2021 Chair Message
Dear Members,
     I am delighted and honored to be serving as the 2021 Chair of the New York section of the American Chemical Society, and I am highly indebted to the support of our members. I would sincerely like to thank all of the volunteers for their continued service in promoting the professional development of our members, increasing the scientific literacy in our surrounding communities, and in developing the next generation of experts in chemistry.
     With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have experienced drastic transitions and times of hardship. Although it is uncertain as to when it might be possible to resume our in-person events, it is certain that now, more than ever, it is important to engage a future generation of diverse and all-inclusive chemists in solving many challenges: in medicine, in the development of new sustainable resources, and in tackling the problems of climate change, clean water and pollution. It also seems certain that “zooming” is here to stay, which should make attendance at our upcoming NY ACS events so much easier for all!
     Some of the premier events by the New York section for 2021 include:
     • The Sectionwide Conference (January 30, 2021), which will be a virtual event. There will be a keynote presentation by Dr. Mark E. Thompson (University of Southern California) entitled “21st Century Alchemy: making Coinage Metals Act Like Ir and Pt.” At this event, we will be honoring our NY ACS Outstanding Service awardee, Dr. Ping Furlan (U. S. Merchant Marine Academy).
     • The William H. Nichols Distinguished Symposium honoring the 2020 medalist, Dr. Krzysztof Matyjaszewski (Carnegie Mellon University), which was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, is scheduled to take place on April 16th, 2021. The theme is “Nanostructured Polymers by Macromolecular Engineering using ATRP (Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization).” This celebration will be virtual and free, with the intention that we will be able to reach a more expansive and diverse audience who may not have been able to attend the in-person event.
     In addition, the NY ACS will continue to find creative ways to offer a wide variety of immersive events, while accommodating COVID-19 advisories, that are sponsored by the various Topical Groups, Subsections and Committees, such as Chemists Celebrate Earth Day, the Undergraduate Research Symposium, and National Chemistry Week. Please also look out for some new Diversity, Inclusion, and Respect events that will include a screening of the movie “Picture a Scientist”.

     I encourage our members to stay in touch with the New York chapter of the ACS in various ways, such as:
     • Visiting our website, www.newyorkacs.org • Adding the New York section to your Facebook account to receive updates and multimedia presentations of past events
     • Reading The Indicator
     • Attending a meeting of a Topical Group, Subsection, or Committee, or reviewing their activities in our annual reports to see if you may be interested in what they do or if you can offer a new perspective. There are some relatively new topical groups, such as Microwaves in Chemistry and Computers in Chemistry.

     The NY ACS remains a site of support for your scientific endeavors. Please think about some ways that the New York section can better serve you. Let us know if you see a need, or even better, if you are willing to work on addressing that need! I would like to thank Ruben Savizky for his leadership as the 2020 Chair of NY ACS. I particularly enjoyed the “Distance Learning – Challenges and Opportunities” virtual meetings that were offered this past summer that focused on different approaches to teaching labs given the ongoing pandemic. Indeed, I was impressed that during this time of uncertainty and fear, that the NY ACS responded in such a timely and creative manner. I would also like to welcome our new 2021 Chair-Elect, Kathleen Kristian.

     I look forward to interacting with you within this wonderful and vibrant section, and to facilitating and advancing the important work of our enthusiastic, dedicated and hard-working members. Please feel free to contact me (rupmacis@pace.edu) with any thoughts, ideas or suggestions for the Section, or if you are looking for service opportunities.
     Rita K. Upmacis
     2021 Chair of the New York Section

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