In Spite of COVID-19, ACS Student Chapter Award Winners Crush 2020

We’ve all heard it before: 2020 was a year like no other! That certainly was the case for ACS student chapters. Historically, ACS student chapters are built on in-person activities: campus and community events, team-building meetings, member recruiting, fundraising, and hands-on science activities. These opportunities are crucial for sustaining a club and measuring success. But the challenge of staying active and impactful in 2020 was unparalleled in the 83-year history of the ACS Student Chapter Program.

For most chapters, pandemic-driven campus closures stymied plans and communications. But, as For You The Traveller author and artist Nabil Sabio Azadi has said, “When fishermen cannot go to sea, they repair nets.” Many chapters used the closures to step back and allow their members time to rest and recharge. Chapter officers collaborated on contingency plans to keep their chapters together in the fall. Some chapters not only repaired nets but developed new tools and strategies: In-person meetings became Zoom calls, paper elections and record-keeping became all-in-one digital forms, hands-on outreach became informational and educational multimedia creations shared on social media and through e-mail.

For their resilience, tenacity, and resourcefulness, the 2019-2020 ACS Chapter Award winners are truly deserving of recognition for the unique efforts made to strengthen their chapters, develop professional skills, and educate their communities about the transforming power of chemistry.

inChemistry commends the 72 Outstanding, 99 Commendable, and 120 Honorable Mention chapter winners, as well as the 22 chapters recognized with a distinguished honor for green chemistry activities.

The following gallery is a snapshot of chapters in action just before the pandemic, which continues to grip the world.

ACS Student Chapter events from around the world