piñata, which was deconstructed in the
final meeting of the year.
PHOTO COURTESY OF TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY
The Texas State University chapter is very career-focused, and it has a designated officer
position — the graduate president — who is in charge of providing career-related activities
Ben Martin, 6 years
Q: Why did you become
a faculty advisor?
Martin: The ACS student chapter serves
a huge role in building and improving
the student culture in a department. I
wanted to see if I could make a positive
impact and help implement new activi-
ties and events.
Q: What challenges have you
faced in your position?
Martin: It is always a challenge to find
the next generation of leaders. Since
many active members are juniors or
seniors, if one is not careful to recruit
younger students the organization can
slip into an inactive state.
Q: What has been the most
rewarding aspect of your
service as a faculty advisor?
Martin: It is always great to see activi-
ties work out well, but it is even better
to watch students improve their leader-
ship and organizational skills. This is not
something that can easily be taught—
it has to develop with experience.
inChemistry • www.acs.org/undergrad