Lander chemical society chapter celebrates a 25-year winning streak
November 14, 2008
Lander University's student affiliated American Chemical Society (ACS) chapter is celebrating its 25 th anniversary, and each year since its founding a quarter century ago, the chapter has won recognition from the national ACS for its performance across a wide range of activities.
Lander's ACS was notified recently that it is one of 40 chapters nationwide selected to receive an outstanding chapter award for the 2007-2008 academic year based on the evaluation of reports from more than 330 student affiliates by the society's Committee on Education.
The Lander chapter is one of the most honored in the nation having been crowned as outstanding 11 years in a row and 16 years overall. It has also collected six awards as a commendable chapter and three honorable mentions.
Professor Edward Stampf was instrumental in organizing the chapter in 1983 and served as its adviser for nine years. He was followed by Professors Lynn Deanhardt, Lisa Root and Peter Vahjen. Vahjen was adviser or co-adviser for seven years.
Dr. Ralph Layland, associate professor of inorganic chemistry and chair of the Physical Sciences Department, and Dr. Lisa Brodhacker, assistant professor of organic chemistry, are the current co-advisers.
Layland, who has been adviser or co-adviser for 10 years, said, "The chapter's record of achievement is impressive since we are a small school competing with larger schools that have more financial resources."
The chapter, which has a current membership of 40 to 50, mostly chemistry and science majors, gives students insights into the chemistry field and identifies career opportunities. It is also helps them become more involved in the campus community.
Brodhacker said, "Several freshmen are members, and they have opportunities to interact with upperclassmen and faculty in science programs."
The chapter focuses its energy on three major areas each academic year: service to the university and Greenwood area, professional development and social and recreational activities.
In its report, the national ACS cited the Lander chapter's work staging hands-on chemistry demonstrations and judging science fairs in Greenwood-area schools. The evaluation committee applauded members for their diverse community service projects which include helping to build houses for Habitat for Humanity, raising money for charitable organizations, picking up trash along the Heritage Trail twice a year, and other efforts. The report added, "The department is truly lucky to have your group."
It said the chapter's program of speakers, tours and field trips was "absolutely amazing," and cited the beneficial impact of research presentations by Lander chemistry and science majors. Layland said tours of industries and graduate schools are related to professional development and give students the opportunity to see chemistry concepts come alive.
The evaluation committee also gave the chapter high marks for its business meetings, communications, National Chemistry Week activities and interaction with others chapters in the Western Carolina Region, which includes colleges and universities in North and South Carolina.
In its overall summary, the committee said, "...you are an amazingly active chapter that obviously deserved your outstanding designation last year and have continued in the same vein. Great job, keep it up."
Dr. David Slimmer, dean of Lander's College of Science and Mathematics, said, "The award is a powerful statement because the chapter has kept alive a tradition of being recognized for its activities."
Lander's ACS and the other award-winning chapters will be recognized in the magazine, "in Chemistry," the official publication of the student affiliates, and at the organization's national meeting in Salt Lake City in March of 2009.
For information about Lander's chemistry and science programs, call the College of Science and Mathematics at 864-388-8386, or visit the university's Web site at