Q: How do you ensure a smooth officer
transition from year to year?
A: We hold nominations for officers during
our final general meeting, and members
nominate a current chapter member for
each officer position. All candidates are
required to submit letters detailing why
they wish to run, so that our members
can make informed voting decisions. We
encourage underclassmen to run for positions so that our executive board always
has a mix of experience and new ideas.
Q: How involved is your chapter on
campus, and how do you collaborate
with other clubs?
A: Every year we host a football game
between our ACS student chapter and
Tri-beta, our college’s student biology
club. We have a long-standing and good-natured rivalry, which has led to several
close games in the past few years. We
always follow up the football game with a
Q: In what ways does your chapter
give back to the community?
A: We are always involved in our college-
wide Community Day, where students
give back to underserved parts of the
community through volunteer work. For
the past three years, our chapter has
been involved with Habitat for Humanity.
We also have a strong presence in local
elementary schools; we frequently visit
elementary and middle schools to perform
chemistry experiments with young stu-
dents to foster their interest in science.
Q: What is the most effective
communication tool that your
chapter uses to promote chapter
A: We send e-mails, highlighting important
dates and times with large, boldfaced, colorful type, as well as funny You Tube clips.
We also rely on word-of-mouth communication between executive board members
and faculty members, who then spread
the word to chapter members and potential chapter members.
Q: What is your most successful
fundraiser to date?
A: Every year, our chapter makes chocolate
roses and sells them to the campus community during the week of Valentine’s
Day. It is a great way to make money,
since buying chocolate in bulk is relatively
cheap, the roses are easy to make, and
they make a great Valentine’s Day gift.
In addition to fundraising, the event also
fosters chapter bonding; we make the
roses at a professor’s house, and spending the day selling them is always a ton
Chapter president: Jonathan Binns Chapter members: 80 ACS student members: 9
Website: www.canisius.edu/chemistry/learn/chemistry-club/ Institution description: Small, private, urban, 4-year
Phillip Sheridan, 7 years
Q: How did you become
a faculty advisor?
Sheridan: During my first year at
Canisius, my students encouraged me to
attend several SCACS events. As the year
continued, I found myself advising and
helping the students with club activities.
I enjoyed this outside-of-the-classroom
interaction with the students, and so I
volunteered to become the new faculty
advisor the following year.
Q: What challenges have
you faced in your position?
Sheridan: Finding time slots during the
semester to meet with all of the chapter
officers at the same time has been a
Q: What has been the most
rewarding aspect of your
service as a faculty advisor?
Sheridan: Working with the students
and helping them to develop leadership
and organizational skills. Being a SCACS
faculty advisor has provided me with a
great opportunity to interact with my
students outside of the classroom and
get to know them better.
Q: What advice can you offer
those new to the advisor position?
Sheridan: Frequently communicate with
your chapter officers. Let them know
that you are there to help. Encourage
fellow faculty members to attend chapter events; my students greatly appreciate that.
To celebrate Valentine’s Day and raise funds, each year the Canisius College student chapter
makes chocolate roses and sells them to the campus community.
February/March 2015 www.acs.org/undergrad • inChemistry