Report on the 2017 Midwest Regional ACS Meeting


Submitted by: Joseph A. Heppert, Councilor, Wakarusa Valley Local Section



Meeting Overview

The 52nd Midwest Regional ACS Meeting was held on October 18-20 at the Kansas Memorial Union on the campus of the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS. Total registered attendance for the meeting was 768. Details of meeting registration, including a tabulation of registration categories and categories for special events is included in Appendix 1. Total meeting income was $105,243.24, and total meeting expense was $87,565.32. The meeting generated a net profit of $17,677.92. Details of sources of income and expenses are outlined in Appendix 2.


The meeting offered an opening reception and poster session in the ballroom of the Kansas Memorial Union on Wednesday, October 18th, and full programming encompassing most of the available meeting rooms in the Memorial Union between 8 am and 5 pm on October 19th and 20th. While a full outline of the technical program schedule is provided in Appendix 3, the following is a list of plenary talks, symposia and general sessions offered during the meeting:


Featured Symposia

Midwest Award Address—Plenary Session

Theory / Spectroscopy / Materials Joint Symposium

Catalysts and Catalytic Technologies for Fuels, Chemicals, and the Environment

Entrepreneurship: Starting Companies in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Chemical Biology of Infectious Disease

From Molecules to Nanomaterials: Applications in Energy and Catalysis

Spectroscopy Applied to Structure, Dynamics, and Imaging

Theory of Interfaces

Organic Synthesis and Catalysis

Chemical Biology of Microbial Processes

Analytical Applications of Microfluidics

New Directions in Chemical Education



General Sessions

Analytical Chemistry


Chemical Education

Inorganic Chemistry


Organic/Medicinal Chemistry

Physical Chemistry

Poster Sessions


Initially, organizers of each symposium were offered $2,000 of support to fund travel and other expenses for speakers for a half-day session. Where possible, with the help of the symposium organizers, the General Program Chairs applied to ACS Divisions for support of specific themed symposia. Support from these Divisions, including funding for a Cope Scholar symposium by the Organic Division, was used to augment support for the symposia. Support from the Divisions was overwhelming, and proved to be very helpful for the meeting.


The meeting program included 527 invited and contributed talks and posters.


For the first time in recent years, the Midwest Regional Award Symposium was held as a plenary session at the end of the technical program on Thursday afternoon, immediately prior to the Midwest Awards Banquet.


K-12 Teacher Programming

K-12 teacher programming, organized by Dr. Roderick Black and Dr. Claudia Bodie, University of Kansas, was offered at the KU School of Pharmacy in KUs West District from 8-12 am on October 21st. The sessions included a complimentary breakfast provided by the School of Pharmacy. A total of 41 individuals registered for this program. Four workshops were offered for participating teachers:

      Whats in your water? A chemistry inquiry project on fertilizers By Jennifer Gartner, Chemistry Teacher at Labette County High School

      Applications of computational chemistry in the High School Classroom By Stan Spurlin, Chemistry Teacher, Olathe East High School, and Marco Caricato, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, University of Kansas

      Scientific Argumentation: Instructional methods to engage students in higher order reasoning By Dr. Janis Bulgren, Research Professor, University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning

      "Project Based Learning in Chemistry" By Michael Ralph and Carol Williamson, Master Teachers at University of Kansas Center for Teaching Excellence; and Amy Clement, Chemistry Teacher at Olathe North High School

Career Development Courses

The 2017 Midwest Regional ACS Meeting provided on-site career development programming developed by ACS and provided by ACS volunteers with expertise in the topic area. Programming was offered free to student registrants on a first come first served basis. Sessions were held on Friday, October 20th, 8 am - 12 pm in the Kansas Memorial Union. Titles and descriptions of the two sessions are:

      Finding Yourself: Identifying a Career That Matches Your Strengths and Values Duration: 3 hours (29 registrants)

      Networking: How to Get Started Duration: 1 hour (27 registrants)

A total of 18 students also took advantage of a free resume review service provided at the meeting.

Governance Networking Session

The meeting hosted an ACS Governance Meet and Greet from 4-6 pm on Wednesday, October 18th immediately prior to the opening of conference registration and the initial opening reception/poster session. ACS Board of Director members, including ACS President Elect, Dr. Peter Dorhout, Dr. John Adams, Dr. Kathleen Schultz, and Dr. Barbara Sawrey attended this session. A total of 141 individuals registered for the reception.



The following regional awards were presented at the 2017 Midwest ACS Meeting:


2017 ACS Midwest Regional Award – sponsored by the St. Louis Section of the American Chemical Society

Award Recipient: Christer Aakery, Kansas State University


Stanley C. Israel Regional Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences

Award Recipient: Prof. Jean A. Chmielewski, Purdue University


ACS Division of Chemical Education Midwest Regional Award for Excellence in High School Teaching

Award Recipient: Amy Clement, Olathe North High School


E. Ann Nalley Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society

Award Recipient: Jetty Duffy-Matzner, Augustana University


All of the award winners above, and speakers participanting in the Midwest Award Plenary Symposium were offered complimentary registration to the meeting and the Midwest Awards Banquet.


The following regional and other awards specific to the 2017 Midwest Regional ACS Meeting were presented at the awards banquet.


Midwest Regional Graduate Student Award: The purpose of this award is to recognize outstanding graduate students from the Midwest Region and allow them to deliver oral or poster presentations on their research. Award recipients were nominated by their home institutions, and provided a cash prize, certificate, complementary meeting registration, and complementary admission to the awards banquet. Note that funding for these awards was donated by the Wakarusa Valley Local Section. (Funding for the awards was provided directly out of section resources, and was not included in the meeting expenses.) Award Recipients:

      Jason Applegate, University of Kansas

      Rajesh Prabhu Balaraman, Southern Illinois University

      Tabbetha Bohac, Washington University in St. Louis

      Suraj Donthula, South Central Missouri

      William Ehrhardt, Missouri State University

      Venugopal KomReddy, Wichita State University

      Ruben Shrestha, Kansas State University

      Amrit Venkatesh, Iowa State University


2017 MWRM Undergraduate Student Poster Competition: The purpose of this award is to recognize outstanding undergraduate poster submissions to the 2017 Midwest Regional Meeting. Poster presentations were judged by graduate student volunteers. Aware recipients were provided with a cash prize, certificate, and complementary admission to the awards banquet. Award Recipients:

      Caleb Capellen, University of Nebraska, Kearney

      Nicholas Love, University of Kansas

      Wuilian Martinez, University of Nebraska, Kearney

      Skyy Pineda, Augustana University

      Eleanor Stewart-Jones, University of Kansas


Graduate Inorganic Award Honoring Professor Paul R. Sharp (New Award!): These awards honor the academic service of Emeritus Professor Paul R. Sharp, the University of Missouri-Columbia, to the area of Inorganic Chemistry. The prize consists of two awards ($100 each plus certificates) to two graduate students in Inorganic Chemistry (one for an outstanding poster presentation, and one for an outstanding verbal presentation). Award winners will be chosen from among inorganic graduate students presenting at the 2017 Midwest Regional ACS meeting. These awards have been provided by Dr. Robert Robinson and Dr. N. Malathi Weliange, alumni of Professor Sharps research group. Award Recipients:

       Poster Presentation: Aruna Munasinghe, University of Kansas

       Oral Presentation: Wade Henke, University of Kansas


Awards Banquet Arrangements

The Midwest Awards reception and banquet was held at the Oread Hotel immediately following the Midwest Award plenary lecture. All participants were offered one complimentary drink ticket to attend the awards reception prior to the banquet. A total of 291 individuals registered for the award reception. Registrants were offered the option to register for the banquet with the option of a chicken, fish, or vegetarian meal. A total of 79 registrants attended the banquet at a total of $40 per plate, including two drink tickets.  Graduate and undergraduate students were offered a complementary ticket to attend the banquet. A total of 61 students registered for the banquet.



The 2017 Midwest ACS Meeting was generously provided monetary support by a range of local and divisional sponsors.


Local Sponsors

      Office of Research

      Department of Chemistry

      Department of Medicinal Chemistry

      Higuchi Biosciences Center

      College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

      School of Pharmacy

      Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis

      School of Engineering

      Deciphera Corporation


ACS Sponsors

      ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry

      ACS Division of Chemical Education

      ACS Division of Organic Chemistry

      ACS Division of Energy & Fuels

      ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry

      ACS Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry

      ACS Division of Physical Chemistry

      ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry

      ACS Division of Computers in Chemistry

      ACS Division of Small Chemical Business

      ACS St. Louis Local Section


Exhibition Arrangements and Exhibitors

The exhibition for the 2017 Midwest ACS Meeting was organized in the Memorial Union Ballroom. To maximize traffic through the exhibition area, all poster sessions for the meeting were held around the perimeter of the exhibition. Furthermore, complementary coffee, drinks and snacks provided by the sponsors were situated in the exhibition area throughout the meeting. The following 29 private sector and academic exhibitors participated in the meeting:

      Bruker Optics

      Agilent Technologies

      Gamry Instruments

      Illinois Rocstar

      Nanalysis Corp

      Oakwood Chemical

      Vernier Software and Technology

      University of Iowa

      Iowa State University

      St. Louis University

      University of Houston

      University of South Dakota

      Indiana University

      Missouri State University

      University of Missouri - Kansas City

      Pittsburg State University

      Kansas State University

      University of Oklahoma


      Pine Research


      Teledyne Instruments

      KU Center for BioModular Multiscale Systems for Precision Medicine


      Fisher Scientific and Fisher Chemical

      University of Kansas Chemistry

      KU COBRE: Center for Molecular Analysis of Disease Pathways

      KU COBRE: Protein Structure and FunctionKU COBRE:  Protein Structure and Function

      KU COBRE: Chemical Biology of Infectious Disease


Other Social and Networking Events

A breakfast for senior chemists was organized on Friday morning of the conference by Dr. Barbara Schowen, University of Kansas. A total of 19 individuals registered for this event.


A Women in Chemistry Lunch and discussion organized by Dr. Lisa Sharpe Ellis was a very popular event, with over 35 participants registered. Dr. Donna Ginther, whose research has focused on gender equity issues in federal funding, was the keynote speaker at the meeting.


Finally, an informal Younger Chemists Committee night out on Friday evening following the close of the meeting was extremely popular, with nearly 150 registered participants.


Conference Organizing Committee

General Chairs:        Tom Prisinzano, University of Kansas

                                                Joe Heppert, University of Kansas, Texas Tech University

Program Chair:          Blake Peterson, University of Kansas

Treasurer:                  David Benson, University of Kansas

                                    Roderick Black, University of Kansas

Exhibits Chair:                      Lisa Sharpe Elles, University of Kansas

                                    Mike Rafferty, Deciphera Corporation

Local Arr. Chair:        Lisa Sharpe Elles, University of Kansas

Fundraising Chair:   Mike Rafferty, Deciphera Corporation

Awards Chair:                       Maggie Witek, University of Kansas

National Awards:     Paul Rillema, Wichita State University

Webmaster:              Sam Leung, Washburn University


Conference Hotel Arrangements

The main conference hotel was the Oread Hotel, approximately one block from the Kansas Memorial Union. The Midwest Awards Reception and Banquet, and the Midwest Regional Governance Breakfast were held at this venue. Blocks of rooms were available at this hotel, and three other hotels in Lawrence; the Springhill Suites and the Towne Place Suites in Downtown Lawrence, and the Double Tree Hotel near the I-70 Kansas Turnpike entrance. Bus transportation was contracted with MV Transportation of Lawrence in the mornings and afternoons, and on Thursday evening to provide convenient access to the remote hotels, though hourly fee parking was also available at a parking structure immediately adjacent to the Kansas Memorial Union. Blocks of rooms in all of the conference hotels were reserved on a contingency-deadline basis. Unused rooms in the blocks reverted to the hotels following the expiration of the room-block registration deadline. This arrangement was made possible by holding the conference during days when with no on-campus athletic events. Consequently, the meeting organizers did not incur any potential liability for un-occupied space in room blocks for the conference hotels.



Appendix 1

Detailed Registration Spreadsheets for the 2017 Midwest ACS Meeting







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Appendix 2


Overall Financial Balance Sheet for 2017 Midwest ACS Meeting


The ACS Department of Meetings and Exposition Services spreadsheet and the spreadsheet used by the meeting treasurer are included as Appendix 1.  A summary of the meeting income and expenses is given below.


            Loan (Wakarusa Valley Local ACS Section)         $11,367.24

            Registration Fees                                        $32,390.00

            Exposition                                                     $13,455.00

Ticket Event Revenue                                                $3,431.00

            Sponsorships                                                             $4,000.00     

            ACS Divisional Direct Support                                 $8,300.00

            KU Unit Sponsor Support                            $31,000.00

Incentive from Xplore Lawrence                 $1,000.00

            Contribution from St. Louis section                           $300.00

Total Income                                                               $105,243.24




            Loan repayment (WV local section)                     $11,367.24

            Kansas Union (Meeting rooms, catering, etc) $22,431.50

            KU Transit &Parking (Shuttle bus service)              $4,357.84

            The Oread Hotel (Reception, Banquet, etc.)       $11,422.09

            Symposium support                                                $25,732.37

ACS Registration Management                    $3,072.00

Mobile App Fee                                                       $5,000.00

Meeting logo and banner                                $750.24

Awards                                                                 $700.00

ACS Regional Planning Conference                            $643.20

High School Teachers workshop                     $512.22

Table Skirts (gifted to MWRM 2018)                           $480.87

Reimbursement for registration overcharge:           $325.00    

Committee and Volunteer Expenses                         $770.75                


Total Expenses                                                           $87,565.32                                                     


Net Income                                                                  $17,677.92



Appendix 3

            Symposium and Event Schedule for 2017 Midwest ACS Meeting