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Student ACS chapter receives one of highest ratings in the country

October 22, 2001

Austin Peay State University's student affiliate chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS) received an outstanding rating for its level and range of activities during the 2000-2001 academic year, an honor received by only 24 of the more than 900 chapters in the United States and the highest recognition given to student affiliate chapters.

Under the leadership of Dr. Ron Robertson, associate professor of chemistry, and Dr. Todd Lafrenz, assistant professor of chemistry, Chi Epsilon Mu received the rating for the second year in a row.

"This recognition reflects back on the students. They take a lot of pride in being involved and care genuinely about having a good program," said Lafrenz.

"To me, the honor means we have a strong chemistry department that is student-oriented and relates well to the community. This has brought honor to our University, our department and, most importantly, to the students we have in our club. It shows once again that great things can happen when the chemistry's right," said Robertson.

The APSU chapter will be recognized at the national ACS meeting in Orlando in April 2002 and will be featured in an upcoming issue of "Chemical and Engineering News."

To achieve this recognition, Chi Epsilon Mu members worked more than 100 hours in Montgomery County classrooms doing chemistry demonstrations in "Kids and Chemistry," helped with hands-on activities during National Chemistry Week at the Cumberland Science Museum, sponsored an annual pre-professional health career seminar, helped with the Montgomery County Science Fair and started a high school research competition modeled after the collegiate division of the Tennessee Academy of Science.

Every year ACS chapters submit a report of their activities, and these reports determine which chapters are honored.

"To achieve this award, documentation of activities involving research, career education, fellowship and outreach to the community was shown," said Robertson.

The purpose of Chi Epsilon Mu is to provide an opportunity for students to become better acquainted with other students in chemistry and related fields, to sponsor extracurricular activities that will expand students' knowledge of chemistry and associated careers, to involve students in service to APSU and the community and to give students an understanding of career opportunities in chemistry and related fields.

"Membership in ACS, the largest professional organization in the world, is a way of beginning to build a professional network," said Lafrenz.