Professor Ann Abraham Named 2018 Local Section Outreach Volunteer of the Year
Kent State University at Ashtabula associate chemistry professor Ann Abraham, Ph.D., was recently named the Northeastern Ohio Local Section Outreach Volunteer of the Year by the American Chemistry Society (ACS). The award recognizes extraordinary outreach volunteer service within the section.
“I’m humbled to receive this recognition,” Abraham said. “I share it with my family, friends, colleagues and many current and past students that support these efforts. I love sharing the fun of chemistry with people of all ages.”
Abraham was nominated by her peers in the Northeastern Ohio Local Section primarily for her work on coordinating the “Chemistry Rocks” program as part of 2017 National Chemistry Week, and the Family Chemistry Day/You Be the Chemist Challenge events hosted by Kent State Ashtabula, which is in its fifth year.
This past fall, “Chemistry Rocks” brought nearly 300 guests to the Lake Metroparks Environmental Learning Center. The free program included 26 hands-on demos and experiments, focusing on rocks, as well as rock music performances by Roots of American Music (ROAM) and mock interviews and resume reviews for interested high school and college students with industry professionals.
Developed by the Chemical Education Foundation, “You Be the Chemist” brings area 5th-8th graders to campus to compete in a spelling bee style competition focusing on chemistry and science facts. Approximately 40 contestants were cultivated from nearly 700 preliminary exams to compete in the challenge. It is held as part of Family Chemistry Day, an opportunity for families and friends of the students competing to engage in fun chemistry-related activities like cotton candy and snow cone making, ID card finger printing, face painting and more.
Abraham’s involvement with National Chemistry Week began as an undergrad and she became the coordinator for events in 2011.
“It’s really great to see students and adults get into it and enjoy learning about chemistry,” Abraham added. “I encourage my students to bring their friends and families to these events and I really enjoy meeting everyone. We want to encourage everyone to participate and interact with science and have fun while doing it!”