Club enhances science experience

Linh Nguyen

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Photo by Linh Nguyen/TIMES STAFF
American Chemistry Society club members discuss an upcoming prehealth conference at their weekly meeting Tuesday, May 1


Award-winning chemistry club celebrates two years at San Jose City College.

The American Chemistry Society club at San Jose City College has won 12 awards in local and national competitions.

“They (students) get to do a lot of scholarly work, and they get very unique educational experiences, mainly in research and conference attendance and participation,” said Madeline Adamczeski, ACS club adviser. “To be in community college and have that opportunity, it’s incredible.”

Club members have opportunities to participate in many local and national ACS conferences and Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Sciences conferences.

Spring 2012 ACS President Athena Ford said the LAPS PharmD conference at University of California, San Francisco showed her that graduate school was a possibility for low-income students.

The MIMS conference helped her decide on a career path and solidify her goals.

“I realized how influential the club was on how I viewed my educational career,” Ford said. “Joining the ACS club opened up countless opportunities for me.”

This year was the first time students went to the Latino Association Pharmacy Students PharmD Conference and Mental Illness Management Service conference.

Ford said that such successful conferences like these are likely be continued.

Outdoor trips to local museums and research laboratories are always in the club’s activities. Club members are exposed to a variety of scientific environments.

ACS club also works closely with the SACNAS chapters at SJCC, San Jose State University and University of California, Santa Cruz. A number of students who transferred to SJSU, UCSC and pharmacy schools also act as ambassadors for the SJCC ACS chapter.

Being known as a green club, ACS members actively work in green chemistry.

Before becoming the official club, interested students, who later became the founders of ACS, held Earth day in April 2010 on campus.

Strong leadership is the reason why the club held many successful events.

Many ACS members are part of Peer-led Team Learning workshops that provide group activities and individualized learning to help other students understand chemistry.

They are often the leaders and tutors at PLTL. Many students, who were in the PLTL workshop, later become the club’s members.

The ACS club was officially formed at SJCC in the spring of 2011. Before becoming an official club, a few chemistry students and teachers had been worked together on their research.

On Dec. 10 after receiving the starter grant for ACS student chapters from the national organization, the ACS club officially started with 12 student members with Eric Oh as the club’s president.

“Everyone is welcomed to join,” Ford said.

However, she said members should have an interest in math or science as the club has a strong emphasis on allied health fields and chemistry.

“You can attend this school for years and never really make any lasting connections,” Ford said. “Joining a club like ACS will help you build up relationships that will last a lifetime.”

Photo by Linh Nguyen/TIMES STAFF
American Chemistry Society club members assemble at their Tuesday, May 1 weekly meeting.