Q: In what ways does your chapter
give back to the community?
A: We volunteer at the college’s Center for the
Urban River at Beczak. We also do science
demos and teach children new and exciting topics in health and science at the San
Andrés Episcopal Church Health and Science
After-School Program, in Yonkers.
Q: What are some of the interesting ways
your chapter recruits members?
A: Members travel to various nearby states and
cities to present research and give presentations about the work we do as students in
the Sarah Lawrence College (SLC) science
departments. We encourage non-members
to attend as well, so they can see first-hand
the benefits and rewards of being an ACS
student chapter member. After tagging
along with our chapter to a conference or
two, non-members quickly sign
up to be an official part of our
chapter and gain
to present their
own work in the
Q: What is your
A: Our most popular activity is the
event is open
to all students
and local children of all ages.
Q: What types of activities do
slime and erupt-
such as “stuff
a mole,” teach
magnetism through ferrofluid, and make
things go “boom!” We hope to establish
the Chemistry Carnival as a community
tradition, where students and young chil-
dren can learn how fun chemistry is!
A: We sponsor semi-annual poster symposiums to enable SLC students to showcase
their research and hard work in front of
SLC faculty and staff, family and friends,
and Bronxville community members. This
semester, we will also be sponsoring and
hosting the Women in Science event on
campus, featuring a series of talks from distinguished female scientists from the New
York City area, a panel discussion, and an
undergraduate and graduate poster session
Q: How involved is your chapter on
A: Since reactivating our chapter, we have
established close relations with many clubs
on campus, including the SciMath group, the
Health and Science After-School Program,
the Science Tutoring Club, the Brainwashed
Club, and the Psychology Club. By doing this,
we help our members explore career paths
in other areas of science and chemistry. We
also collaborate with these clubs to hold
events, such as the SLC Chemistry Carnival.
Other times, we invite another club to give
presentations at our chapter meetings.
Sarah Lawrence College
COMPILED BY ROBIN LINDSEY
Chapter president: Julie Niklas Chapter members: 12 ACS student members: 98
Institution description: Small, private, suburban, 4-year
Colin Abernethy, 10 years
Q: How did you become
a faculty advisor?
Abernethy: I was asked to become a
faculty advisor by a group of students
who wished to reactivate our institution’s student chapter.
Q: What has been the most
rewarding aspect of your
service as a faculty advisor?
Abernethy: Several years ago, our
chapter started an outreach program
that involved giving chemistry demonstrations to middle school students
in Yonkers. I have really enjoyed
bringing hands-on experiences in
chemistry to young people.
Q: What advice can you offer
those new to the advisor
Abernethy: Let the students decide
what they want to do in their chapter,
and don’t try and run things yourself.
As a chapter advisor, you are there to
encourage students and help facili-
tate their activities. The SLC chapter has formed close relationships with other STEM-oriented
clubs to help their members explore career paths in other areas.
April/May 2015 www.acs.org/undergrad • inChemistry