New Honors for Gordon’s American Chemical Society Chapter

Gordon College’s chapter of the American Chemical Society (GCACS) may just be the unsung hero of the science division. For several years, GCACS has earned “commendable” standing by the American Chemical Society (ACS). Recently, however, they upgraded their title to “outstanding.”

According to chapter president Verna Curfman ’17, this honor was not easy to achieve.

“Our chapter had to show aptitude and activity in multiple areas including professional development, chapter development, service to the community and our campus,” Verna said. “For me, the significance of this award is that it really highlights the hard work and the enthusiasm that our chapter members have for what we do. I couldn’t be more proud of them. This award is a direct result of what they have done.”

For the past six years, Gordon’s chapter of the ACS has also been nationally recognized as a Green Chemistry Chapter for their commitment to using methods safer for human health and the environment. GCACS focuses on educating others about green chemistry, finding ways to make chemicals safer for people, and encouraging others to fight for products or processes that will not harm people or the environment.

GCACS has hosted a variety of lectures over the past year, including the annual green chemistry lecture, as well as a recent webinar, “Green Chemistry and Social and Environmental Justice.” They also hold an annual scholarship fundraiser called Science Cafe, which provides finances for future first-year chemistry students.

The group is heavily involved in community outreach, as well. In the last year, their efforts have been spent volunteering at the Museum of Science, the Boston Children’s Museum and a weekly tutoring program in Lynn. The Gordon chapter has great plans for the future, including starting outreach programs in Lawrence and Harlem, N.Y.

Reflecting on her personal growth throughout her few years in the American Chemical Society, Verna says, “Being part of the group allowed me to develop into being a better leader. I learned so much about how a few people can make a big difference and how when students take action they can cause real change.”

By Megan Harvey ’19, communication arts