The Nittany Chemical Society (NCS) is a Penn State student chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS). Every year, NCS is required to submit a chapter report to the Society Committee on Education (SCOED). This report summarizes their budget, chapter development, professional development, and service over the course of the year. This year NCS received the top award of “Outstanding” which acknowledges the student chapter as being one of the best in the American Chemical Society. Previous awards were "Commendable” in 2019-2020 and "Honorable Mention” in 2020-2021.
According to NCS chapter president Ryan Lai, “NCS had a complete rebranding with the aftereffects of the pandemic, and I am so proud to see how far we have come in the last year. As the leader of the club, I am happy to see our work be recognized with the outstanding award as it is very satisfying to see the hard work from our members pay off.”
NCS students are engaged in many service projects, including volunteering at local schools, distributing lab goggles to chemistry students, and working with children and families at the Discovery Space. They network with faculty members, graduate students, and undergraduate students in events ranging from research talks to trivia events to backyard campfires. Their fundraising efforts allowed them to send 18 students to the 2022 ACS conference in San Diego last spring. At the conference the students presented posters on undergraduate research and their student affiliate activities.
Morgan Dierolf, a fourth-year chemistry major and NCS member, thought it was “very exciting when I heard we got the outstanding on our report considering how hard my friends on the executive board work to make the club more ingrained in our department’s community. I’m glad NCS has been growing and getting more exposure than I’ve gotten to witness throughout my years at Penn State.”
The members also provide professional development opportunities to fellow chemistry students, work as Learning Assistants (LAs) for the chemistry first year seminar course, and often act as ambassadors to prospective students by providing tours and answering questions. You can read more about the 2022 student chapter award recipients here.
One of the club’s faculty advisors, Dr. Lori Stepan, said “this is a group of students that we are proud to have working with us, side by side! Give them a high five if you see their smiling faces around campus!”